- After receiving completed applications, colleges will go through each application individually and then begin to call candidates for interviews (see Phase II: Interviews above).
- Unlike many foreign schools, dental schools in the USA don't call for interviews based on any single criteria ( for example high GPA or research experience) but rather, they take the entire profile of the applicant into consideration.
- The admissions committees are looking for students that have strong academic history but also strong and unique interests in subject, extracurricular activities, leadership, community service, etc.
- They want people who will serve the community and who will represent their school favorably in the eyes of the community.
- There is no single criteria that holds more weight than another in the application. For example I do not think a high GPA is held in higher regard than great background of community service.
- There are baseline requisites, however, that I believe are of importance:
- Firstly, the candidate SHOULD be able to handle the academic rigors of an Advanced Standing Program. If you have successfully become a dentist abroad and you have cleared the NBDE I and II then you should be able to handle the academic difficulties of the program in their eyes.
- Secondly, you SHOULD be able to communicate well with patients. For this reason, a good TOEFL score and demonstrating your involvement in the community are important parts of your application.
- Again, I cannot stress enough that there is NO SINGLE way to judge how strong your profile is. All I can say is that everything you do helps your application look stronger in the eyes of the admissions committee but there is no single sure means of getting admission! Will a masters get you an interview ? Maybe. Will a 4.0 GPA get you an interview? Maybe. Will 10 publications get you an interview? Maybe. I know this is annoying to read because at this point you just want straightforward answers of how to get in but unfortunately there is no single formula for this! Remember you have to present yourself holistically so they can evaluate you overall as a person that they would want in their program representing their school!
- When you're accepted into dental school, it's important to remember that you'll be working under someone else's name and license for two years. Keep that in mind as a candidate! Who would you select to take care of your patients? Who would you select to perform procedures under your name? Would you take someone who can speak well and connect with patients? Would you take someone who is responsible and trustworthy? There's a lot on the line for schools and that's why this screening process is so rigorous-- they want to limit their liability. Make yourself into someone they can blindly trust and you will walk into the program without any difficulty!
- Share information- during my application period I met VERY FEW people who actually told me what needed to be done in order to get accepted. 90% of people will say "don't worry you'll get in" but they won't show you how-- don't be like that. It's a stressful and competitive process but helping others out will come around and help you as well in the long run.
Please share your comments and questions below!