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DDS Program - Admission Requirements

In order to be considered for the 4-Year DDS Progam at the University at Buffalo, applicants must meet our admission requirements.  

Minimum Credit Hours

Applicants must have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours - two full years - of study at an accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university prior to application

Applicants must also complete a minimum of 90 credit hours of study at an accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university prior to enrollment in the DDS program

Students are strongly encouraged to earn a bachelor’s degree prior to enrollment in the DDS program.

Students who will not earn a bachelor's degree prior to enrollment must demonstrate a higher level of academic performance.

Prerequisite Course Requirements

All applicants must complete the following prerequisite courses at an accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university:

  • 2 semesters = 6 credit hours = 8 quarter hours of English including composition
  • 2 semesters = 8 credit hours = 12 quarter hours of General, inorganic chemistry (including laboratory)
  • 2 semesters = 8 credit hours = 12 quarter hours of Organic chemistry (including laboratory)
  • 2 semesters = 8 credit hours = 12 quarter hours of General biology (including laboratory)
  • 2 semesters = 8 credit hours = 12 quarter hours of General physics - algebra or calculus based (including laboratory)
  • 1 semester = 3 credit hours = 5 quarter hours of Biochemistry (does not require a laboratory component)
  • Histology coursework is strongly recommended prior to matriculation.

Students are strongly urged to complete all prerequisite courses at a four-year institution. Although most applicants choose to concentrate their academic efforts in the sciences, there is no required undergraduate major area of study. Students are encouraged to pursue a major in an area of interest. Students who do not major in the sciences are encouraged to pursue additional coursework in biology and chemistry beyond the minimum required courses.

While dentistry is a discipline based in the biological sciences, the practice of dentistry is very much a "people" profession based on communication skills and an understanding of human behavior. Prospective dental students are encouraged to take courses in psychology, sociology, public speaking, composition, and the humanities to better interact with patients.

DDS Prerequisites Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ's]

Q: Do I need to have all of my prerequisites completed before applying?

A: No. You do not need to have all of your prerequisites completed before applying. If admitted, you must have completed all of your prerequisites before matriculating. Applying prior to completion of all prerequisites will not disadvantage your application.

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Q: How old can my prerequisites be when applying to Dental School?

A: Prerequisites can be no older than five [5] years when applying to our DDS program. For example, if you’re applying to begin our program in Fall 2018, your prerequisites can be no older than Fall 2013.

Note: The ONLY prerequisite that can be older than five [5] years is English.

Note: There may be unique circumstances in which a potential applicant might be considered for an exemption. One example is a candidate who has remained academically active even though their pre-requisites are older than five [5] years. If you believe you qualify for an exemption, you are welcome to contact our DDS Admissions Committee at sdmadmit@buffalo.edu.

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Q: Why can’t my prerequisites be older than five years when applying?

A: Our rigorous curriculum requires students to have the most current knowledge, skills and abilities. Therefore, it is imperative these courses be no older than five years.

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Q: Do you accept AP credit for prerequisite courses?

A: Yes. The only exception is Biology. We will accept upper level Biology courses in lieu of general Biology prerequisite.

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Q: Can my prerequisites be taken online?

A: We accept online lecture classes. However, labs must be taken in person and in a traditional brick and mortar setting.

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Q: Can I take my prerequisite courses at a Community College?

A: Yes. However, students are strongly urged to complete all prerequisite courses at a four-year institution.

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Would a post-baccalaureate or post-graduate course satisfy prerequisite requirements?

A: Yes.

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Should I take algebra based physics or calculus based physics to meet the prerequisite?

A: We will accept algebra based or calculus based physics.

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Undergraduate Majors Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ's]

Q: Does your school prefer students who graduated from UB?

A: Our admissions committee does not give preferential consideration to those candidates who have graduated, or will be graduating, from the University at Buffalo.

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Q: Does pursuing a Biology major increase my chances of getting accepted to the UB Dental School?

A: No. While many students major in biology, many do not. There is no required undergraduate major area of study for admittance.

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Q: I am thinking about completing my undergraduate degree in business before going to dental school.  I’ll complete my business degree along with the science prerequisite classes. Do you get many applicants who do this?

A: We admit students from a variety of backgrounds who have taken multiple paths to enrolling.

