Admission Requirements

Statement to Prospective Applicants Regarding Covid-19 

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, as described in our Admissions Requirements webpage.

The Committee also decided to remove the in-class lab component of the Organic Chemistry prerequisite, as well as  to change the criteria for determining successful completion for each of the Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Human or Mammalian Physiology prerequisite subject areas.  Effective the 2020-2021 application cycle, successful completion of each of the prerequisite subject areas requires a pass or credit designation, regardless of whether the prerequisite was taken outside Winter 2020 term. 

For detailed information about how the 2019-2020 academic year will be assessed with regards to academic average consideration, please click on the Undergraduate Degree link below.

For detailed information about updated requirements for our prerequisite subject areas, please click on the Prerequisite Subject Areas link below.

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

Undergraduate Degree
Prerequisite Subject Areas
Dental Aptitude Test (DAT)
Autobiographical Sketch & Personal Statement (ABS)
Interview
Statement of Potential Health Risks and Immunization Requirements
Police Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening

Please Note:

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.

As facilities for pre-clinical instruction are limited, it is necessary to restrict enrolment to applicants who are best qualified to meet the mental and physical demands of the curriculum and most likely to successfully complete the full course of study. Meeting the minimum admission requirements will not assure acceptance.

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.

Internationally trained dentists are NOT eligible to apply to the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) Program, but may be eligible to apply to the Internationally Trained Dentists (ITD) Program. Please visit the ITD Program webpage for admission information.


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, and expect to obtain their degree by the end of the academic year in which application is being made.

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 (see below). 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

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) taken between September and April. This constitutes a full course load. The distribution of the 30 credit hours between the September to April 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. 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.

Part-time years cannot be considered for academic average, regardless of the requirements of degree programs.

Applicants who complete a degree with a year amounting to less than a full course load cannot have that year 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

If you are presenting two undergraduate years for academic average consideration that do not include the 2019-2020 academic year affected by Covid-19, all of the following must be met:

  • You must meet or exceed the minimum academic average in each of your two best undergraduate years of full-time study. Full-time study is defined as five full or equivalent courses (30 credit hours), taken between September and April.
  • 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.

If you are presenting the 2019-2020 academic year affected by Covid-19 as one of your academic years for academic average consideration, all of the following must be met:

  • You must have completed 5 full or equivalent courses (minimum 30 credit hours) of which 3 full-course equivalents (18 credit hours) must 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. Due to the transition of many universities to pass/fail or credit/no credit, grades from the winter 2020 semester will not be used in the calculation of academic average in order to ensure a fair assessment for all candidates.
  • Only one full or equivalent pass/fail course (2 half courses, 6 credit hours) will be permissible in the fall 2019 semester.

Online Courses

Online courses which are taken as part of an undergraduate degree 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 academic year (September to April). 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 academic year (September to April), and
  • are indicated on the transcript of the university granting the undergraduate degree as being part of the undergraduate degree.

Repeat Courses

Repeat courses are acceptable in the best two years used for academic average consideration, course load and course level requirements.

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. The course must be passed in order to count toward the course load. 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.

Grade Conversion

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

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 (September to April) in which each year contains 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 these years, an 80% academic average must be achieved.

Applicants who choose to take further 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. If any of the courses are completed at an accredited university other than the degree granting institution, those courses will only be eligible for consideration if they appear on the transcript of the degree granting institution, and if they count toward the undergraduate degree.

We require that two years be spent in full-time study (September to April) in which each year contains 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 these 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 academic year (September to April).

Co-Op Degree

For applicants enrolled in a co-op degree program, each of the two best academic years 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 academic years will not be considered (e.g. 3B/4A).

A co-op year will only be considered if it contains 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 Years, before graduating

If an applicant takes more than four years to complete a four-year undergraduate degree, any additional year may be eligible for academic average consideration if all of the following conditions are met:

  • Applicants must already have one undergraduate year that meets the academic average minimum requirements.
  • The additional year must contain five full or equivalent courses (30 credit hours) taken between September and April, with at least three full or equivalent courses (18 credit hours) whose published academic level is at or above the third year.
  • During the additional year,, only one or equivalent pass/fail course (6 credit hours) will be permitted:
    • The course must be passed in order to count toward the course load.
    • Discovery Credits (Western students) will be considered within, not in addition to, the one full course pass/fail allowance.

