Schulich school of Medicine and Dentistry logo Dentistry Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Frequently Asked Questions

Current students in the classroom setting

What is the Dental Program like?

Western’s Dental Program is four years in length, culminating in the degree Doctor of Dental Surgery.  The program covers basic health science, dental diagnosis, preventative & clinical practice with Simulation clinic experience from Year 1.

Can I tour the campus?

Tours of the Western campus may be booked by appointment at the Visit Western webpage. Applicants who are invited to interview for the DDS program in April will have an opportunity to see the dental facilities at Schulich.

Is there a pre-Dental program?

There is no prescribed pre-dental program.  Students are chosen from undergraduate programs representing a wide range of disciplines.  No preference is given to any specific program, however, a strong background in science is an asset.  Students are advised to carefully check the prerequisite courses for their chosen degree program to ensure that our requirements can be satisfied while completing the degree program.

How do I apply?

On-line application for entry to:

The completed application form, supporting documents (originals) and a non-refundable application fee of $275 are required.

How many applications do you normally receive?

We normally receive approximately 500-600 applications for 56 positions.

Who is eligible to apply?

To apply to the Western dental program, students must meet specific academic requirements and have written the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT).

There are two separate academic eligibility categories:

  1. Students who apply from the final year (or after completion of) a four-year University undergraduate degree program
  2. Students who apply from the final year (or after completion of) a University graduate program

Based on undergraduate academic performance, DAT score, and demonstrated non-scholastic achievements as evidenced by the Autobiographical Sketch & Personal Statement, competitive students will be invited to attend an interview for Dentistry.

Please note that application to Dentistry is very competitive.  The presentation of minimum admission requirements will not ensure acceptance into the program.

Can applicants take an additional undergraduate year after they have graduated to improve their academic standing?

Applicants who have earned a four-year undergraduate degree from a recognized university may elect to continue in full-time undergraduate studies (a Special Year) so that their academic standing may be improved for application to the DDS program.

A Special Year will only be considered if the applicant achieved at least one year with an 80% average or higher in their undergraduate degree. Additionally, the Special Year must contain at least five full-course equivalents, four of which are equal in difficulty to 2000 level or above. Please note: Schulich Dentistry does not consider the average of a year taken during the application cycle.

What is the minimum competitive academic average needed?

In order to be considered, applicants must have achieved at least 80% or higher in each of two individual undergraduate academic years. Only averages of completed years on file as of the application deadline will be considered. Schulich does not average years together to achieve 80% over two years. In recent application cycles, most successful applicants had a mid to high 80s average over their two most competitive years. 

Please note: effective the application cycle beginning October 1, 2017, candidates must have achieved at least 80% or higher in each of the two best undergraduate years with a full course load of 5.0 full or equivalent courses (30 credit hours) taken between September and April. Each of the two best years used for GPA consideration must also have at least 3.0 full course equivalents whose published level is at or above the year level of study.

We use the OMSAS – Ontario Medical School Application Service – conversion table to convert grades from other Canadian universities to Western standards.  The most current version of the scale can be viewed on the OUAC website.

What prerequisite courses are required?

  • At least one half lab course in Organic Chemistry
  • At least one half course in Biochemistry
  • One full course in Human or Mammalian Physiology

Since Schulich Dentistry wants to ensure that the applicant has covered the areas of the required subjects that would be needed in order to enter our curriculum, it keeps lists of currently approved equivalents to the prerequisite courses which are taught at Western.

Please note: effective the application cycle beginning October 1, 2017, successful completion of prerequisite courses for Dentistry Admissions requires a minimum grade of B or 74.5% (based on the OMSAS scale).  Please see Admission Requirements for more information.

When can prerequisites be taken?

Students are advised that prerequisite courses taken within 10 years of application are acceptable. They can be taken at any time prior to the end of the application cycle in which the applicant is registered. They do not have to be part of the course load of an academic year whose average is used in the application process.

If planning to fulfill prerequisite requirements during the summer, these courses should be taken, at the latest, during the summer prior to application (not during the summer prior to potential entry). Provided the courses are successfully completed, it will be acknowledged that the prerequisite requirements has been fulfilled; however the marks obtained will not be used in our admissions process.

Do I have to take my undergraduate courses at Western?

No. Students are welcome to take their undergraduate courses at any accredited institution.  Your undergraduate program will be assessed by Professional Admissions in the Western Registrar’s Office to ensure that your program meets our minimum requirements as stated above.

Can I repeat a year without penalty?

The academic results of repeated years, which closely resemble academic years previously taken during an undergraduate program (in course content and/or level of difficulty), will be averaged together with the corresponding academic year.

What is a full course load?

