The University of Tennessee College of Dentistry admits one class per year beginning in August. The program, which leads to the Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree, is a program, four years in length which consists of nine months for the first two years and eleven months for the last two clinical years.
Much of the first two years is devoted to the biomedical sciences of anatomy, biochemistry, histology, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, and physiology. Preclinical technical courses are also taught to achieve a close correlation of the basic sciences with the clinical disciplines.
As the state’s flagship health science center, UTHSC aims to improve human health through education, research, clinical care, and public service. A variety of professional programs are offered through the six colleges that comprise the health science center. These programs prepare skilled health care professionals to meet the health care needs of the state of Tennessee and surrounding communities. To this end the campus welcomes applications from women and men of all races, creeds, and cultures who can pursue their studies in an environment that values intellectual curiosity, the pursuit of knowledge, excellence, compassion, and integrity. The College of Dentistry admissions committee selects highly qualified applicants, seeking to enroll students from all regions and from a variety of backgrounds so as to provide access to a broad range of students and to serve the needs of the state’s diverse communities for skilled health care providers.
Fulfillment of the basic requirements does not guarantee admission. The College of Dentistry's Admissions Committee selects the applicants it considers best qualified for the study and practice of dentistry from the pool of applicants who meet the basic requirements.
The Admissions Committee reviews the cumulative grade point average, science grade point average, DAT score, interview, Pre-Professional Evaluation, and letters of recommendation. The years in school, any trend in grades, degrees attained, awards, and such personality characteristics as motivation and social awareness are also considered.
Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States at the time of application.
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, sex, religion, creed, or handicapping condition.
- English Composition: 6 semester hours
- Biology (General): 8 semester hours
- Chemistry (General: Lecture and Lab): 8 semester hours
- Chemistry (Organic: Lecture and Lab): 8 semester hours
- Physics (Lecture and Lab): 8 semester hours
- Biochemistry (Lecture): 3 semester hours
Other Biology (Applicants must take ONE of the following):
- Histology: 4 semester hours
- Microbiology: 4 semester hours
- Comparative Anatomy: 4 semester hours
- Total: 97
In addition to the required courses, elective courses can be chosen from the following: genetics, comparative anatomy, developmental biology, cell biology, histology, microbiology, molecular biology, physiology, and neurobiology. Non-science elective courses may be chosen from: philosophy, business administration, economics, public speaking, computer science and courses in the social sciences.
All accepted students are expected to arrive on campus with a Bachelor's degree or higher. Exceptions to this rule are possible, but they must be initiated by the candidate. A candidate who is granted a waiver to this rule is notified in writing.
Grade Point Averages
A minimum grade point average of 2.75 is expected in all required subjects attempted and in cumulative course work. Due to the competition among applicants, classes are filled with those who have higher academic averages. Prospective applicants should strive to maintain a prescribed and cumulative grade point average well above a 3.00.
A personal interview at the College of Dentistry, by invitation of the Admissions Committee, is necessary prior to acceptance. The interview will include a tour of the school, the receipt of information about financial aid, and the opportunity to talk with faculty and students. During the interview, the committee looks for evidence of such personal qualities as integrity, motivation, and maturity. The committee also expects applicants to have been exposed to the delivery of dental care as properly licensed participants (dental assistant or dental hygienist, for example) or as observers.
Advanced Placement Credit
We accept all CLEP and advanced placement credits as long as your undergraduate institution acknowledges and awards said credits.
- Applicants who have made grades of less than "C" in required courses are required to repeat those courses.(Both grades are utilized in computing grade point averages.)
- All science courses must include the complete laboratory requirement concurrent to those courses.
- Correspondence/ on-line courses are not accepted for required course work. Credit for elective courses from correspondence/ on-line sources is limited to 6 semester hours (9 quarter hours) and should be approved by the Office of Admissions prior to scheduling.
- Each applicant is expected to comply with the general requirements of the college attended, including the non-academic requirements.
- The Committee on Admissions reserves the right to require any candidate to complete additional course work irrespective of his or her academic average at the time of evaluation.
- Hours and grades on activity courses (such as physical education, band, ROTC, etc) are not utilized when calculating grade point averages.
- Questions concerning course work and assistance in selecting specific courses may be answered by contacting the pre-health science advisor and/or the Office of Admissions at the UT Health Science Center College of Dentistry.
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation are not mandatory but are accepted through the AADSAS application ONLY. Please do not send additional letters of recommendation to the College of Dentistry.
The Admissions Committee values letters of recommendation from the applicant's college professors or pre-professional committee (if one exists) above all others.
Dental Admissions Test
All dental school applicants must take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) that is administered by the American Dental Association. The test should be taken before applying. Dental Aptitude Text Examinees will be limited to three (3) opportunities to participate in the testing program. The Admissions Committee uses the DAT as a very important marker of applicant performance.
The DAT examines applicants in six (6) general areas: Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Reasoning and Perceptual Ability. Scores received in these areas will also be averaged resulting in two additional scores for Science and Academics for a total of eight scores. Scores in each area may range from 1-30 points for a maximum of 240 possible points. An applicant with a DAT score of 140 points or better will be considered for an interview.
