Admission Requirements

For admission to the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) Program, applicants must meet all of the following Academic and Non-Academic admission requirements:

1. Undergraduate Degree
2. Prerequisite Subject Areas
3. DAT
4. Casper
5. Autobiographical Sketch & Personal Statement (ABS)
6. Interview

 

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure all documentation is submitted to the appropriate office by the deadlines indicated.

Falsification or misrepresentation
of information from any portion of the application process, including interviews, will result in removal of the application from consideration and may be considered in any future applications to the University.

References are NOT required in the admissions process.

Shadowing and volunteer hours
are NOT admission requirements.

Admission policies
are reviewed annually and admission requirements from previous years may not apply. We encourage applicants to visit our website regularly, as the University reserves the right to review and change admissions policies and requirements at any time, without notice.

Individuals who completed a dental program or equivalent elsewhere are NOT eligible to apply to the DDS Program, but may be eligible to apply to the Internationally Trained Dentists (ITD) Program. Please visit the ITD Program webpage for admission information.

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions webpage to assist in the understanding of our admission requirements.


ACADEMIC ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Undergraduate Degree

Applicants must have completed, or be in the final year of, a program leading to a four-year undergraduate degree at a recognized university.

All undergraduate degree requirements must be completed and the degree conferred by June 30 of the year in which application is being made.

Prerequisite courses must be completed in Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Human or Mammalian Physiology. Applicants are advised to engage in a broad background of education in keeping with their own interests. In past, students who have studied psychology, economics, engineering, nursing, physiotherapy, etc. have entered the program.

Academic Average

Admission consideration is based on the most recent four-year undergraduate degree.

Applicants must have achieved at least 80% or higher in each of the two best undergraduate years*. Courses taken during the application cycle are NOT eligible for academic average consideration. Each of the two best years used for academic average consideration must contain ALL of the following:

  • At least five full or equivalent courses (30 credit hours) completed during the September to April academic year. This constitutes a full course load**. The distribution of the 30 credit hours during the September to April academic year (i.e. between the semesters in one academic year) is not relevant. Summer courses are not eligible for academic average consideration.
  • At least three full or equivalent courses (18 credit hours) whose published academic level is at or above the year of study.
    • The distribution of the 18 credit hours completed during the September to April academic year (i.e. between the two semesters in one academic year) is not relevant.
    • Course level restrictions apply only to the two years used for academic average consideration:
      • Year 1: three of five full course equivalents at or above the first-year level.
      • Year 2: three of five full course equivalents at or above the second-year level.
      • Year 3, 4 or additional undergraduate years: three of five full course equivalents at or above the third-year level.
  • A maximum of one full or equivalent pass/fail course (6 credit hours) per year.

*The best two years used for academic average consideration can be ANY of the academic years within the four-year undergraduate degree, as long as each year meets the minimum academic average, course load and course level requirements outlined above.

**Part-time years cannot be considered for academic average, regardless of the requirements of degree programs.  A year with less than a full course load cannot be considered for academic average.

Academic transcripts must clearly show that applicants have met both the course load and course level requirements, as outlined above.  If more than a full course load is taken between September and April, all grades will be included in the academic average. Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions webpage for more information.

Consideration of the 2019-2020 Academic Year Affected by COVID-19

Assessment of the 2019-2020 Academic Year

In determining our policies regarding assessment of the 2019-2020 academic year, we consulted with professional school and university colleagues across Canada, examining how undergraduate students may have been impacted by the disruption of their studies and learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We learned that some students did not have an option to receive alpha or numeric grades (i.e. received credit/no credit only), some students were not able to participate fully in online learning due to limited resources, and some students had in-class lab, practicum or work term requirements for their degree adversely affected, resulting in a significant impact on grade calculations for the Winter 2020 semester.  We also learned that some students did well academically with the transition and had the opportunity to receive alpha or numeric grades. 

Each dental school establishes criteria for academic average calculation differently.  Schulich Dentistry uses the academic average of only the 2 best undergraduate years with full-time studies and at an appropriate course level. We do not use a cumulative or weighted calculation across years for consideration. Our thresholds are reset annually based on the competitiveness of the applicant pool.  

With over 70 universities in Canada alone, determining a solution for how to assess grades was not considered lightly, particularly since applicants come from a variety of institutions and countries, and the impact of COVID-19 affects applicants both within and outside of Canada.  Allowing variable academic standards suited to an individual applicant’s situation within their university and country would be difficult. Consequently, our Dentistry Admissions Committee deliberated to ensure that an equitable academic standard could be set for everyone.

