university of maryland dental school admissions

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

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The University of Maryland Dental School offers a unique and competitive admissions process. The application process for the dental school is competitive, with only 10% of applicants gaining admission each year. The application requires personal essays, recommendations from professors, and an interview with a dental school representative. The University of Maryland Dental School has a rolling admissions process, so you can apply at any time throughout the year.

The University of Maryland Dental School accepts applications from both undergraduate and graduate students, however it is more competitive to get into the program if you do not have a bachelor’s degree. In order to be eligible for admission into the program, you must have completed at least two years of prerequisite courses with a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4-point scale.

university of maryland dental school acceptance rate

university of maryland dental school admissions

Dentistry is an exciting profession, and the University of Maryland offers exceptional educational programs for prospective members of the oral health professions. The University of Maryland, School of Dentistry, the first school in the world to offer a science-based curriculum in dentistry, is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, (267) 284-5000.

Programs in dental education; dental hygiene education; the advanced dental education programs in endodontics, oral and maxillofacial pathology, and oral maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, and prosthodontics; the general practice residency program (12 months) and the advanced education program in general dentistry program (12 and 24 months) are offered and accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and have been granted the accredited status of approval.

The University of Maryland, School of Dentistry seeks to enroll the highest caliber of students who will become exemplary health care professionals. Quality is the preeminent criterion in the admissions process. Our admissions process strives to identify applicants who possess the ability to think critically and who have demonstrated independence and self-direction. In all respects, applicants must give every promise of becoming successful students and practitioners of the highest ethical standards.

Application Guidelines

dds_application_guidelinesApplicants must apply through the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). The AADSAS application for admission must be completed and submitted by close of business on December 31. Because of the rolling basis of the admissions process, applicants are urged to apply much earlier than the application deadline.

At the same time the AADSAS application is submitted, applicants should send a non-refundable application fee in the amount of $90, made payable to the University of Maryland. An application cannot be processed or reviewed by the Office of Admissions until the application fee has been received.

The application fee can be paid online, or by check or money order. Application fees should be accompanied by the applicant’s name (as it appears on their AADSAS application) and AADSAS number. Mailed application fees should be addressed to:

Office of Admissions University of Maryland School of Dentistry Dean’s Suite – 6th Floor South 650 West Baltimore Street – Suite 6410 Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Once applications are processed by the Office of Admissions, they are carefully reviewed. This evaluation includes a review of the academic record, DAT scores, essay, and other information included as part of the AADSAS application. Candidates whose applications meet preliminary screening criteria will be invited to continue with the admissions process and will receive an invitation to complete the University of Maryland supplemental application. Upon receipt of the completed supplemental application, applicants advancing in the admissions process will be invited for an interview with members of the Committee on Dental Recruitment and Admissions. A personal interview does not guarantee admission.

Links of Interest

Bachelor of Science Program

Applicants for the Dental Hygiene Bachelor of Science program should begin to submit their applications November 1 and no later than February 1 EXTENDED to February 15 to be considered for admission. The recommended minimum GPA for applicants is 3.0; preference in admission is given to students with high scholastic averages, especially in the sciences. Applications that are submitted or remain incomplete after the deadline will not be considered. A minimum of 16-20 of the 24 science credits MUST be complete at the end of the fall semester PRIOR to the fall you wish to be considered for our program. All pre-requisite courses MUST be complete at the end of the spring semester PRIOR to the fall you wish to be considered for our dental hygiene program.

Courses must be from a USA regionally accredited University or College. The dental hygiene program will accept on a case by case basis general credit by examination in the areas of non-science courses such as sociology, psychology, humanities, social sciences and English. The individual must contact the admissions advisor for the specific program of interest for individual advising and review of coursework. Possibly up to 6-9 credits MAY be acceptable.

Baccalaureate degree-seeking students are also required to observe a registered dental hygienist who is presently working in practice for a minimum of eight hours to increase awareness and knowledge of the profession prior to applying for the Dental Hygiene Program.  Please use this form PDF‌ for documenting your experiences and hours shadowing a registered dental hygienist in clinical practice. 

Applications for the Bachelor of Science program are reviewed by the committee on Dental Hygiene Recruitment and Admissions for the following:

  • Completeness of application
  • Completion of required prerequisite courses
  • GPA of required science courses
  • Overall GPA of required courses
  • Overall academic record (including repeated courses, failures, withdrawals, etc.)
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Professional demeanor
  • Potential for and demonstration of leadership qualities
  • Interest and knowledge of the dental hygiene profession
  • Completion of pre-application dental hygiene shadowing experiences
  • Quality of recommendation letters
  • Candidates whose applications meet preliminary screening criteria will be invited to continue with the admissions process and will be invited for an interview with members of the Committee on Dental Hygiene Recruitment and Admissions. A personal interview does not guarantee admissions.

