Admissions

Applicant Evaluation and Decisions

Selection of applicants is made on a competitive basis without regard to race, gender, religion, marital status, age, national origin or veteran status. Decision and consideration is given to cognitive and non-cognitive components.

Mississippi residency

For admission purposes, the School of Dentistry gives preference to residents of the State of Mississippi; in recent years, nonresidents have not been admitted. As such, the School of Dentistry currently accepts admission applications only from individuals who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. The School of Dentistry may choose to not accept applications from students who cannot demonstrate residency as defined by Miss. Code § 37-103-7 and 37-103-13.

Residency determination is not based solely on information provided in an AADSAS application; it is based on information provided in the UMMC Secondary Application and, when requested, a Request for Review of Residency Classification form and supporting documentation. Questions regarding residency classification should be addressed to the Office of Student Records and Registrar.

Cognitive and non-cognitive components

Decision and consideration is given to cognitive and non-cognitive components. Cognitive components include overall GPA, science GPA, overall DAT, and overall science DAT. Non-cognitive components include honesty/integrity, ethics/values, respect for others, critical thinking, communication skills, altruism, motivation for dentistry, accountability, support system, maturity, excellence, vision of practice, participation in Health Careers program, leadership, self-appraisal, research and interviews.

Dental Admission Test (DAT)

Usually completed after junior year in college, the DAT covers the following areas:

  • Survey of natural sciences – Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry
  • Perceptual ability – Angle Discrimination, Form Development Cubes, Orthographic Projections, 3-D Format
  • Reading comprehension – Reading and Analysis of Information
  • Quantitative reasoning – Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Numerical Calculations, Probability and Statistics

Applicants for admission to the School of Dentistry must take the American Dental Association Dental Admission Test (DAT). The test may be scheduled to be taken by computer at Prometric Testing Centers. Information regarding the American Dental Association Dental Admission Test may be obtained from the pre-dental advisor in most colleges. Information and application forms also may be secured from the Division of Educational Measurements, American Dental Association, 211 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, or from the Office of Student Affairs at the School of Dentistry, or by going to www.ada.org/dat.aspx.

By following a well-planned schedule, the pre-dental student should be ready to take the test at the end of the second full year of college work. It is strongly recommended that this test be taken in the spring, but no later than in the fall of the year preceding the desired date of admission. DAT scores more than three years old are not acceptable. Candidates seeking to re-take the DAT must wait 90 days before a re-test is allowed.

Experiences

  • Shadowing - A minimum of 100 shadowing hours with at least 4 different dentists is required.
  • Community service - Volunteer work with at least 4 different organizations outside of school is highly recommended. These organizations may be social, community and faith-based, disaster relief, mentoring, tutoring or coaching.
  • Research - Employment or volunteer work in a basic science or clinical laboratory.
  • Activity in college - Clubs, organizations, leadership roles, scholarships.

Interviews

Applicant files are reviewed by the School of Dentistry Admissions screeners. Applicants whose credentials indicate potential for success in the dental school program are invited for an interview session which includes multiple mini-interviews with members of the Dental School Admissions Committee. Applicants must not present themselves for interviews until requested to do so by the Admissions Committee.

Pre-screening factors include but are not limited to metrics (GPA and DAT scores), shadowing experiences, research experience, commitment to community service, as well as professionalism, leadership, and other non-cognitive attributes. Interviews are scheduled during specific periods and applicants are notified in advance of such periods.

Letters of recommendation

Four letters of recommendation must be submitted through AADSAS. These four letters should be as follows:

  • College science faculty letters from biology, chemistry, or physics instructors (2)
  • Dentists that have been shadowed (1)
  • Community service/volunteer letter (1) - this letter should come from the director of one of the organizations under which you volunteered your time
  • Master's program (1) - if applicable, will be submitted with the supplemental application

Admissions Committee deliberations

The authority to select applicants for admission to the UMMC School of Dentistry is vested in the Dental School Admissions Committee (DSAC) and the Dean of the School of Dentistry. The DSAC is appointed by the Dean of the School of Dentistry and includes clinical and basic science faculty of the School of Dentistry and the School of Medicine, representatives of the dental private practice, UMMC School of Dentistry students, and other administrative personnel in the various departments at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. All correspondence and records regarding the admissions process are filed in the Office of Student Records and Registrar, become the property of the University of Mississippi Medical Center and cannot be returned or forwarded to the applicant or another school. Applicants and Admission Committee members are required to sign a confidentiality agreement which grants the committee members authority to review all applicant information when making decisions on selection of candidates. All applicant information reviewed shall be confidential.

The DSAC reviews the entire file for every interviewed applicant. DSAC deliberations include a discussion of: where an applicant was raised and educated noting financial, educational and socioeconomic advantages and disadvantages; an applicant's life experiences and personal attributes including scores assigned by the screeners; personal attributes reflected in the written application; performance on multiple mini interviews rated by members of the Admissions Interview Committee; letters of recommendation; and academic metrics including trends in GPA's and DAT scores. Attention is given to applicants who, in the opinion of the DSAC best fulfill the mission and diversity interests of the School of Dentistry.