ADEA AADSA: The Definitive Guide to Dental School Application

April 25, 2024
8 min read


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 4/25/24

The ADEA AADSAS application is a vital tool for aspiring dental students, streamlining the application process for dental schools in the United States and Canada.

Are you considering a career in dentistry and wondering about the dental school application process? This guide is here to provide you with an overview of ADEA AADSAS, the application service that can help you kickstart your journey toward becoming a dentist

Whether you're a pre-dental student gearing up for the application or simply curious about what it takes to get into dental school, this guide will break down the process. Let's dive in and explore the essential aspects of the application.

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ADEA AADSAS, or the American Dental Education Association Associated American Dental Schools Application Service, is a centralized application system that simplifies the application process for dental school aspirants in the United States and Canada. 

It allows applicants to complete one application and apply to multiple dental schools, saving time and effort. While ADEA AADSAS streamlines the process, each dental school may have its own specific requirements and deadlines, so applicants should carefully review school-specific details. 

International dentists seeking advanced placement in U.S. dental programs also have a separate application option through CAAPID, another ADEA service.


Let's dive into the ADEA AADSAS timeline so you can stay on top of your dental school application journey. 

Opening and Closing Dates

  • Early May: The 2023-24 application and the ADEA AADSAS Fee Assistance Program (FAP) open.
  • May 30, 2023: The first day to submit your 2023-24 application.
  • Feb. 2, 2024: 2023-24 ADEA AADSAS closes.
  • Feb. 9, 2024: The last day to submit all official documents to ADEA AADSAS.

Submission Deadlines

  • Aug. 14, 2023 – Sept. 29, 2023: Academic Update period (first academic period).
  • Dec. 1, 2023 – Feb. 2, 2024: Academic Update period (second academic period).

Processing Time and Verification

When applying through ADEA AADSAS, it's important to understand the processing time and verification procedures:

Processing Time

ADEA AADSAS processing, which involves transcript verification, generally takes about a month to complete. This means that from the time you submit your application, it may take up to a month for ADEA AADSAS to finish the processing and verification procedures. 

It's essential to note that your AADSAS application isn't considered complete until ADEA AADSAS has received three critical components: your online application, the necessary fee payment, and official transcripts from every college and university you have attended.

Transcript Verification

A big part of the processing involves verifying the accuracy of the information you've provided in your application, especially with regard to your academic history. ADEA AADSAS will cross-check the details you've submitted with the official transcripts received from your educational institutions.

Preparing for Your Dental School Application

Getting ready for your dental school application involves some important steps. Start by meeting with a health professions advisor who can provide guidance. Consider taking biology and chemistry courses as recommended, and think about joining pre-dental or pre-health clubs for networking and study support. 

Learn more about careers in dentistry and evaluate why you're interested in this field. It's also wise to gain some experience in a healthcare environment, particularly in a dental office or clinic.

Fulfilling Pre-DAT Dental School Requirements

Dental schools have specific academic prerequisites. Ensure you meet these requirements by taking the necessary courses during your undergraduate studies. This is a foundational step in your dental school application journey.

Core Competencies

Dental schools are interested in certain core competencies like communication skills, ethical judgment, problem-solving abilities, and commitment to service. Work on developing and showcasing these competencies through your academic and extracurricular activities.

Planning and Taking the Dental Admission Test (DAT)

The DAT is a crucial part of your application. Plan for it by understanding the dental school application process, gathering letters of evaluation, and researching dental schools. DAT prep may involve self-study or a review course. Register for the DAT and ensure you're well-prepared.

Shadowing Experience with a General Dentist

Shadowing a general dentist provides valuable insights into the profession. It allows you to observe dental procedures, patient interactions, and the daily life of a dentist. Make sure to document your shadowing experiences for your application.

Enhancing Manual Dexterity

Manual dexterity is essential for dental work. You can improve this skill by engaging in activities that require precision and hand-eye coordination, like playing musical instruments or doing crafts. Demonstrating improved manual dexterity can strengthen your application.

In summary, preparing for your dental school application involves meeting academic requirements, developing core competencies, planning for the DAT, gaining shadowing experience, and enhancing manual dexterity. These steps collectively make you a competitive dental school applicant.

ADEA AADSAS Application Components

Keep reading for step-by-step ADRA AADSAS application instructions for navigating the application.

Personal Information

This section serves as the foundation of your application. It requires you to provide your biographical information, such as your name, age, gender, citizenship status, and race/ethnicity. Additionally, you'll be asked to share your contact details, military service history, languages spoken, and information about your parents or guardians. 

The environmental factors sub-section allows you to offer insights into any extenuating circumstances or social-environmental factors that may have affected your academic journey, such as living in an underserved community or facing financial disadvantages. Be thorough and honest in this section, as it can provide context for reviewers.

Additional Details

Remember, it's not just about the basics. Keep your transcripts accurate, budget for application fees, meet those deadlines, watch your transcript requests, reply to emails, show improvements if you're reapplying, and know your application will be reviewed. These extra details can make or break your application, so stay sharp!