The Committee decided that with the variability in grade reporting, the inequities to those students who are marginalized, and the impact of COVID-19 being variable across universities and countries, in fairness to all applicants the Winter 2020 term would not be used for academic average calculation.  Instead of discounting the entire 2019-2020 academic year completely from eligibility or using varying criteria for individual applicants, the Committee decided that the most reasonable academic standard would be to allow the grades from the Fall 2019 semester to be eligible for academic average calculation. 

We recognize that this decision may be disappointing to applicants who received alpha or numeric grades in Winter 2020, but we encourage applicants to consider their individual academic situation within the context of Schulich Dentistry’s method of calculation, which is based on achieving an academic average threshold within each of your two best undergraduate years.

Applicants presenting two undergraduate years for academic average consideration that do NOT include the 2019-2020 academic year must meet all of the following:

  • Each of the two best undergraduate years of full-time study must meet or exceed the minimum academic average. Full-time study is defined as five full or equivalent courses (30 credit hours), completed during the September to April academic year.
  • Each of the two years must contain at least three full-course equivalents (18 credit hours) whose published academic level is at, or above, the year of study.
  • Only one full or equivalent pass/fail course (6 credit hours) will be permissible in each of the two years being considered for the academic average.

Applicants presenting the 2019-2020 academic year as one of your academic years for academic average consideration* must meet all of the following:

  • The year must have 5 full or equivalent courses (minimum 30 credit hours) completed between September 2019 and April 2020, of which 3 full-course equivalents (18 credit hours) have a published academic level at, or above, the year of study.
  • Academic average will be calculated on grades from the fall 2019 semester only*. 
  • Only one full or equivalent pass/fail course (6 credit hours) will be permissible in the fall 2019 term (September to December). Discovery Credits (Western students) will be considered within, not in addition to, the one full course pass/fail allowance.

*The academic average calculated from grades reported for the fall 2019 semester will represent the academic average for the entire 2019-2020 academic year.

Grade Conversion

Schulich Dentistry uses percentages for determination of academic average. For transcripts that indicate alpha-numeric grades, the percentage grades will be used.

Schulich Dentistry uses the OMSAS (Ontario Medical School Application Service) scale to convert alpha grades achieved at other Canadian universities to Western University standards. The most current version of the scale can be found on the  OMSAS website.

Course Considerations

Online Courses

Online courses may be considered as part of a full course load used for the academic average, course load and course level requirements, as long as they are completed during the September to April academic year.

If it is not clear from the official transcript, an applicant may need to provide additional documentation confirming that online courses were completed during the September to April academic year.

Repeat Courses

Repeat courses are acceptable in the best two years used for academic average consideration, course load and course level requirements. Repeat courses are calculated in the academic year in which they are taken and are not substituted.

Pass/Fail Courses

Only one full or equivalent pass/fail course (6 credit hours) will be permissible in each of the two undergraduate years considered for academic average.

Pass/Fail courses count toward course load and course level requirements, regardless of whether they are passed or failed.

Discovery Credits (Western students) will be considered within, not in addition to, this one full course pass/fail allowance.

Spring/Summer Courses

Courses taken during Spring/Summer sessions will not be counted as part of the full course load. Therefore, courses taken outside of the regular academic year (September to April) are not included in the calculation of an academic average used for admission.

Prerequisite courses that are successfully completed during Spring/Summer sessions will be recognized as having fulfilled the course requirement. Refer to Prerequisite Subject Areas for detailed information.

Exchange Courses

For applicants who have attended other universities on an exchange, the competitive academic average calculation may be based on the marks achieved at the exchange institution. Official transcripts from the exchange institution must be provided at the time of application. If the exchange is taken outside of Canada or the United States, a course-by-course WES evaluation is required for the exchange period.

In cases where the course load and academic grades awarded are significantly different from North American standards, assessment of transcripts will be made by Western University Registrar based on known International Guidelines.

Refer to the How to Apply webpage for additional information.

Degree Considerations

Part-time Undergraduate Degree

It is acceptable to attend university on a part-time basis and still be considered for admission to the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) Program. However, given the rigorous nature of dental education, we require that two years be spent in full-time study.