Although most applicants choose to concentrate their academic efforts in the sciences, there is no required undergraduate major area of study. Students are encouraged to pursue a major in an area of interest. Students who do not major in the sciences are encouraged to pursue additional coursework in biology and chemistry beyond the minimum required courses.

GPA

All applicants must have Undergraduate minimum overall and science college grade-point average of 2.70.  Exceptions to the minimums are given to all applicants who have completed the equivalent of two semesters of full-time Graduate coursework.

GPA Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ's]

Q: What GPA do I need for admission consideration?

A: You must have a minimum 2.7 overall GPA and a 2.7 minimum Science GPA for consideration.

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Q: What GPA do I need to be considered competitive?

A: Please see this page for DDS Admission Statistics.

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Q: How does AADSAS calculate my GPA?

A: Please refer to the AADSAS Application Instructions Page for details.

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Q: When considering my grades to meet GPA and Science minimums for admission requirements, do you look at grading with +/- grades, or without +/- grades?

A: We only consider AADSAS grading with +/- grades.

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Q: I am planning to apply to the program in 2017. I repeated a course for a higher grade, I would like to know if the school will average both grades into my GPA.

A: We receive all grades directly from AADSAS, the centralized application service. AADSAS will show both grades, and both will be a part of your overall GPA. Please refer to the AADSAS Application Instructions Page for details.

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Q: Should I repeat courses in which I did not do well, even though I passed them?

A: No, this is rarely helpful. Any student should be expected to do well in a course the second time. The Admissions Committee will not often be impressed by such action.

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Q: I won’t meet the overall GPA or Science GPA requirement by the December 1 deadline. However, I’m taking Fall classes and should be able to meet this requirement by end of December. Will I still be considered?

A: No. You must have both an Overall GPA & Science GPA of 2.7 or better indicated in the AADSAS portal by December 1. If these averages aren’t met by December 1, your application will not be considered. The only exception is for those students who have the equivalent of two full-time semesters of graduate coursework.

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Q: I have a 2.69 Overall GPA or Science GPA, because I’m so close to your minimum, can I still be considered?

A: No. You must have a 2.7 overall GPA and 2.7 Science GPA to be considered. The only exception is for those students who have the equivalent of two full-time semesters of graduate coursework

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Q: I didn’t meet your undergraduate GPA minimums for consideration. To strengthen my application, is it better to pursue a Masters Degree or enroll in a post-baccalaureate program?

A: If your GPA wasn’t that high, we would encourage you to assess whether or not dentistry is the correct career path as our curriculum is built on a strong science foundation.

When choosing between a Masters and Post-Bacc program, we recommend candidates pursue a Masters degree. We also encourage candidates to choose a program that will further their educational goals regardless of whether or not they gain admittance to our program.

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Q: I didn’t meet your undergraduate GPA minimums for consideration. Should I complete a Masters Program or enroll in additional undergraduate courses?

A: When choosing between a Masters degree and additional undergraduate courses, we recommend candidates pursue a Masters Degree.

Dental Admission Test [DAT]

Applications will not be considered before official DAT scores are submitted to AADSAS.

When more than one DAT score is reported, the most recent set of scores is considered

Only scores from tests taken in 2015, 2016, or 2017 will be considered for Fall 2018 admission.

It is recommended that the DAT be taken no later than November 1 in order that your scores may reach AADSAS by the UB School of Dental Medicine application deadline of December 1. 

Applications without official DAT scores by December 1 will be regarded as incomplete and will not be considered.

The Canadian DAT is acceptable for Canadian applicants (www.CDA-ADC.ca).  Please note that candidates are encouraged to investigate the timing of score reports prior to taking the Canadian DAT to ensure that results will meet the application deadline of December 1.  Please note:  Score reports for candidates who took the November Canadian DAT exam are usually NOT received in time for consideration for that year's admission cycle.

Minimum DAT Scores for Admission Consideration

In order to be considered, you MUST HAVE:

DAT Reading Comprehension: 16 minimum score on most recent test date           

All other DAT Sections: 15 minimum score on most recent test date

DAT Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ's]

Q: What are the minimum DAT scores needed for admission consideration?

A: In order to be considered, you MUST HAVE:

  • DAT Reading Comprehension: 16 minimum score on most recent test date           
  • All other DAT Sections: 15 minimum score on most recent test date

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Q: How old can DAT scores be for Fall 2018 consideration?

A: Only scores from tests taken in 2015, 2016, or 2017 will be considered for Fall 2018 admission.

