Dental School Application How-To

USC Ostrow School of Dentristy

by Sara Shin

The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) hosts one standardized application process for 59 dental schools participating through the AADSAS (Associated American Dental Schools Application Service). The six dental schools in California; USC, UCLA, UCSF, UOP, Loma Linda University and Western University; are all listed in AADSAS.

The Dentpin, a tracking ID number, has recently become a required component on the AADSAS application, the Dental Admission Test (DAT) and the National Boards. It can be obtained from the American Dental Association (ADA).

Other important components in the application process include the DAT, a one-page personal statement, resume, transcripts, letters of evaluation, and a $277 application fee ($72 for each additional school), said third year USC dental student and DENT 221 teaching assistant, Jaclyn Bradle.

According to Bradle, the USC Letter of Recommendation system facilitates the mailing of evaluation letters from writers to dental school.

“They keep record of all the letters so that you can access them and send more copies to different places when needed,” Bradle said.

Applicants must also take the DAT, a standardized test that covers general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, reading comprehension, quantitative reasoning and perceptual ability, which measures the ability to interpret two-dimensional representation of three-dimensional objects.

“I treated the DAT prep like a summer job, studying from 8-12PM, lunch break, and back on studying from 1-5PM,” Bradle said. “And at the end, I left time for my social life.”

Starting June 1, a complete application with the above components is accepted by ADEA, which is reviewed by ADEA officials and sent to the student’s selected dental schools in the following weeks. Because dental schools practice rolling admission, the early applications are processed first.

The application cycle ends on Feb. 1 of the next year.

Once the application has been received, schools that are interested will request supplemental applications and interview dates (along with additional fees).

“One tip for interviews is to avoid the typical interview outfit,” Bradle said. “I wore a cute, pink formal shirt for my interviews which I think helped me stand out.”

After satisfying all requests by the dental schools, the first set of acceptances is issued on Dec.1. The acceptances continue on to the next year until all spots are confirmed and paid for.  Dental school begins in the fall.

The table shows the statistics of entering class of 2014 at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC.

Enrollment ratio 1:22
Average GPA 3.40
Average Science GPA 3.30
Average DAT score Academic 19.2
Sciences 19.6
PAT 19.8


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *