Penn Dental Medicine

Academic Programs & Admissions

DMD Program » Admissions

Penn Dental Medicine seeks DMD applicants with a broad and strong educational background, who will have completed a four-year degree program prior to matriculation. While a foundation in science is desirable preparation for dental school, well-prepared candidates also possess course work in humanities, social science, and the arts. Non-science majors are encouraged to apply. Preference is given to those who have completed upper division science courses beyond the minimum requirements.


All prerequisite courses should be completed by the spring term, prior to matriculation to dental school. The minimum course prerequisites for admission include:

  • Two semesters or three quarters of biology with corresponding laboratory training (a minimum of two semesters of college biology or zoology). Advanced courses in anatomy, microbiology, and physiology are highly recommended.
  • Three semesters or five quarters of chemistry with corresponding laboratory training (including general/inorganic chemistry and at least one semester or two quarters of organic chemistry). Additional work in organic and physical chemistry is recommended.
  • Two semesters or three quarters of English, leading to competence in the use of the English language. Acceptable courses include speech, composition, literature, technical and business writing, and other writing intensive courses. Credit for writing intensive courses will be considered if written documentation is submitted to Penn Dental Medicine’s Office of Admissions for review. Submit documentation with Supplemental Application.

  • One semester or two quarters of mathematics — although calculus is preferred, any college-level math course, including statistics is acceptable.

  • Two semesters or three quarters of physics, covering the basic principles of classical physics.
  • One semester or one quarter of biochemistry; no lab is required. 

  • Advanced Placement (AP) course work can be credited towards predental requirements as long as the credit appears on your official college transcript.

Selection Factors

Penn Dental Medicine looks for students who will advance the profession and gives preference to those who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and leadership through extracurricular activities, community service, predental or research experience, or academic preparation. Because Penn Dental Medicine is a private institution, it is not bound by agreement to limit the number of out-of-state or international students in its program, and therefore, seeks a diverse student body.

Although there is no minimum grade-point-average or Dental Admission Test score requirement, careful consideration will be given to candidates with overall and science grade point averages (G.P.A.) of 3.2 or higher. The average scores for the August 2013 incoming class were as follows: mean overall G.P.A. of 3.67, mean science G.P.A. of 3.62, mean DAT academic of 21, the mean DAT PAT of 21, mean DAT reading comprehension of 21, and mean DAT total science of 21.

Application Procedures

Penn Dental Medicine participates in the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS), a centralized application service sponsored by the American Dental Education Association (ADEA). The AADSAS application must be completed via the ADEA web site, For more information regarding this application, contact: ADEA / AADSAS, P.O. Box 9110, Watertown, MA 02471, e-mail:, or phone: 617-612-2045 (applicant inquiries only).

Application Deadline: December 1, 2014

The following documents must be submitted along with the AADSAS application to the application service:

  • Dental Admission Test (DAT) Scores — Applicants must submit DAT scores by the December 1, 2014 deadline. Scores reported through ADEA AADSAS are considered official. Scores from tests taken in 2011 and earlier will not be considered. For test sites and schedule, contact: ADA Department of Testing Services, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Suite 600, Chicago, IL 60611, 800-232-1694.
  • Letters of Recommendation — A minimum of two letters from professors or a committee letter prepared by the school’s prehealth advisor and/or a committee familiar with the applicant’s academic abilities is required. Penn Dental Medicine does not require letters from science faculty, unless you are a science major. Please refer to the AADSAS application instructions for submitting letters of recommendation. Although it is preferred that all letters be sent directly to AADSAS, letters sent directly to Penn Dental Medicine’s Office of Admissions will also be accepted.
  • Official Transcripts — All applicants must submit official transcripts to the AADSAS application service for verification. AADSAS applications will not be processed and sent to the individual schools until transcripts are received and verified. The Penn Dental Medicine Admissions Office requires official transcripts only from candidates who have been invited to interview. Please do not forward transcripts to the Penn Dental Medicine Admissions Office until notified to do so.

In addition to the AADSAS application, applicants are required to complete and submit the following documents to Penn Dental Medicine for interview consideration. 
It is recommended that applicants submit the Penn Dental Supplemental Application and application fee as soon as possible after submitting the AADSAS Application.

