Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility

What are the admission requirements to apply to the Schulich Dentistry DDS Program?

To be eligible to apply to the DDS Program, applicants must meet all of the following academic admission requirements:

  • 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 your degree by June 30 of the academic year in which application is being made. If currently enrolled in a graduate degree program, you must be in the final year of your program.
  • Meet the minimum academic average (80%) in each of your two best undergraduate years, where each year contains five full or equivalent courses (30 credit hours) taken between September and April, including at least three full course equivalents (18 credit hours) whose published academic level is at or above the year of study. Courses taken during the academic year in which application is being made are not eligible for consideration.
  • Meet the minimum Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) score.
  • Have completed, or be in the process of completing, all prerequisite courses by April 30 of the academic year in which application is being made. Successful completion requires a pass or credit designation.
  • Have completed the Autobiographical Sketch & Personal Statement.

Application to the DDS Program is very competitive. Meeting minimum academic admission requirements does not ensure acceptance.

Is there a quota for 'in province' applicants, or a separate pool for ‘out of province’ applicants?

No. All applicants must meet the same admission requirements and will be considered equally regardless of their province of residence.

Are applicants who have a degree from Western preferred?

No. We do not give preference to Western students. The institution granting the degree will not have an impact on your application.

Does the Admissions Office provide academic counselling?

No. The Admissions Office can only provide information about our admission requirements. We suggest students reach out to academic counselling at their school.

International Students

I am an international student. Can I apply?

Yes. Up to four seats are available for international students who maintain international status throughout their dental education at Schulich Dentistry. For more information, please visit the International Applicants webpage.

For information about government regulations for international students studying at a Canadian university, please visit the Government of Canada website.

What standing will my international dental degree have?

Internationally trained dentists are NOT eligible to apply or enter the DDS Program.

Graduates of dental programs not recognized by the Canadian Dental Association may be eligible to apply to the Internationally Trained Dentists (ITD) Program. For information, please visit the ITD Program webpage.

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

Do I need to provide proof of English language proficiency?

English proficiency documentation may be required if you have not taken at least 2 years undergraduate years in Canada.

For information on English language proficiency, please visit the International Applicants webpage.

Transfer Students

I am enrolled in another dental school. Can I transfer?

Yes. However, transfer is only possible into Year 2 of the DDS Program and only if a vacancy is created by attrition. 

Eligibility is restricted to citizens or permanent residents of Canada who are enrolled in an accredited dental program in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand or the United States.

For complete details please visit the Transfer Students webpage.

Degree Considerations

Is there a pre-dental program or a preferred degree that will increase my chances of admission?

No. Applicants are chosen from undergraduate programs representing a wide range of disciplines. No preference is given to any specific degree program or university. However, a strong background in science is an asset. 

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

Yes. Applicants who have earned a four-year undergraduate degree from a recognized university may continue in full-time undergraduate studies (a Special Year) to improve their academic standing.

Please visit the Admission Requirements webpage for complete details.

I completed my undergraduate degree outside of North America. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes. To have the marks from an undergraduate degree obtained outside of Canada or the U.S. considered for our academic average requirement, you will need to submit an evaluation of your transcript by World Education Service (WES) when you apply.

Please refer to our How to Apply webpage for more details.

I plan to complete my undergraduate degree online. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes. An online degree may be acceptable if it is equivalent to a 4-year undergraduate degree.

It must include two years with a course load of five full or equivalent courses (30 credit hours) completed between September and April, with at least three full or equivalent courses (18 credit hours) at or above the published academic year level, to use for the academic average requirement. If it is not clear from your official transcript, additional documentation may be required confirming that all courses used for the academic average requirement were completed between September and April.

I have a graduate degree. Are these grades eligible for academic average consideration?

No. Only the most recent four year undergraduate degree is considered for the academic average requirement. However, applicants who complete a graduate degree(s) conferred before the application deadline will be awarded bonus points.

I obtained my a dental degree outside of North America. Am I eligible to apply?

No. Internationally trained dentists are NOT eligible to apply or enter the DDS Program. Graduates of dental programs not recognized by the Canadian Dental Association may be eligible to apply to the Internationally Trained Dentists (ITD) Program. 

For information about applying to the Internationally Trained Dentists Program, please visit the ITD Program webpage.

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

Course Considerations

What are the course level requirements?

Each of the two years used for academic average, applicants meet the following course level requirements:

  • Year 1: three of five full course equivalents (18 of 30 credit hours) at or above the first-year level
  • Year 2: three of five full course equivalents (18 of 30 credit hours) at or above the second-year level
  • Year 3, 4 and additional undergraduate years: three of five full course equivalents (18 of 30 credit hours) at or above the third-year level.