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Q: What if I met the DAT requirements between two SEPARATE test dates? Does that meet the minimum?

A: No. All minimum DAT requirements must be from the MOST RECENT test date.

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Q: What if I take the exam twice? Will you count the higher score?

A: No. We will only look at the scores from the MOST RECENT test date regardless of which exam had higher scores. If your most recent set of scores does NOT meet minimum requirements, your application will not be considered even if you previously met minimum DAT scores.

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Q: What if I am off by one point in one section? Can I still be considered?

A: No. If you do not meet the minimum requirements, even if it is by one point, your application cannot be considered. We hold all candidates to the same standards.

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Q: Is there a certain date by which I need to have minimum DAT scores met?

A: Yes. You must submit a valid, minimum DAT score in the AADSAS portal by December 1. Your application will not be considered if you haven’t met this requirement even if you are taking another DAT after December 1. No exceptions.

It is recommended that the DAT be taken no later than November 1 in order for your scores to reach AADSAS by the UB School of Dental Medicine application deadline of December 1. You should consult DAT exam administration if you have any questions about the time it takes for schools to receive official score reports in AADSAS.

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Q: I just took my DAT and received an unofficial score report after the exam. Will you accept it if I send it to you?

A: No. We only accept official score submittedthrough the AADSAS portal. Our committee will see when your official scores have arrived. You can also check the ADEA AADSAS application instructions. Please don’t e-mail copies of DAT score reports. They will not be considered.

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Q: I already met your minimum DAT scores, but they are outdated. Will you still accept these scores?

A: No. You must have a minimum DAT score with an acceptable test date by December 1 of the current admissions cycle.

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Q: When do you suggest I take the DAT exam?

A: It depends. Most students tend to take the DAT exam during their junior year of undergraduate, but this is completely up to you. Take it only when you feel truly prepared.

  • Please remember that DAT scores are only valid for a certain period of time and you should consider this when taking your exam.
  • Additionally, official DAT scores take time to reach the AADSAS portal. Our school is not responsible for the timing of when official DAT scores are uploaded into AADSAS. Remember, we don’t accept unofficial DAT score reports.

Canadian DAT [CDAT] Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ's]

Q: Do you accept the Canadian Dental Aptitude Test [CDAT]?

A: Yes. The Canadian DAT is acceptable for Canadian applicants (www.CDA-ADC.ca).  Please note that candidates are encouraged to investigate the timing of score reports prior to taking the Canadian DAT to ensure that results will meet the application deadline of December 1.  Our committee must have valid, minimum official DAT scores in hand by December 1. You will not be considered if you don’t meet this deadline.

Please note:  Score reports for candidates who took the November Canadian DAT exam are usually NOT received in time for consideration for that year's admission cycle.

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Q: What are the minimum CDAT scores needed for admission consideration?

A: In order to be considered, you MUST HAVE:

  • DAT Reading Comprehension: 16 minimum score on most recent test date           

 

  • All other DAT Sections: 15 minimum score on most recent test date

Note: There is no minimum requirement for the Manual Dexterity section. Our committee does not consider this section when assessing whether or not candidates met minimum DAT requirements.

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Q: Can I submit a copy of my CDAT score for consideration?

A: No. We can only accept score reports directly from CDAT testing administration. Please take particular note as we must received your official CDAT score report by December 1.  

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Q: I’ve submitted all of my materials and you will receive my CDAT after December 1. Can I still be considered?

A: No. If we do not receive your valid, minimum CDAT by December 1, you will not be considered for admission during the current cycle.

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Q: If I take the Canadian DAT & US DAT, which scores will be considered?

A: The most recent set of scores will be considered regardless of whether they are DAT or CDAT and/or regardless of which scores are higher.

Experience in Dentistry

The Student Admissions Committee strongly encourages applicants to acquire adequate numbers of hours in health care settings in order to maximize their understanding of the health care field.  While this number will vary among applicants, we believe a minimum of 75 - 100 hours is a reasonable expectation.  Additionally the committee values a breadth of unique experiences over multiple hours in one setting. 

Letters of Evaluation

The UB School of Dental Medicine requires applicants to submit either a composite committee letter/report or three individual letters of evaluation.  The Student Admissions Committee prefers a composite committee letter/report. If the undergraduate school does not have such a committee or a mechanism for providing a composite letter, applicants may submit individual letters of evaluation. If you are submitting three individual letters, we prefer that at least two of them come from instructors/professors in the sciences.

