School of Dentistry

Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.)

How to apply

For Texas and non-Texas residents, a central application center processes dental school applications to all medical and dental schools of The University of Texas System.  Applications may be obtained from Texas Medical & Dental Schools Application Service.

Applications are accepted between May 1 and November 1 of the year preceding anticipated matriculation. All actions on admission are the prerogative of the Admissions Review Panel (ARP) of the School of Dentistry. Applicants to UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry are responsible for instructing the American Dental Association (ADA) Division of Education Measurements to send your DAT results directly to the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Services (TMDSAS). Please refer to the appropriate information section on the Dental Admission Test.

TMDSAS Timeline for application/admission process

May 1 - November 1 - Application period in year prior to desired admission. (TMDSAS Deadline)

August - School begins interviewing applications.

November 1 - Deadline for submitting applications (TMDSAS Deadline)

November 15 - Deadline for submission of Letters of Recommendation (TMDSAS Deadline)

December 1 - Deadline for taking DAT of the application year for it to be considered for the current application cycle (TMDSAS Deadline)

December 15 - First offers of admission, if necessary, additional acceptances will be made again on a rolling basis.

January - School concludes interviewing applicants.

Minimum Admission Standards for Pre-Doctoral DDS Program:

DomainAdmission StandardsMinimum Requirement
Academic PerformanceGPA – BCPM (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math)2.8
 DAT - Academic Average17
 Total hours of course credit90
 Grade of C or higher for all required courses

Activities and Related ExperiencesClinical Observation* 

 Community Service** 

Personal Evaluation3 Letters of Recommendation or HPE packet

*There is not a minimum number of hours of dental shadowing required for admission. However, the admissions committee values evidence of depth and breadth of shadowing and other means of clinical observation.
** There is not a minimum number of hours required for admission. However, the admissions committee values dental-related, health-related, and interpersonal-type activities.

Our holistic review process

Approximately 100 students may be admitted to entering classes of the School of Dentistry. The curriculum of the Doctor of Dental Surgery program is structured to present basic science courses during the first two years, with some clinical experience beginning in the first year and increasing each year until it predominates in the junior and senior years.

Admission to the School of Dentistry at UT Health San Antonio is highly competitive. Successful applicants are those who show evidence of consistently performing well academically and having extracurricular interests and achievements.

Applicants are considered on a competitive basis with attention given to the undergraduate grade point average, DAT scores, evaluation by preprofessional advisors or professors, extramural achievements and interviews conducted by members of the Admissions Committee. Preference is given to legal residents of Texas. Only outstanding nonresidents will be considered or accepted.

An applicant who has earned a baccalaureate degree under the "academic fresh start" statute, Texas education Code, Section 51.929, will be evaluated on the grade point average of the coursework completed only for that baccalaureate degree and the other criteria stated herein.

All other dental school applicants are reviewed and granted interviews based on consideration of the following factors:

  1. Breakdown scores on DAT, especially the science scores for Biology, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry sections.
  2. Course loads, upper division science preparation, university/college attended and timeframe.
  3. Academic and personal background, including high school, parents education, extenuating circumstances affecting academic qualifications.
  4. Socioeconomic situation and barriers to achievement.
  5. Work experience, campus/community involvements and personal accomplishments.
  6. Geographic issues, including South Texas and home in rural or underserved area.
  7. Letters of evaluation/recommendation.
  8. Personal essay in application and evidence of commitment to dentistry.

Applicants who are granted an interview then compete for a place in the first-year class based on the following process:

The Admissions Review Panel, an Ad Hoc committee consisting of six faculty members, reviews and evaluates each applicant. Admissions Review Panel members are faculty members with diverse backgrounds and roles within the school, and all have experience with admissions matters. Evaluation is based on consideration of a number of academic and subjective criteria that may include the following, not listed in any preference:

  • personal interview conducted by members of the Admissions Committee and additional trained volunteers
  • bilingual language ability
  • educational attainment of the applicant's family
  • hometown or county of residence that has been designated a medically underserved and/or health professions shortage area, with particular emphasis on South Texas
  • employment history, especially as it occurred simultaneously with undergraduate academic preparation
  • socioeconomic history (educationally and/or economically disadvantaged)
  • positions of leadership held
  • public/community service "volunteer"-related activities
  • "volunteer" activities in health care-related areas
  • awards and honors of distinction for humanitarian service
  • awards and honors for public speaking
  • prior experience in providing health care-related services
  • extracurricular activities
  • awards and honors for academic achievement
  • prior military service with training and experience in a health care related area
  • success in overcoming adverse personal, family, or "life" conditions/ experiences
  • graduation from another accredited health care-related curriculum
  • verbal communication skills-as demonstrated in a personal interview
  • commitment/desire to serve in a medically underserved region of the state following graduation [written personal statement, or at interview]
  • reference letters or recommendations
  • research accomplishments
  • applicant's future goals [written personal statement or at interview]
  • knowledge of, and preparation to enter, the profession of dentistry gained through observing or volunteering in a dental practice
  • Texas resident status, or permanent Texas resident alien

Preference is given to Texas residents. Only outstanding nonresidents are considered. 

Determining residency for the applicant pool is different than determining residency for tuition purposes. Residency for admission and tuition purposes at a public college or university in Texas is different from residency for voting or taxing purposes. Visit the College for All Texans Residency Information for more detailed information.

