If you are considering developing a career in dentistry, but you are not quite sure whether your academic success matches dental programs requirements, you might want to check these 10 least competitive dental schools in America. We created the ranking using as criteria average GPA and DAT of recently enrolled students. In addition, we looked whether programs include special course requirements as well as tuition fees or not.
In general, future dental students should consider three things. First, you should find out what core predental course are mandatory. The majority of schools require that applicants have taken one year course of biology, general and organic chemistry with laboratory work, physics with lab and English. For some programs courses such as biochemistry and microbiology, or math and psychology might also be part of admission prerequisites. While some programs only recommend that applicants have knowledge in previously mentioned subjects, others explicitly state that these courses are mandatory. Moreover, some practical experience in dentistry is a must for students applying for dental schools.
Secondly, you should look at average GPA and DAT of most recently admitted students. An excellent starting point for the investigation might be checking out sites which compare different dental school across the US. Depending on your ambitions, i.e. whether you want to get into the best dental school or just be admitted to any school, you will know which programs to rule out immediately and which to add to your wish list. Note that students enrolled at best schools had average GPA 3.87, compared to GPA of 3.3, which is the average academic result at the 10th program on this list – the one that is the most competitive among the least competitive. If your academic performance was so poor that you do not meet criteria for schools that are easiest to get into, do not worry. You can check these 10 least competitive medical specialties in America, where you will find out that some programs admit students who have GPA of 2.3
Now let’s turn to Dental Admission Test (DAT) which is mandatory for all dental school applicants. The computed-based test, which measures general academic ability, comprehension of scientific information, and perceptual ability, includes multiple-choice questions in biology (40), general chemistry (30), organic chemistry (30), perceptual ability (90), reading comprehension (50); and quantitative reasoning (40). DAT scores range from 1 to 30, while the national average in recent years has been the result of 19-20. As with all standardized tests, the key to scoring well, besides knowledge, is staying calm and focused. Panic often interferes with students’ performance and the best way to overcome test anxiety is to get familiar with the test’s structure by practicing as often as you can.
Even if you are applying for dental schools with minimum admission requirements, GPA and DAT alone won’t secure you the place. Since dentistry is a patient-orientated profession, admission committees will like to know whether you are the person who can empathize with others, establish a caring relationship, maintain good working ethics, etc. Having volunteering experience under your belt is a good way to show that you possess these qualities.
Finally, tuition fees are also an important factor when choosing a dental school. The majority of colleges on this list are private, and tuition ranges from $42,235 to $70,639. On the other side, if you choose a public college you will need to pay between $8,751 and $26,708 annually. Some colleges give preference to in-state students and tuition for them is usually much lower than for non-residents.
Now that you have all information necessary for starting the application for a dental program lets explore in more details these 10 least competitive dental schools in America. The ranking is based on data obtained from DAT PREP. First, we ranked schools by average GPA, and separately by average DAT. Then we combined the ranking, calculating the average ranking for each program to come up with this list. Note that for some schools DAT PREP doesn’t give average GPA. In cases like that, we relied on information found at Startclass.