The Indiana University School of Dentistry offers a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree program that prepares students for clinical practice or graduate education. The program is four academic years (eight semesters and four summer sessions) in length and requires the completion of 121 required courses consisting of 172.5 credit hours.
Office of Admissions and Student Affairs 1121 W. Michigan Street, Room 105 Indianapolis, IN 46202
DDS Class of 2025 Averages
Academic Average 20.05DAT Averages
Total Science 19.21DAT Averages
Reading Comp 22.24DAT Averages
3.52Average Science GPA
3.60Average Overall GPA
The Dental Admissions Committee uses a holistic review process to select a diverse group of qualified applicants for admission to the D.D.S. program. The committee will consider your academic record, technical skills, DAT score, letters of academic recommendation, personal interview, CASPer Score, and exposure to the field of dentistry, as well as your motivation, character, personality, and ethics.
When reviewing your academic record, the Dental Admissions Committee will consider your cumulative GPA, your science GPA, the number of credit hours you have completed as an undergraduate, and whether you have satisfactorily completed all prerequisite coursework.
Please note: Indiana University School of Dentistry will accept pass/fail courses for classes impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and for which a letter grade is not an option. From the spring in 2020, online courses including prerequisites course will be accepted.
The School of Dentistry does not give preference to IU graduates.
Any undergraduate major is acceptable for application to the D.D.S. program, provided that you complete all prerequisite coursework prior to entering the program.
A minimum of 90 credit hours of coursework must be completed by the time you enter the program. You must complete at least 30 of the 90 credit hours at a four-year college or university. Preference is given to applicants who have completed an undergraduate degree.
If you have fewer than 60 credit hours at the time you apply, your application will not be considered.
You should complete as many prerequisite courses as possible prior to applying. All prerequisites must be completed by May 31st of the year in which you plan to enter the program.
You are required to take upper-level courses (200-300) intended for science majors at a four-year college or university to fulfill the science prerequisites.
Community college courses are accepted; however, science courses taken at Community colleges are less rigorous and do not prepare students for courses in dental school.
Up to 4 credit hours of AP credit in a nonscience discipline may be used to fulfill prerequisites.
DS Prerequisites chart
You must complete the equivalent of 20 credit hours of coursework in the biological sciences. Only courses intended for science majors will count toward fulfilling this prerequisite. Of the 20 hours, they must include:
Human, mammalian, or comparative anatomy, or histology (lecture and lab)
Human, mammalian, or cell physiology (lecture)
Microbiology or immunology (lecture)
Cell biology, biochemistry, or molecular biology (lecture)
You must complete the equivalent of 12 credit hours of coursework in chemistry. Only courses intended for science majors will count toward fulfilling this prerequisite. Of the 12 hours, they must include:
General chemistry or inorganic chemistry (lecture and lab)
Organic chemistry (lecture and lab)
You must complete 8 credit hours of coursework in physics. Only courses intended for science or engineering majors will count toward fulfilling this prerequisite.
You must complete 3 credit hours of coursework in the social sciences, including at least one of these courses:
You must complete 3 credit hours of coursework in the humanities, including at least one of these courses:
You also must meet certain technical standards to be admitted to the D.D.S. program.
Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) is committed to ensure that the opportunity to pursue oral health education is available to all qualified persons without regard to disability. In this spirit, all qualified individuals are considered for admission.
All IUSD students must: 1) have completed the appropriate application process, 2) have fulfilled all prerequisites as determined by IUSD, 3) be capable of acquiring the necessary knowledge, and 4) have the ability to perform or learn to perform the skills specified in these standards with or without a reasonable accommodation. The faculty at IUSD has determined that the skills listed below are essential to the curriculum and are necessary to ensure that graduates of the program are fully prepared to practice dentistry. Although these skills are necessary for admission and retention, successful completion of the DDS program will require meeting other academic and professional standards as specified in the curriculum and in other institutional policies.
IUSD recognizes that the award of the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree (and other degrees offered by IUSD) carries with it the full authority of the institution and communicates to the public that the individual who has earned this degree is competent to practice dentistry. The DDS is a comprehensive degree, unique in that the graduate, after passing a licensing examination, is permitted to offer patient care in all areas within dentistry.
This means that every dental student must acquire and demonstrate the didactic knowledge, as well as motor, sensory/observational, communication, cognitive, and behavioral skills, in order to complete the curriculum and be fully prepared for dental practice. To develop those skills, IUSD acknowledges that the unique DDS curriculum requires a myriad technical, intellectual, and interpersonal skills of its graduates. The faculty is mindful that the curriculum is stressful, requiring both emotional stability and physical stamina. Applicants to the program thus must possess the skills and abilities that will allow them to successfully complete the course of study and receive the full benefit of the education. It is important to note that during the DDS program, students are required to both perform and direct treatment on IUSD's patients.
Ultimately, the faculty has the responsibility to ensure the safety and proper care of these patients. This includes the completion of treatment safely and within a reasonable amount of time. Because the faculty is mindful of the rigors of the curriculum, the immense responsibility for safe patient treatment, and the fact that the DDS signifies readiness for dental practice, no accommodation can be granted that would result in undue hardship to the institution, would pose a direct threat to patients or others, or would fundamentally alter the curriculum. Accordingly, IUSD has determined that the DDS student must be able to meet the following technical standards for admission to or retention in the program. Responsibility for the interpretation and application of these standards rests solely with the school and university, and the examples given are merely illustrative. Students who are accepted and matriculate will be expected to sign a statement that they can meet the technical standards with or without reasonable accommodations.
Students must have or be able to acquire sufficient motor function so that they are able to execute movements required to provide general care and treatment to patients, both during the DDS program and at completion of the curriculum. This means the student must possess motor skills necessary to direct palpation, bimanual manipulation, fine tactile perception, and other diagnostic maneuvers, as well as basic laboratory procedures. Such activities require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional uses of the senses of touch and vision.
Students must be able to perform basic life support procedures, including CPR, and position and reposition themselves around the patient and dental chair in either a standing or sitting position. Students must be able to operate foot controls utilizing fine movements, operate high and low speed hand pieces, which require controlled intraoral and extra oral movements of less than one millimeter, and utilize hand instrumentation, including scalpels for surgical procedures.
Students must be able to master a defined level of information as presented though demonstrations and experiences in the biomedical and dental sciences. This includes but is not limited to: information conveyed through microbiological cultures and microscopic images of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. Students must be able to efficiently acquire information from written documents and to visualize information presented in images on paper, film, slides, or video. Students must interpret radiographic and other graphic images, with or without the use of assistive devices.
Students must have functional use of visual, auditory and tactile sensation.
In practice, a dentist must be able to observe a patient accurately, both at a distance and close at hand, and must notice and appreciate nonverbal communication when performing dental operations or administering medications. Thus, students in the DDS program must be able to perform visual and tactile dental examinations and treatment, including the use of visual acuity, accommodation, and color vision to discern the differences and variations in color, shape and general appearance between normal and abnormal soft and hard tissues. Use of tactile senses may be either direct palpation or indirect through instrumentation. Students must also possess the visual acuity to read charts, records, small print and handwritten notation, and distinguish color intraorally and extraorally. The type and degree of color blindness will determine a student's limitations. Of color blindness, daltonism is surmountable, while achromatic vision is not.
Good communication skills are essential for any health care provider and are stressed in the DDS curriculum. Therefore, a student must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with patients, faculty, staff and students in both oral and written forms.
Because successful dental practice depends on timely and efficient rendering of patient care services, students in the DDS program must have sufficient facility in English to obtain information from a variety of learning resources, convey concepts and knowledge on written examinations administered during a specific time period, elicit patient histories, problems and symptoms, record in and retrieve information from patient charts, and coordinate patient care with all members of the health care team.
Students must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, interpret, integrate, synthesize and diagnose. Problem solving, a critical skill demanded of dentists, requires all of these intellectual abilities. Because dental care must be rendered in a timely and orderly fashion, students must be able to demonstrate cognitive skills in specified times and setting.
Students must possess the emotional health and stability required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, for the exercise of good judgment, in the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to diagnoses and care of patients, and in the development of mature sensitive and effective relationships with patients, staff and other health care practitioners. Students must be able to tolerate physically and emotionally challenging workloads and to function effectively under stress, while in the DDS program and at completion of the degree. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, to function in a climate of uncertainty in health care and to treat patients with compassion and integrity.
The IU School of Dentistry will work to ensure that all qualified students, consistent with applicable law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, will have the opportunity to succeed in the School's programs of study. Admitted DDS students in need of disability accommodations should contact the IUSD Assistant Dean for Diversity and Student Success (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will work with the IUPUI Office of Adaptive Educational Services (AES) (email@example.com; 317-274-3241) and follow standardized procedures to evaluate the request.
To apply to the Indiana University School of Dentistry you must complete both the ADEA-AADSAS application and the supplemental application through the IU Grad CAS to move forward for review to the DDS program.
Step 1: Apply to the School of Dentistry
The School of Dentistry uses the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS), an online application service managed by the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), to receive applications for the DDS program. Only ADEA-AADSAS verified applications with all the required application materials, submitted by the October 1, 2022 deadline will be considered.
