Getting into dental school can be extremely competitive with acceptance rates at around 10-15% on average. However, there are some dental schools that have higher acceptance rates and may be easier to gain admission to.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Some of the easiest dental schools to get into include University of Louisville, University of Nevada – Las Vegas, Oregon Health & Science University, and University at Buffalo among others.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about applying to dental school including average stats of accepted applicants, factors that influence chances of acceptance, list of dental schools with high acceptance rates, application tips, and more.

Average Stats of Accepted Dental School Applicants

Average GPA

One of the key factors that dental schools consider when evaluating applicants is their Grade Point Average (GPA). The average GPA of accepted dental school applicants varies from one institution to another. However, in general, most dental schools look for candidates with a competitive GPA.

While a high GPA does not guarantee admission, it certainly improves your chances. It is recommended that applicants strive for a GPA of 3.5 or higher to be competitive.

Average DAT Score

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is another important aspect of the application process. It is a standardized exam that measures the academic ability and scientific knowledge of prospective dental students.

The average DAT score of accepted dental school applicants also varies depending on the institution. A strong DAT score is typically considered to be above 20, with the highest possible score being 30.

Achieving a high DAT score demonstrates your proficiency in the required subjects and can significantly enhance your chances of admission.

Research Experience

Having research experience can be a valuable asset when applying to dental school. Research demonstrates your ability to think critically, analyze data, and contribute to the scientific community. While research experience is not a mandatory requirement for dental school admission, it can set you apart from other applicants and make your application more competitive.

Engaging in research projects, publishing papers, or presenting at conferences can greatly enhance your chances of being accepted.

Shadowing Hours

Shadowing hours refer to the time spent observing and learning from practicing dentists. This experience provides valuable insights into the dental profession and allows applicants to gain a better understanding of the day-to-day responsibilities of a dentist.

The average number of shadowing hours required for dental school varies, but it is generally recommended to have a minimum of 100 hours. Shadowing not only showcases your commitment to the field but also provides an opportunity to network with professionals who can write strong letters of recommendation.

Factors That Influence Chances of Dental School Acceptance

When it comes to getting into dental school, several factors come into play. Admissions committees carefully consider each applicant’s qualifications and potential to succeed in the rigorous dental program.

While some dental schools may be easier to get into than others, it’s important to understand the various factors that can influence your chances of acceptance.

Undergraduate GPA

One of the key factors that dental school admissions committees consider is your undergraduate GPA. A strong academic record demonstrates your ability to handle the rigorous coursework that dental school entails.

While each dental school may have different GPA requirements, it is generally recommended to strive for a GPA of 3.5 or higher. However, a high GPA alone does not guarantee acceptance, as other factors are also taken into account.

DAT Scores

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is another important factor in the dental school admissions process. This standardized test assesses your academic knowledge and critical thinking skills in various areas such as biology, chemistry, and perceptual ability.

Dental schools typically have minimum DAT score requirements, and a competitive score can significantly improve your chances of acceptance. It is essential to prepare thoroughly for the DAT to maximize your score.

Research and Clinical Experience

Research and clinical experience can greatly enhance your dental school application. Engaging in research projects or internships allows you to demonstrate your commitment to advancing dental knowledge and gaining practical experience in the field.

Admissions committees value applicants who have taken the initiative to expand their understanding of dentistry beyond the classroom. Highlighting your research and clinical experiences in your application can make you stand out from other candidates.

Application Materials

Submitting well-crafted application materials is crucial for dental school acceptance. This includes a well-written personal statement that showcases your motivation, passion, and unique qualities. Strong letters of recommendation from professors, professionals, or dentists who can attest to your abilities and character are also important.

Pay attention to the details and ensure that your application materials are error-free and tailored to the specific dental schools you are applying to.

Interview Performance

Many dental schools require applicants to participate in an interview as part of the admissions process. The interview provides an opportunity for the admissions committee to assess your interpersonal skills, communication abilities, and professionalism.

It is important to prepare for the interview by researching the dental school, practicing common interview questions, and presenting yourself confidently. A positive and engaging interview performance can significantly boost your chances of acceptance.

Dental Schools with High Acceptance Rates

University of Louisville (45%)

The University of Louisville’s dental school has a high acceptance rate of 45%, making it an attractive option for aspiring dentists. With a focus on providing quality education and hands-on experience, the school ensures that students are well-prepared for their future careers.

The program offers state-of-the-art facilities and a dedicated faculty who are committed to helping students succeed. Graduates from the University of Louisville’s dental school have gone on to achieve great success in their professional lives.

University of Nevada – Las Vegas (40%)

The University of Nevada – Las Vegas (UNLV) is another dental school with a high acceptance rate of 40%. Located in the vibrant city of Las Vegas, UNLV’s dental program offers a comprehensive curriculum that combines theoretical knowledge with practical skills.

The school prides itself on its commitment to diversity and inclusivity, creating a supportive learning environment for students of all backgrounds. UNLV’s dental graduates are well-equipped to excel in the field of dentistry.