All letters of evaluation must be submitted to AADSAS.  ADEA AADSAS allows applicants to submit a maximum of four individual letters of evaluation or one committee letter/report plus the option of one additional individual letter.  Although the School of Dental Medicine only requires three letters of evaluation, the Student Admissions Committee will consider all letters of evaluation submitted to AADSAS.

No letters sent directly to the school will be considered.

Letters of Evaluation & Personal Statement Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ's]

Q: How does my referee submit a recommendation letter?

A: All letters of evaluation must be submitted through the AADSAS portal. Letters sent directly to the school will not be considered.

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Q: How many letters can I submit to AADSAS?

A: ADEA AADSAS allows applicants to submit a maximum of four individual letters of evaluation or one committee letter/report plus the option of one additional individual letter.  Although the School of Dental Medicine only requires three letters of evaluation, the Student Admissions Committee will consider all letters of evaluation submitted to AADSAS. Our committee  

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Q: Who should I get letters from?

A: Letters of Evaluation from either a pre-professional committee (preferred) or three required individual faculty letters of evaluation.

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Q: Does the committee really look at my recommendation letters?

A: Yes. In order to complete a full file holistic review, our admissions committee evaluates your entire application. We review recommendations to gain a better understanding of your academic and interpersonal skills/abilities.

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How important is the personal statement. Does the committee really look at my personal statement?

A: Yes. The personal statement provides you the opportunity to let our committee know who you are. After reading your personal statement, our admissions committee should have a better understanding of who you are. Remember, your full file application helps us decide whether or not to offer you an interview.

Proficiency in English for Non-Native Speakers

Because command of the English language is essential for successful professional school study, applicants whose first language is not English, regardless of citizenship, must demonstrate their English proficiency by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).  Students who have completed a full undergraduate degree in the United States qualify for a waiver of the TOEFL requirement.

Students must achieve scores at or above minimum of 79 (internet based) or better obtained within eighteen months of the application deadline.  Official TOEFL score reports must be received by our application deadline of December 1. 

Official TOEFL Score Reports must be submitted by using the codes below:

Institution Code:             2925 SUNY U at Buffalo
Graduate Study Code:     01
Name of Department:     Biological Sciences
Department Code:          38 Dentistry

The University's English Language Institute offers programs during the summer and the academic year for those students who want or need to improve their competence in reading, speaking, or writing English prior to applying to dental school. For more information about the English Language Institute, see their website at:  http://www.buffalo.edu/eli/.

Proof of Financial Support for International Students

International students must document their ability to meet all educational and personal expenses for the duration of the program. Foreign students are eligible for assistantships and fellowships, but not for New York State or federal financial aid. Students should contact their own government or the American Embassy or Consulate for financial information.

Background Checks

All offers of acceptance and admission are conditional pending completion, at the applicant's expense, of an acceptable Background Check from a vendor approved by the UB School of Dental Medicine.  Once accepted, applicants will receive instructions on how to apply for the Background Check.  Admission offers may be withdrawn for applicants who refuse to submit to the Background Check or who receive an accurate unacceptable Background Check. SDM Background Check Policy

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Other Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ's]

Q: I am an international student who already has a degree in dentistry from another country. I would like to practice in the United States, should I apply to the DDS program?

A: No. If you already have a dental degree from another country, you may be eligible for our International Dentist Program [IDP] which is two years in length compared to a traditional four-year DDS program. Please contact our IDP Admission Office with any questions.

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Q: Does your school place preference on in–state students?

A: All completed applications will receive the same full file review. All admission data can is located on the Commission on Dental Accrediation [CODA] website.

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Q: How do I know if I’m an In-State student? How can I qualify for In-State Residency & Tuition?

A: Please refer to the UB New York State Residency Page.

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Q: Do you offer Dental School tours?

A: Unfortunately, we cannot give personal tours of the dental school. Our school is clinic-based, which means we can have a few hundred patients in our clinics at any given time.

However, if you are interested in visiting our school, we encourage you to join our Buffalo ASDA Pre-Dental group. These students work with our admissions office to coordinate open houses throughout the year.

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Q: Can I meet with an admissions officer to gain an initial review of my application?

A: With so many applicants applying each year, we don’t have the capacity to offer preliminary review of your application. However, we would encourage you to contact our Buffalo ASDA Pre-Dental group to gain advice from current students.

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