While it is not a program requirement, it is highly recommended that our students purchase loupes for use in the program; the use of loupes is considered state of the art and assists in vision and ergonomics. The cost of loupes is not included in your tuition and fees, therefore, we recommend students budget for such a purpose in the fall of their first year. The approximate cost of loupes for a student is $1500. Vendors regularly visit our school and a vendor night is held annually for purchases such as this.

The University of Maryland Dental Hygiene Program is accredited regionally by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, (267) 284-5000 and the Commission on Dental Accreditation, (CODA).


Application materials may be submitted via postal mail or email to [email protected] (email is preferred). If you are submitting by email, your application materials must be in the file formats listed below.

If you decide to mail your documents please use the mailing address in your signature page at the end of your MD Application.

A group of studentsThe following application materials should be submitted by February 15:

Official transcripts must be received from each college or university attended.  Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by WES or ECE. DO NOT OPEN THE SEALED ENVELOPES or the transcripts will not be official and new ones will be needed. If you are enrolled in school during the fall semester, request another transcript after fall grades have been included.

  • Two Letters of Recommendation – Permitted file format: PDF (see note)

One recommendation letter must be from a college-level science teacher and another from a dental hygienist or dentist.  Letters should be addressed to the Committee on Dental Hygiene Recruitment and Admissions.  Each letter should be placed in a sealed envelope with the referrer’s signature across the closure and submitted with the application.  Please use the downloadable Recommendation Letter Form PDF.  Letters of recommendation must be from non-family members. Members of the Dental Hygiene faculty at the University of Maryland CANNOT write letters of recommendation. You may wish to submit another recommendation from an employer for a total of three (3) letters of recommendation.

International Students

  • Applicants must submit completed applications and all supporting documents, by November 15.
  • Foreign documents must be certified official and be submitted in sealed envelopes from the institution issuing them. If the documents are not in English, they must include an English translation.
  • WES www.wes.org or ECE www.ece.org evaluations are required. Ask for a course by course evaluation.

Only courses equivalent in U.S. course names, U.S. letter grades and U.S.  semester hours from the Phase I Preprofessional Curriculum categories of inorganic chemistry (also known as general chemistry), organic chemistry, basic statistics, social sciences, lower level elective and humanity elective if taken will be considered.

 At minimum, the remaining  Phase I Preprofessional Curriculum courses in General Biology w/lab, Anatomy & Physiology I & II with labs, Microbiology with lab, Principles of Nutrition, English composition, Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Sociology and Public Speaking must be completed at a U.S. accredited college or university prior to applying to the University of Maryland Dental School for the Phase II Professional Dental Hygiene Curriculum.

  • Please see http://www.umaryland.edu/ois for rules and regulations regarding international students.
  • Applicants born outside the U.S. and who have never attended a U.S. college or university must demonstrate English language proficiency. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required. Results should be sent to the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs. The code number is 5848.

TOEFL scores must be between 80-85 iBT (internet based test), 550 paper based or 213 computer based to be considered for the dental hygiene program here at the University of Maryland Baltimore.

Letters of Recommendation

letters of recommendationThe Committee on Dental Recruitment and Admissions strongly prefers to receive a recommendation package from the applicant’s institutional pre-professional committee and a letter from a general or specialized dentist documenting at least 100 shadowing hours.

If no such committee is available, letters of recommendation from one science professor may be substituted. There are no substitutions for the letter of recommendation from a general or specialized dentist. 

Letters of Recommendation must be included as part of the application materials submitted to AADSAS. Letters must be on official letterhead and bear the recommender’s signature. The Office of Admissions will not accept any letters of recommendation sent directly. 

Currently AADSAS allows four letters of recommendation, so please ensure that the required letters are included in your application packet.

university of maryland dental school financial aid

Links of Interest

Frequently Asked Questions

Please review this information in its entirety to get the answers to your admissions questions.  These questions will be modified as needed.

COVID-19 Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Postgrad FAQ

COVID-19 Questions

Will Pass/Fail course grades be accepted?

Due to the unforeseen circumstances caused by COVID-19, we will accept “Passing” grades for courses taken between SPRING 2020 and FALL 2021, but we prefer letter grades.

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How do I request a tour of the facilities?

We typically offer three tours of our building and the campus in summer. Due to COVID-19, we will not be hosting those tours but we will be hosting Virtual Q&A sessions, please check our site for available dates.

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Are the letters of recommendation requirements changing in regard to many dental offices being closed due to COVID-19?

