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.
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 ADA DAT information.
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.
- Shadowing - A minimum of 70 shadowing hours with at least 4 dental providers is required.
- Community service - A minimum of 80 hours of community service with a single organization or with multiple organizations is required. Service hours should be consistent and exemplify meaningful civic engagement. These organizations may be social, community and faith-based, disaster relief, mentoring, tutoring or coaching.
- Research experience is recommended.
- Activity in college - Clubs, organizations, leadership roles, scholarships.
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 (4) 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)
- Master's degree program (1) only if you are enrolled in or have completed a master's program; this letter will fulfill one of the science faculty letters as noted above
- Dentist who you have shadowed (1)
- Community service/volunteer letter (1)
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.