Oregon Health & Science University (37%)

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) boasts a dental school with a 37% acceptance rate. OHSU’s dental program is known for its cutting-edge research and innovative teaching methods. Students have access to state-of-the-art facilities and the opportunity to work alongside renowned faculty members.

The school’s emphasis on community outreach and service further enriches the educational experience. OHSU’s dental graduates are highly sought after by employers in the dental industry.

University at Buffalo (36%)

The University at Buffalo’s dental school has an acceptance rate of 36%. The school offers a comprehensive curriculum that combines classroom learning with hands-on clinical experience. Students have the opportunity to work in the school’s dental clinics, providing care to patients under the guidance of experienced faculty.

The University at Buffalo is committed to fostering a collaborative and supportive learning environment, ensuring that students receive the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their dental careers.

University of Colorado (34%)

The University of Colorado’s dental school has a competitive acceptance rate of 34%. The school offers a rigorous curriculum that prepares students for the challenges of the dental profession. With a focus on evidence-based practice and patient-centered care, the University of Colorado equips students with the necessary skills to excel in their careers.

The school also provides numerous opportunities for research and community engagement, allowing students to make a positive impact in the field of dentistry.

University of Pacific (34%)

The University of the Pacific’s dental school, located in San Francisco, has an acceptance rate of 34%. The school offers a comprehensive dental program that combines theoretical knowledge with clinical practice.

Students have access to state-of-the-art facilities and the opportunity to work with experienced faculty members. The University of the Pacific’s dental graduates are well-prepared to provide high-quality dental care and make a difference in their communities.

University of Illinois – Chicago (33%)

The University of Illinois – Chicago (UIC) dental school has an acceptance rate of 33%. UIC’s dental program is known for its strong clinical focus and commitment to serving underserved populations. Students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in UIC’s dental clinics, providing care to diverse patient populations.

The school’s faculty are leaders in the field of dentistry, ensuring that students receive a top-notch education. UIC’s dental graduates are well-prepared to address the oral health needs of their communities.

Application Tips for Dental School

Applying to dental school can be a competitive and rigorous process. To increase your chances of getting into dental school, it’s important to follow these application tips:

Maintain a Strong GPA

One of the first things dental schools look at is your GPA. Maintaining a strong GPA throughout your undergraduate studies is crucial. Dental schools want to see that you have a strong academic foundation and are capable of handling the rigorous coursework.

According to a study conducted by the American Dental Education Association, the average GPA for dental school applicants in 2020 was 3.54. Aim to achieve a GPA that is at or above this average to make yourself a competitive candidate.

Score Well on the DAT

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is a standardized exam that measures your academic ability, scientific knowledge, and perceptual ability. A high DAT score is essential for gaining admission to dental school.

Preparing for the DAT requires dedication and hard work. Consider enrolling in a DAT preparation course or utilizing online resources to help you study effectively. Practice exams and simulated test environments can also be beneficial in familiarizing yourself with the format and content of the exam.

Get Hands-On Experience

Admissions committees value hands-on experience in the field of dentistry. This can be obtained through internships, shadowing experiences, or volunteering at dental clinics. Not only does this demonstrate your commitment to the field, but it also allows you to gain valuable insights and skills.

By interacting with patients and observing dental procedures, you can develop a better understanding of the profession and solidify your passion for dentistry. Additionally, this hands-on experience can provide you with compelling stories and anecdotes to include in your personal statement or interviews.

Build Relationships with Dentists

Networking and building relationships with practicing dentists can significantly enhance your dental school application. Dentists can offer mentorship, guidance, and even letters of recommendation. Reach out to local dentists and inquire about shadowing opportunities or informational interviews.

Attending dental conferences and events is another great way to connect with professionals in the field. Building these relationships can not only strengthen your application but also provide you with valuable insights and advice for your future dental career.

Craft a Stellar Personal Statement

Your personal statement is your opportunity to showcase your unique qualities, experiences, and passion for dentistry. Take the time to carefully craft your personal statement, highlighting your motivation for pursuing a career in dentistry, any relevant experiences, and your long-term goals.

Use specific examples to illustrate your points and make sure to convey your enthusiasm for the field. The personal statement should be well-written, concise, and free of grammatical errors. Consider having it reviewed by a trusted mentor or advisor to ensure that it effectively captures your strengths and aspirations.

Secure Strong Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation provide insight into your character, work ethic, and potential as a dental student. Choose individuals who can speak to your academic abilities, leadership skills, and personal qualities.

It’s important to develop relationships with potential recommenders early on in your undergraduate studies. This allows them to get to know you better and write more personalized letters. Provide your recommenders with any relevant information or materials that will help them write a strong recommendation.

By following these application tips, you can increase your chances of getting into dental school. Remember to start early, stay organized, and put forth your best effort throughout the application process. Good luck!


While gaining admission to dental school can be highly competitive, there are schools with higher than average acceptance rates that may be easier targets for prospective students. By understanding average accepted student stats, factors that influence admission chances, and following application tips, you can strengthen your application to dental schools.

Focus on schools where your stats are at or above average to increase your chances of an acceptance letter.

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