While we understand the medical seriousness of COVID-19 we are not waiving the dentist letter of recommendation for applicants. Please get a letter of recommendation from a dentist with whom you have done the most shadowing hours. S/he should not be a parent.

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Will we waive required shadowing hours in light of COVID-19?

We typically look for applicants to have a minimum of 100 shadowing hours from multiple dentists across several disciplines. However, in light of COVID-19, we will view files and evaluate shadowing hours on a case by case basis.

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Do you accept virtual shadowing hours?

We will accept up to 20 hours of virtual shadowing. We will also require an additional 50 hours of in-person shadowing.

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My DAT was canceled or rescheduled due to COVID-19, should I still apply?

We understand that the ADA has reduced the number of seats for the DAT and the testing dates are being rescheduled. We will place your file on hold to await your official DAT scores and we have modified our admissions cycle to accommodate the late receipt of some DAT scores.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Am I able to set up a meeting with an advisor to discuss my Dental School application?

The University of Maryland does not have advisors or counselors and we ask that you do not send us any unofficial documents. All materials should be submitted via ADEA AADSAS as a part of your formal application.

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Does your institution accept AP/ IB Credits?

AP and IB credits will be accepted on a case-by-case basis and must appear on your official college transcript as credit for a specific course to be accepted.

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I have missed the application deadline. Can I still apply to the program?

The December 31 application deadline is final and all application materials must be received by this date. If your application is not complete and verified by this date, you are welcome to re-apply.

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Does your institution conduct background checks?

Currently, we do not conduct background checks of incoming students.

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What courses am I able to substitute for the English composition prerequisite?

Any writing-intensive course may be substituted for this prerequisite. If you are unsure, please send a copy of your course syllabus to [email protected].

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Does your institution accept prerequisite courses older than 10 years?

All courses must be completed 10 years from matriculation into the program, with the exception of English Composition.

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Does your institution offer an application fee waiver?

No we do not offer any application fee waivers.

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May I request the email addresses of the faculty member/student with whom I interviewed to send thank-you notes?

Please send all thank-you notes to the Office of Admissions [email protected] and we will forward them to their recipients.

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What scholarships are available to current applicants?

The Admissions Office awards recruitment scholarships but students can also apply for scholarships with the Office of Development and Alumni Relations once you matriculate.

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What are your recommendations on taking a gap year before applying to the program?

We generally recommend taking upper level science courses to help with boosting your GPA, continuing your shadow hours, and improving your DAT scores. We do not see a gap year in any negative way.

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How can I improve my application to be a more competitive applicant?

Applicants are initially evaluated based on GPA, DAT scores, membership in a pre-dental association and hours of shadowing. Please keep in mind that our average GPA last year was 3.6 and our average DAT score was about 21. We do not consider applicants with DATs below 18. Thus, improving your application may mean enrolling in a Masters program or post bacc to raise your GPA. If that is what you decide, we will expect a 3.5 GPA in post-grad courses because you typically take only three per semester. These are suggestions but they are not a prescription for successful admittance to our program.

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Am I eligible to apply for this program with my current statistics?

You may certainly apply but the statistics in the previous question enhance your chances of being invited to interview.

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How are repeated courses favored in my application?

We will see all previous courses listed on your transcripts. The Admissions Office is not responsible for calculating GPA however; this is done by ADEA AADSAS at the time of application.

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Do I have to resubmit my official transcripts to the school again if I did when I applied?

Please do not send us any transcripts unless requested. Official transcripts are not needed until you are accepted into our program then we will need your official transcripts again that confer your Degree.

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What is the status of my application?

Please check WebAdmit to find your most recent application status. We will communicate with applicants directly via email if we require the submission of additional information.

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May I submit additional application materials?

Please do not send any additional documents outside of our application requirements.

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Do you accept the most recent or highest course grade and DAT score?

We consider applicants’ highest grade for courses retaken and the most recent DAT score.

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Do you accept international students into the DDS program?

Yes, however international students are not eligible for financial aid or scholarships.

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Will I receive a confirmation email once my application is received?

It may take up to four weeks for the Admissions Office to receive your AADSAS application. Once we do, the status will be updated on the WebAdmit website. We will only reach out to applicants via email if we require additional information.

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Where will I find the supplemental application?

We send out supplemental application invitations and instructions via email to candidates who meet preliminary screening criteria.

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Do I have to major in a science field to apply to the DDS program?

While most students applying do major in biology or one of the sciences, students majoring in non-science disciplines, who meet our prerequisites, are encouraged to apply.

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I am retaking the DAT after submitting my application. What will happen to my application in the Admissions Office?

