Are you a prospective student seeking help understanding the dental school GPA requirements? Are you curious about the average dental school acceptance rate? We will help you get that information and more.
Getting into dental school is possible and could be in your future. A low GPA is not the end of the world, and we can help you understand some things you can do to get ahead. So, if you’re looking for tips on what you can do and even some potential schools to look into, all you have to do is keep reading.
How Important is GPA for Dental School?
Your GPA is a very important factor in your application for dental school. Schools will often set a minimum GPA, which students must meet to be considered for admission. Dental school is highly competitive, and putting your best foot forward is essential to securing a spot. Though having a high GPA does not automatically secure a spot for you, it is an essential piece of the application puzzle.
What is the Average GPA You Need to Get Into Dental School?
To be granted admission into dental schools across the country, your GPA will need to be competitive. In looking at the statistics from the American Dental Education Association, maintaining an exceptional mean grade point average is one massive factor in dental school acceptance. The average GPA of enrolled students has continued to rise throughout the years. For 2022, the average GPA was 3.49 versus in 2000, where it was 3.20.
How Hard is it to Get into Dental School?
Like traditional medical school, there are limited spots each year. Of all the universities in the country, there are roughly 77 different dental institutions in the United States. These schools accept roughly 6,000 enrollments, with double the number of applicants, making your average dental school acceptance rate roughly 56%.
Is It Possible to Get Into Dental School with a Low GPA?
If you have done poorly in some courses, you have likely asked the question, “Can you get into dental school with a low GPA?”. Though it may be challenging, getting into dental school with a low GPA is still possible. If you have a low GPA, you must make up for it with your DAT scores. You will still have a chance if you are not below the minimum threshold designated by a school.
If you have a low GPA, consider taking additional classes to give you a boost. If you haven’t already received a high score on your DAT, spend more time studying to show dental schools exactly what you can do. Make sure your prospective school’s admissions team knows your name. Spend some time attending events of your top schools to give yourself a needed advantage. Lastly, do not give up; though it may seem impossible, getting into dental school is attainable if you work hard.
Easiest and Hardest Dental School to Get Into
Several dental schools will give students with a low GPA the opportunity for admission. There are also several highly competitive schools, with high GPA requirements available to the top students. Regardless of where you fall in the applicant pool, a school that fits your needs can be found. The list below represents the easiest and hardest dental schools to get into and the average GPA students possessed in 2022.
Easiest Dental Schools to Get Into
If you are looking for one of the easiest dental schools to get into, with one of the highest acceptance rates, you’ll need to head down to Mississippi. The University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Dentistry is a great option, with the highest average acceptance rate of 29.4% and an average GPA of 3.73.
Coming behind the University of Mississippi is East Carolina University. They boast an average dental school acceptance rate of 15.8% and a 3.6 GPA.
Hardest Dental School to Get Into
We’ve identified the two easiest schools to get into. Therefore, it’s only right we provide the hardest schools to get into. If you are looking for a competitive school, you can look no further than the Western University of Health Sciences. The Western University of Health Sciences has the lowest average dental school acceptance rate for 2023, reaching 2.5%, with the average GPA being on the lower end, a 3.24. If you’re still wondering, “Can you get into dental school with a low GPA?” the answer is clearly yes.
Coming in at a close second is the Medical University of South Carolina. They have a 2.74% acceptance rate and an average GPA of 3.65.
9 Practical Tips to Get Into Dental School
We understand that your GPA is only a portion of the battle. You must do more than have a great GPA to get accepted into dental school. If you are on the fence about dental school or medical school, consider the dental school acceptance rate vs. medical school. In reality, they are vastly different.
Medical school has a 5.5% acceptance rate, whereas dental school has a 55.5% acceptance rate. Dental school may be your best bet if you’re looking for a greater chance of acceptance. Use the tips below to ensure your acceptance and take your life to the next phase.