Course level requirements apply only to the two years considered for academic average.

In addition, only one full or equivalent pass/fail course (6 credit hours) is permissible in each year considered for academic average.

Does each semester have to have five courses, with three at or above the published academic level, to be eligible for academic average consideration?

No. Academic average and course levelling are based on the entire September to April academic year. Distribution of courses between the two semesters does not matter.

What is a full course load, full-year course, half-year course?

A full course load is 30 credit hours taken between September and April. This is typically five full-year or ten half-year courses. It does not matter how the courses are distributed between the two semesters.

A full-year course is a course that runs from September to April.

A half-year course is a course that runs from September to December, or from January to April.

If an academic year is one credit short of the course load or level requirement, can that year still be considered?

No. All applicants must meet the same minimum admissions requirements. We cannot make exceptions.

Are online, pass/fail, repeat and spring/summer courses eligible for consideration?

Online courses
Yes. Online courses must be taken as part of an undergraduate degree and may be considered as part of a full course load used for the academic average requirement, as long as they are completed between September and April. If it is not clear from the official transcript, additional documentation may be required confirming that the online courses were completed between September and April.

Pass/Fail courses
Yes. 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 pass/fail 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.

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

Spring/Summer courses
No. Courses taken during spring/summer sessions are not considered to be part of a full course load, and so cannot be included in the calculation of an academic average used for consideration. 

I have a clinical placement that is graded pass/fail. It is part of my degree requirement. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes. Schulich Dentistry will consider individuals completing undergraduate programs that require clinical placements. However, for academic average consideration a program year cannot include more than one full or equivalent pass/fail course (6 credit hours).

Accelerated and compressed Nursing programs often have mandatory pass/fail courses and clinical placements which can make it difficult for applicants with a nursing degree to meet our academic average requirement. In such cases, we may be able to use one year from the first undergraduate degree, provided that year satisfies our admission requirements.

Academic Average Considerations

What is the minimum academic average needed?

Applicants must have achieved at least 80% or higher in each of two undergraduate academic years, where each year contains five full course equivalents (30 credit hours) taken between September and April, including at least three full course equivalents (18 credit hours) whose published academic level is at or above the year of study. Only averages of completed years on file as of the application deadline will be considered. Schulich Dentistry does not average the two years to achieve 80%.

In recent cycles, the academic average of successful applicants is approximately 88% (with a range of 83-95%). Please visit the Admission Requirements webpage for complete details.

How is academic average calculated?

Academic average is based on percentage grades as indicated on officially submitted transcripts.  For institutions that indicate both a percentage and alpha grade the percentage grade is used. Institutions that use alpha grades will have the letter grade converted to the mid-point of the percentage range using the OMSAS Conversion Scale

Minimum academic average  must be met by the applicant in each of the two best undergraduate years during which they have five full or equivalent courses (30 credit hours) taken between September and April, with at least 3 full or equivalent courses (18 credit hours) whose published academic level is at or above the year of study.

Regardless of your degree program requirements, any year with less than a full course load or less than 18 credit hours of courses at that academic year level cannot be considered for academic average.

Does Schulich Dentistry use a cumulative or weighted GPA?

No. We do not use a cumulative or weighted GPA. We use academic average.

Applicants must meet the minimum academic average in EACH of the two best years which also meet our course load and course level requirements.

Will my academic average be rounded up?

No. We do not round up academic average. For example, an academic average of 79.99% would not be rounded up to 80.00%.

I'd like to use my Year 4 academic average. Do I need to take three of five courses at the fourth year level?

No. To use your Year 4 for academic average consideration, three of five full-course equivalents (18 of 30 credit hours) must be at or above the third-year level.

How does Schulich Dentistry consider the academic average of co-op students?

Schulich Dentistry will consider the best two academic years consisting of the two terms which combine to complete one of the mandatory program years, e.g. Terms 2A/2B; Terms 3A/3B; Terms 4A/4B. We will not consider two terms belonging to different program years, e.g. Terms 2B/3A.

Each academic year must contain three of five full-course equivalents (18 of 30 credit hours) at or above the published academic level of the year of study.

Can applicants take an additional undergraduate year AFTER they have graduated, to improve their academic average?

Yes. Applicants who have earned a four-year undergraduate degree from a recognized university may continue in full-time undergraduate studies (a Special Year) to improve their academic standing. Please visit the Admission Requirements webpage for complete details.

I'd like to apply during my final undergraduate year or during my Special Year. Can that year be eligible for academic average consideration?

No. Only academic years that are on record at the time of application are eligible for academic average consideration.

I have only one year in my conferred undergraduate degree that meets the minimum academic average requirement. Can I apply?

