Dentistry tends to be less competitive than other professional schools because the surplus of dentists produced in the 40s, 50s, and 60s are now retiring. It is still relatively easy to gain admission to dental school, and a person can join an established practice and make a good living as a dentist. Many students gain admission after three years in undergraduate school.
The duration of dental school is approximately four years and no internship is required. West Virginia University has the only school of dentistry in the state.
The courses listed below are general suggestions. Check the professional school of your choice to see specific admission requirements.
Dental Admission Test (DAT) usually taken in the spring of your sophomore year for 3-year student or during the spring of your junior year for 4-year student.
The DAT is a four and one-half hour computer-based examination consisting of 280 multiple-choice items distributed across a battery of four tests. First, the natural sciences [90 minutes consisting of 100 test items distributed across biology (40 items), general chemistry (30 items), and organic chemistry (30 items)]. Second, the perceptual ability (60 minutes consisting of 90 items distributed across six subtests). Third, the reading comprehension (60 minutes across three reading passages with a total of 50 items). Fourth, the quantitative reasoning (45 minutes to complete 40 items).
The approximate cost is $190.00. Additional fees such as late registration, change of testing site, or rescheduling fees can be included in the total cost.
Standard scores range from 1 to 30; a score of 17 typically signifies the average national performance. There are no passing or failing scores. Unofficial score reports, generated at the test center, are provided upon completion of the test. Official score reports are sent directly to those schools requested on the application approximately three to four weeks after the test.
For the most current information, review the DAT web site.