D.D.S. Program FAQs

Detroit Mercy Students

Applying to dental school can be a long and complicated process. We want to answer all of your questions. If your question doesn’t appear on this list, please email us your question at dental@udmercy.edu

Academic Preparation

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Do I need a bachelor's degree?

    No. However, a degree is strongly recommended because it affords the individual with a broad, liberal education. A degree also provides one with a major field of study, on which to build, if dentistry turns out to be a poor career choice for the individual. However, an academically qualified applicant, who has done his/her dental career exploration can save time and money by entering dental school after three years.

  •  

    May I apply after only two years of undergraduate school?

    It is possible, but approximately 4% of two-year applicants are accepted nationally each year. If you are an outstanding two-year applicant, who really has explored the dental profession, we will consider you.

  •  

    What is considered full-time? Do I have to be full-time every semester/quarter?

    Students generally take 15 credits/semester (fall, winter) or 15 credits/quarter (fall, winter, spring).  

    Because you will be taking a very packed science curriculum in dental school, we are looking for evidence that you can manage full-time coursework, weighted heavily toward senior level science courses. If you have circumstances where you could not maintain full-time status, that should be explained in your personal statement.  

  •  

    Must I major in Biology?

    No. The choice of a major is yours. Choose a course of study of interest to you. It is true, however, that most Biology majors have an easier time with the dental school basic sciences than non-Biology majors. If your choice of major is a non-science one, you are encouraged to select "elective" courses in the sciences. This will enable you to build a stronger foundation for success within a dental curriculum.

  •  

    Will courses in environmental or plant sciences fulfill the prerequisite courses?

    No. These courses are not recognized toward fulfilling prerequisite courses. Biology and Chemistry courses with a primary focus on growth and development should be pursued toward fulfilling prerequisite courses for entrance into dental school.
  •  

    Will English as Second Language (ESL) courses meet the prerequisite English requirement?

    No. Neither will completion of English Language proficiency examinations (TOEFL). First year university courses in composition will satisfy the requirement (Composition I & II). Three semester hours of credit in literature may be used to satisfy part of this requirement - if the course description confirms writing was an integral element of the course.
  •  

    In addition to the required undergraduate courses (Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics, and English), what other courses are suggested?

    Any course in Biology related to growth and development such as Comparative Anatomy, Physiology, Molecular Genetics, Cell Biology, Histology, Embryology, Immunology and Virology - to name a few. Biochemistry and Microbiology are required prerequisites for entry. Courses in Psychology/Human Behavior are very helpful when dealing with dental patients. Also, courses in Business such will help prepare for private practice. Medical Ethics is also suggested.
  •  

    What if a grade(s) of less than "C" is received in a prerequisite course?

    You should repeat the course and achieve at least a "B" grade or, take an upper-level course in the same discipline, and do well (achieve grade of "B" or better). Follow the advice of your advisor when choosing between these two choices. Remember that one of your goals is to earn the support of this important person.
  •  

    Is there a minimum grade point average I must attain?

    A minimum grade point average in science courses of 3.0 is recommended.
  •  

    What if I have completed my undergraduate degree but feel my credentials are not competitive?

    Continue to enroll in higher-level biologically based science courses. This is important! Consider initiating a Master's program (in an area of Biology). By doing this, you build a stronger foundation for a dental curriculum, improve your competitiveness by pursuing an academically challenged biology program, and perhaps obtain your MS degree at the same time!

  •  

    Do I have to complete all of the prerequisites before I apply?

    No. If accepted, prerequisites must be completed before you matriculate. At the time of application, it is normal to have one or two prerequisites outstanding. However, any outstanding prerequisite courses should be in your planned/in progress section of your AADSAS application.  

    Please be aware that many other applicants will have most, if not all, of the prerequisite coursework completed at the time of application. The more prerequisite coursework you have completed, the better we can evaluate your candidacy as a dental school applicant.  

  •  

    Do prerequisites expire?

    Prerequisite coursework must have a completion date within five (5) years the date of application in AADSAS.  
  •  

    Do you accept AP/IB/CLEP credits to fulfill prerequisites?

