College of Dentistry

Administrative Officers

Dean - Lily T. García, DDS, MS

Associate Dean, Academic Affairs - Douglas J. Gould, PhD, FAAA

Associate Dean, Clinical Affairs - Jennifer J. Barrington, DDS

Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs - Lisa F. Mallonee, MPH

Associate Dean, Graduate and Professional Programs - Reginald W. Taylor, DMSc, DMD

Associate Dean, Research - Chunlin Qin, PhD, DDS, MS

Associate Dean, Student Affairs - Ernestine S. Lacy, DDS, MA

Assistant Dean, Finance - Sarah Barron, MEd

Interim Director, Recruitment and Admissions - Rosemarie R. Zartman, DDS, MS

Admissions Information

For additional or real-time updated admissions information, please see the College of Dentistry's admissions website.

A Career in Dentistry

The predental advisor on your university campus, admissions offices of dental schools, your family dentist, other dentists in general practice, and those involved in the various fields of dentistry, such as public health, dental research, etc., are great resources if you want to learn more about a career in dentistry. Observation in the office of a general dentist is an admissions requirement. Information is also available from the American Dental Association and the American Dental Education Association.

Preparing for a Career in Dentistry if you are in High School

High school students should take courses that will prepare them for admission to the predental institution of their choice. In general, high school courses should include Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, English, History, Speech, and courses that involve the development of hand skills.

Choosing a College as a Predental Student

We do not recommend specific schools, colleges or universities. The only prerequisites are that the institution be accredited. Those having an active predental advisory committee can be very helpful. The College of Dentistry provides complete information about admission requirements to predental advisors.

College Courses to Take

The College of Dentistry requires a minimum of 90 semester hours. However, it is recommended that you complete a degree before beginning the program. The 90 hours must include the following:

  • Three semester hours of Statistics (from Math or Statistics Department)
  • Six semester hours of English
  • Eight semester hours of General Chemistry
  • Eight semester hours of Organic Chemistry
  • Three semester hours of Biochemistry
  • Eight semester hours of Physics
  • Eighteen semester hours of Biology  (to include 15 hours of lecture and 3 hours of formal laboratory)
    • For science majors, Biology hours must include:
      • Four semester hours of Anatomy (with lab)*
      • Three semester hours of Physiology*
      • Three semester hours of Microbiology*

*Note: The Anatomy and Physiology requirements can be satisfied by either individual courses or the combined A&P1 and A&P2 (with both labs) and courses must be considered science major's biology courses.

A grade of C or better is needed for all required courses. No courses should be planned for Summer Session 2 of year of entry into dental school as it will conflict with the start date of classes at the College of Dentistry.

Suggested Elective Courses

Histology, Immunology, Biochemistry II, Neuroscience, and Cellular and Molecular Biology are suggested to strengthen the student’s science background. Small Business Management, Personal Finance, Reading Improvement, Mechanical Drawing, Studio Art, and Hand Crafts will aid in the business and technical aspects of a dental practice. Courses in Speech, Psychology, and Sociology will help improve interpersonal communication skills for positive interaction with other individuals in our diverse society.

Preferred Major Fields of Study

The majority of successful applicants have majored in the Biological or Biomedical Sciences. Taking more than the minimum number of Biology courses, and performing well in them, will make the applicant better prepared and therefore more successful in gaining admission.

Dental Admission Test

Take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) by the end of the summer of the application year (about one year prior to anticipated matriculation). The DAT is offered at Prometric Testing Centers locations throughout the country. An applicant with below average scores on the test may wish to retake the test in order to become more competitive. A 90-day waiting period before re-testing is required.

Application Procedures

The College of Dentistry participates in the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS), which allows the applicant to apply to any or all of the dental schools in Texas. The College of Dentistry also participates in the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) for out-of-state students only. Texas residents MUST apply through TMDSAS. More information can be found at TMDSAS.

The College of Dentistry requires the submission of a secondary application. This application can be accessed here. The application for admission is not complete until the secondary application is submitted.

Out-of-state applicants have three options:

  1. apply through TMDSAS;
  2. apply through AADSAS; or
  3. apply through the College of Dentistry application, which is available online.

Out-of-state applicants who apply through AADSAS must also submit the College of Dentistry application.

The earliest date to submit an application is May 1 of the year prior to desired admission. The latest date to submit an application is September 30 in the year prior to desired admission. It is to the applicant's advantage to apply as early as possible.


