It is important to create a timeline for yourself when applying to dental school but perhaps more importantly, your timeline should be flexible. Course scheduling, extra-curricular activities, deadline changes, etc. all contribute to the need of having flexibility in your timeline.
For specific application deadline dates, you should always check the ADEA AADSAS website. It is always a good idea to apply early. Applying early can help you avoid delays, allow for timely processing and improve your chances of being admitted to schools using rolling admissions.
Here is a timeline that you should consider prior to and while applying to dental school.
Prior to Applying
- Take prerequisite courses and meet with advisors
- Begin to establish and develop “contacts” with professors, GSI’s, campus staff members, community members, employment supervisors, etc.
- Open an Interfolio account to store the letters written for you
- Begin researching dental programs
- Get involved in extracurricular activities to acquire the skills and experience to stand out as an applicant, e.g. join a student org, volunteer, work or research activities.
- Begin volunteering in dental settings (general dental practice as well as specialized dental practice) to confirm your interest in dentistry.
- Prepare for & take the DAT – Register and choose from approximately several dates but it is recommended you take the DAT well in advance of applying to dental school, but no later than June of the year that you are applying.
- Attend various health professional school workshops, graduate school fairs, etc.
- Consult the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Go Dental web pages for general information regarding qualifying and applying for dental school. AADSAS makes downloadable application packets available in March and may be submitted beginning June 1.
- Order and collect official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities that you have attended.
- Gather Letters of Recommendations.
June – August of the Application Cycle
- Should have taken DAT or waiting for the release of your score from an earlier test. Earlier test dates help avoid delays
- Confirm deadline dates for AADSAS and dental schools. The application cycle is typically June 1 – Feb 1.
- AADSAS application is available in June. Begin to fill out and submit application. Contact AADSAS directly for specific questions that are not found in their instruction manual
- Have letters of recommendation sent to AADSAS – check individual schools for specific criteria
- AADSAS verifies primary application & begins releasing application to schools (Late June)
- Submit supplemental application materials if required by individual dental schools. Generally you should try to submit supplemental applications within two weeks of receipt.
- Continue to work, volunteer, etc.
August – November of the Application Cycle
- Early Fall – submit supplemental application materials if required by individual dental schools. Generally you should try to submit supplemental applications within two weeks of receipt.
- Schools begin interviewing
- Make an appointment for a Mock Interview (Handshake)
- Continue to do well in your classes, volunteer, etc.
December – February of the Application Cycle
- Interviews are completed and dental schools inform applicants of admission status. Admissions decision processes and timelines vary between dental programs but you may learn of an acceptance as early as December/January.
- Schools begin extending acceptance offers to applicants beginning Dec 1