D.D.S. Program Admission

Admission Process

  1. Fulfill all academic prerequisites
  2. 60 hours of shadowing with a general dentist (D.D.S. or D.M.D.) are required at the time of application. Applicants should consider this number of hours a minimum for consideration.
  3. Take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) and send scores directly from the Dental Association (either American or Canadian). Though all scores will be looked at, only scores from the last 2 years will be considered valid for admissions purposes, counting backwards from when application is submitted.
  4. AADSAS Application: Apply through the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) including submittal of all official transcripts, DAT scores and letters of recommendation. Once your AADSAS application is received by the Office of Dental Admissions, an acknowledgment will be sent to you via email
  5. University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry Supplemental Materials:

    A link will be sent to all applicants after submission to AADSAS. There, you will pay the non-refundable application fee ($125.00 USD) and upload a photo of yourself. After review, if invited for an interview, applicants will be immediately required to complete Kira and Casper (Casper test only) online assessments.  Completion is mandatory and must be completed within the time frame given in the interview invitation.  Applicants do NOT need to complete the Casper test unless they are invited for an interview. 

Please send all admission questions to dental@udmercy.edu

Open All | Close All


    COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions for Accepted Students and Applicants

    The University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry understands that the current learning environment is in a state of disruption due to COVID 19.  Nationwide, colleges and universities are working diligently to provide all students with the opportunity to continue their educational pathway, often via remote and/or distance learning. We are committed to your dental education and hope that we can alleviate some of your anxiety about grades during this difficult time.  These general guidelines will apply for courses from 2020 and 2021 and may extend to later semesters.

    For all prerequisites and science classes (biology, chemistry, physics, math), please opt for the letter grade, if you have the option.  For non-prerequisite and non-science classes, we will accept a pass/fail grade. 


    Applicants should not delay in submitting their application, as we will partially review applications without a DAT score.  Once the exam is written, candidates will receive a printout of their unofficial scores.  A photo of that sheet can be emailed to dental@udmercy.edu, and we will use those scores to complete review of those applications.  Please monitor both the American Dental Association website for more information on the DAT  https://www.ada.org/en/education-careers/dental-admission-test and also the Prometric website https://www.prometric.com/corona-virus-update.

    Shadowing Hours

    Detroit Mercy Dental understands that many applicants have had to temporarily halt their shadowing experiences.  While we require 60 hours of shadowing with a general dentist, applicants with less than 60 hours should not be discouraged from applying. We will acknowledge interruptions in the applicant's record, due to COVID-19.  Virtual shadowing hours will be taken into consideration, however, candidates should do their best to earn shadowing hours in-person.

    Volunteer Hours

    Detroit Mercy Dental does not have a minimum number of hours for volunteerism/community engagement.  We understand that many applicants have had to temporarily halt their volunteer activities.  As each region allows, applicants are encouraged to resume their activities, as they are able.  As with shadowing hours, we will acknowledge interruptions in the applicant's record, due to COVID-19.

    For all students

    If your school has implemented pass/fail for all courses, please forward the official announcement to dental@udmercy.edu.

    Detroit Mercy Dental understands that this is a stressful and uncertain time.  We are here to support you and answer your questions.  Please email us at dental@udmercy.edu with your questions and concerns.

Open All | Close All


    Academic Prerequisites

    Academic preparation must include the following specific requirements, both in time and in credit hours (Please note, eight semester hours in science and six semester hours in English are generally equivalent to a one-year course).

    Please note prerequisites should be completed within 5 years of the application date. Candidates whose prerequisites are older than 5 years at the time of application are advised to retake these courses, preferably at a 4-year institution. 


    • Eight semester hours (12 quarter hours) of Inorganic or General Chemistry with laboratory.
    • Eight semester hours (12 quarter hours) of Organic Chemistry with laboratory.


    • Eight semester hours (12 quarter hours) of General Biology or Zoology with laboratory.
    • Additional courses strongly encouraged include: Anatomy, Physiology, and Statistics.


    • Eight semester hours (12-quarter hours) with laboratory.
    • Sufficient prerequisite mathematics should be taken as well as High School Physics.


    • Six semester hours (9-quarter hours).
    • First year college courses in Composition will satisfy the requirement.
    • Three semester hours of credit in literature may be used to satisfy part of  this requirement if the course description confirms that writing was integral to the course.


    • Three (3) semester hours if no lab is available or Four (4) semester hours if lab is available. (4.5 - 6 quarter hours)


    • Three (3) semester hours if no lab is available or Four (4) semester hours if lab is available.  (4.5 - 6 quarter hours)

    The dental admissions committee reserves the right to modify the prerequisites when additional courses are necessary to an applicant's preparation for dental school. Grades of C or higher are expected in prerequisite courses; however, high B grades or higher are truly more competitive.

    Courses in sociology and psychology, especially human behavior are highly recommended, as are business courses.  Prerequisites taken at a 2-year institution are accepted.  Candidates are encouraged to take as many senior level (third and fourth year level) science courses as possible to be competitive. Applicants are strongly advised to consult with a counselor or pre-health advisor at their school.