Scores that are generally competitive are an Academic Average of 19 (or better) and no scores of 17 or below.
Policy on Communication
It is the policy of the College of Dentistry that in matters of admission, the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs communicates only with the applicant.
Candidate Review Factors Used by the Admissions Committee
When considering candidates for possible admission, the Admissions Committee reviews the entire scope of information that is available on each applicant. For each candidate this includes the academic record (i.e., overall GPA, science GPA and last 30 semester credit hours GPA), Dental Admissions Test scores, responses to items on the Application Survey, interview assessment, and any other information provided by the candidate (e.g., personal statement, letters of recommendation, etc.). In addition, the committee will expect evidence of the following factors in making the difficult choices among candidates.
- Demonstrated exploration of the profession of dentistry
- Demonstrated commitment to community service
- Evidence of critical thinking and problem solving ability (e.g., performance in courses requiring this skill, such as laboratory segments or formal logic or research experiences)
- Full academic loads with evidence of a broad liberal arts and sciences education (i.e., fine arts, business, mathematics, humanities, computer science, etc.)
- A range of extracurricular activities, especially those demanding a significant leadership role
- Demonstrated ability to balance full academic schedules with extracurricular involvement and/or employment (i.e., effective and efficient management of time)
Application to the Undergraduate Program
All applications to the College of Dentistry must be submitted through AADSAS: portal.aadsasweb.org/.
Applicants to programs of the College of Dentistry must possess the following general qualities: critical thinking, sound judgment, emotional stability and maturity, empathy, physical and mental stamina. Applicants must possess the ability to acquire knowledge, surgical skills and technical functions and use such knowledge, skills, and functions in a wide variety of didactic, laboratory, and clinical settings at an acceptable level of competency, as defined by the college. The technical standards in their entirety can be found here.
Criminal Background Check
All newly accepted students must have an approved Criminal Background Check prior to matriculation at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Once accepted, applicants will receive information as to how to apply for the criminal background check. A potential exists that an accurate negative Criminal Background Check report could affect a student's enrollment status at UTHSC:
Misrepresentation of Academic Credentials
Misrepresentation of academic credentials is a Class A misdemeanor in Tennessee. A person commits the offense of misrepresentation of academic credentials who, knowing that the statement is false and with the intent to secure employment at or admission to an institution of higher education in Tennessee, represents, orally or in writing, that such person: (1) has successfully completed the required course work for and has been awarded one or more degrees or diplomas from an accredited institution of higher education; (2) has successfully completed the required course work for and has been awarded one or more degrees or diplomas from a particular institution of higher education; or (3) has successfully completed the required course work for and has been awarded one or more degrees or diplomas in a particular field or specialty from an accredited institution of higher education.
Diversity at the College
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry defines diversity broadly. Groups included are:
- Applicants who are members of under-represented racial and ethnic groups
- Applicants who are first generation college students
- Applicants who are over 30 years of age
- Applicants who are veterans of the United States Armed Forces
- Applicants who reside in a rural county and/or a county in which there are few health professionals (applies to Tennessee applicants only)
Computer Requirement (updated for Fall 2013)
Students enrolling in the first-year class of the College of Dentistry will be required to arrive with a laptop computer. This computer must be purchased before matriculation into the first year and can be acquired from any reputable source. The College of Dentistry has no provisions for providing a laptop to students whose own laptop proves to be inoperable upon arriving at UT. In addition, the College cannot assist students whose laptop does not meet the specifications and proves to be inadequate for the student to perform their required lessons. The laptop must meet the following specifications:
- Windows-based or Apple MacBook Pro laptop (with Window 7; recommended) (no netbooks)
- Intel Core Duo, Core 2 Duo or newer equivalent (Intel i3, i5 or i7)
- Windows 7 or Mac OS 10.7 (Lion)
- 4 gigabytes of memory or greater
- 13 inch or larger screen
- 250 gigabyte hard drive or larger
- Built-in RJ-45 Ethernet port OR an external jack for Ethernet RJ-45 connection
- Internal optical drive capable of playing and writing CDs and playing DVDs (combo drive) OR external drive with same capability
- Major manufacturer brand (i.e. Apple, Dell, Gateway, Sony, HP, or Toshiba)
- A 3-year "in home" warranty and accidental breakage and loss insurance are highly recommended
- Antivirus software will not be provided by the University but must be installed on the computer to access the campus network. We recommend the free, downloadable antivirus software from Microsoft, called Microsoft Security Essentials
- However, any well-known antivirus solution will be adequate.
- Mac computers can get ClamXav for free at: http://www.clamxav.com/
- Students are also required to have a standard 6 ft. long Ethernet cable
* Please note that MacBook Air does not have an internal optical drive or built-in ethernet and therefore does not meet the laptop requirements.
If you have any questions regarding these requirements please contact our IT Help Desk at 901-448-2222.
University of Tennessee Health Science Center Policies
Unless specifically noted on the College of Dentistry website, the College of Dentistry adheres to all relevant University of Tennessee Health Science Center Policies regarding admissions, academics and student, faculty and staff conduct.
Office of Admissions
& Student Affairs
875 Union Avenue
S-102 Dunn Bldg.
Memphis, Tennessee 38163