The following advice is very important and cannot be overemphasized. Where possible and appropriate, it is highly recommended that you follow the recommendations given.
Many dental schools, including VCU, have a rolling admission acceptance policy that works to the advantage of the earlier candidates. At VCU, earlier receipt of the application by the admissions office increases the chance for an interview and an earlier evaluation by the Admissions Committee. An application will not be reviewed until all materials, including a passport photo and application fee, are recieved.
Retaking the DAT and taking a DAT-prep course are both fine
Retaking the DAT does not penalize candidates. Remember that the scores the candidate receives are the results of how the candidate performed on that given day. Many candidates often take their DAT a second and occasionally a third time. VCU uses the single exam with the highest set of scores in its evaluation of the candidate. Please note that previous scores are not eliminated from your file. There is now a limit of three DAT exams and the minimal time interval between retaking the exams is 90 days.
Submit letters of evaluation
The pre-health office of each undergraduate college or university has its own distinct method of handling letters of evaluation. One method is to have a pre-health advisory committee that interviews the candidate for dental school and then writes a letter from the committee. This committee letter often is accompanied by individual letters from life science faculty who taught the candidate and from dentists who can attest to the applicant's dental knowledge and experience. A pre-health committee letter should include the names and positions of each committee member.
A second method is to give the responsibility of requesting and collecting individual letters of evaluation to the candidate. Some institutions now are using a third and relatively new method of employing a private company to receive the letters, evaluate and package the information, and then send them on to their destination. All methods stated above are accepted by VCU.
VCU accepts a minimum of three letters of evaluation two from life science professors, plus one from a dentist practicing in the United States or Canada who knows the candidates professional abilities through direct observation via shadowing or volunteer work. AADSAS accepts and processes a maximum of four individual letters of evaluation or one pre-dental committee report/letter plus one additional letter of evaluation, and sends copies of them in your application folder to all the schools to which you apply.
VCU will accept more than four letters. Additional letters should be sent directly to our office by the person writing the evaluation. If an evaluation form is needed, we recommend using the VCU School of Dentistry evaluation form, though the use of this form is optional.