    Academic Achievement

    A minimum GPA (science and overall) of 3.0 is required for consideration.  Given the competitive nature of applying to dental school, applicants with less than a 3.0 GPA in either category should seriously consider delaying submission of their application until their GPA is more competitive.  GPAs of 3.5 or higher are considered strong and competitive, though any application with a GPA of 3.0 or above will be reviewed and considered. A full-time academic load (15-18 semester hours) of three or four science courses each term is encouraged, particularly during the junior and senior undergraduate years.

    Credit Minimum
    To be eligible, applicants must have earned a minimum of 60 credit hours.


    Minimum vs. Competitive Applicants 

    Please note that the pre-requisites coursework and a 3.0 GPA are considered a minimum.  Competitive applicants have many senior (3 and 4 years) level science courses (e.g., bio, chem). 


    Note - Canadian Students:

    • For those who have completed Grade 13 or OAC, full credit is given for Grade 13 or OAC English toward fulfilling the English requirement (grades of “C” or higher are required in order to be acknowledged). University prep courses in English are also considered.
    • Grade 13 or OAC science courses do not fulfill the requirements in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. However, credit may be given for these courses toward meeting the requirement of eight semester hours in each science when these courses are also taken in a university. 
    • 6 credit hours (or a full year sequence) is equivalent to U.S. 8 credits hours for science courses (i.e. biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics)

    Dental Admission Test (DAT)

    All applicants for admission are required to take the Dental Admission Test (DAT), a national standardized test. Scores from the DAT are an important component to one's application to dental school and should be recognized as such by the student.   Members of an admissions committee frequently use the DAT to predict a student's success or potential failure in the school's curriculum. Additional information about the DAT can be obtained by visiting the American Dental Association's (ADA) website at  http://www.ada.org/prof/ed/testing/dat/index.asp.

    Students are advised to take the DAT only after basic requirements in chemistry and biology have been completed. Applicants should attempt to earn an 18 in each section as a target minimum, with 20 or better considered competitive, though all DAT scores will be reviewed and considered. Retaking the DAT, with the goal of achieving more competitive scores is encouraged. DAT scores older than two years from the time of the test are not acceptable.

    The Canadian DAT is acceptable for applicants from Canadian colleges or universities only: http://www.cda-adc.ca.

    DAT scores received by Office of Admissions after December 31st will not be accepted.


    Diversity Statement

    Detroit Mercy Dental is committed to diversifying its student body and the dental workforce.  The admissions committee seeks to increase the applicant pool of students from historically underrepresented race/ethnicity (HURE) groups and first-generation students, as defined by ADEA.  Guided by our mission as a Jesuit & Mercy institution, in alignment with the values of social justice and equity, our vision of diversity also includes individuals from educationally and economically disadvantaged populations, as defined by HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration).

    Letters of Recommendation

    Two (2) letters from science faculty within disciplines of biology (non-plant or non-environmental), chemistry, physics, or mathematics (including statistics) - by whom the candidate has been instructed and where a grade was earned - are required.  Strong preference given for letters from biology or chemistry professors.  A single (1) composite/committee letter can take the place of the two letters from science faculty, provided that science faculty (using the criteria laid out previously) are included in the committee reviewing the applicant.

    One (1) letter from a general dentist (D.D.S. or D.M.D.) attesting to the applicant having spent a reasonable amount of time with the practitioner chair side exploring the dental profession.  Candidates are required to have a minimum of 60 hours of shadowing with a general dentist.

    An applicant who feels that the application did not allow explanations of certain aspects of scholastic history may submit a written personal statement directly to the Office of Dental Admissions.

    General Guidelines for Letters of Recommendations:

    Letters of recommendation must be dated and must appear on official letterhead (college/university or dental office).  Professionally, they must include an original signature with typewritten name beneath the signature as well as professional title.  Faculty should include the course code, title and term within the content of their letter.  It is highly recommended that letters of recommendation from TA's, Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) or PhD candidates be cosigned by the course director or department chairperson.  Please print and give these guidelines to your referees when you ask them for letters of recommendation.


    Selection Factors

    The Director of Dental Admissions reviews all completed applications and together with the Dental Admissions Committee selects applicants for admission to the School of Dentistry.

    Selection is based upon various components of a dental school application which may include cognitive and non-cognitive components of an application: difficulty of an undergraduate curriculum, academic performance in undergraduate studies, DAT scores, and personal characteristics and potential for success as determined by letters of recommendation, personal statements, and personal interviews, to name a few. The dental admissions committee requests an interview for the purpose of gaining information not readily gained from the application. Interviews are BY INVITATION to applicants being seriously considered.


    Reapplication Requirements and Suggestions

    Submit  your  application  early.  American  dental  schools  operate  on  a   "rolling  admission  cycle"  (applicants  are
    accepted from December 1st until the class is filled). With numerous applications being received by dental schools each year, and an increased quality in those applications, dental schools have been filling their incoming classes earlier and earlier.

    Continue  to  enroll  FULL-TIME  in  upper-division  (graduate)  biologically-based  science  courses  (non-plant  or  non- environmental). If you have already obtained your BS degree, it is suggested you begin working toward a Master's degree (preferably in an area of biology, basic medical sciences, or public health).

    Submit new letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation should be submitted from current professors each year you apply.


    Estimated Cost of Attendance


    Technical Standards for Dental and Dental Hygiene Programs