All application materials must be submitted via AADSAS. Do not send any application materials to the School of Dentistry.
Required application materials include:
The AADSAS application cycle opens June 1, 2022. IUSD will begin accepting applications at that time. The application deadline is October 1, 2022; however, it is strongly recommended that you submit your application as soon as possible after the application cycle opens.
All applicants must take the Dental Admission Test (DAT).
The School of Dentistry accepts your most recent DAT score, regardless of whether it is higher or lower than any previous scores.
Send your DAT scores directly from the ADA to AADSAS. Instruction given in the AADSAS application.
DAT scores received after the application deadline will not be reviewed. NOTE: Please schedule DAT test so that IUSD receives your scores in a timely manner.
DAT exam may not be retaken for 90 days, and it can 2-4 weeks for IUSD to receive your results. Please plan accordingly.
You must have taken the DAT no more than three years prior to the date you submit your application.
Canadian DAT scores are accepted.
You must submit two letters of academic recommendation as part of your application.
All letters must be submitted on the official letterhead of the organization with which the evaluator is affiliated. It must include the evaluator's mailing address, phone number, email address, and signature.
One of the letters must be from science faculty member or research faculty member, under whom you studied in a university setting.
The second letter may be from an academic area of study or a dentist with whom you have shadowed within the 12 months prior to the date of your application, and who is able to evaluate your skill, character, and potential for success in the program.
Committee letters are accepted and counted as one letter, instead of three.
Please note that we accept only letters under the prescribed content and formatting.
All recommendations must be submitted directly to AADSAS. When you fill out your AADSAS application, you will provide the names of your recommenders and their contact information, and AADSAS will contact them via email with instructions on how to submit a recommendation. The email will include a link to an online portal where they will upload their recommendations.
We encourage you to let your recommenders know that they will receive an email from AADSAS with your request for a letter of academic recommendation. The School of Dentistry’s Office of Academic Programs ensures that recommendations are valid by calling recommenders at random.
You must request official transcripts from each college or university you have attended. When you fill out the AADSAS application, you will receive instructions for submitting your transcripts.
We recommend that you shadow oral health professionals in dental offices to understand the day-to-day practice of dentistry. It is further recommended that you do your shadowing in at least three different dentistry practice settings. Shadowing in specialty practices, public health clinics, and other environments also counts toward this recommendation.
Shawdowing can be completed in either of these forms:
Dental Shadowing In-Person
Dental Shadowing Virtual - (Via Zoom, Face-time, or Phone)
When you fill out the AADSAS application, you will receive instructions for submitting documentation of your experiences.
CASper is an online, open-response situational judgment test (SJT). This helps determine behavioral tendencies of applicants pursuing people-centered professions. To learn more about CASPer go to www.takealtus.com/CASper/.
All applicants to the Doctor of Dental Surgery Program are required to complete the CASPer online assessment. Your application will not be considered complete until your CASPer scores are received at IUSD.
Register for the CASPer assessment at www.takealtus.com. Specific instructions will be provided to you upon successful submission of your AADSAS application.
CASPer scores must be received by the October 1, 2022, application deadline.
Note: Make sure that you send your CASPer scores to the IU School of Dentistry, not IU School of Medicine. It will take approximately 2 weeks to receive your scores.
CASPer test results are valid for one admission cycle only.
Step 2: Supplemental Application
IU Grad CAS is the supplemental application used to generate your Indiana University profile for registration to the IU School of Dentistry. For admission to IUPUI, you must complete the IU Grad CAS application and pay an $80 fee.
After your AADSAS application has been successfully completed and verified by AADSAS, you will receive an email with a link to complete the IU Grad CAS supplemental application.
Only verified AADSAS applications submitted on or before the October 1, 2022 deadline will receive the link.
Only applicants who have successfully completed and paid for both the AADSAS and IU Grad CAS supplemental application will move forward for further review.
We recommend submitting the AADSAS application as early as possible.
Step 3: Virtual personal interview**
After review of all application materials, qualified applicants may be offered an interview. If you are selected for a virtual interview, you will be notified approximately one week prior to the interview date with the information necessary to join the interview. Interviews are conducted throughout the fall of the application year but may vary from cycle to cycle.
The interview day will be virtual and include:
Virtual tour of the school
Presentation of Admissions
Presentation of Financial Aid
Virtual Personal interviews with faculty members
**Please note: IUSD reserves the right to conduct in-person interviews when the health situation improves. When this occurs information will be published.
Acceptance notifications process
You will be notified by email on or after December 1, 2022, if you are offered a provisional acceptance into the program. An official provisional acceptance letter will follow in the mail. You are required to respond to the email by the deadline given in it.