Keep Your Grades Up
This tip, though obvious, needs to be stated. Your GPA starts in your first year, not your second or third. Though you may want a fruitful freshman experience, don’t let the shock of being on your own cause your grades to suffer. This is the time to plan how you will juggle your education and your life outside of college.
This may not be easy at the beginning of your college career; however, you should ensure you can obtain meaningful experience. This may mean taking an unpaid internship or working part-time in a dental office. While this is mandated for some schools, it will make you highly competitive once you begin applying to dental schools.
Do Your Research
Though research is not a traditional dental school requirement, it can be an asset to have, especially if you are applying to a research-centric school. Your research experience does not need to be in the field of dentistry but instead in other sciences. Social science would be a valuable area to look into.
Look for Programs that Will Put You Ahead
Several programs will also add a competitive edge that you don’t have to wait to become a part of. The Summer Health Professions Education program is a great option. It is aimed at current first- and second-year students with no more than 60 credit hours. This group aims to help racially/ethnically underrepresented students in the health professions. This free program aims to help students develop healthcare skills and even plan their academic trajectories.
Shadow and Learn
Shadowing will allow you to see first-hand what happens in a dental office. It allows you to bridge the information you have learned in school and see it in practice. Shadowing also gives students the ability to ask questions and create a mentor-style relationship with a dentist.
Maintain a Clean Background
You may not be aware that your application to dental school will also be accompanied by a background check once you are accepted. This is to ensure that you are trustworthy and that patients are safe in your care. If you want to become a licensed dentist, you must maintain a clean criminal history.
Save Your Money
Applying to dental school is not free and is not cheap. Do yourself a favor by saving the money you need so that you do not run into issues later. Your first dental school application fee will be $264. This needs to be paid to the ADEA. Any applications after your initial submission will cost you $115 each. If you have financial hardship, it would be smart to look into the aid options that the ADEA has for assistance.
In addition to the application fee, you will need to cover several other options. This includes a fee that is specific to the university you have applied to, known as the university’s supplemental fee. You will then need to pay for the cost of travel in the event that you are offered an interview. Finally, once you have chosen a school, you will need to secure your spot with a deposit. This deposit varies by institution and can be a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand.
Lock Down Your Social Media
With social media becoming more and more prevalent, I’m sure you have seen students kicked out of their schools and individuals being fired for the content they choose to post. It would be in your best interest to remain neutral and professional on social media profiles that are open to the public. If you have questions about if there is anything controversial on your profile, make it private or archive any risky posts to avoid missing out on dental school acceptance.
There are several aspects to your Dental School application that you should adequately prepare for. This includes the schools you will be applying to. Please don’t wait until a school opens its application for you to read it in its entirety. You may realize that a school you have been planning on applying to has a requirement that you aren’t satisfied with.
The same sentiment should be applied to the DAT, aka Dental Admission Exam. You should start planning for the DAT exam early. This can mean different things to different people. If you know that you’ll be attending dental school early in your college career, you can start planning for the DAT exam as early as you can. Though you likely won’t start studying, review the information so you know what you should focus on while in class.
Get familiar with the ADEA – The American Dental Education Association website is a great research tool. Not only does the association provide you with information on dental colleges across the country, but they also provide helpful tips on how to prepare, how to select your top schools, and even programs that may benefit you.
Wrapping Things Up: What’s the Average GPA for Dental School?
In addition to having a great GPA, dental school GPA requirements are something you should ensure you pay attention to. Though your acceptance to a dental school is highly competitive, it is not impossible with proper planning and execution. However, don’t let a low GPA be a deterrent.
Though you may think you have the lowest GPA for dental school, getting accepted is not impossible. Focus on a high DAT score and improve your application in other ways. Though the Western University of Health Sciences has the lowest acceptance rate at 2.5%, making it one of the most competitive schools, the average GPA is only 3.24. Regardless of your GPA, acceptance is possible.
Use the tips above to help you jumpstart your dental career, especially getting acclimated to the ADEA site.