Applicants who have only one undergraduate year that meets the minimum 80% academic average, course load and course level requirements may take a Special Year for consideration as their second best year.

Please refer to “Special Years, after graduating”.

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

Can 2019-2020 be used for academic average consideration?

If the 2019-2020 academic year is one of your two best years for academic average consideration, you must have completed five full or equivalent courses (minimum 30 credit hours) between September and April, of which 3 full-course equivalents (18 credit hours) are 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 (2 half courses, 6 credit hours) will be permissible in the Fall 2019 semester.

Prerequisites

Are there prerequisite courses?

Yes. Applicants must successfully complete each of the following prerequisite subject areas: 

  • One half-year course in Organic Chemistry
  • One half-year approved course in Biochemistry
  • One full-year approved course in Human or Mammalian Physiology

Successful completion of prerequisite courses requires a pass or credit designation.

Please visit the Admission Requirements webpage for more details, including links to lists of approved courses.

When can prerequisite courses be taken?

Prerequisite courses:

  • can be taken at any time, but must be completed by April 30 of the year of entry;
  • do not have to be part of the course load of an academic year whose average is used in the application process;
  • must have been taken within 10 years of application.

Please visit the Admission Requirements webpage for more details.

Can I retake a prerequisite course to meet the minimum grade required?

Yes. Approved prerequisite courses can be retaken to achieve the minimum grade required and will not adversely affect the application.

Successful completion of prerequisite courses requires a pass or credit designation.

Will a retaken prerequisite course be eligible for consideration in one of my best two years?

Yes. If the retaken prerequisite course is taken in an academic year that is part of the undergraduate degree and if that year meets the minimum academic average, course load and course levelling parameters, then it is eligible.

What Organic Chemistry courses are acceptable?

Any half year university Organic Chemistry course is acceptable.

Chemistry courses that include sections 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.

See Western Approved Organic Chemistry Courses.

What Biochemistry courses are acceptable?

Not all Biochemistry courses cover the content our program requires, therefore only approved courses or course combinations are eligible for admission consideration.

Applicants must have taken courses that provide a thorough knowledge of basic biochemical principles and concept which must include:
  • protein structure
  • protein function including enzymology
  • interconnectedness and regulation of the central pathways of energy metabolism
  • DNA replication and repair
  • transcription
  • translation
  • basic molecular biology techniques

Although the minimum requirement is a half-year course, applicants may need to take more than one half-year Biochemistry course.

See Approved Biochemistry Course Equivalents.

What Physiology courses are acceptable?

Not all Physiology courses cover the content our program requires, therefore only  approved courses or course combination are eligible for admission consideration.

Applicants must have taken courses that provide a thorough knowledge of human or mammalian systems physiology which must include:
  • neurophysiology (autonomic, sensory, motor and integrative)
  • muscle
  • cardiovascular
  • respiratory
  • gastrointestinal
  • renal
  • endocrine
  • metabolism
  • reproduction
  • homeostasis

Although the requirement is a full year course, applicants may need to take more than a full year of Physiology courses. See Approved Physiology Course Equivalents.

What if a BioChemistry or Physiology course is not on the Approved Course Equivalents list?

If a course is not on the approved list, it does not necessarily imply that it is deficient or inadequate. If your university offers a course or course combination that covers ALL of the above-listed subject areas in detail, please email the Admissions Office to request a review by Western University.

In your email, you must:
  • explain which course or course combinations you wish to have considered, and
  • attach a detailed course syllabus for each course mentioned that includes:
    • course content
    • textbook
    • grading information

If your request includes a course not on the approved list with a course on the approved list, you MUST submit the syllabus of the approved course, as well.

If your home university does not offer a listed course, please review the list as there are other universities that have approved distance education courses.

What is the Physiology Challenge Exam?

The Physiology Challenge Exam is offered to applicants who are invited for an interview, who will not be able to fulfill the physiology course requirement by the end of the application cycle (April 30). Applicants have the opportunity to indicate their willingness to write the challenge exam as part of their application to Schulich Dentistry.

Please review the information in Physiology 2130, the course outline on which the Physiology Challenge Exam is based.

There are courses on the Approved Course Equivalents list that are no longer offered. Why?

There may be courses listed that are not offered, as they were approved courses and will remain eligible as long as they are not more than 10 years old. If a course on this list is more than 10 years old, please email the Admissions Office with the relevant information so we can update the list.

I would like to submit a course for review. When will the review be completed?

Course reviews will be completed for:

  • current applicants - between September and March
  • future applicants - between April and August

Dental Aptitude Test (Canadian)

What is the Dental Aptitude Test?

The Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) is conducted by the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) to help students assess their aptitude for a career in dentistry and to assist dental schools in selecting first-year students. The DAT is conducted in February and November each year.

