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Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find information on admissions requirements?

Please visit our website at:

Where can I find information on the application process?

Please visit our website at:

Is there an application deadline?

Yes. Applications for admission may be submitted between June 1st of the year preceding matriculation and the following February 1st. APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY AADSAS NO LATER THAN FEBRUARY 1ST in order for applicants to be considered for admission to the following year's class. Early application is to the individual's advantage and is strongly encouraged by the SIU School of Dental Medicine.

What materials should I submit to the School of Dental Medicine
at the time I apply to AADSAS?

A $20 application fee is required for the process of your application payable to Southern Illinois University by personal check or money order. The Supplemental Application and Technical Standards form found on our website under application process can be printed, filled out and returned to us at this time, also.

Is a bachelor's degree required?

No, we do not require a bachelor's degree, although it is recommended. You may apply to SIU/SDM as long as the prerequisites have been taken and you have the minimum 90 semester hours required, 120 semester hours preferred. Having a degree makes an applicant more competitive. All prerequisites and minimum requirements must be taken at a college or university in the United States or Canada.

What are the minimum GPA and DAT score?

Because the Dental School has a policy of competitive admissions, there are no fixed minimum GPA and DAT scores. Each application is evaluated in terms of their composite scholastic record, calculation of the required biology, chemistry and physic courses' grade point average, quality of preprofessional education, performance on the Dental Admissions Test, recommendations, and other elements as may be determined by the Selection Committee.

What is the average class size?

There are 50 students in the entering Year 1 class.

Do you accept out-of-state students?

Class size of the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine is limited. As a state-supported institution financed primarily by the taxpayers of Illinois, the SIU School of Dental Medicine gives priority to admission of Illinois residents.

How many letters of recommendation are required?

Academic letters of recommendation are required by the Admissions Committee. The letters can be in one of the following forms:

a. One evaluation from a pre-dental or pre-professional committee.


b. Two letters from course instructors in the areas of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and English and one additional letter form a course instructor of the applicants choosing.

Also, character references are not required, but you may submit them.

How long will my DAT scores be valid?

The test must be taken within three years prior to actual matriculation.

When should I take the DAT?

An applicant would be ready to take the DAT after completing 8 semester hours or 9 quarter hours of general biology, general chemistry, and 8 semester hours or 6 quarter hours of organic chemistry. It is best to have scores at the time of applying or by October before the application year. Committee action will be held up until DAT scores arrive.

Does it matter what undergraduate school I attend?

You may attend any accredited undergraduate school of your choice. However, preparation for a dental education requires a strong background in chemistry and biology.

How do I know if I am missing items from my application?

AADSAS provides an applicant portal for applicants to check their status and missing items. The SIU School of Dental Medicine will update applicant information every week and changes are posted every Friday.

Does Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine accept course work from a foreign institution?

We do not accept course work from a foreign institution. 90 semester hours or 120 quarter hours of required course work has to be completed at an accredited college or university in the United States or Canada.

Do you provide a program for international dentists?

SIU School of Dental Medicine does NOT have a program for international dentists. Please visit the American Dental Education Association Centralized Application for Advanced Placement for International Dentists (ADEA CAAPID) Directory for a list of institutions that currently accept applications from international dentists.

What is the difference between a DDS and DMD degree?

The DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) and DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) indicates the degree awarded upon graduation from dental school to become a general dentist. There is no difference between the two degrees; dentists who have a DMD or DDS have the same education. Universities have the prerogative to determine what degree is awarded. Both degrees use the same curriculum requirements set by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation. Generally, three or more years of undergraduate education plus four years of dental school is required to graduate and become a general dentist. State licensing boards accept either degree as equivalent, and both degrees allow licensed individuals to practice the same scope of general dentistry. Additional post-graduate training is required to become a dental specialist, such as an orthodontist, periodontist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

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