Dental School Information
This page provides additional information about applying to dental school.
All schools require that you have experience in the dental profession.
As a guideline, we can quote from the University of Missouri-Kansas City dental school: “It is strongly suggested that candidates observe in a minimum of five different dental offices such as general dentists (3 minimum) and specialists (2 minimum). Students should log a minimum of 100 hours of dental office observation.”
It is recommended that the DAT be taken in the spring semester of the junior year (though earlier is better) after completing all the science course requirements, in particular your organic chemistry courses. (Physics is not on the test).
This provides additional opportunities to take the test again if necessary. You may take the test only three times, and you must wait 90 days between each attempt.
The University of Tennessee, Memphis states: “Don’t apply until you are satisfied with your DAT score. We receive applications each week and make interview decisions based on when the application is first sent to us.”
PREPARING FOR THE DAT:
Preparation materials for the DAT can be obtained from a variety of sources such as the Kaplan preparation course, a variety of prepare-yourself books, and software produced by ScholarWare, which is highly recommended by dental schools.
I suggest that each student take practice tests (always on a computer) and then review all of the wrong answers.
Additional review and test companies recommended by our own students include:
Predental students who have done well on the DAT and been admitted to dental school recommend:
- Chad's Math: http://chadsvideos.com/
- Barron's DAT-Dental Admissions Test 2nd Edition DAT Q Vault: http://datqvault.com/
- Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/
- DAT Bootcamp: https://datbootcamp.com/AP Biology Book
RECOMMENDED BOOK PURCHASES:
- ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools: http://www.adea.org/officialguide/
- Getting into Dental School: ASDA’s Guide for Predental Students: https://www.asdanet.org/
WEBSITES THAT ARE USEFUL:
- The American Dental Association provides information about testing and admissions.
- The American Student Dental Association is a good organization to join.
- The American Dental Education Association has many links to sites about dental schools, application procedures, the AADSAS unified application process, testing, etc.
You will apply to dental school one year prior to the time you wish to begin.
If you are pursuing your degree on a traditional four-year timeline, you will begin the application process early in the spring semester of your junior year.
At this time, your predental advisor will hold a mandatory meeting of all students applying to dental school where the information necessary to prepare your predental committee letter of recommendation will be distributed and explained.
All committee letters will be written between March and May, so it is mandatory that you start this process early. It can take up to one month for you to collect all the materials needed for the committee letter.
It is recommended that you not finish your application until you are satisfied with your DAT scores. By the end of July, it is probably too late to apply or to add new DAT scores.
Texas residents will apply through the TMDSAS application system (from May 1 - September 29).
Residents of all other states, including Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kansas and Louisiana, will apply through the AADSAS application system (from June 1 - September 29).
Please note the earlier starting date for Texas.
DENTAL SCHOOLS FOR ARKANSAS RESIDENTS:
- University of Louisville School of Dentistry (ARHEG Slots: 0, but very interested in U of A predental applicants)
- Louisiana State University Health New Orleans School of Dentistry (ARHEG slots: 4)
- Texas A&M University College of Dentistry (formerly Baylor College of Dentistry) (ARHEG slots: 3)
- University of Missouri-Kansas City (ARHEG slots: 2)
- University of Tennessee-Memphis (ARHEG slots: 23; +10 slots for AR students paying out of state tuition)
- Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry (ARHEG slots: 1)
- University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry (ARHEG slots: 0, but they are interested in Arkansas Students)
***For information on the ARHEG, see the Arkansas Health Education Grant tab below.
DENTAL SCHOOLS FOR TEXAS RESIDENTS: Texas residents apply through the TMDSAS system (1 May - 29 September).