For DAT scores to be eligible for admission consideration, applicants must have completed the DAT within two years of the application deadline. Only the most recent DAT score will be used. 

Schulich Dentistry keeps DAT results for the duration of their eligibility (two years) in its application process.  

For more information, visit the CDA webpage or email dat@cda-adc.ca

Is the American DAT acceptable for admission consideration?

Only non-resident Canadian applicants and international applicants may submit the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) administered by the American Dental Association (ADA), and 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.

Autobiographical Sketch & Personal Statement

What is the Autobiograhical Sketch & Personal Statement?

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

This aspect of the application is captured in the Autobiographical Sketch & Personal Statement (ABS) and provides a standardized means of reviewing non-academic applicant data.

Is the Autobiographical Sketch & Personal Statement two separate documents?

No. The Autobiographical Sketch & Personal Statement is one document with two components: the Autobiographical Sketch, and the Personal Statement.

Where can I find the Autobiographical Sketch & Personal Statement?

The Autobiographical Sketch & Personal Statement is available in late September when the applications opens and can be accessed through our How To Apply webpage.

Do you require verifier phone numbers or are email addresses sufficient?

Verifier email addresses can be included but all verifiers must have a phone number where they can be reached.

Interviews & Offers

How does Schulich Dentistry decide who to invite for an interview?

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

What does the interview process involve?

Interview notifications are emailed in late January, with interviews held approximately one month later on a Saturday or Sunday in late February. 

Interviews are 30 minutes in duration, standardized with structured questions, and conducted by a three-person panel consisting of a dentist, a senior dental student and a community member.

Schulich Dentistry interviews approximately 200 applicants for 56 seats. Please visit the Interviews webpage for more details.

How are applicants ranked to receive an offer of admission?

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

How does the wait list work?

Applicants who are not offered direct admission may be placed on a wait list. Schulich Dentistry does not provide specific candidate ranking. General information regarding relative position on the Waitlist may be obtained by contacting the Schulich Dentistry Admissions Office.

How long does the wait list remain open?

The wait list will remain active until the first day of of the DDS Program when the entire class of 56 students has been determined.

What if I will be unreachable for a period of time while the wait list is active?

Applicants who, for any reason, may not be reachable during the active wait list period may designate another person to be authorized to receive information and/or to speak on their behalf.

To designate another person, applicants must:

  • Login to their Student Center and update the "release of information" section to officially allow Schulich Admissions to speak to their designate.
  • Email to the Admissions Office to advise:
    • when they will be away, and
    • the name(s) and contact numbers(s) of the person(s) designated to receive information and/or speak on their behalf.

For detailed information about Release of Information, click here.

When and How to Apply

How do I apply?

Apply online for entry to:

Before I apply, can I submit transcripts to Schulich Dentistry to find out if I meet the admission requirement?

No. The Admissions Office does not pre-assess transcripts or review documents before receiving an application through OUAC. We are more than happy to answer questions about our admission requirements so that applicants can better determine if they meet the minimum requirements.

Does Schulich Dentistry have more than one application per year for entry into the DDS Program?

No. There is only one application each year for potential entry into the DDS Program:

For entry into Year 1, the application is available through our How To Apply webpage. The online application opens in late September and closes December 1.

For transfer into the Year 2, the application available through our Transfer Students webpage. The online application opens in early May and closes July 1.

Combined & Graduate Degree Programs

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

Schulich Dentistry does not offer a combined/concurrent Master's degree program.

Applicants wishing to complete a PhD in relation to the DDS Program may apply to the Dental Clinician Scientist (DCS) Program. Applicants accepted into the DCS Program will be offered deferred admission to Schulich Dentistry upon successful completion of their PhD in a dentally-oriented project at Western.

Applicants will be assessed by the Schulich Dental Research Committee and the Dentistry Admissions Committee.

What graduate programs does Schulich Dentistry offer?

Schulich Dentistry offers several opportunities for continued study following the completion of the DDS Program:

Additional graduate degree program offerings at Western University can be found on the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

General Inquiries

How many applications are normally received by Schulich Dentistry?

Schulich Dentistry receives approximately 500 applications each year. Up to 200 applicants are invited to attend an interview, and 56 are accepted into the DDS Program.

What are tuition costs?

Current and historic fee schedules for both domestic and international students can be found on the Office of the Registrar website.

What financial aid is available?

The Western Financial Aid Office is there to help students meet their educational goals. 

For detailed information, please visit the Office of Registrar website.

Can I tour the campus?

Tours of the Western University Campus may be booked by appointment.

Please visit the Western Visitor Information webpage for details.

Contact Information

Whom do I contact for additional information?

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