    We will accept AP/IB/CLEP credits to fulfill, in part, prerequisites. These courses must appear on an applicant’s undergraduate transcript as equivalent to a specific course at the applicant’s undergraduate institution. Letter grades are typically not associated to these credits, so that will have an impact on an applicant’s overall GPA.  
  •  

    Do you accept dual enrollment credits to fulfill prerequisites?

    We will accept dual enrollment credits to fulfill prerequisites. If you are at a different institution than where you earned your dual enrollment credits, please ensure that you request transcripts and send them to AADSAS.  
  •  

    How does Detroit Mercy Dental view community college/two-year institution credits, especially with respect to prerequisites?

    We will accept coursework completed at a community college or two-year institution as part of a two-year degree completion and/or transfer credit into a four-year undergraduate institution. Candidates may also take select courses at a two-year institution, if the course is not available at their home institution or does not fit into their academic plan.  

    If you are unsure if your completed coursework at a community college or two-year institution will satisfy Detroit Mercy Dental’s admissions requirements., please contact us dental@udmercy.edu 

  •  

    Does Detroit Mercy Dental accept online courses?

    While we will accept online coursework, we have a preference for courses that are taken in person. Exceptions are made for courses taken online in 2020 and 2021 and Winter 2022, due to the impact of COVID-19 on higher education institutions. 

  •  

    Does Detroit Mercy Dental require 3 or 4 hours of microbiology or biochemistry? Do I need to take the laboratory associated with each class?

    Some schools do not offer laboratories for these classes. In these cases, we will accept 3 credit hours as fulfilling the prerequisite in each category. Some schools will offer these courses as 4 (or more) credit hours, with laboratories integrated into the course itself. We will also accept these courses as fulfilling the prerequisite in each category.  

    If the option exists at your school, we encourage you to take the laboratory course. This will reinforce what you are learning in lecture. You are not required to take the laboratory to apply.  

  •  

    I’m a student at a Canadian university and I don’t have the 8 credit hours required for prerequisites.

    We are aware that Canadian schools offer their laboratories differently than U.S. schools. Because laboratories are integrated into lectures and are not separate credits, we will accept 6 credit hours instead of the stated 8, for applicants from Canadian schools. 

Dental Admission Test (DAT)

Open All | Close All

  •  

    When should I take the DAT?

    The ideal time is to take the exam the spring/summer of the year you apply. In addition, you should take the exam when you complete your organic chemistry sequence. 

  •  

    Can I apply without having completed the DAT yet? 

    Yes, you can apply as soon as you are ready and indicate your intended exam date. We will conduct a partial review of your file until we receive your DAT scores. When you finish the exam, you will receive a printout of your unofficial score. Send us an email with a picture of that sheet attached to dental@udmercy.edu, informing us that you’ve completed the DAT and you would like your unofficial scores to be added to your file. These unofficial DAT scores can then be used to complete a review of your application materials as part of consideration for admission to Detroit Mercy Dental. 

  •  

    How should I prepare for the DAT?

    We do not endorse any specific test preparation programs. What is important is you carve out protected time on a regular basis to study. 

  •  

    What is the minimum acceptable DAT score?

    The minimum score is 19 in each section, however applicants are encouraged to achieve competitive scores of 20 or better in each category.

  •  

    How long should I study for the DAT?

    You will see lots of suggestions online, ranging from 1 month to 6 months. You know your abilities and your schedule the best, so you need to figure out protected time to study for the DAT on a regular basis.  

    A word of caution, do not base your study habits on other people, even if they said they got into dental school. You’re not them and you know what is best for you. 

  •  

    Do DAT scores expire?

    DAT scores are considered current for the purpose of dental school admissions for two years. We will consider DAT scores two years from the date of application in AADSAS. All DAT attempts and scores may be viewed however, only scores from the last two years will be used to make an admissions decision. 

  •  

    Are Canadian DAT scores acceptable?

    The Canadian DAT is accepted for students enrolled at a Canadian college or university. Students at colleges or universities in the U.S. are expected to take the U.S. DAT. 

  •  

    How many times may I take the DAT?

    You can take the test three times. If you wish to take it again after three attempts, you must get special permission from the American Dental Association . Please consult the American Dental Education Association’s website for more information.  

    https://www.adea.org/GoDental/Application_Prep/The_Admissions_Process/DAT_(Dental_Admission_Test).aspx 

Letters of Recommendation

Open All | Close All

  •  

    -What counts as a science professor, when it comes to letters of recommendation?

    Biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics professors are all considered science professors. There is a preference for letters from professors who teach subjects related to human biology (e.g. human genetics, biochemistry, human anatomy, etc.) 

  •  

    How many letters does Detroit Mercy Dental require?

    We require three (3) letters total: two (2) must be from a science professor who has taught you in a graded course+ and one (1) must be from a practicing general dentist in the U.S. or Canada whom you have shadowed.  

    + if your school grants committee letters, then that committee letter may replace the two (2) letters from a science professor 

  •  

    Although two letters from science professors are required, what do I do if my classes were large and the professors did not know me well?

    Ask the professors you select to write letters, for an appointment. The purpose is to allow you to present yourself and your goals. Request supplemental, or additional, letters from humanities professors and/or teaching assistants. The most important part of any letter is some indication that the writer knows you reasonably well and supports your application.

  •  

    Why must I submit a letter from a practicing dentist?

    We want to be certain you have explored the dental profession and that your career choice has been made on the basis of sufficient exposure. A mistake in the choice of a career is extremely costly today in terms of time, effort, and money! Be certain that you have spent sufficient time in the dental office so you have seen the negative, as well as the many positive aspects of dentistry.

  •  

    Must my letters be original, or will you accept photocopies.

    Letters submitted directly to the School of Dentistry or to AADSAS must be originals, dated, signed and on official letterhead. Copies are acceptable when submitted with an original cover letter from a Preprofessional Committee or Career Planning and Placement Office.

  •  

    What needs to be included in the letters of recommendation?

    Please let your recommenders know that we would like the letters (1) on official letterhead, (2) dated, and (3) signed. You are waiving your rights to see these letters, so ensure you are giving your recommenders sufficient time to write you letters and upload them to AADSAS. As well, ensure they have sufficient information from you to write a strong letter (e.g. CV, copy of your personal statement, ask to meet with them, etc.) 

Supplemental Fee and Photo

Open All | Close All

  •  

    I already paid AADSAS. Why do I need to pay Detroit Mercy Dental another fee?

    The fee you paid when you applied goes directly to AADSAS and not the individual school. The AASDAS fee is a cost associated with the centralized application service and the verification process of all your application materials. The supplemental fee is paid directly to the school to process your application to that school.
  •  

    Do you offer a fee waiver for the $125.00 supplemental application fee?

     ..............
  •  

    Is there a separate supplemental application that I must submit?

     ..............
  •  

    How do I pay my fees?

     ..............

Interviews

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Is an interview required of all applicants?

     Yes. The Admissions Committee will invite candidates being seriously considered for an interview. We want to meet you and we want you to see our school. 

International Applicants

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Do you accept international applicants?

    As a private institution, we do not have restrictions on international or domestic students.   
  •  

    I was trained as a dentist in another country. How do I apply to Detroit Mercy Dental’s Doctor of Dental Surgery program?

    Currently, we do not have an advanced standing program for internationally trained dentists. Internationally-trained dentists may apply as a traditional DDS applicant, if you complete prerequisite coursework at a school in the U.S. or Canada. Alternatively, you may apply to our Accelerated Dental Program, where you will take a special 2-year curriculum while also teaching part-time. More information is at https://dental.udmercy.edu/programs/dental/accelerated/ 

Application

Open All | Close All

  •  

    How do I apply to dental school?

    Visit the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) web site at www.ADEA.org. Click on "Student Applicant and Advisor Information, AADSAS, and PASS" and then, click, on "Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS)". Applications become available June 1 in the year prior to the anticipated date of graduation. You may apply online.

  •  

    When should I apply?

    You should apply when you are ready, and you can put forward the strongest application package possible. The earlier you apply, the better chance you have of earning an interview spot, as available interview spots quickly fill up. 

  •  

    When does the cycle open/close?

    The admissions cycle opens around mid-May as a soft open. This means you may begin to fill out your application and gather materials in the portal. Around June 1st, the cycle officially opens and you may submit your application and pay the associated fees. These dates are subject to change annually; for specific dates for the current year please visit:  

    https://www.adea.org/GoDental/The_application_to_dental_school__ADEA_AADSAS.aspx

     The deadline for consideration at Detroit Mercy Dental is December 31. All materials must be received and verified by AADSAS by this date. 

