A minimum predental study of at least 90 semester credit hours (or 145 quarter credit hours) at a US or Canadian accredited institution is required to matriculate to the SoD. A maximum of 60 semester credit hours from an accredited community college may be applied to the ninety credit hour credential. Based on the competitiveness and number of applicants, it is common for the SoD to seek candidates on track to receive a qualifying bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year degree granting institution prior to the date of matriculation.
All courses listed as planned on a candidate's application, or equivalent courses to the satisfaction of the School of Dentistry, must be completed prior to matriculation. Additionally, a minimum grade of “C” must be attained to earn the prerequisite credential. Pass/Fail grades are not acceptable. 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.
A DAT is required for application completion through the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) and is considered as a cognitive component of the application. Letters of recommendation are required from at least two science faculty while a third letter must come from a dental practitioner who knows the candidate through direct observation. Pre-health advisory committee letters are acceptable. Additional letters of recommendation are encouraged if they can expand upon the applicant’s character.
|Prerequisite courses||Semester hours||Quarter hours|
including lab and lecture
|General inorganic chemistry
including lab and lecture
including lab and lecture
|College or university level physics
including lab and lecture
|Biochemistry||3||4 or 5|
|Math/Stats||3||4 or 5|
|English||3||4 or 5|
Strongly Recommended Courses
- 300/3000 level and above biology courses
- Behavioral science courses
- Courses involving the use of psychomotor skills
- Economics/business courses
- Public speaking courses
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.
Canadian Dental Aptitude Test (CDAT) scores will be accepted only if they include the Manual Dexterity Test.
More information on the DAT can be found on the American Dental Association website.
An offer of acceptance to the VCU School of Dentistry is contingent upon the successful completion of a criminal background check (CBC) and is required prior to matriculation into our DDS professional dental program. The criminal background report will serve to verify and supplement information provided in the application. The VCU School of Dentistry requires this criminal background screening process following conditional acceptance and prior to enrollment. The rationale for extending these requirements to incoming dental students is the concept of due diligence and completion of degree requirements.
The criminal 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. It is anticipated that background reports will be honored for the duration of the student’s enrollment in the program if the student has not had a break in the enrollment. Students are required to complete this process upon re-entry in the program subsequent to a leave of absence, program separation or program withdrawal greater than thirty consecutive days. 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 CBC report.
Factors involved in the final decision may include, but are not limited to:
- The nature, circumstances, and frequency of any reported offense(s)
- 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 criminal background report 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 will be asked to provide a criminal background check prior to matriculation.
Individuals who do not give permission to the conduct of the criminal background check or who fail to provide the report as required will not be allowed to matriculate into the educational program.
An independent vendor has been identified by AADSAS and accepted by the VCU School of Dentistry to provide the criminal background screening. Conditionally accepted individuals will be responsible for requesting the report and submitting payment for the report. Copies of the report shall go to VCU School of Dentistry admissions office. The individual has the opportunity to challenge the accuracy or completeness of the report through the independent vendor. The independent vendor has no involvement in any decision that may adversely affect the individual.
All information will be separately maintained in a secure confidential file. The background report will be destroyed upon graduation or separation from the institution. The criminal background report shall span the prior seven year period, and shall include all convictions and deferred adjudications of a felony or misdemeanor level.
Validated background reports found to be in conflict with responses on the application may be grounds for withdrawal of an offer of enrollment based upon submission of false or misleading information on the application.
The existence of a conviction will not necessarily result in a denial of admission to our dental institution, its programs or its housing. Instead each case will be reviewed by a committee other than the admissions committee and evaluated on its facts.
This review committee shall include but is not limited to the: admissions administrator, dean for academic affairs (or other administrative dean), two faculty members and if necessary, the university attorney to clarify legal processes.
All students must also report any felony or misdemeanor charges and convictions which occur during enrollment within ten business days of occurrence to both the senior associate dean and the senior associate dean for student services. Failure to report disqualifying criminal offenses could result in dismissal or suspension from the program. Any criminal offense can delay or terminate an individual’s education at the School of Dentistry.
Drug screening is currently required by our extramural affiliates. The School of Dentistry may require drug screening to matriculated students; however, at this time drug screening of DH3, DH4 and D3, D4 students is necessary to participate in required off-campus rotations.
In the event of an adverse drug screening report, the student will be barred from clinical participation and as a consequence, could be at risk for not fulfilling degree program requirements. Identification of such students will enable appropriate assessment, indicated treatment and follow-up retesting.
In all instances, students are responsible for the cost of the screening and retesting.
Notice of nondiscrimination
Virginia Commonwealth University does not discriminate in admission, treatment, employment or access to its programs or activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or disability, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Governor’s Executive Order Number One (2014); and other applicable statutes and university policies. VCU prohibits sexual and sex/gender-based misconduct, discrimination, harassment and interpersonal violence, including sexual assault.
The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the American with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act and related statutes and regulations: Paula McMahon, ADA coordinator, Equity and Access Services, Moseley House, 1001 Grove Ave., P.O. Box 842549, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va. 23284-2549, (804) 828-8532, email@example.com
The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and to serve as the overall coordinator for purposes of Title IX compliance: Laura Walsh Rugless, director of equity and access services and Title IX coordinator, Moseley House, 1001 Grove Ave., P.O. Box 842549, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va. 23284-2549, (804) 8286404, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complaints of discrimination, harassment and retaliation may be directed to Equity and Access Services and by email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Complaints also may be made through the university’s website for online reporting, the Helpline, which allows for anonymous reporting.
External complaints may be filed with the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Commonwealth of Virginia Division of Human Rights and Department of Human Resource Management.