Frequently Asked Questions

What is the dental program like?

The Schulich Dentistry program at Western University is four years in length, culminating in the degree Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). The program covers basic health science, dental diagnosis, preventative and clinical practice with simulation clinic experience from Year 1. For an overview of the curriculum framework, please visit the Dentistry Program webpage.

Can I tour the campus?

Tours of Western University campus may be booked by appointment. Applicants invited to interview in April will have the opportunity to tour the Schulich Dentistry facilities at that time.

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

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. 

How do I apply?

Apply online for entry to:

How many applications are normally received?

Schulich Dentistry receives approximately 500 applications each year, of which 200 are invited for interviews and 56 are accepted into the DDS Program.

Who is eligible to apply?

To be eligible to apply to the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) Program, you must meet each of the following 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 have obtained 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 current year are not eligible for consideration.
  • Meet the minimum Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) score.
  • Have successfully completed, or be in the process of successfully completing, all prerequisite courses by April 30 of the year of entry. Successful completion requires a minimum grade of 74.5% or B. If both a numeric grade and alpha grade appear on the transcript, the numeric grade will be used.

Application to Schulich Dentistry is very competitive. Meeting minimum admission requirements does not ensure acceptance into the program.

Does Schulich Dentistry have a separate applicant pool or quotas based on whether applicants are ‘in province’ or ‘out of province’?

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

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.

What is the minimum competitive 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.

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

A full course load is considered to be an academic year with five full-year or ten half-year courses (30 credit hours) taken between September and April. It does not matter how 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.

What are the course level requirements?

Each of the two best years used for academic average must have a full course load (30 credit hours), including at least three full-year or six half-year 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.

Course level requirements apply only to the two years considered for academic average. In addition, only one full or equivalent pass/fail credit is permissible in each year considered for academic average.

What prerequisite courses are required?

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

  • One half-year course in Organic Chemistry with an in-class lab component, and
  • One half-year approved course in Biochemistry, and
  • One full-year approved course in Human or Mammalian Physiology.

Successful completion of prerequisite courses requires a minimum grade of B or 74.5%. If both a numeric grade and alpha grade appear on the transcript, the numeric grade will be used.

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

When can prerequisites be taken?

Prerequisite courses must be taken within 10 years of application. 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. 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.

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

What does the interview process involve?

Interview notifications are normally emailed in March, with interviews held approximately one month later on a Saturday or Sunday in April. 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?

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

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

Schulich Dentistry does not offer a combined-concurrent masters degree program.

Applicants wishing to complete a PhD in relation to the DDS Program must 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.

Can applicants transfer from another dental school?

Yes. However, transfer is possible only into the 2nd Year of the DDS Program and only if a vacancy is created by attrition.  For complete details please visit the Transfer Students webpage.

Can international students 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 government regulations for international students to study at a Canadian university, please visit the Government of Canada website.

What standing will my foreign dental degree have?

Internationally trained dentists are NOT eligible to apply or enter the 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 (ITD) Program. For information, please visit the ITD Program webpage. For information on credentialing foreign trained dentists, please visit the CICIC website.

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.

What are tuition costs?

Current and historic fee schedules 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.

What if I don't receive an all clear status on my police check?

In the rare instance that an applicant does not receive all clear status, the Executive of the Dentistry Admissions Committee may request a meeting with the applicant. The Committee's decision is final. If an applicant has been convicted of a criminal offence for which they have not received a pardon, an applicant is strongly urged to consult with their provincial dental association, as graduates with criminal records may not be eligible to receive licensure to practice dentistry.

Whom do I contact with questions or for further 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