How to Apply to Dental School (aadsas)

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How to Apply to Dental School (AADSAS)

  • By Ian Marion, Jeffrey Lee
  • updated by Travis Wu and Kent Levan

General Tips

  • Keep good records of your dental observations, awards, extracurriculars, leadership, research, work experience, DAT scores, Community service
  • Go to the Career Resource Center and ask for help developing your resume
  • Extremely helpful when filling out your app because all the info is in front of you
  • SUBMIT EARLY! (as close to June 3rd as possible)

Where to begin…..?

  • First, go to
  • Under the “For Students” section, click the hyperlink called AADSAS to set up an AADSAS account.
  • After you setup your account, with your username and password, you will be given an AADSAS ID number.
    • This is located at the upper right hand corner of your homepage.
    • Important to have this written down for communicating with dental schools and ADEA

Home page

  • Every time you log onto your account, a checklist will appear.
  • Used to determine what areas of your account are filled
  • There are also other tabs such as: My Profile, Print, Status, Instructions.
    • These tabs will be extremely useful throughout the application cycle
    • In each section, there are instructions on how to fill out that individual section

Colleges Attended

  • Enter every college institution attended
  • For every college, a transcript matching form must be printed, filled out, and submitted with your transcript
  • Different schools have different policies on how to order transcripts
  • This will be done multiple times throughout the application cycle
    • For summer and fall course work; any coursework after submitting application


  • In addition to transcripts you have to enter your courses and grades into AADSAS
  • You need the course name, number, grade and AADSAS equivalent. Special classifications, such as honors, are also included
  • You have to include all coursework, including summer sessions and AP scores counted for college credit.

Coursework pt.2

  • You have to enter coursework by sessions
  • You add courses to each session
  • Make sure all of the grades entered into AADSAS match the grades on your transcripts
  • You should have an idea of the courses you plan to take the following terms and enter them into AADSAS (classified as Planned/In Progress)

DAT Scores

  • If you have taken the DAT you just enter the scores in
  • If you have not taken the DAT you can enter an approximate date
  • When you take the test make sure to send official score reports to schools that you wish to apply to
  • Apply for DAT here:

Background Information

  • This section should be filled out completely to the best of your abilities
  • Manual Dexterity (600 characters):
    • Limited in describing how you use your hands
    • Talk about something, don’t leave it blank
    • i.e: building models, drawing, painting, video games

Background Info (cont’d)

  • Remaining questions:
    • Family connections to dentistry
    • Educational Programs to prepare for dental school
      • Preclinical Simulation Course, Kaplan DAT course
    • Education issues: suspension, poor grades/academic interference
    • Previous applications to dental school? Interested in other health professions? (Probably don’t say anything unless you’ve done something concrete)

Awards, Honors, Scholarships

  • Enter college accomplishments over other accomplishments
    • Higher priority is given to these awards
    • Mention as many things as possible, don’t be shy

Dentistry Experience

  • Name of supervisor
  • Position Title
  • Brief Description of Activities/experience
  • Total hours
  • From Date A to Date B
  • Anything that exposes you to dentistry


  • List activities in order of importance
    • High school and/or college
    • However, college is more relevant
    • Know dates, total hours, average weekly hours, position, organization
    • Good place to show leadership experience/ community outreach

Work Experience

  • Start and End Dates
  • Total Hours
  • Brief Description of work
  • Include Military Service

Research Experience

  • Who your researching with
  • What you did?
  • Hours
  • Position Type
  • Start and End Dates
  • If you can, get a letter of recommendation from your principal investigator.

Evaluators Pt. 1

  • Ask EARLY ! (That means all you 2+3’s out there: GET IT DONE NOW!!!!!)
  • Get to know your professors, treat them out to coffee, talk to them about your goals and reasons for being a dentist, etc.
    • Imagine if you were writing your own evaluation; what would you want to know to write a good one for yourself
  • Can be done online or on paper
  • For paper form, a matching form must be given to the evaluator

Evaluators Pt. 2

  • Make sure the LOE is waived for all letters
  • Think now about who you want to write it and don’t just choose professors for classes that you’ve done well in
  • Make sure that each evaluator is actually writing it when they said they would. They are human and can sometimes be forgetful or swamped with work.
  • Allow AADSAS a couple weeks to process

Personal Essay Pt. 1

  • Brainstorm first
  • There is no one way to write the essay but make it personalized and interesting
  • Relate all past/present activities to how it will help you become a great dentist
  • Be concise (4500 character limit w/ spaces)
  • Make sure to proofread it multiple times

Personal Essay Pt. 2

  • “Address why you desire to pursue a dental education and how a dental degree contributes to your personal and professional goals.”
  • Get feedback from others who are good at editing essays
  • Try to get a rough draft finished early (preferably before apps start) to give ample time for all your editors to really pick it apart and make it that much better
  • Make sure to read and know everything about your personal statement before your interviews

School Designations

  • Add schools that you want to consider your application
  • Apply to multiple schools
    • Initial fee: $217
    • Fee per school drops with each additional school (+$68 for each additional school)
    • Worth it to consider other schools outside of California; the outside world is not that scary
    • Be aware that almost all dental school will require an additional application fee

“Status” Tab

  • AADSAS updates every time they receive official documents (Transcripts, LOE forms)
  • Check this often to ensure that all of your information is reaching AADSAS
  • Once your application has been received by schools they will update your status here

Things to Remember

  • Most sections can not be changed after you submit the application
    • Apply early, but not before your application is as complete as it can be
    • If you completed all other sections but just need to wait until you finish your DAT’s, submit the application anyway and then update the application later.
    • Submitting early can put you on the school’s radar earlier than submitting after every single section is completely finished though they won’t give you a yes or no until you do finish everything

Things to Remember

    • It takes about a week to fill out the application(unless you have everything already prepared ahead of time)
    • It takes a few weeks for AADSAS to process the application, so expect a delay
    • AADSAS periodically reopens to allow you to update coursework and send updated transcripts, do this as soon as possible

Additional Resources

  • Student Doctor Network Pre-Dental forums:
  • They can help you gauge your competitiveness and answer questions about schools

DAT and Suggested Study Material

  • Most often you are taking the DAT the same summer you are applying (time management)
  • Format
    • 90minutes: 40 Bio questions, 30 Chem, 30 Ochem
    • 60 minutes: PAT
    • Break 15 minutes
    • 60 minutes: Reading Comp
    • 45 Minutes: 40 Qualitative Analysis
  • Suggested study materials:
    • DAT Destroyer (Study 3-4 times, know the solutions cold)
    • DAT Achiever
    • Topscore DAT
    • Crack the DAT PAT
    • Kaplan?


  • If you know people who have filled out the application (like us), ask for help

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