Residence status

Generally, individuals who have resided in Texas for 12 months immediately preceding enrollment are classified as residents. If dependents, they must have resided with their parents/guardians in the state for the 12 months preceding enrollment. Applicants whose residency status is unclear should complete a Residence Questionnaire, available from the Registrar's Office or the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service in Austin. Other substantiating documents may be required.


U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents of the U.S. will be considered for admission.

Education requirements for dental school 

  • Applicants must have completed a minimum of 90 semester hours (or 134 quarter hours) at a regionally accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university.
  • All pre-dental requirements listed in the table below must have been completed at a regionally accredited U.S. or Canadian university/college. Foreign coursework will not count towards meeting any of the prerequisites, even if transfer credit has been given for them by a U.S. or Canadian school.
  • Each required course, listed in the table below, must be completed with a grade of C or better. Courses taken Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit will not count towards meeting the requirement. 
  • Advanced placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) credits are accepted only if the school granting the credit lists the specific course(s) and number of units granted per course on an official transcript. Lump sum credit is not accepted.
  • Graduate courses do not satisfy the 90 hour requirement OR the required coursework.
  • All required course work must be completed before OR by the time of enrollment into the dental school.
  • Baccalaureate degrees are highly desirable. However, exceptionally mature students without a degree, who have outstanding academic records, superior performance on the respective admissions test and highly desirable personal qualifications may be considered for admission. 
  • The prescribed course requirements are the minimum requirements for admission to dental school. Applicants are best served to take additional upper-level course work so they are better prepared for the academic rigors of dental school.
  • It is strongly recommended that at least 30 semester hours be accomplished at a four-year college or university.
  • Applicants are strongly recommended to take all science prerequisite coursework in person. Online courses must be from institutionally accredited universities. You can find out if an online school is institutionally accredited by checking the list of Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Recognized Accreditors.

Required courses for admission

Prospective D.D.S. students must have received a grade of "C" or better in the following required courses:

SubjectCredit-hour requirements
Biological Sciences

14 semester hours (12 semester hours of lecture & 2 semester hours of formal lab) or 21 quarter hours (18 quarter lecture hours & 3 quarter lab hours) of biological science

Includes all biological science courses applied toward baccalaureate degree in traditional science fields, such as general biology, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, genetics, ecology, immunology, parasitology and anatomy & physiology.

General Chemistry

8 semester hours or 12 quarter hours of general chemistry, as required for college science majors, including the corresponding laboratory experience (8 semester hours = 6 hours of lecture & 2 hours of lab; 12 quarter hours = 9 hours of lecture & 3 hours of lab).

Should include familiarity with analytic and volumetric techniques. Inorganic courses include general chemistry, physical chemistry and quantitative analysis.

Organic Chemistry8 semester hours or 12 quarter hours of organic chemistry, as required for college science majors, including the corresponding laboratory experience (8 semester hours = 6 hours of lecture & 2 hours of lab; 12 quarter hours = 9 hours of lecture & 3 hours of lab).

3 semester hours or 5 quarter hours of biochemistry

This requirement is in addition to the biological science requirement of 14 hours and may not be used to fulfill the biological science requirement. The course may be taught in the biology, biochemistry or chemistry department. Must have a grade of C or better.


8 semester hours or 12 quarter hours of physics, as required for college science majors, including the corresponding laboratory experience (8 semester hours = 6 hours of lecture & 2 hours of lab; 12 quarter hours = 9 hours of lecture & 3 hours of lab)

Includes all physics courses applied toward a baccalaureate degree in any traditional science field.


6 semester hours or 9 quarter hours of college English

Any course accredited by the English department that fulfills a general education English requirement of a baccalaureate degree will be accepted. Remedial or developmental courses or English As a Second Language courses ARE NOT ACCEPTED.


3 semester hours or 5 quarter hours of statistics

The statistics course should be taught in a math or statistics department. Individual dental schools may consider statistics courses taught in other departments on an individual basis with appropriate documentation from faculty.

 Note: Courses for non-science majors or for health career majors, such as nursing, pharmacy, allied health sciences, will NOT satisfy the required coursework. All required coursework must be applicable toward a traditional science degree.


Essential functions

All dental students at UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry must perform certain essential functions in order to successfully complete the curriculum.

Cognitive functions: Dental students must be able to solve problems, using the ability to understand and retain knowledge derived from readings, lectures and demonstrations. Students must be able to use reasoning, to analyze and to integrate learned material and apply principles to new problems.

Sensory and motor skills: Students must be able to observe patients and simulations and gain patient information to be used in diagnosis. They must possess sufficient vision, hearing and physical abilities in order to obtain a patient history, perform a physical examination and provide patient care. Students must have adequate stamina to manipulate dental equipment appropriately and to perform in class, clinic and laboratory settings during long hours.

Communication skills: Students must be able to effectively communicate with patients, peers, staff and faculty. Students must be able to demonstrate respect and understanding of emotional, social and cultural issues.

Professional and behavioral skills: Students must demonstrate the capacity for sustained function under stress and to respond appropriately to unpredictable circumstances. Furthermore, students must demonstrate high ethical standards and professional behavior when interacting with patients, fellow students, faculty, staff and the public.

Admission by transfer

We are currently not accepting any transfer students.

Required Semester Hours Subject TCCNS Course