Are you interested in dental school?

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Office of Admissions Contacts

Rebekah Huff, Student Affairs Officer

Contact me for: Admissions-related questions & Scheduling a tour of UKCD


Don Brown, Financial Aid Coordinator

Contact me for: Information on applying for scholarships & Financial Aid


Melissa Shelton, Assistant Director of Admissions

Contact me for: Interview Candidate-related questions



Pre-Dental Curriculum

The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry seeks applicants who are well educated in the liberal arts and sciences. Individuals are encouraged to pursue baccalaureate studies that reflect their unique abilities and interests. However, it should be noted that a solid foundation in the biological and natural sciences is an integral part of any sound liberal arts and sciences education. The traditional pre-health professions curriculum, heavily focused on the sciences, should be pursued only if that is the student's desire. 

The college is convinced that certain course work on the undergraduate level is necessary for quality performance in dental school. Therefore, the following courses are required for matriculating students:

  • two semesters or three quarters of biology with laboratories
  • two semesters or three quarters of general chemistry with laboratories
  • two semesters or three quarters of organic chemistry with laboratories
  • one semester or two quarters of general physics with laboratory
  • two semesters or three quarters of English with emphasis on communications
  • one semester or two quarters of microbiology
  • one semester or two quarters of biochemistry

All prerequisite coursework must be taken at a regionally accredited US institution and must be completed by matriculation in July. It is the sole responsibility of admitted applicants to ensure completion of prerequisite coursework prior to matriculation into the DMD program. An offer of admission can be rescinded if prerequisite coursework has not been completed within the stated timeline.

UKCD will accept Pass/Fail in place of a letter/numerical grade for any pre-requisite courses completed during the Spring 2020 and/or Summer 2020 semesters. Additionally, pre-requisite courses completed during Spring 2020 and/or Summer 2020 in an online format will be accepted. Courses completed in Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, and future semesters should be taken for a letter grade. Please contact our office at with any concerns. 

Applicants are encouraged to pursue a well-rounded curriculum including courses both in the sciences and the humanities. Applicants are encouraged to take additional basic science courses. Examples of courses that will be helpful include anatomy (human), biochemistry, cell biology, embryology, genetics, histology, immunology, molecular biology, and physiology (animal and/or human) but only after degree requirements have been completed. An applicant’s curriculum will be enriched if it also includes courses in the social sciences, history, literature, economics, philosophy, and psychology.

Dental Admission Test (DAT)

Applicants are allowed to submit their applications without a DAT score as this will allow a preliminary review of the application. Upon completion of the DAT, applicants should contact Rebekah Huff via email with their unofficial DAT score so that their application can be updated.

For information about the DAT, visit the American Dental Association.

Commitment to Service

As a caring attitude is central to the practice of dentistry, applicants should demonstrate a commitment to service, more specifically direct service, and a desire to help others. Applicants may wish to highlight volunteer and service activities, including tutoring, assisting seniors, volunteer EMT, coaching youth sports, mentoring, etc. The college seeks to assemble a student body that includes individuals from a wide range of urban, rural, economic, and cultural backgrounds.

Letters of Evaluation

The committee requires two letters written by science faculty from an undergraduate/graduate institution and one letter from a dentist they have shadowed. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several institutions transitioned to Pass/Fail for coursework in Spring/Summer 2020. Therefore, it is beneficial for applicants to select a science faculty member teaching a course for which the applicant elected Pass/Fail over a letter/numerical grade to write a letter of evaluation describing the applicant's performance in that science course, in addition to other personal qualities. Students may also choose to have a fourth letter submitted by other individuals who can share insights about the applicant's achievements, personal qualities, potential for success in a rigorous curriculum, and motivation for a career in dentistry. 

Technical Aptitude

The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry will consider for admission any applicant who demonstrates the ability to perform or to learn to perform essential technical functions. Applicants are not required to disclose the nature of a disability, but someone with questions about these technical requirements is strongly encouraged to discuss the issue with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs. If appropriate, and upon the request of the applicant, student or faculty, reasonable accommodations for a disability will be provided. View the college's Technical Standards policy.

Shadowing & Observation 

As affirmation that an applicant has spent time in the dental profession and has an understanding and desire to pursue dentistry as a career, a minimum number of observation hours is required. For the 2021-2022 cycle, UKCD is continuing to require 20 hours and highly recommending 50 hours of dental shadowing.  The majority of shadowing hours should come from a general dentistry environment, supplemented by other specialty practice hours. The closure or limited opening of dental offices may affect the total number of dental shadowing hours that an applicant has completed. If an applicant is unable to complete the requirements prior to submitting their application, please contact our office at  



Students from medically underserved areas of the Commonwealth, who intend to pursue a career as a dentist and hope to return to their home county or similar underserved area of Kentucky to practice, should consider the UK Professional Education Preparation Program (PEPP). The program offers a unique and exciting opportunity for student to experience a college environment and help prepare students for the dental school admissions process. 

UK Pre-Dental Society

The Pre-dental Society is for students who are on a pre-dental track or are interested in learning more about dentistry. Learn more on their Facebook page here.

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