Admissions Updates

General Information

Doctor of Dental Surgery Admissions

Philosophy Of Admissions
Admission to all programs at the LSUHSC School of Dentistry (LSUSD) is competitive. The Admission Committee is charged with the responsibility of reviewing the applicants and accepting those who possess the best credentials. The Admissions Committee is seeking applicants who demonstrate the ability to successfully complete the DDS program, who possess and display compassion and concern for others, and who will provide the best possible dental care for the people of Louisiana. LSUSD is committed to achieving a diverse student body. Potential students from a variety of backgrounds who have different life experiences and exhibit the potential to advance the profession will be strongly considered. The Admissions Committee attempts to select the best possible students from the criteria set below. Applicants are selected on a rolling basis meaning that acceptances are made throughout the interview process. Usually the earliest date for notification of acceptance is the first Monday in December.

Class Composition
The Admissions Committee selects 75 students from the applicant pool for the first year class. At the present time, 56 slots in the class are reserved for residents of Louisiana, up to 4 for Arkansas residents, and up to 15 residents from other states. For more details on residency requirements, please click here. After reading the regulations, if you have questions about residency, they should be addressed to the Registrar of the LSU Health Sciences Center (504-568-4829).

Admission is restricted to legal residents of the United States. Admission preference will be given to residents of Louisiana. For more details on residency requirements, please click here. Residents of Arkansas will be considered under the guidelines of the Arkansas Health Education Loan program. Up to 15 students may be accepted from states other than Louisiana and Arkansas. Residents of other countries will not be considered for admission.



The LSUHSC School of Dentistry participates in the ADEA administered Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). All applications for admission to the first year class of LSUSD must be submitted through this service. The application is in two parts. Part I is the AADSAS application process. Part II is for applicants who have completed Part I and qualify to receive the supplemental application directly from the LSUSD Admissions Office.

You may submit your application to ADEA beginning in June of the year preceding the year for which you are seeking admission.

Part I

  1. AADSAS (www.adea.org)
  2. DAT scores released to LSU School of Dentistry
  3. Pay $200.00 nonrefundable application fee on Pre-Admission Payment Portal or by check (payable to LSUHSC) sent to LSUSD.
  4. Send letters of evaluation directly to AADSAS:  2 basic science professors or 1 pre-professional school committee evaluation.


Only qualified applicants, as determined by the Admissions Committee, will receive these materials directly from the LSUHSC School of Dentistry Admissions Office.

Deadline for filing AADSAS is Sept. 1.
*Early application is highly recommended. Interviews begin around August 1*.



Credit Hours
A minimum of 90 hours of academic coursework must be completed at a college or university accredited by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) prior to registration in dental school. Non-academic courses (i.e. bowling, dancing…) or courses for specialized fields of study (i.e. pharmacy, dental hygiene…) are generally not acceptable.

***AP credits are accepted if the course is listed with an A-F or P/F grade on an official transcript.***

Possession of an academic degree is not a requirement per se for admission to LSUSD. The vast majority of students, however, do earn a degree prior to enrollment in dental school. The degree is evidence of a well-rounded education with a focus in a particular major and will greatly enhance the competitiveness of an application. Completion of your degree is highly desirable.

No particular major field of study in college is required for admission to dental school. A well-rounded educational background with courses in a variety of subjects is desired. Individuals have been accepted to dental school who majored in French, engineering, marketing, etc. Majoring in a science, however, will make an applicant more attractive to the Admissions Committee. The majority of successful applicants to LSUSD have degrees in biology, zoology, microbiology or chemistry.

Specific Required Courses
Prior to registration, a student must complete the following course (with laboratories where appropriate) requirements:

Biology/Zoology 12 hours
General Chemistry 8 hours
Organic Chemistry 8 hours
Physics 8 hours
English 9 hours
Biochemistry 3 hours
Microbiology 3 hours

Most successful applicants have completed substantially more courses than the minimum suggested. The vast majority of applicants have degrees in one of the biologic sciences.