An academic year with five full courses (or equivalent) is considered a full course load.  For the academic average of a year to be considered in ranking calculations, a minimum of four full courses must be taken.  If the course load is less than five, a slight penalty is assessed against the academic average to reflect the fact that it is based on a lighter course load.

Please note: effective the application cycle beginning October 1, 2017, each of the two best years used for admission consideration must have a full course load of 5.0 full or equivalent courses (30 credit hours) taken between September and April. Each of these two years must also have at least 3.0 full course equivalents whose published level is at or above the year level of study.

What is the Dental Aptitude Test?

First year applicants must complete the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) administered by the Canadian Dental Association.  The DAT must have been completed within two years prior to the application deadline and only the most recent DAT score will be used. 

The DAT is conducted on two occasions each year – February and November.  For the December 1 application deadline, the last acceptable DAT test date is the November prior; not the following February.  Schulich Dentistry keeps DAT results for the duration of their eligibility (two years) in its application process.  

For more information, please visit the CDA webpage or contact:

Canadian Dental Association
1815 Alta Vista Drive
Ottawa, ON K1G 3Y6
t. 613.523.1770
e. dat@cda-adc.ca

What is the minimum DAT score that I need?

One must meet competitive levels in the Reading Comprehension sectional score, in combination with competitive academic grades and non-scholastic achievements, in order to be invited to an interview.  For the past several years, a score of at least 18/30 or higher has been required, although this minimum score on the DAT is subject to change depending on the quality of the applicant pool.  

Schulich Dentistry uses the Academic Average in its final selection process.  The Academic Average is based on the scores achieved in the Reading Comprehension, Biology and Chemistry sections of the test.  Currently, we do not utilize the results of the Perceptual Ability or Manual Dexterity sections of the test in our admissions process.

Note: Effective the 2017-18 application cycle for entry in September 2018 all sections of the DAT test may be considered in the selection process with the exception of the Manual Dexterity section.

What does the interview process involve?

Interviews are normally held during a weekend in April, with invitations sent out via email about a month prior.  Schulich interviews approximately 200-250 applicants for 56 seats. Each candidate is interviewed by a panel of three: a dentist, a community person, and a senior dental student. The interviews are a standardized, panel format with structured questions.

How are applicants ranked?

Applicants are ranked based on a compiled score representing academic achievement, DAT score, Autobiographical Sketch & Personal Statement, and interview.

Can I combine my DDS degree with a Masters or PhD?

Western Dentistry does not offer a combined-concurrent degree program.  Students wishing to complete an advanced degree in relation to the Dentistry program at Western must apply to the Dental Clinician-Scientist Program.  Deferred admission to the undergraduate dental program may be offered to candidates who are accepted to a dentally-oriented graduate program at Western.  This program must lead to a PhD degree.  Applicants to this program are assessed by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and a subcommittee of the Dentistry Admissions Committee.

Can students transfer from another Dental School?

Transfer into the Schulich Dentistry program is possible only if there is a space, created by attrition, in the second year class.  Applications for transfer into Year 2 are accepted from students currently enrolled at an approved Dental school.  Applicants who have done well in a curriculum similar to that of the Western program will be most competitive.  Information and a link to the application form are accessible via the Second Year Transfer webpage.

What about International Students?

A limited number of positions are available for international students who maintain international status throughout their Dental Education at Western.  For information on the Government of Canada regulations international students must meet in order to study at a Canadian University, please visit the Government of Canada's website.

What standing will my foreign Dental degree have?

Internationally-trained dentists are not eligible to apply or enter into the 4-year Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) Program.

Graduates of dental programs not recognized by the Canadian Dental Association may be eligible to apply to the Internationally Trained Dentists Program.  This program is held over two and a half academic years to prepare students for the National Dental Examining Board exams. Graduates are awarded a DDS Degree. For additional information, please visit the ITD Program webpage.

For information on credentialing foreign trained dentists, please visit the CICIC website.

What graduate Programs in Dentistry are offered?

Schulich Dentistry offers several opportunities for study following the completion of a DDS degree.

What financial aid is available?

Every student has a unique financial situation.  Western’s Financial Aid office is there to help students meet their educational goals.  Western’s policy is that no student will be denied admittance due to lack of funds for tuition.  For information on Western’s Financial Aid, please visit:

Room 1100, Western Student Services Building
Western University
http://www.registrar.uwo.ca

Who do I contact for further information?

If you require any further clarification, please contact:

Dentistry Admissions Office
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Health Sciences Addition H103
1151 Richmond Street
London, ON N6A 5C1
t. 519.661.3744
f. 519.850.2360
e. admissions.dentistry@schulich.uwo.ca