Each of the two best academic years completed from September to April must contain five full or equivalent courses (30 credit hours), with at least three full or equivalent courses (18 credit hours) whose published academic level is at, or above, the year of study:

  • Year 1: three of five full course equivalents at or above the first-year level
  • Year 2: three of five full course equivalents at or above the second-year level
  • Year 3, 4 and additional undergraduate years: three of five full course equivalents at or above the third-year level.

In each of the two best years, an 80% academic average must be achieved.

Applicants who take undergraduate part-time years after obtaining an undergraduate degree will not be penalized in the admissions process.

Online Undergraduate Degree

Applicants who have completed an undergraduate degree online may apply if the degree is equivalent to a 4-year undergraduate degree from an accredited university.  

Each of the two best academic years completed from September to April must contain a minimum of five full or equivalent courses (30 credit hours), with at least three full or equivalent courses (18 credit hours) whose published academic level is at or above the year of study:

  • Year 1: three of five full course equivalents at or above the first-year level
  • Year 2: three of five full course equivalents at or above the second-year level
  • Year 3, 4 and additional undergraduate years: three of five full course equivalents at or above the third-year level.

In each of the two best years, an 80% academic average must be achieved.

If it is not clear from the official transcript, an applicant may need to provide additional documentation confirming that all courses were completed during the September to April academic year.

Co-Op Degree

Applicants who have completed a co-op degree program may apply, if they have two full time co-op years that meet the academic average, course load and course level requirements.

To be eligible for academic average consideration, a full time co-op year must consist of the two terms which combine to complete one of the mandatory program years (e.g. Terms 2A/2B, 3A/3B, 4A/4B). Terms belonging to different program years will not be considered (e.g. 3B/4A).

Each of the two best co-op years, as defined above, must contain must contain five full or equivalent courses (30 credit hours), with at least three full course equivalents (18 credit hours) whose published academic level is at, or above, the year of study:

  • Year 1: three of five full course equivalents at or above the first-year level
  • Year 2: three of five full course equivalents at or above the second-year level
  • Year 3, 4 and additional undergraduate years: three of five full course equivalents at or above the third-year level.

Additional Undergraduate Year (before graduating)

Applicants who take more than four years to complete a four-year undergraduate degree may apply. Any additional full time academic year may be eligible for academic average consideration if all of the following conditions are met:

  • Any additional year must contain five full or equivalent courses (30 credit hours) completed from September to April, with at least three full or equivalent courses (18 credit hours) whose published academic level is at, or above, the third year.
  • Only one full or equivalent pass/fail course (6 credit hours) will be permitted. Discovery Credits (Western students) will be considered within, not in addition to, the one full course pass/fail allowance.

Special Year (after graduating)

After graduating with a four-year undergraduate degree from a recognized university, applicants may elect to take an additional academic year in full-time undergraduate studies - a so-called Special Year.

For a Special Year to be considered for the academic average, all of the following conditions must be met:
  • Within the most recent undergraduate degree completed prior to the Special Year, applicants must already have at least one academic year that meets our academic average minimum requirements (see Undergraduate Degree/Academic Average).
  • The Special Year must be taken post-completion of the most recent four-year undergraduate degree.
  • The Special Year must contain:
    • five full or equivalent courses (30 credit hours) completed during the September to April academic year, and
    • at least four full or equivalent courses (24 credit hours) at, or above, the published academic level of second-year.
  • Only one full or equivalent pass/fail course (6 credit hours) will be permitted. Discovery Credits (Western students) will be considered within, not in addition to, the one full course pass/fail allowance.
  • A minimum 80% academic average must be achieved in the Special Year.

Two Special Years will be allowed on a candidate's transcript, if the applicant did not achieve 80% in the first Special Year attempt.

The Special Year must be completed prior to application. Special Years taken during the year of application will NOT be considered.

Repeat courses are permitted in a Special Year. 

Additional Undergraduate Degree

Applicants enrolled in the final year of, or who have recently completed, an additional undergraduate degree are eligible to apply if ALL of the following requirements are met:
  • The most recent degree must be equivalent to a four-year undergraduate degree, even though it may not take four years to complete.
  • Academic average consideration will be based only on the two best years of the most recent undergraduate degree.
  • Course load and course level requirements for the most recent undergraduate degree are analogous to the requirements of the first undergraduate degree. For example, if the most recent degree is completed in two years, then both of those years would be used for academic average calculation and considered as Years 3 and 4.