Recommended Courses
The following courses have been found to be valuable for individuals entering dental school and should be taken if at all possible to enhance the competitiveness of an application:

  • Comparative anatomy
  • Histology
  • Cell and molecular biology
  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Embryology
  • Virology



Major factors considered in the admissions process:

Academic Ability
LSUSD considers dentistry to be a profession with a solid scientific basis. Students entering this educational program must possess a strong educational base and the ability to comprehend the basic sciences to build on this existing knowledge. The following information is helpful to the Admissions Committee in determining the intellectual ability of the applicants:

Overall GPA:  This numeric factor is calculated on the basis of all academic college work attempted. In other words, if a student makes an F in a course, which is subsequently retaken with a grade of B, both the F and B will be used in calculating the GPA. Generally a GPA of Above 3.6 is required for a competitive application.

Science GPA:  Many studies have shown that science GPA is one of the best indicators of academic success in dental school. This average is calculated from the grades achieved in biological sciences, chemistry, and physics courses. In recent years a 3.5 or higher science GPA has been necessary for a competitive application.

DAT Scores:  The Dental Admissions Test (DAT) is a standardized exam, which allows the committee to compare students from different colleges. The test contains sections on biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, reading comprehension, quantitative reasoning, and perceptual ability. A target score would be an academic average of 21 with no single score lower than 19. The mean academic average for the 2021 entering class was 21. It is strongly recommended that the applicant take the DAT prior to the June AADSAS application process.

Recommendations:  Applicants are required to submit a minimum of two recommendations from science teachers who have instructed them in the classroom. A recommendation from a pre-professional committee may be submitted in lieu of individual recommendations. A committee recommendation is preferred, if available at your school. These letters of evaluation must be submitted thru AADSAS. These written statements give the committee insight into the applicant's characteristics both as a student and as a person.

Manual Dexterity
Possession of appropriate hand-eye coordination is considered essential to a successful application. This information is obtained from the following sources:

DAT:  The Perceptual Ability section of the DAT is designed to measure an applicant's ability to appreciate sizes, shapes, angles, three-dimensions, mirror-images, etc. A score of at least 18 is generally required for an interview. The average score on Perceptual Ability for the 2021 entering class was 20.4.

Chalk Carving Exercise:  LSUSD is one of the few schools still utilizing this test that was once part of the DAT. It is administered as part of the interview process and is a timed (35 minutes) exercise. Chalks are scored from 0-10 with a 6 or above generally required to be competitive for admission.
Click here for chalk carving instructions and video.

Recommendations:  Since teachers know that manual dexterity is an important aspect of dental admissions, it is frequently mentioned in their letters.

Motivation to be a Dentist
The committee wants to know why the applicant wants to become a dentist and what they have done to document that fact. The best way to do that is to shadow dentists. We recommend 50 - 100 hours in the offices of at least three different general dentists. The committee will not consider applicants for admission who have not shadowed in a general dentist's office. For 2021, due to COVID-19, the minimum hours have been reduced to 25.

Personal Attributes
Since dentistry is regarded as the "ultimate people profession," possession of the ability to communicate and to provide and obtain cooperation from other individuals is highly desirable. Ability to manage stress, possession of high ethical standards, demonstrated history of leadership, demonstrated history of community service and unique personal attributes are also considered to be desirable qualities. Other criteria considered include where in the state the applicant was raised, a strong motivation to practice in dentally under served areas of the state, as well as whether there were any factors in the applicant’s background that hindered his/her level of academic achievement. These criteria are assessed by:

Personal Interview:  Each applicant deemed by the committee to be competitive academically is invited to the dental school for an extensive interview process. This process varies from year to year.

Recommendations:  Letters from two science professors or a pre-dental/professional committee which evaluate these traits.

Maturity:  One of the factors we consider as part of your personal attributes. If there are questions, please email or call yourself. Having your parent, grandparent, neighbor, etc. makes us question your level of maturity.

Community Service:  Applicants are expected to have a minimum of 50 hours (preferably 100+) in high quality community service / volunteer outreach projects.

Social Media:  Your social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) and information contained therein may be reviewed during the application/interview process. Please be aware that information posted on these accounts may influence committee members’ decisions regarding your suitability to our program.


For more Information

Dr. Toby Cheramie
Associate Dean of Admissions, Student Services, and Alumni
Phone:  504-941-8124
Fax:  504-941-8123
Email:  ds-admissions@lsuhsc.edu

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Last Update 7/2023