Applicants to the DDS program are reviewed in a holistic manner with consideration to all components of the application, including the criteria below.

Applicants are required to complete the following coursework with a C or better by May of the intended entering year. Grades of C- or lower and courses taken pass/fail or credit/no credit will not be accepted. The majority of the prerequisites should be completed at the time of application, but any in-progress or planned courses will not prevent an invitation to interview.

Completing the prerequisite courses at an accredited four-year college or university is strongly encouraged. Community college coursework is accepted but not recommended for the prerequisites. Online coursework is accepted with pre-approval.

Prerequisite Subject Semester Hours Quarter Hours
Biochemistry 3 5
Microbiology 3 5
Psychology 3 5
Sociology 3 5
English Composition* 6 9
Biology with labs 8 12
General Chemistry with labs 8 12
Organic Chemistry with labs 8 12
Physics with labs 8 12

Other recommended courses include anatomy, physiology, histology, public speaking, and art.

* For the English Composition prerequisite, literature coursework is only accepted for 3 of the 6 credits - i.e., only one literature course can count towards this requirement. English Composition courses must be taken in the US or Canada, and ESL courses are not accepted.

General rule: Prerequisite courses should identify the subject in the course name or prefix.

The minimum requirement for admission is 90 semester hours (or approximately 135 quarter hours) of academic coursework, but completing a bachelor's degree is strongly encouraged. Most applicants will have completed at least a bachelor's degree before matriculation to dental school.

Please note: Advanced Placement (AP) credit is accepted for the prerequisites if college credit was received and the AP courses appear on official transcripts. College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits are not accepted.

Applicants should demonstrate a confirmed interest in dentistry by participating in dental-related activities, including direct shadowing of a dentist in a patient-care setting.

  • 100 hours of dental shadowing is required and must be completed at the time of application submission. Applicants without this minimum number of hours will not be reviewed or considered for interview.

It is expected that the majority of dental shadowing be completed under general dentists, but shadowing experiences completed with dental specialists (ex., orthodontist, oral surgeon, etc.) are also accepted. Applicants who show a commitment to addressing health disparities and caring for underserved communities are desirable.

Shadowing hours should be reported directly on the AADSAS application. No further documentation is required.

Dental-related activities such as volunteering or participating in a pre-dental club are encouraged and should be reported on the application but do not count towards the 100-hour shadowing requirement (see Extracurriculars section).

Please note: The School of Dentistry is unable to provide applicants with shadowing opportunities.

Applicants should report any extracurricular activities in which they are involved, dental-related or otherwise, on the AADSAS application. Such activities could include (but are not limited to) academic enrichment programs, athletics, clubs and organizations, research, volunteering, and work experience.

For each extracurricular, applicants must provide the frequency and duration of the experience, a description of the key responsibilities, and the name and address of the organization or supervisor.

The University of Michigan requires a total of three letters of recommendation, although AADSAS allows up to four. Letters must be uploaded directly to the application by the evaluators. Letters sent directly to the Office of Admissions are not accepted. Of the four allotted AADSAS uploads, applicants must have:

  • Two science letters - Two letters must be written by science professors who have taught and graded the applicant at the university level. Letters should be from basic science instructors (biology, chemistry, physics, biochemistry, microbiology). Science letters should include the course name and number.
  • One letter of choice - One letter by an evaluator of the applicant’s choice is also required. This evaluator could be a dentist, another professor (science or non-science), an employer, a mentor, or another individual who can write in support of the applicant.

A fourth letter of recommendation will also be accepted but is not required. This optional fourth letter can be written by another evaluator of the applicant’s choice.

Committee letter option: If the applicant’s undergraduate institution has a pre-health committee, a letter or letter packet composed by the committee members can be submitted in place of the above three letters. AADSAS also allows one individual letter to be uploaded in addition to the committee letter, which is accepted but not required.

Please note: A letter packet compiled by an advisor or other individual does not constitute a committee letter and must include the two science letters and one letter of choice mentioned above in order to meet the requirements.

Applicants are required to complete the Dental Admissions Test (DAT), which is administered by the American Dental Association (ADA). Official DAT scores must be sent to AADSAS (see instructions for sending DAT scores under Standardized Tests). Unofficial or preliminary score reports are not accepted and should not be sent directly to the University of Michigan.

While there is no minimum or cutoff, DAT scores close to the averages of the most recent entering class are considered competitive. See Class Profile for the most current scores.

The DAT should either be taken before application or in June/July of the application year. Scores must be received before the application deadline of October 15th. In order to meet this deadline, tests should not be taken after August 31st of the application year. See complete Application Timeline (DDS).

Retake tests: If planning to retake the DAT during the application cycle, an applicant should report future test dates on the AADSAS application. Please note that application review will not be delayed due to planned retakes.
Canadian DAT: Please note that, as of October 2017, the Canadian Dental Admissions Test (CDAT) is not accepted. The US DAT is required of all applicants.

Applicants are required to pay a $75 supplemental application fee directly to the University of Michigan. This fee is separate from any payments made to AADSAS and can only be made online via credit or debit card.

Checks, money orders, and payments over the phone are not accepted. This payment should be made either just before or at the time of application submission.

AADSAS Fee Assistance Program: The $75 nonrefundable application fee can be waived for applicants who qualify for the AADSAS Fee Assistance Program. Such applicants should forward their approval email from AADSAS to our office at

Download DDS Requirements Checklist