If you have indicated on your AADSAS application that you intend to retake the DAT, your file will remain on hold and will not be reviewed until our office receives your new scores. If you indicated on your application that you are retaking the DAT and decide not to retake the DAT, please notify our office so that we will know to review your file with current scores and your application will no longer be “on hold.”

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Where do I send letters of recommendation? May I send more than the required number of letters?

All letters of recommendation should only be uploaded directly to your AADSAS online application; you may upload up to four letters. Please remember, all letters of recommendation must be on official letterhead and signed by the person writing the letter. This means you will probably have to scan in these letters.

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What should be included in my letter of recommendation?

All letters of recommendation should include the number of hours shadowed with the dentist and a signature from the dentist on official office letterhead. Please choose the dentist who knows you best (besides a parent or family member) so they may speak to your personality and work ethic.

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I have documented over 100 shadowing hours between several dentists, would a letter from one of them with whom I have shadowed at least 20 hours be acceptable?

Yes, it would. Our requirement of a minimum of 100 shadowing hours should be with multiple dentists. We recommend that your Dentist Letter of Recommendation come from the dentist where you have done most of your shadowing hours.

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Postgrad FAQ

What is the minimum TOEFL score accepted?

We require a minimum TOEFL score of 80. You may also substitute the IELTS for the TOEFL which requires a band score of at least 7.0.

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I am a permanent U.S. resident, currently working here. Do I still need TOEFL/IELTS?

If you have attended a school in the US or Canada and can provide an Official transcript, you do not need to provide TOEL/ IELTS scores.

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Are international applicants required to submit NBDE scores?

Yes, international applicants must adhere to all program requirements listed on our website.

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If accepted to the program, does the school assist internationally trained dentists with applying for a visa?

The Office of International Services will assist applicants with VISA paperwork. Please watch your email for notification from this office.

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I requested information for the Advanced Standing program. When will I hear back about if I qualify?

The Advanced Standing program can only admit new students as space becomes available. We will retain your information until the end of the current admissions cycle and then you would need to complete the information card again next year if you are still interested.

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Do internationally trained dentists qualify for a stipend?

International applicants do not qualify for stipends or financial aid.

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What’s the max number of programs I can apply to? Do I have to submit my documents more than once?

Each applicant can apply to the AEGD program as well as one other program. Application materials that cannot be submitted through PASS should be emailed to [email protected]

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What are the tuition and fees for post-grad programs?

All tuition information can be found information on the Bursar’s page. These fees are pe semester unless otherwise noted https://www.umaryland.edu/financialservices/student-accounting/tuition-and-fees-by-school/.

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Will I be licensed to practice in the U.S. after this program?

Information on acquiring licensure in the U.S. can be found here: https://www.ada.org/en/education-careers/licensure/state-dental-licensure-for-us-dentists.

Tuition Program

Academic Common Market

The Academic Common Market (ACM) is a program consisting of sixteen Southern states that participate in a higher education consortium. ACM affords students an opportunity to enroll in certain out-of-state bachelor’s and graduate degree programs that are not offered within the student’s home state’s public college or university, at reduced tuition rates. The following states are partners in the ACM consortium: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida (graduate programs only), Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina (graduate programs with restrictions) Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas (graduate programs only), Virginia, and West Virginia. Therefore, if you have not earned a previous bachelor’s degree, reside in one of these states and a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene is not offered in your home state, and if you wish to come to the University of Maryland, Baltimore to obtain your Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene, you may want to explore your eligibility for a ACM tuition waiver with your home state’s higher education commission. The Delaware ACM, see link above, has been successfully utilized by eligible Degree Completion students residing in Delaware.

District of Columbia Tuition Assistance Grant Program

The DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DCTAG) is a grant that allows you to attend any public institution in the nation as if you’re a resident of the school’s state. You pay the low in-state tuition and the grant pays the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition up to $10,000 a year. With a maximum of 5 award years that can amount to a lifetime of $50,000, this grant makes affordable college tuition a reality. This program has been successfully utilized by eligible Degree Completion students residing in Washington, DC.


Office of Admissions

ddsadmissions​@​umaryland.edu650 W. Baltimore St.
Suite 6410 (Dean’s Suite, 6th Floor South)
Baltimore, MD 21201
P 410-706-7472

F 410-706-0945

The University of Maryland Dental School is a nationally recognized program that offers unparalleled education to its students. The school’s admissions process begins by assessing each applicant’s academic record, personal statement, and letters of recommendation. If the applicant meets the minimum requirements for admission, they will be invited to interview with one of our staff members. If the interview goes well, the applicant will be invited to attend an information session before being considered for acceptance into the dental program.

If you are interested in applying to our dental school, please check out our website [website address] to learn more about our admissions requirements and procedures!

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