VCU Bulletins

Dentistry, Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.)

Admission requirements

A minimum of 90 semester hours (or equivalent) in an accredited college or university is required and must be documented. Most acceptances have a bachelor’s degree and/or four years of college. Required courses are general biology, biochemistry, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and English. Laboratory experiences are required for those courses where applicable. Biology courses should emphasize zoology rather than botany. Courses in general microbiology or bacteriology, animal physiology, immunology, histology, genetics, embryology, the behavioral sciences, and courses involving psychomotor skills are strongly recommended. Academic credits presented by an applicant must be acceptable for credit toward a degree in the institution in which the courses are taken. Individuals interested in pursuing a career in dentistry should schedule an appointment in the Office of Admissions for individual guidance.

In order to successfully complete the dental curriculum at VCU, students must meet non-academic criteria for motor, sensory and observation, communication, cognitive and behavioral abilities in the document Technical Standards for Dental Education Programs for VCU School of Dentistry. Accordingly, applicants may be required to prove their proficiency in American English via standardized tests and interviews. An applicant may consider the option of postponing matriculation until such time that he/she can meet these requirements.

Participation in the Dental Admission Test (DAT) of the American Dental Association is required. It is recommended that this test be taken the year before the intended matriculation year. Applicants are encouraged to take the examination more than one time, and the best set of scores is used as the official set. Information about the Dental Admission Test can be obtained from: a) your pre-health advising office of your undergraduate school, b) VCU, School of Dentistry Office of Admissions or c) the American Dental Association, Department of Testing Web site:

Selection factors

VCU is a state-supported, public university and gives admission preference to state residents. All applicants are evaluated by uniform criteria without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, political affiliation or disability. Students are accepted by the Admissions Committee on the basis of excellence of predental education, DAT scores, recommendations, experiences in dentistry and results of personal interviews with members of the committee. The interview process is standardized and designed to determine motivation, knowledge of and interest in the dental profession, and to afford the applicant an opportunity to provide additional information pertaining to his/her application. Selection occurs on a rolling admissions basis, and once the class is complete, an alternate list is created. Members of minority groups underrepresented in dentistry are especially encouraged to apply. Each year a certain number of students who are not accepted into the freshman class are invited to take selected courses with this class. Their performance in these courses plays a vital role in their being considered for the following year’s admissions process.

Admission with advanced standing

The School of Dentistry will consider applicants for admission with advanced standing on an individual basis depending upon positions available and qualifications of the applicant. Pre-admission evaluation of skills and knowledge by performance testing is required prior to admission consideration.


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Last update: 7/12/2007

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