Special Years, after graduating

After graduating with a four-year undergraduate degree from a recognized university, an applicant may elect to take an additional year in full-time undergraduate studies - a so-called Special Year. To be considered for the academic average, the following conditions must ALL be met:

  • Prior to the Special Year, the applicant must already have at least one undergraduate year (September to April) that meets the minimum academic average, course load and course level requirements as previously outlined.
  • A Special Year must contain five full or equivalent courses (30 credit hours) taken between September and April, with at least four full or equivalent courses (24 credit hours) at or above the published academic level of second-year.
  • A minimum 80% academic average, according to the OMSAS conversion scale. The Admissions Committee will allow two Special Years on a candidate's transcript if the applicant did not achieve 80% in the first Special Year attempt.

Schulich Dentistry will not consider the academic average of a Special Year taken during the year of application.

Second Undergraduate Degree

Applicants enrolled in the final year of, or who have recently completed, a second undergraduate degree are eligible to apply if ALL of the following requirements are met:

  • The second, or 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 second or most recent undergraduate degree.
  • Course load and course level requirements for a second or most recent undergraduate degree are analogous to the requirements of the first undergraduate degree. For example, if the second 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 or 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.

Please note: Schulich Dentistry will not consider applications from individuals who are currently enrolled in a dental program or equivalent elsewhere.

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.

Graduate Degree Programs

We consider only undergraduate coursework for calculation of academic average for admission purposes. We do not use the academic average from a graduate degree. However, applicants with a conferred graduate degree by the application deadline are awarded bonus points.

Applicants enrolled in a graduate degree program 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 Letter of Confirmation Form attesting to the same must be received by the Admissions Office by June 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 Letter of Confirmation 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.

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Prerequisite Subject Areas

The following prerequisite courses are required:

  • A half year course in Organic Chemistry. Successful completion requires a pass or credit designation.
  • A half year approved course in Biochemistry: see Approved Biochemistry Course Equivalents. 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.
  • A full year approved course in Human or Mammalian Physiology: see Approved Physiology Course Equivalents. 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.

Please also note the following:

  • Prerequisite courses taken more than 10 years prior to the application deadline will not be considered.
  • Prerequisite courses can be taken at any time but must be completed by April 30 of the year of entry.
  • Prerequisite courses do not have to be part of the course load of an academic year whose average is used in the application process.
  • 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.

Western University

A number of courses which meet the Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physiology prerequisite course requirements are offered by Western University. Successful completion requires a pass or credit designation.

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 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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Dental Aptitude Test (DAT)

Resident Canadian applicants must take the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) administered by the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) within two years prior to the December 1 application deadline.

Non-resident Canadian applicants and international applicants may submit the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) administered by the American Dental Association (ADA), only if they have not been in Canada to write the CDA DAT in the two years prior to the application deadline. Results of the ADA DAT will be treated as equivalent to the results of the CDA DAT. For information and application forms, visit the American Dental Association website.

Eligible DAT scores:

  • Must be written within the past two years prior to the application deadline:
    • February or November of the year of application
    • February or November of the year prior to application
  • Must be sent by the CDA/ADA to Schulich Dentistry to be considered valid.
  • 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 the DAT may be considered in the selection process. We do not require the Manual Dexterity section.

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

It is the applicant's responsibility to confirm receipt of the results with the Dentistry Admissions Coordinator. DAT transcripts are kept on file for the duration of their eligibility (2 years).

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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.

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.
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.

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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.

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Statement of Potential Health Risks and Immunization Requirements

Schulich Dentistry students will be required to care for persons with infectious diseases (including but not limited to Hepatitis B and HIV) should they be assigned to them. Students accepted into the DDS Program will be sent complete documentation regarding health policies and immunization requirements. Documentation of immunization and tuberculin status will be required.

Police Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening

Schulich Dentistry students will interact with vulnerable populations through the course of their academic programs. In recognition of the requirements of clinical agencies to ensure that dental students do not place vulnerable populations at risk, Schulich Dentistry requires that all students provide, as a condition of their admission into the DDS Program, a current Police Records Check including a Vulnerable Sector Screening.

In the rare instance where you do not receive all clear status, you may request a hearing before the Executive of the Admissions Committee. The Executive of the Admissions Committee’s decision is final.

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