- University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio School of Dentistry
- University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston
- Texas A&M University College of Dentistry (formerly Baylor College of Dentistry)
DENTAL SCHOOLS FOR MISSOURI AND KANSAS RESIDENTS:
- University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry
DENTAL SCHOOLS FOR OKLAHOMA RESIDENTS:
- University of Oklahoma
DENTAL SCHOOLS FOR TENNESSEE RESIDENTS:
- University of Tennessee-Memphis Health Science Center College of Dentistry
DENTAL SCHOOLS FOR LOUISIANA RESIDENTS:
- Louisiana State University
The Arkansas Health Education Grant Program (ARHEG), which is funded by the state of Arkansas, provides assistance for Arkansas residents attending certain out-of-state accredited health and medical professional schools for graduate or professional programs that are unavailable in Arkansas.
The ARHEG is administered by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) and assistance is provided pursuant to rules established under Act 1218 of 1999.
Such assistance is currently available for attendance at any accredited school of dentistry, school of optometry, school of veterinary medicine, school of podiatric medicine, school of chiropractic medicine, or school of osteopathic medicine that's located outside the state; and offers a full-time course of instruction in at least one eligible profession; and grants, after completion of such course of instruction, a degree acceptable to the applicable licensing board as the sole requirement, or as one requirement, for the applicable licensing board's granting of the applicable professional license; and is a party to a currently effective written agreement between the institution and the Board of Control for Southern Regional Education (SREB) or the ADHE which sets forth (1) the terms and conditions under which disbursements will be made, (2) the number of eligible students for which disbursements will be made, and (3) the amount of disbursements to be made with respect to each eligible student by the ADHE to the institution.
If the school participates in the SREB dentistry contract program, the state pays a set fee per student to the SREB: $21,900 (in 2018-2019). In return, the SREB negotiates a contract with the school to hold a certain number of slots open for Arkansas students and to charge those students resident tuition.
Exceptions: Students attending the University of Tennessee (dentistry), Texas A&M University System Health Science Center (dentistry), and University of Louisville (dentistry) are charged the resident tuition plus the difference between the non-resident tuition and the sum of the resident tuition and the SREB contract fee.
Schools which do not have a resident/non-resident tuition differential agree to hold a number of slots open for Arkansas students at reduced tuition.
If the school has a direct contract with the ADHE, the contract basically provides that the state will pay to the schools that charge different resident and non-resident tuition an amount equal to the difference between the resident and non-resident tuition, which the school will apply to the tuition and fees of such students. Should the differential exceed the contract price approved for similar programs by the SREB, the lesser amount will be paid.
For schools which charge the same amount of annual tuition for residents and non-residents, and such annual tuition is extraordinary as determined by the ADHE, the amount will not be less than $5,000 per student, which the school will apply to the amount of tuition and fees of such students.
Asterisks (*) indicates SREB contract
Plus Sign (+) indicates Private Institution
|University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN *||23 (with an additional 10 spots reserved for Arkansas residents without SREB contract)|
|Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN +||1|
|Louisiana State University, New Orleans, LA *||4|
|University of Louisville, Louisville, KY *||0|
|University of Missouri, Kansas City, MO||2|
|University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK *||0|
|Texas A & M University System HSC, Dallas. TX *||3|
|University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL *||0|
Certification and Application
To receive ARHEG funding assistance to study dentistry a prospective student must be "certified" as an Arkansas resident. Certification is a procedural process that is initiated by the student by completing the application and affidavit and submitting them to:
Arkansas Department of Higher Education
423 Main Street, Suite 400
Little Rock, AR 72201-3818
Phone: 1-800-54-STUDY or (501) 371-2000;
Students may request information and application packets from the ARHEG Coordinator or obtain the same information from the ADHE web site.
The prospective student must apply to and be accepted by a school that is under contract with the state. The total number of contract slots is limited by available funds, so it is important to apply and gain acceptance by the school at the earliest possible time.
(Note: Requests for certification are processed by ADHE on a monthly basis. Students applying for the ARHEG and residency certification receive a letter from ADHE confirming their certification status; at the same time, an updated list of certified students is sent to the institutions participating in the ARHEG. Participating institutions have sole discretion in selecting grant recipients from the list of certified students using the same criteria they use in determining those students that will be accepted for enrollment.)
Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE)