Admissions and Programs at the University of Michigan Dental School


Founded in 1875, the University of Michigan Dental School has a long and distinguished history of shaping the dental profession. For over a century, the school has been a starting point for countless successful dental professionals, who have gone on to push boundaries in research, patient care, and community service.

Today, the school remains a leader in dental innovation, constantly adapting to meet the changing needs of the field. If you're an aspiring dentist who values a rich history and cutting-edge progress, Michigan could be the perfect place to begin your career.

Keep reading to learn more about the school's programs and the admissions process.

University of Michigan Dental School Overview

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry has a rich history dating back to 1875, making it the second-oldest dental school in the nation. Throughout its history, the school has consistently led the way in dental education, research, and patient care.

School Mission

The school's core values of education, service, research, and discovery drive its mission to advance oral health on a global scale. They envision a diverse community of dental professionals leading the field through groundbreaking research, innovative teaching methods, and exemplary patient care.

A World-Class Institution with a Welcoming Community

Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the dental school is located within the renowned University of Michigan medical campus. This provides students access to a vast network of resources, including state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge research laboratories, and a vibrant community of scholars and clinicians.

Michigan offers an inclusive environment for students from all backgrounds. Whether you're a resident or an international student, you'll find a supportive community eager to help you succeed in your dental education.

Diverse Programs for Aspiring Dental Professionals

The school offers a diverse range of programs to cater to various career paths in dentistry. From the comprehensive Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program to specialized graduate degrees and research-focused tracks, Michigan has a program to match your aspirations.

Whether you dream of becoming a general dentist, a dental hygienist, a specialist, or a researcher, the University of Michigan School of Dentistry provides the foundation you need to excel in your chosen field.

University of Michigan's Dental Programs

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry offers a variety of programs for different career paths in dentistry.

Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

The DDS program is the best of the school's offerings. This four-year program provides a foundation in biomedical and clinical sciences, preparing you to deliver excellent patient care. You'll gain hands-on experience in university hospitals and specialty clinics, working alongside experienced faculty and diverse patient populations.

The program also integrates research opportunities, allowing you to explore your scientific interests and contribute to the advancement of dental knowledge.

Dental Hygiene

If your passion lies in preventive care and educating patients about oral health, the Dental Hygiene program offers undergraduate (BS) and graduate (MS) degrees. You'll learn to promote oral health in various settings, from private practices to public health clinics and schools. The program opens doors to diverse career paths, including clinical practice, research, and education.

Internationally Trained Dentist Program (ITDP)

The ITDP is recommended for international dentists who wish to practice in the United States. This 28-month program focuses on bridging the educational and cultural differences between dental systems, ensuring you're well-prepared to meet the requirements of American dental practice.

Graduate Specialty Programs

If you envision yourself specializing in a particular area of dentistry, U-M has different graduate specialty programs. These include Endodontics, Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics, Prosthodontics, and Restorative Dentistry. These programs provide in-depth training and mentorship so you can become an expert in your chosen field.

Oral Health Sciences

The Oral Health Sciences PhD and Master's Program is for students with a passion for research and a desire to advance the field of oral health. You'll work alongside renowned researchers, exploring cutting-edge topics and contributing to discoveries that can improve oral health outcomes.

Dual Degree Programs

For students seeking to broaden their horizons, U-M offers dual degree programs that combine dental education with other fields. The DDS/MBA program equips you with business acumen to deal with the complexities of dental practice management, while the DDS/PhD program prepares you for a career in academic research.

Guide to the University of Michigan Dental School Admissions

Ready to become a Wolverine Dentist? We're here to help you navigate the University of Michigan School of Dentistry's admissions process.

DDS Program

The school seeks academically strong students with a passion for dentistry and a desire to serve their community. A competitive GPA (around 3.7 for admitted students) and a high DAT score are essential. Applicants must also complete specific science coursework, so check the website for the full list of prerequisites.

Beyond academics, the admissions committee looks for well-rounded applicants with a genuine interest in dentistry. You'll need letters of recommendation from science professors and other mentors who can speak to your character and potential. You'll also need to document at least 100 hours of dental shadowing to show that you've explored the field and understand what a career in dentistry entails.

Your statement is your chance to shine. Use it to tell your unique story, your passion for dentistry, and why you believe Michigan is the right fit for you.

If your application stands out, you'll be invited to a virtual Multiple Mini Interview (MMI). This interview format includes several short stations where you'll answer questions and respond to scenarios to demonstrate your communication, critical thinking, and ethical decision-making skills.

Dental Hygiene Program

If you're passionate about preventive care and educating patients, the Dental Hygiene program might be your path. The admissions requirements are similar to the DDS program, with some slight variations in coursework. The program seeks applicants who have a strong interest in community service and oral health promotion.

Internationally Trained Dentist Program (ITDP)

For international dentists wanting to practice in the U.S., the ITDP program bridges the gap between dental education systems. You'll need passing scores on the National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) or the Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE).

The Advanced Dental Admissions Test (ADAT) is recommended, but not required. If you're an international applicant, you'll also need to submit TOEFL scores.

Tips for Getting into Michigan Dentistry

Applying to dental school is competitive, but with the right approach, you can increase your chances of getting into the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. While the admissions committee reviews each applicant holistically, here are some key areas to focus on:

Ace Your Academics

Strong academics are the foundation of a successful dental school application. Strive for a high GPA, particularly in science courses. A competitive DAT score is also essential. Dedicate ample time to study and consider using prep courses or practice tests to boost your performance.

Show Your Passion for Dentistry

Dental schools want students who are genuinely passionate about the field. Demonstrate your interest through dental shadowing experiences (at least 100 hours), volunteering at dental clinics, or participating in dental research. These experiences give you valuable insights into the life of a dentist.

Get Strong Letters of Recommendation

Ask for letters from people who know you well and can speak to your academic abilities, work ethic, and personal qualities. Science professors who have taught you in upper-level courses are ideal, as are dentists you've shadowed or mentors in the dental field.

Prepare for Your Interview

If you receive an interview invitation, prepare thoroughly. The Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format requires you to think on your feet and communicate effectively. Practice responding to various scenarios and ethical questions related to dentistry. Research the school's values and mission, and be ready to explain why you want to be a Wolverine dentist.

Career Outcomes and Opportunities

Graduates from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry are highly sought-after in the job market. The school's reputation and rigorous education translate to excellent job placement rates, with graduates finding success in various career paths.

Diverse Career Paths for Dental Professionals

Graduates secure positions in private practices, academic institutions, public health agencies, and research organizations. Alumni have become successful general dentists, specialists, educators, researchers, and leaders in the dental field.

Residency Programs

For those interested in specializing, the school offers residency programs in various dental fields. These programs provide advanced training and expertise in endodontics, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, prosthodontics, and oral and maxillofacial surgery, opening doors to rewarding careers in specialized dental practice or academia.

Join the Michigan Dental Family

The University of Michigan Dental School is a launching pad for successful dental careers. With a strong reputation and a dedication to excellence, Michigan prepares you for a fulfilling future in the field. If you're ready to take the next step, explore the school's website and contact the admissions team to learn more.

If you're looking for additional support in preparing your application, resources like Orgoman can help you strengthen your candidacy and increase your chances of admission. Your journey to becoming a Michigan dentist starts now.

Note for 2025

Starting March 1, 2025, the American Dental Association (ADA) will implement a new scoring model for the Dental Admission Test (DAT). The current 2-digit score reporting scale (1 to 30) will change to a 3-digit scale (200 to 600).