  •  

    How will I know when you have received my application from the application service (AADSAS)?

    We will send you an email acknowledgment.  Ensure you have sent us your 2x2 photo and supplemental application fee of $125 US funds (certified check or money order, no personal checks).  Application review will be put on hold until the fee is received.

  •  

    When will I be notified of acceptance?

    By agreement among dental schools, acceptances will not be issued before the first Monday in December of the year proceeding the year of anticipated entry (in 2019, Monday, December 2). Applicants are accepted from that date until the class is filled.

  •  

    What happens if the class is filled before a decision has been made about me? Am I eliminated for that year?

    Not necessarily. When a class is filled, we begin a waiting, or alternate, list. If someone withdraws (and people do for many reasons), the Admissions Committee will select the most qualified person from the waiting list, regardless of when they were placed on the list.

Prerequisites

Open All | Close All

  •  

    Do I have to complete all of the prerequisites before I apply?

    No. If accepted, prerequisites must be completed before you matriculate. At the time of application, it is normal to have one or two prerequisites outstanding. However, any outstanding prerequisite courses should be in your planned/in progress section of your AADSAS application.  

    Please be aware that many other applicants will have most, if not all, of the prerequisite coursework completed at the time of application. The more prerequisite coursework you have completed, the better we can evaluate your candidacy as a dental school applicant. 2  

  •  

    Do you accept AP/IB/CLEP credits to fulfill prerequisites?

    We will accept AP/IB/CLEP credits to fulfill, in part, prerequisites. These courses must appear on an applicant’s undergraduate transcript as equivalent to a specific course at the applicant’s undergraduate institution. Letter grades are typically not associated to these credits, so that will have an impact on an applicant’s overall GPA.
  •  

    Do you accept dual enrollment credits to fulfill prerequisites?

    We will accept dual enrollment credits to fulfill prerequisites. If you are at a different institution than where you earned your dual enrollment credits, please ensure that you request transcripts and send them to AADSAS.  
  •  

    Do prerequisites expire?

    Prerequisite coursework must have a completion date within five (5) years the date of application in AADSAS.  
  •  

    How does Detroit Mercy Dental view community college/two-year institution credits, especially with respect to prerequisites?

    We will accept coursework completed at a community college or two-year institution as part of a two-year degree completion and/or transfer credit into a four-year undergraduate institution. Candidates may also take select courses at a two-year institution, if the course is not available at their home institution or does not fit into their academic plan.  

    If you are unsure if your completed coursework at a community college or two-year institution will satisfy Detroit Mercy Dental’s admissions requirements., please contact us dental@udmercy.edu 

  •  

    Does Detroit Mercy Dental accept online courses?

    We do not accept online courses. Currently, exceptions are made for courses taken online in 2020 and 2021 and likely Winter 2022, due to the impact of COVID 19 on higher education institutions. Please see our guidance document for coursework impacted by COVID-19. 
  •  

    What is considered full-time? Do I have to be full-time every semester/quarter?

    Students generally take 15 credits/semester (fall, winter) or 15 credits/quarter (fall, winter, spring).  

    Because you will be taking a very packed science curriculum in dental school, we are looking for evidence that you can manage full-time coursework, weighted heavily toward senior level science courses. If you have circumstances where you could not maintain full-time status, that should be explained in your personal statement.  

  •  

    Does Detroit Mercy Dental require 3 or 4 hours of microbiology or biochemistry? Do I need to take the laboratory associated with each class?

    Some schools do not offer laboratories for these classes. In these cases, we will accept 3 credit hours as fulfilling the prerequisite in each category. Some schools will offer these courses as 4 (or more) credit hours, with laboratories integrated into the course itself. We will also accept these courses as fulfilling the prerequisite in each category.  

    If the option exists at your school, we encourage you to take the laboratory course. This will reinforce what you are learning in lecture. You are not required to take the laboratory to apply.  

  •  

    I’m a student at a Canadian university and I don’t have the 8 credit hours required for prerequisites.

    We are aware that Canadian schools offer their laboratories differently than U.S. schools. Because laboratories are integrated into lectures and are not separate credits, we will accept 6 credit hours instead of the stated 8, for applicants from Canadian schools.