DDS Admissions Criteria

The admissions process is competitive. A holistic review is provided for each candidate considering academic records, personal statement, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, interview assessment and any other information provided by the candidate.

To apply a candidate must:

  • Have completed 90 college credit hours toward completion of a bachelor’s degree and are eligible to enroll after completing 120 hours of college credit and/or a baccalaureate degree.
  • DAT Academic Average (AA): 16 minimum; 17 and above preferred; 20 average for accepted students
      • Multiple subscores below a 17 will impact a candidate’s competitiveness
  • Science & Math GPA (SGPA): 3.0 minimum, 3.4 and above preferred, 3.7 average for accepted students.
  • Be a citizen of the United States or a foreign national with a visa permitting permanent residence (only exception is for candidates who are part of the “UMKC-Kuwait Dental Agreement”)
  • As a public institution financially supported by the state of Missouri, our first obligation is to qualified residents of Missouri. Additionally, we have formal or informal agreements with the states of Kansas, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Hawaii to accept qualified residents of those states. Preferred consideration will be given to applicants who are residents of the five states listed above. Applicants from other states are welcome to apply and are considered on an individual basis for highly qualified candidates.
  • Submit an application for admission with the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service. The centralized application includes candidate’s personal information, experiences, personal statement, coursework and recommendation letters. A minimum of three letters of recommendation or one pre-health advisory committee letter is required. If there is not a pre-health advisory committee at least one letter from a faculty member and one from a dentist is required.

Academic Prerequisites

Candidates are allowed to take prerequisite courses while applying. All prerequisite courses must be completed by the end of the spring semester immediately prior to the fall start of the program.

One semester of the following, with lab, if lab is offered

  • General Biology
  • Anatomy (or Anatomy & Physiology I and II sequence)
  • Physiology (or Anatomy & Physiology I and II sequence)
  • Biochemistry
  • One of the following courses: Cell Biology / Histology / Microbiology / Molecular Biology

First and second semesters of the following with lab, if lab is offered

  • Chemistry I &II
  • Organic Chemistry I & II
  • Physics I & II
  • English Composition I & II (or other writing intensive courses)

Additional recommended courses include cell biology, histology, microbiology, molecular biology, immunology, genetics, ethics, statistics, public health, social sciences, psychology, nutrition, business, communications, art, ceramics, 3-D design, and Spanish (other foreign languages)

The following reflect positively on a candidate’s application:

  • A minimum of 100 hours of ongoing dental shadowing/work experiences in 3+ different practices.
  • A minimum of 100 hours of ongoing community service in 3+ different organizations, exhibiting evidence of service and compassion
  • Demonstration of the ability to critically think and problem solve.
  • Evidence of strong personal character (maturity, self-reliance, leadership, understanding of diversity and justice).
  • Effective interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to balance a demanding academic schedule with extracurricular activities and/or employment (time management and organization).

The CASPer exam is an online assessment used to assist us in assessing non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that are important for successful students and dentists. It is a tool the UMKC School of Dentistry has adopted to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our holistic application review. It is strongly encouraged for applicants to take the exam and will be required for interview candidates (there are limited test dates). Do not take an exam prior to when you begin your ADEA AADSAS application as CASPer scores are only valid for the current cycle in which you are applying. Please visit for information regarding registration/fees, sample videos, and simulated practice tests. Results can take up to three weeks to reach the Office of Admissions.

Technical Standards
Candidates must attest to having the abilities and skills in the following areas to satisfactorily complete the curriculum: (1) Observation (2) Communication (3) Motor (4) Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities (5) Emotional and Behavioral Attributes. Full details available at Technical Standards.