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.

Applicants may apply to our program prior to the completion of predental requirements or other course work. All prerequisite courses should be completed by the spring term, prior to matriculation to dental school. Although there is no expiration date for prerequisite courses, applicants should consider new addtional course work to reinforce any knowledge gained previously.

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

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 writing intensive courses, leading to competence in the use of the English language. Acceptable courses include speech, composition, literature, humanities courses, freshman writing seminars, technical and business writing, and other writing intensive courses used to meet your school’s writing requirement. Courses may be taken outside of the English department.

  • 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 with corresponding laboratory training, covering the basic principles of classical physics.
  • One semester or one quarter of biochemistry; no lab is required.

Selection Factors

Penn Dental Medicine looks for students who will advance the profession and gives preference to those who demonstrate a commitment to any of the following: excellence and leadership as demonstrated among others through extracurricular activities, community service, predental and research experience, as well as 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 2017 incoming class were as follows: mean overall G.P.A. of 3.7, mean science G.P.A. of 3.65, mean DAT academic of 21.9, the mean DAT PAT of 21.5, mean DAT reading comprehension of 22, and mean DAT total science of 21.8.

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, 2018

Note: Due to the large number of applicants (2,181 for the class entering August 2018), it is highly recommended that candidates apply well in advance of the December 1 deadline date. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The majority of the PDM applicant pool (80%) submit applications by September 1. 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.

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 deadline. Scores reported through ADEA AADSAS are considered official. Scores from tests taken in 2015 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 Evaluation — 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. Letters should be on letterhead and include a signature and title. Please refer to the AADSAS application instructions for submitting letters of evaluation. 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.

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

  • Supplemental Application for Admission Download PDF. The Supplemental Application should be submitted directly to the Penn Dental Medicine Office of Admissions as early as possible via email at or mail delivery service to the Office of Student Admissions.
  • Application Fee -The $60 non-refundable application fee should be submitted directly to the Penn Dental Medicine Office of Student Admissions. Electronic payment is available by completing the Electronic Payment Form. No application fee waivers are available. It is recommended that the application fee and the supplemental application are submitted at the same time well in advance of the application deadline.

Canadian Applicants

  • Although the U.S. DAT is preferred, Canadian citizens and residents may submit Canadian DAT scores. Applicants who submit November CDAT test results reduce consideration due to test results arriving after the December 1 application deadline.

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.

Information for Reapplicants

In addition to completing all application procedures, reapplicants may 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. 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 2015 and earlier will not be considered. Additional letters of support should 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 July. Selected applicants will be invited for an interview day based upon information from the AADSAS application, the Penn Dental Medicine Supplemental Application for Admission, and letters of evaluation. Interviews (by invitation only) 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, until the class reaches capacity. Accepted candidates are obliged to make a deposit of $500 to an offer of admission within the following schedule:

  • 45 days after notification if received on or after 12/1
  • 30 days after notification if received on or after 1/1
  • 15 days after notification if received on or after 2/1
  • 10 days after notification if received on or after 3/1

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

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


Applicants will be notified of status changes via email and the U.S. Postal Service. Interview invitations will be emailed beginning in August and will continue through February on a rolling basis. Acceptance notification will begin December 1 on a rolling basis until the class reaches capacity. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified beginning October 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