Dental School Requirements: What's a Good GPA?
by Ben Frederick MD
on April 9, 2015
Hey everyone! Ben Frederick here. I asked Kyle Smith (aka @askaDDSstudent) to put together some information on dental school requirements, specifically GPA. There's a lot of great stuff in this article, so be sure to take a look.
Required GPA for Dental School Admission
One time. Only once, in the entire process of interviewing, attending 4 years of dental school, applying for associateships, and during my tenure as an associate dentist (almost 6 months as of writing this), have I been asked what my GPA was. The person who asked? A patient during my fourth year of dental school while discussing what my plan was after graduation.
Many pre-dental students have asked me over the years what a “good” GPA is. My response is consistently something along the lines of “Your GPA isn’t everything.” A 4.0 is great, but any GPA above the school’s minimum requirements can get you accepted, as long as the rest of your application is competitive (See: -> Creating a Competitive Dental School Application)
For those of you who are just dying to see some GPA stats, here are the basics:
*The statistics in this image were calculated from data found in the 2014 edition of the ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools. This publication is an amazing resource that I would definitely recommend to all serious applicants. It contains TONS of specific details and admissions statistics (including GPAs and DAT scores) from each of the US and Canadian dental schools. You can purchase your own digital copy for only $10!
Put It In Perspective
Now, I’m not discounting the benefits of a high GPA when applying to dental school, as it cannot hurt your chances. But the more I think about the subject, the more I strongly believe that your GPA alone should not be the factor that decides whether or not you can pursue your goal of becoming a dentist. What I have concluded after my experiences as an applicant, as a dental student, and as a student ambassador for my school is that dental schools are actively looking for unique students who not only have the ability to succeed academically, but also have the ability to shape the field of dentistry in a positive and professional way. Evidence of these abilities is often presented in ways that cannot be graded or scored.
All that being said, some schools do have a minimum GPA that they require for you to be considered for admission to their program. If you are curious about the average GPA or range of GPAs of accepted dental students for specific schools, I suggest you check out the school’s webpage or purchase a copy of the ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools, which is updated annually.
Your GPA is only one piece of the larger puzzle that is your application. While each piece is important, your application as a whole will be the ultimate determinant of your success as an applicant.
Kyle Smith D.D.S.