Admission requirements

Admission requirements

A minimum of three years of academic studies (90 semester hours or equivalent, including the prerequisite courses listed below) is required at an accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university. However, we recommend that students complete a four-year curriculum leading to a B.S. or B.A. degree. Students may also attend an accredited community college for a maximum of two years (60 semester hours or equivalent) followed by a minimum of two years (60 semester hours or equivalent) at an accredited four-year degree-granting institution. It is preferred that prerequisite courses be completed no more than five years prior to applying and all other courses be completed no more than 10 years before applying.

Prerequisite coursesSemester hoursQuarter hours
General biology
including lab and lecture
8 12
General inorganic chemistry
including lab and lecture
8 12
Organic chemistry
including lab and lecture
8 12
College or university level physics
including lab and lecture
8 12
Biochemistry 3 4 or 5

Strongly Recommended Courses

  • 300/3000 level and above biology courses
  • Behavioral science courses
  • Courses involving the use of psychomotor skills

Technical skills

In order to successfully complete the dental curriculum at VCU, students must meet nonacademic criteria for motor, sensory/observation, communication, cognitive and behavioral abilities, as listed in the School of Dentistry Technical Standards. Accordingly, applicants may be required to prove their proficiency in American English via standardized tests and interviews. An applicant may consider the option of postponing matriculation until such time that he/she can meet these requirements.

Dental Admission Test

Conducted by the American Dental Association, the Dental Admission Test (DAT) has been in operation on a national basis since 1950. It is administered electronically through private testing centers located in almost every major city and college town throughout the U.S. and can be taken most anytime throughout the year. While candidates can retake the test with a minimum of 90 days between tests, they can attempt the test only three times. The scores can NOT be more than 3 years old.

Participation in the Dental Admission Test of the American Dental Association is required for admission to the VCU School of Dentistry. We recommend that this test be taken the year before the intended matriculation year.

More information on the DAT can be found on the American Dental Association website.

Background checks

As an applicant to the VCU School of Dentistry, all accepted candidates will be required to submit to a criminal background check prior to matriculation. A final decision about matriculation will be made after a review of the applicant’s criminal background check.

The background check will not be a component of the application, interview or selection process but will be a mandatory component of the pre-matriculation process. The final decision regarding matriculation of an applicant will be based on the self-reported information in the candidate’s application and information in the background check report. Factors involved in the final decision may include, but are not limited to:

  • The nature, circumstances and frequency of any reported offense(s)
  • The length of time since the offense(s)
  • Available information that addresses efforts at rehabilitation
  • The accuracy of the information provided by the applicant

The information obtained through a background check will not become part of a student’s academic file and will remain confidential unless the findings result in an institutional action by the School of Dentistry.

Only candidates offered class positions and alternate-list candidates will be asked to provide a criminal background check prior to matriculation at their own expense. After an offer of acceptance is forwarded to the candidate, they will be prompted by AADSAS to complete a background check through Certiphi.