The Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree requires a full-time, four year commitment with an emphasis on biomedical sciences and clinical care.



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.

* Only a sociology class (generally demarcated by a course code of SOC or SOCI) can fulfill this requirement. The class must be taken in the US or Canada.
** 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).

Working as a dental assistant will count toward shadowing hours, but should not be the only source of shadowing hours.

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.

Letters of Recommendation

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. Courses graded on a Pass/ Fail basis do not count as graded. Preference for letters from basic science (biology, chemistry, physics, biochemistry, microbiology). Letters from psychology instructors are accepted. Science letters should include the course name and number. Letters of recommendation from research faculty are accepted but must correspond to a graded course on the transcript.
  • 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.

Dental Admissions Test (DAT)

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.

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.

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.
Not accepted:
  • Canadian Dental Admissions Test (CDAT)
  • Unofficial scores sent via email
  • DAT scores older than 3 years

Application Fee

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.

Applications without payment of this fee will remain incomplete.

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


The ADEA Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) is the centralized application service for all US dental schools.
The application opens on May 10th and closes on October 15th.

Application Steps


Create an AADSAS account and fill out the application (see Starting Your Application on the ADEA AADSAS website).


Submit the following directly to AADSAS:

Transcripts Original, official transcripts from every college or university the applicant has attended must be submitted directly to AADSAS.
Letters of recommendation Applicants can select up to four evaluators to submit letters of recommendation directly through AADSAS. See our specific Letters of Recommendation requirements.
Dental Admissions Test (DAT) Applicants should submit their DAT scores to AADSAS in two ways: manually entering their self-reported results into the application and having their official results sent by the ADA (see instructions for sending DAT scores under Standardized Tests).

Submit the following directly to the University of Michigan:

Application fee Applicants must pay a $75 supplemental application fee directly to the University of Michigan. For details about the fee and to make a payment, see the Application Fee requirement.

All application materials must be received by the application deadline, October 15.

Applicants will be notified via email regarding their application status, interview invitations, and admission decisions. See details about our Interviews.

If further clarification is needed after reviewing this information, please contact



Applicants are invited to interview by personal invitation only and will be notified via email if they are selected. The email invitation will include scheduling instructions and further details.

Please note: Candidates are required to interview for further admission consideration.

Each application cycle, approximately 300 candidates attend the Campus Visit Interviews, which occur throughout the fall and into January. Candidates will spend the entire interview day at the School of Dentistry. A detailed agenda will be provided in the interview invitation email.


The School of Dentistry conducts interviews using the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format. During MMI, candidates rotate through a series of timed stations and have one-on-one discussions with multiple interviewers about a variety of topics. The interviewers include current students, staff, faculty, and Admissions Committee members.

For a student perspective on MMIs, visit our dental student blog, Wolverine Bytes.



To accept the offer of admission, students must take the following first steps.

  1. $1,500 enrollment deposit - Students must pay a one-time enrollment deposit of $1,500 (applied to tuition expenses) online through Wolverine Access. Detailed instructions will be provided with the offer of admission. This deposit is non-refundable.
  2. Criminal background check - Shortly after being offered admission, students will receive an email from Certiphi Screening Inc. with instructions on how to initiate the criminal background check process. All admitted students will be required to complete this background check.
  3. UM Campus ID (uniqname) - After paying the enrollment deposit, students should create and set up their University of Michigan email username and password. Instructions will be sent via email and can also be found at Uniqname & Account Setup.


Admitted students must complete and turn in the following documents to finalize admission. Detailed instructions and links to the forms will be provided upon receipt of the enrollment deposit.

Matriculation Documents List

Personal Data Survey Incoming students are required to fill out a secure online survey through Qualtrics to provide the School of Dentistry with additional information.
Personal Health Responsibilities Students must read and electronically sign an online document explaining the personal health responsibilities of a dental student (immunizations, health insurance, etc.).
Technical Standards All dental students must certify that they possess certain abilities integral to the dental profession, as outlined in the Technical Standards document. A specific link to electronically sign this document will be emailed.
Record of Required Immunizations Students are required to demonstrate immunity to certain diseases by having a health care provider complete and sign this document.


To finalize admission, students must have their official transcripts, with final grades and degrees, sent directly from all colleges or universities attended to the Office of Admissions. Detailed instructions on what types of transcripts to send and when will be provided.

Electronic transcripts should be emailed to Paper transcripts should be mailed to:

Office of Admissions - DDS
University of Michigan School of Dentistry
1011 N. University Avenue, Room G226
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1078


All dental students are required to demonstrate a minimum level of health insurance coverage. Students will attest to this coverage online through Wolverine Access after the start of the program. See Mandatory Health Insurance Guidelines for more information.


Students at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry are expected to understand and follow certain Social Media Guidelines.


Licensure Disclosure Information

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry Doctor of Dental Surgery program is accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry Doctor of Dental Surgery program was designed to satisfy educational prerequisites to licensure for dentistry only in the state of Michigan. It has not been determined whether educational prerequisites to licensure would be satisfied in other states.

Students should consult the dental board in their state to confirm if the degree from University of Michigan School of Dentistry meets the criteria for professional licensure in their state. Contact information for the state dental boards can be found at the American Dental Association.

Curriculum DDS Clinic Involvement