  • Supplemental Application for Admission (the current admissions cycle is closed) — Essay portions must be typed. The Supplemental Application should be submitted directly to the Penn Dental Medicine Office of Admissions as early as possible along with the application fee.
  • Application Fee — The $60 non-refundable application fee should be submitted to the Penn Dental Medicine Office of Admissions (personal check or money order payable to Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania). In order to facilitate the processing of your application, please send the $60 application fee, and Supplemental Application at the same time.

Note: Due to the large number of applicants (2,230 for the class entering August 2014), it is highly recommended that candidates apply well in advance of the December 1 deadline date. Incomplete applications will not be considered. If your application will not be completed prior to the deadline, please attach a statement to the Penn Dental Medicine Supplemental Application for Admission explaining what documents will be submitted after the deadline and reasons for their delay. Decisions to review late applications are at the discretion of the Admissions Selection Committee. All application materials and documents become the property of Penn School of Dental Medicine and will not be returned to the applicant.

Canadian Applicants

  • Canadian citizens and residents may submit Canadian DAT scores.

  • Canadian course work will be processed similarly to U.S. course work on the AADSAS application.

International Applicants

Course work from students who complete their degrees in countries other than the U.S. and Canada will be considered provided they include the foreign course work on their AADSAS applications. In addition, translated transcripts from ECE transcript service must be submitted to the Penn Dental Medicine Admissions Office in order to review the student’s academic performance. Although international students are not required to meet their minimum course prerequisites at a U.S. educational institution, preference will be given to those who have taken some course work in the U.S. TOEFL scores are not required for admission to the four-year predoctoral program.

Transfer Students

Currently, Penn Dental Medicine is not considering transfer applications into the DMD program.

Requirements for Reapplicants

In addition to completing all application procedures, reapplicants must also submit a reapplication statement describing any changes from previous applications relating to course work, grades, DAT scores, employment, and predental experience. This reapplication statement should be attached to the Penn Dental Medicine Supplemental Application for Admission. Failure to submit a reapplication statement will void interview consideration. Serious consideration will be given to reapplicants who have completed additional courses (full course loads) with exceptional academic records or completed an advanced degree. In situations where the Admissions Committee has concerns about vocational orientation, students should demonstrate extensive predental experience. DAT scores from 2011 and earlier will not be considered. Additional letters of support may be submitted from employers or professors familiar with recent work experience or course work.

The Admissions Process

The Admissions Selection Committee begins reviewing applications in Summer 2014. Selected applicants will be invited for a tour and an interview based upon information from the AADSAS application, the Penn Dental Medicine Supplemental Application for Admission, and letters of recommendation. Interviews are held weekly from September through March at Penn Dental Medicine; there are no regional interviews. Travel and lodging information is included with the interview invitation. The Admissions Selection Committee issues acceptances on a rolling basis beginning December 1, 2014, continuing through mid-August. Accepted candidates are obliged to make a deposit of $500 to an offer of admission within the following schedule:

  • 40 days after notification if received on or after 12/1/2014
  • 30 days after notification if received on or after 1/1/2015
  • 15 days after notification if received on or after 2/1/2015
  • 10 days after notification if received on or after 4/1/2015*

An additional deposit of $500 is due on April 1, 2015 to continue to reserve a place in the class entering August 2015. Both deposits are non-refundable and are credited toward the first semester tuition payment.

*Candidates accepted on or after April 1 are obligated to make one deposit totaling $1,000.


Applicants will be notified of status changes via the U.S. Postal Service and email. Interview invitations will be emailed beginning August 2014 and will continue through February 2015 on a rolling basis. Acceptance notification will begin December 1, 2014 on a rolling basis through Spring 2015. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified beginning Fall 2014 until completion of the admissions cycle. It is highly recommended that applicants update the ADEA AADSAS web portal with changes to their contact information as soon as they occur. Currently, the Office of Admissions does not update the ADEA AADSAS web portal with status changes.

Contact Information

Office of Admissions
Robert Schattner Center
University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

240 South 40th Street, Room 122 

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6030

Telephone: 215-898-8943 (M-F 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) 

Fax: 215-573-9648

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The Robert Schattner Center
University of Pennsylvania
School of Dental Medicine
240 South 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6030