DDS Program - Admission Requirements

The School of Dental Medicine currently admits approximately ninety individuals into the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program as first-year students. The DDS program requires four years of full-time study. There is no provision for part-time study.  The DDS program does not currently accept transfer students from other dental schools.

Following initial review of applications, selected applicants are invited to visit the school to meet with faculty and students, and to acquaint themselves with the facilities of the School of Dental Medicine and the university. An integral part of the admissions process, the visit to the School of Dental Medicine also provides an opportunity for members of the Student Admissions Committee to become acquainted with applicants. Applicants are invited to visit the school between mid-September and April each academic year.

Following the visit to the school, the applicant's application is presented to the Student Admissions Committee. After a complete review, an admission decision is reached by a vote of the entire committee, and applicants are informed by mail of the committee's decision within two weeks after December 1.

Prerequisite Course Requirements

Applicants must have completed a minimum of 90 credit hours of undergraduate study prior to enrollment in the DDS program, with a minimum of 60 credit hours - two full years - at an accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university completed prior to application. Students are strongly encouraged to earn their 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.

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

  • 6-8 semester hours (8-12 quarter hours) of English including composition
  • 8 semester hours (12 quarter hours) of General, inorganic chemistry (including laboratory)
  • 8 semester hours (12 quarter hours) of Organic chemistry (including laboratory)
  • 8 semester hours (12 quarter hours) of General biology (including laboratory)
  • 8 semester hours (12 quarter hours) of General physics (including laboratory)

If you have taken a particular course and are not certain if it satisfies our English prerequisite, please forward the course description to us.

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.

Experience in Dentistry

Prior to application, candidates are strongly encouraged to acquire a minimum of 100 hours of experience in the field of clinical dentistry. This may be done in either general or specialty private practices, and/or in a clinic situation either in a hospital or dental school. The nature of this experience should consist of gaining knowledge of the day-to-day aspects of patient care.  The Student Admissions Committee feels that experience in clinical dentistry gives applicants a more realistic impression of the day-to-day responsibilities involved in the practice of dentistry and better prepares them to meet the demands of the dental school curriculum.

How to Apply

Application to the School of Dental Medicine is made through the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). Currently 58 U.S. dental schools and one Canadian dental school participate in this service; the completed application submitted to AADSAS will automatically be forwarded to all participating dental schools designated by the applicant.  AADSAS formats demographic information and calculates grade point averages in a standardized fashion, but plays no part in the selection process.  For more information, please visit the AADSAS web site.   Following submission of the application to AADSAS and verification of its accuracy, all contact concerning the application should be made directly with the School of Dental Medicine.

Applications will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee only after the following items have been made available to the UB School of Dental Medicine through AADSAS:

(1) AADSAS application including official DAT scores

(2) $75 Application Fee paid online at UBePay

(3) Letters of Evaluation from either a preprofessional committee (preferred) or three required individual faculty letters of evaluation

Application Deadline

The deadline for receipt of applications and all supporting materials is December 1.  Late applications will not be considered.  Early application is strongly encouraged as acceptances are offered as early as December 1. Waiting until the December 1 deadline is a poor strategy that results in an applicant competing for far fewer positions in the entering class. Keep in mind that it takes 6 to 8 weeks on average for AADSAS to forward your application to us. If at all possible, apply early in the cycle!

Application Fee 

A $75 application fee must be received by the School of Dental Medicine prior to the initial review of the application.  The application fee is non-refundable and is not credited toward any charges when an accepted applicant registers as a student. We recommend electronic submission of the application fee, as it is the fastest and most efficient method. Electronic payment may be made via the UB ePay website; payments will be accepted for Fall 2013 beginning June 1, 2012.  If an applicant does not have access to a credit or debit card, it is possible to submit the application fee by check or money order payable to University at Buffalo. The applicant's name, AADSAS number, and DDS application fee should be clearly noted on the check.

Students who demonstrate unusual financial need may qualify for a fee waiver. To be considered, applicants must have been approved by ADEA AADSAS for a Fee Waiver for their AADSAS application.  Qualified applicants may submit a written request via e-mail to  ub-sdm-admissions@buffalo.edu to the Director of Student Admissions, Dr. David Brown, and include the AADSAS Fee Waiver approval notice for consideration.

Dental Admissions Test

Arrangements for taking the DAT can be made by contacting the American Dental Association, Division of Educational Measurements, http://www.ada.org/dat.aspx.  It is recommended tha tthe 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 DAT scores by December 1 will be regarded as incomplete and will not be considered.  Scores from tests taken in 2009 and earlier will not be considered for Fall 2013 admission.

  • When registering for the DAT students should select select the schools that are to receive their scores. The ADA will transmit scores to ADEA AADSAS. ADEA AADSAS matches each applicantfs DENTPIN to DAT score reports and imports applicantsf scores into the ADEA AADSAS application. ADEA AADSAS will then distribute the official DAT scores to all schools designated in the ADEA AADSAS application.
  • DAT registrants should NOT request that a DAT score report be sent to ADEA AADSAS by indicating AADSAS as an 'Other' recipient. (Students should use 'Other' only to request score reports for themselves or other organizations/institutions--those scores are transmitted in paper reports.)
  • Applicants will know that their DAT scores have been received by ADEA AADSAS by reviewing the Status section of their applications to see the date that DAT scores have been downloaded into their ADEA AADSAS applications. DAT scores are imported into ADEA AADSAS on a weekly basis.

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.)

Letters of Evaluation

The Student Admissions Committee prefers a composite letter of evaluation generated on an applicant's behalf by an undergraduate health sciences preprofessional committee. The composite letter should be sent to AADSAS as part of the application packet. If the undergraduate school does not have such a committee or a mechanism for providing a composite letter, applicants may submit three individual letters of evaluation.  The Admissions Committee prefers (but does not require) that two of the letters be written by instructors in prerequisite science courses who have worked closely with the applicant, and the third letter be written by a practicing dentist with whom the applicant has shadowed.  All letters of evaluation must be submitted to AADSAS.

Please do NOT send dupilcate evaluation letters to the school.  All letters of evaluation sent to AADSAS are incorporated into your application automatically.

Official transcripts for all college-level coursework must be forwarded to AADSAS as part of the application packet. Transcripts provided by the applicant will not be considered.

Proficiency in English for Non-Native Speakers of English

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 550 (written) / 213 (computer based) / 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

Statement of Non-Discrimination

The University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine adheres to the University at Buffalo's Statement of Non-Discrimination.  The full statement may be viewed at:  http://affirmativeaction.buffalo.edu/about.htm