The quality of academic achievement is the first point of consideration for admission. The grade point average (GPA) and the Dental Admission Test (DAT) are the primary factors used in this evaluation. The interview with the Admissions Committee gives the opportunity for evaluation of noncognitive factors. Preference is given to residents of the State of Texas and the surrounding states which do not have a college or school of dentistry. It is important to discuss any factors that may have impacted academic or personal history during the interview, before final acceptance decisions are made. Applicants seeking to enter the dental school must be able to perform the essential functions required to complete the curriculum successfully. The application for admission to the College of Dentistry may be strengthened by the following:

  • ​keep your GPA as high as possible;
  • make above-average scores in all areas of the DAT;
  • take upper-level biological science courses similar to those taken by the first-year dental students;
  • give careful attention to details in filing out the application;
  • assure your personal statement explains your motivation for pursuing a dental degree, including personal and academic achievements, hardships overcome, and other factors that affected personal or academic progress;
  • observe in a general practice dental office (it's required!);
  • participate in activities that improve manual dexterity;
  • take advantage of opportunities for community service;
  • evaluate and be able to articulate your skills, abilities, attitudes, etc., to determine if you are motivated to make the commitment necessary for a career in dentistry; and
  • apply early!

A comprehensive (whole-file) review of the application is performed to reveal characteristics and life situations that can be relevant to the practice of dentistry. These characteristics and life situations may influence success in the dental curriculum, but may not be evident from academic history or standardized test performance or your potential for future contributions to the dental profession. These include:

  • motivation to pursue a career in dentistry;
  • involvement in community service;
  • observation or involvement in a dental office or clinic;
  • involvement in a summer pre-dental preparatory program;
  • letters of evaluation / recommendation;
  • communication capabilities, including writing (as evidenced in your personal statement) and conversational English proficiency;
  • ability to contribute to the diversity of the class (broadly defined), including race or ethnicity, socioeconomic background, talents, life skills, life experiences, and other special attributes;
  • region in Texas in which you reside;
  • employment while attending college;
  • residing in a Texas county that is designated as underserved by dental health professionals;
  • preparation to attend and succeed in post-secondary education;
  • first college attendee in your immediate family;
  • history of extreme hardship;
  • leadership positions held in societies or organizations;
  • evidence of diverse cultural experience; and
  • multilingual capabilities.

Re-Applicant Tips

  • All re-applicants must be enrolled in coursework to be considered as a well-prepared candidate. We recommend taking postbaccalaureate coursework in the biological sciences (Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry II, Microbiology, Histology, Neuroscience, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Immunology) or pursue a Master's Degree in Biomedical Sciences to further prepare for the dental school curriculum, keep current with study skills, and prove to the Admissions Committee your motivation and preparedness.
  • Re-applicants should critically review their application for areas that may need additional work. For example, biological science coursework, DAT scores, GPA, community service, volunteer work, and general dental office shadowing experience.
  • Re-applicants should continue their shadowing or volunteer activities during the re-application cycle.
  • Re-applicants who follow this advice to improve their academic background and general application will be more successful than those with little change from year-to-year.
  • Working in a dental office alone will not improve the re-applicant's preparedness.

Academic Calendar

The College of Dentistry operates on a semester system, with new classes beginning only once a year. A current calendar is available online.

Cost to Attend

Tuition and fees are recommended by the administration and are approved by the Board of Regents and may be adjusted as economic conditions warrant. To view the Cost of Attendance (COA) estimate provided by Scholarships & Financial Aid, please visit their website and select "Dental Students." Students are discouraged from holding any outside employment which may be detrimental to the pursuit of their education. In no case may a student accept a position which conflicts with regularly scheduled school hours. When scholastic progress is questionable, students may be asked to discontinue outside work.

Tuition Refund Policy

The tuition refund policy is available on request and is published in this catalog.

Loan and Scholarship Programs

The college participates in several types of loan and scholarship programs. Students are classified as independent for consideration in professional school, so aid is available based upon your documented need. Students complete FAFSA and submit requests for aid to the Scholarships & Student Financial Aid.

Attrition Rate

Because of the intense efforts in selecting only highly qualified students, few students fail to complete the programs.

Summer Predental Programs

A Summer Predental Enrichment Program (SPEP) exists to strengthen your academic background, introduce you to the profession of dentistry, improve your study skills, and increase your readiness for admission to dental school. For information, contact the Office of Student Development.

Opportunities Beyond General Practice

Most DDS graduates go into a general private practice. Yet others are in a specialty practice. Specialty areas in dentistry that are available at the Texas A&M College of Dentistry include: Advanced Education in General Dentistry, Dental Public Health, Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics, and Prosthodontics. Competition for admission to these graduate programs is high. Dentists also serve in public health agencies, educational institutions, the military, government service agencies, or dental industry. However there is a need for dentists who are interested in scientific research and teaching. To help prepare you for a career in research or teaching, the College of Dentistry offers a joint DDS/PhD program. While pursuing your dental degree, you will also pursue a PhD in Oral and Craniofacial Biomedical Sciences. The PhD is overseen by the Department of Biomedical Sciences and offers training in the broad fields of craniofacial development and genetics, bioengineering and regeneration, mineralized tissue biology, and neuroscience and pain. It includes the advanced study of cellular and molecular mechanisms, experimental studies, and clinical studies of development, growth, aging, function, disease, and treatment. Contact the program for additional information. We also offer, through the Pediatric Dentistry Department, a one-year Advanced General Dentistry Fellowship in Compromised Care and Hospital Dentistry. More information, including the application, can be found on the CCHD webpage.