Information for Applicants
Each year the Admissions Committee reviews the credentials of a large number of applicants. Generally, the Committee wants assurance that applicants have the academic qualifications and personal qualities that should promote their success in dental school and afterwards in the dental profession. The following are among the criteria considered:
• Quality of Pre-Professional Preparation -- The Committee prefers applicants with a 3.0+ (4.0 scale) grade point average. The American Association of Dental Schools encourages all applicants to earn a bachelor's degree before enrolling. The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry supports this recommendation. Preference with interview scheduling is given to persons who have completed or are completing a bachelor's degree, are broadly educated and have completed the pre-requisite coursework. Science majors as well as non-science majors are invited to apply.
• Dental Admission Test (DAT) -- Applicants should take the DAT in spring of their junior year or by no later than early fall of their senior year. Persons who wait until the spring to take the DAT will be at a serious disadvantage for admission consideration. Applicants often take the DAT twice. The Admissions Committee will use the highest set of scores. DAT workshops are offered by the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs. Workshops and DAT preparation materials are very helpful in getting ready for the examination. Please note that we will also accept the Canadian DAT.
• Knowledge of Dentistry -- The Admissions Committee places great importance on an applicant's knowledge of and exposure to the dental profession. The Committee wants all applicants to spend time observing in dental settings. Opportunities are available in the College's clinics. These experiences should enable applicants to gain a better understanding of the profession and help ensure that this career option has been carefully considered. Candidates must be able to document a minimum of 20 hours of clinical observation time. Talks with dentists or semi-annual visits to your dentist for routine care are not enough in gaining this in-depth knowledge.
• Letters of Evaluation -- Applicants are required to submit at least three (3) letters of evaluation from persons (e.g., two faculty and one dentist) who can support their admission to dental school. The letters should be written by faculty (preferred) or other individuals who know the applicant well and can share with the Admissions Committee insights about his/her achievements, personal qualities, potential for success in a rigorous curriculum, and motivation for a career in dentistry. A pre-professional committee evaluation may be substituted for the three letters.
• Interview Results -- Applicants who are invited to participate in the College's half-day interview program will have two 30-minute one-to-one interviews. The interviewers will report back to the whole Admissions Committee on their findings regarding the applicant's academic background, DAT results, knowledge of dentistry, letters of evaluation, involvement in extracurricular activities, and personal qualities. The purpose of the interviews is to find out more about the applicants to determine if they possess the academic qualifications and personal qualities on which the College places great value. Good grades and DAT scores alone will not determine whether or not an applicant is offered admission.
The five categories presented here will be considered carefully. To the greatest extent possible the Committee wants to ensure that there is a "good fit" between our College and the applicant who is offered admission. This "good fit" is usually a major factor in the student dentist's success and satisfaction in the dental education program.
The College's faculty has set the following courses as prerequisite courses for all matriculants into our program:
• Two courses in composition
• Two courses in General Chemistry plus labs
• Two courses in Organic Chemistry plus labs
• Two courses in General Biology plus labs
• One course in General Physics plus lab
Approved by the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry Faculty and pending the University of Kentucky Senate, prerequisite requirements in the near future will also include the following:
1 semester of microbiology
1 semester of biochemistry
Prerequisite course work must be taken for a grade option, not pass-fail. Applicants are encouraged to pursue a well-rounded curriculum including courses both in the sciences and the humanities. Applicants are encouraged to take additional basic science courses. Examples of courses that will be helpful include anatomy (human), biochemistry, cell biology, embryology, genetics, histology, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, and physiology (animal and/or human) but only after degree requirements have been completed. An applicant’s curriculum will be enriched if it also includes courses in the social sciences, history, literature, economics, philosophy, and psychology.