Applicants who are given a conditional offer must complete all program requirements, including conferral of the degree, by June 30 of the year in which application is being made.

Academic transcripts must clearly show that applicants have met both the course load and course level requirements. Courses taken during the application cycle are not considered for academic average.

Professional Degree

Applicants who have completed a professional degree, or who are enrolled in the final year of a professional program that is equivalent to a four-year undergraduate degree, may be eligible to apply. Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Schulich Dentistry will NOT consider applications from individual who:
  • are currently enrolled in a dental program or equivalent elsewhere.
  • have completed a dental program or equivalent elsewhere. Internationally trained dentists may be eligible to apply to the Internationally Trained Dentists (ITD) Program. Please visit the  ITD Program webpage for information.

International Undergraduate Degree

Applicants who have completed their undergraduate university education outside of Canada and the United States may apply to our DDS Program. Transcripts from universities outside of Canada or the United States must be submitted to  World Education Services (WES) to be assessed on a course-by-course basis.

In cases where the course load and academic grades awarded are significantly different from North American standards, assessment of transcripts will be made by Western University Registrar based on known International Guidelines.

Refer to the How to Apply webpage for additional information.

Graduate Degree Programs

  • Only undergraduate coursework is considered for calculation of academic average for admission purposes. The academic average from a graduate degree is not eligible for consideration.

    Applicants with a conferred graduate degree at the time of application are awarded bonus points.

    Applicants who are enrolled in a graduate degree at the time of application should note the following:
    • Applicants must be in the final year of the graduate program to be eligible to apply.
    • Deferrals and deadline extensions are NOT granted for completion of a graduate program.
    • Withdrawal from a graduate program during the application year in order to enroll in Schulich Dentistry will NOT be acceptable.
    • Applicants who are given a conditional offer must complete all program requirements for the graduate degree as per the following deadlines:

    Thesis-based Graduate Degree
    Applicants enrolled in a thesis-based graduate degree program at the time of application must complete all program requirements, including successful defence and final assessment of the thesis, by June 30.

    • A final transcript indicating that all requirements for the graduate degree were completed must be received by Western University, Undergraduate Recruitment & Admissions, Attn: Professional Admissions - Dentistry by June 30,

                     OR

    • A Confirmation of Graduate Degree Requirements form attesting to the same must be received by the Admissions Office by June 30.  (The form will be provided by the Admissions Office to successful applicants after an offer has been accepted.), AND
    • An official final transcript indicating graduate degree conferral must be received by the Admissions Office by November 30.

    Course-based Graduate Degree
    Applicants enrolled in a course-based graduate degree program at the time of application must complete all program requirements by August 15.

    • A Confirmation of Graduate Degree Requirements form indicating there are no concerns with meeting all requirements of the course-based graduate degree must be received by the Admissions Office by June 30.  (The form will be provided by the Admissions Office to successful applicants after an offer has been accepted.), AND
    • An official final transcript indicating graduate degree conferral must be received by the Admissions Office by November 30.

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Prerequisite Subject Areas

The following university-level prerequisite courses are required:
  • Any half year course in Organic Chemistry:
    • A 'Chemistry' course that includes a section on organic chemistry will NOT be considered for the requirement. It must be an 'Organic Chemistry' course.
    • Successful completion requires a pass or credit designation.
  • A half year approved course/course combination in Biochemistry:
    • Successful completion requires a pass or credit designation. If more than one course must be completed to cover the Biochemistry content required, then a pass or credit designation must be obtained in each of those courses.
    • See Approved Biochemistry Course Equivalents (PDF 191KB) posted September 2022
  • A full year approved course/course combination in Human or Mammalian Physiology:
    • Successful completion requires a pass or credit designation. If more than one course must be completed to cover the Physiology content required, then a pass or credit designation must be obtained in each of those courses
    • See  Approved Physiology Course Equivalents (PDF 214KB) posted September 2022
Please Also Note:
  • Lab components are NOT required to meet prerequisite requirements.
  • Prerequisite courses completed more than 10 years prior to the application deadline will not be considered.
  • CEGEP courses are not used in the admissions process, except for consideration toward meeting approved prerequisite course requirements.
  • Prerequisite courses can be taken at any time but must be completed by April 30 of the potential year of entry.
  • Prerequisite courses do NOT need to be:
    • part of the course load of an academic year whose average is used in the application process, or
    • taken within the four-year undergraduate degree.
  • Prerequisite courses may be retaken if a pass or credit designation was not achieved on the first attempt. Retaking an approved prerequisite course will not adversely affect the application.
  • Applicants may be asked to submit official detailed course syllabi to determine whether courses meet the prerequisite requirements.

