Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ: Pre-Application

How do I join the University of Iowa’s Pre-Dental Club?
The Pre-Dental Club meets once a month.  The Faculty Advisor is Dr. Natalia Restrepo-Kennedy.  To join, please call the College of Dentistry Student Affairs Office at 319-335-7163 and ask for your name to be added to our email list.  The club also has a Facebook page.  Please join the group to be included in additional communication.

How can I visit campus?
Current high school student:  please call the University of Iowa Admissions Visitor Center at (319) 335-1566.
Current college student or non-traditional applicant: please call the Dental Student Admissions Office at (319) 335-7163.

FAQ: Application Related

What is the name of the dental school application?
Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS)

How many dental schools do people apply too?
There are currently 67 dental programs in the United States.  An average applicant applies to 10 dental schools.  You could apply just to Iowa, or to all 67 dental schools if you wish. ​
What do I include in the application?
You will include biographical information, DAT scores, GPA, transcripts, and the following:  Awards/Honors/Scholarships, Dentistry Experience, Extracurricular/Volunteer/Community Service, Work Experience, Research Experience, and Academic Enrichment.  In addition, you will have the opportunity to respond to your manual dexterity and compose a personal statement.
What is a competitive GPA?
We utilize a holistic review of applicants and will evaluate more than just your scores.  Our incoming D1 average GPA was a 3.7.
Is there a favored major?
Our current D1 class is comprised of 70% biology/science oriented majors.  We encourage you to pursue a major that excites you and in turn, at which you excel.  We welcome all academic majors including business, psychology, art, music, etc.  In fact, we do not require a major or degree for admission.  Though most applicants choose to pursue an undergraduate degree, only our pre-requisite courses are required to be passed and completed for admission. 
Should I take an anatomy class?
Though not required, many of our current students have benefitted from enrolling in an anatomy courses as an undergraduate student.​
Does my Advanced Placement (AP) credit transfer?
Please speak with an academic advisor at your undergraduate institution.   You may also visit our Transfer Course Database.
What elective classes should I consider?
We encourage you to take courses that you have a vested interest in.  Often, we will see students pursue a world language, business courses, psychology, acting, entrepreneurship, art, and additional science courses.
What is a competitive DAT score?
We utilize a holistic review of applicants and will evaluate more than just scores.  Our incoming D1 average DAT score was a 21 over each sub-section of the test.
Do I need physics for the DAT?
Out of all of the subject materials on the DAT, physics is the one pre-requisite at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry not included on the test.  All of the pre-requisite courses must be completed and passed before matriculation.  We encourage you to not put off physics, or any of the other courses, as our Admissions Committee will review your transcripts and courses when you apply.  We like to see your great work and progress on our pre-requisite courses!
Tell me about letters of evaluation.
The University of Iowa College of Dentistry requires 3 letters of evaluation.  AADSAS will allow you to submit up to 4 letters of evaluation.  We will read the 4th if you choose to submit it.  We encourage you to ask the authors of your letters to write on letterhead and sign their letters.  The University of Iowa College of Dentistry makes letters of evaluation easy for you!  We do not specify who your letters need to be from.  Please ask sources who can speak to your character and life experience.  You may also consider authors with strong written communication skills who will submit letters in a timely fashion.  In addition, we only accept letters via AADSAS.  See also common phrases and keywords. 
How do I accumulate shadowing experiences?
The University of Iowa Pre-Dental Club covers this material.  Please attend!  We advise that you contact area dentists inquiring if they allow Pre-Dental students to shadow.  If they agree (and most are happy to help!), ask what date/time frame, what attire is appropriate for you to wear, and what their expectations are of you while in their office space. 80% of Iowa dentists are graduates of our program. We encourage you to call your local area dentist and ask about shadowing opportunities. 
Is there a minimum number of hours I need to shadow to be competitive?
The University of Iowa College of Dentistry does not have a minimum shadowing requirement.  We do like to see depth and breadth of shadowing experiences.  The more practitioners you are able to observe, the more exposure you will have to a variety of philosophies on running a business, patient interaction, specialty arenas, etc.
Do I need research experience?
Research is not a requirement.​
Does the University of Iowa require a supplemental application?
The University of Iowa College of Dentistry will offer institutional specific questions on the AADSAS application, which is a new feature starting summer 2017.  If you are invited to interview, we will require a processing fee of $60.  There are no additional essay prompts beyond the AADSAS application. 
How can I impress your Admissions Committee?
Our Admissions Committee looks for candidates who not only show their academic success, but candidates who also display a level of personal growth through life experiences. In addition to leadership and shadowing opportunities, pursue involvements that align with your values and goals and describe those experiences in detail on your application. While academic success is important, our Admissions Committee also appreciates applicants with diverse backgrounds.

FAQ: Interview

How is the decision about admissions made?
The decision about your application is made by an Admissions Committee composed of 15 faculty, staff, and a community member.

What/when will I hear about my application?
The sooner you submit your application, the faster you will hear back from our committee.  Our process rolls and we work quickly to fill our class.  The AADSAS application opens the first business day in June each year.  Our deadline is October 1.  Your application must be submitted in entirety (DAT scores, complete application, and all of your letters of evaluation) before we will review it.  The first date that any dental school can communicate an acceptance is December 1.

Are University of Iowa undergraduate students favored?
We choose the best applicants to join our D1 class.  Frequently, these are undergraduate students from the University of Iowa but there is no advantage for applicants having attended the University of Iowa.  Our current D1 class is composed of 23% students who completed an undergraduate experience at the University of Iowa.