Physiology Challenge Exam

Candidates invited for an interview who have not completed, or are not expected to complete, an approved Physiology course by April 30 will be required to take the Physiology Challenge Exam during the interview  weekend.  Candidates must obtain a pass on this exam to continue to be eligible for admission consideration. A Physiology prerequisite course taken after the challenge exam will not be considered.

  • Physiology 2130: course outline on which the Physiology Challenge Exam is based

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DAT

All applicants must take the DAT administered by either the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) or the American Dental Association (ADA). 

Eligibility Period

Requirement change effective as of the 2022/2023 application cycle:

DAT scores must be received by Western University by the November 1 application deadline.

CDA/ADA scores could take up to 8 weeks to be released, so applicants are advised to plan accordingly. Please contact CDA/ADA directly for information regarding their timeline for release of results.

DAT must be written and scores received within the two years prior to the November 1 application deadline.

Eligible Scores

  • DAT scores must be sent directly to Western University by the CDA/ADA.
  • DAT scores must be received by Western University by the November 1 application deadline.
  • When registering for DAT, check the appropriate box to release your results to Western:
    • CDA - select "Western University"
    • ADA - select "Schulich School of Dentistry of Western University"
  • Only the most recent DAT, written within the eligible time period, will be used.
  • Only DAT incorporating the Reading Comprehension section fulfills Schulich Dentistry admission requirements.
  • All sections of DAT may be considered in the selection process. We do not require the Manual Dexterity section.

It is the applicant's responsibility to confirm receipt of DAT results with the Dentistry Admissions Coordinator. Applicants must provide their CDA Student ID number and/or their ADA DENTPIN number when asking for confirmation of score receipt. DAT transcripts are kept on file for the duration of their eligibility (2 years).

Specific information and registration materials concerning DAT are available at the Canadian Dental Association website  or the American Dental Association website.

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Casper

All applicants must complete Casper for the 2022/2023 admissions cycle.

Casper (by Altus Assessments) is an online, open-response situational judgement test that measures competencies and attributes that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program. Casper will also further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process.

Please visit Altus Assessments website for Casper test dates and to book your Casper test. Please note, Schulich Dentistry does not require applicants to complete Snapshot or Duet.

Test Dates and Fees

When registering for a Casper test date, ensure that you select the following options:
  • country: Canada
  • language: English
  • program: Dentistry
  • school: Western University

Eligible Scores

  • must be sent by Altus Assessments directly to the Admissions Office,
  • must be received by the Admissions Office by the November 1 application deadline,
  • are valid for one application cycle only.

Accommodations

If you require accommodation to complete the Casper online test, you must submit an Altus Suite Accommodation Request Form to Altus Assessments, signed by both you and your qualified professional, at least 3 weeks prior to your desired test date.

More information regarding accommodations for Casper testing can be found on Altus' FAQ webpage.

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NON-ACADEMIC ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Autobiographical Sketch & Personal Statement

Schulich Dentistry takes a holistic approach toward applications to our Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) Program. Emphasis is not only on academic but also on non-academic traits, ensuring our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

The Autobiographical Sketch & Personal Statement (ABS) provides a standardized means of reviewing non-academic applicant data. These components of the online application process must be completed in full for the application to Schulich Dentistry to be considered.

The Autobiographical Sketch provides an opportunity for applicants to outline additional scholastic and non-scholastic achievements that may not be evident in the application and academic transcripts.

The Personal Statement allows applicants to expand on information in the sketch, to highlight achievements and goals, or the accomplishment of success after overcoming a significant disadvantage.
  • Letters of Reference are NOT required in the assessment of applications.
  • Shadowing and volunteer hours are NOT required to be eligible for consideration.

Please visit our How To Apply webpage for access to the Autobiographical Sketch & Personal Statement.

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Interview

Selected applicants will be invited to attend a personal interview in order to be considered for admission. For more details, please visit the Interviews webpage.

Invitation to interview is highly competitive.  Interviews are based on a holistic assessment of the applicant’s academic and non-academic achievements.

Accommodations are available for applicants with disabilities through the interview process.

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