Academic History

In this section, you'll need to provide a comprehensive overview of your educational history. This includes details about your high school and any colleges or universities you've attended. 

It's important to note that even if you transferred credits from one school to another, you must include all educational experiences in this section. Pay special attention to this part of the application because it serves as the foundation for evaluating your academic qualifications.

Transcript Requests

To complete this portion successfully, you need to arrange for your official transcripts to be sent directly to ADEA AADSAS from all the colleges and universities you've attended. 

The process involves downloading a Transcript Request Form for each institution and ensuring it is addressed to ADEA AADSAS. Transcript requests may take time to process, often several weeks, so initiate this step as early as possible once the application period opens.


Before getting into your coursework details, you'll select the dental schools to which you plan to apply. It's a critical step, as each program may have different requirements and fees. Take time to research and choose your target schools wisely. While you must select at least one program, many applicants apply to multiple dental programs to maximize their chances of acceptance.

Transcript Entry and Coursework

In this section, you need to be very thorough. You'll provide detailed information about your academic background, including your grades, credit hours, course codes, titles, and subjects. You have two choices for entering this data: professional transcript entry (which costs a fee) or manual entry (free but takes more time). 

This information is crucial because it helps dental schools assess your academic history consistently, ensuring a fair evaluation process.

DAT Scores

Accurate reporting of your DAT scores is crucial. You'll manually enter your scores from the official score report and arrange for the official DAT scores to be electronically sent to ADEA AADSAS by contacting the American Dental Association (ADA). 

Pay attention to the score requirements of your target dental schools, as some may have specific expectations for different sections of the DAT.

Supporting Information

Your ADEA AADSAS application becomes stronger with the inclusion of supporting information. Whether it's your DAT scores, certifications, or your personal statement, these elements play a crucial role in shaping your application's appeal to dental schools. 

We will guide you on how to ensure each component is presented effectively and in alignment with the standards expected by admissions committees.


Here, you'll list your professional experiences, categorize them, and describe your key responsibilities. You can also highlight up to six experiences that had a significant impact on your development as a potential dental professional. Remember to choose experiences that align with the qualities and competencies expected of future dental professionals.


This section allows you to list academic and professional accomplishments that occurred during or after your college or university years. Focus on achievements that showcase your qualifications and dedication to your chosen career path.


If you hold any relevant certifications or licenses, such as CPR certification or a Certified Dental Technician (CDT) credential, provide the necessary details and upload copies of the certificates. Some dental programs may require official confirmation of your certifications or licenses, so be prepared to submit this information if requested.

AADSAS Personal Statement

Your personal statement is a pivotal element of your application. In approximately 4,500 characters, you must convey your passion for dentistry, your motivations, and what makes you a suitable candidate. This is your chance to show, rather than tell, your commitment to the field.

Program Materials

Finally, this section contains specific information and requirements for each dental school program you've selected. Carefully review these details, as they can vary significantly from one program to another. 

Pay attention to prerequisites, additional questions, and any supplemental applications that may be required by individual programs. Failure to fulfill these program-specific requirements can result in an incomplete application.

Completing the application is a thorough process that requires careful attention to detail and meeting deadlines. Each part of the application is important for presenting yourself as a strong candidate to dental schools. To increase your chances of success, make sure your application is accurate, well-organized, and effectively showcases your qualifications.

Submitting Your ADEA AADSAS Dental School Application

In this section, we'll walk you through the final step of your dental school application journey: submitting your ADEA AADSAS dental school application.

Review Process and Evaluation

The ADEA AADSAS dental school application undergoes a comprehensive review, considering three primary aspects: personal attributes, metrics (which include your GPA and DAT scores), and personal experiences. 

Your personal attributes encompass your skills, abilities, and background, including demographic factors. It's crucial to showcase these qualities effectively, as they can strengthen your personal statement and recommendation letters. Metrics provide an objective measure of your academic qualifications.

In the review process, your application is evaluated holistically, looking at you as a "whole person." This means they consider not only your grades but also your life experiences, motivation, and potential to be a compassionate healthcare provider. 

Your personal experiences, such as your education, research, work history, and the challenges you've faced, play a significant role in this evaluation. Demonstrating a commitment to underserved communities and meaningful extracurricular involvement can enhance your application and make you stand out as a strong candidate.

Post-Application: Dental School Interviews

After submitting your application, you'll need to wait. Keep an eye on your application's progress, but remember that the process takes time. 

Use this period to focus on your coursework, continue your volunteering and shadowing, and take care of yourself. Dental school interviews come in various formats, and offers typically arrive after December 1. 

To prepare for your interview, you can review sample questions and answers or explore interview prep packages for mock interviews and resources to enhance your performance. With preparation and patience, you can navigate the dental school interview process successfully.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Welcome to our FAQs section, where you'll find answers to common questions about the ADA dental application.

1. When Does the AADAS Application Open?

The 2023-24 ADEA AADSAS® (ADEA Associated American Dental Schools Application Service) application is set to open on May 9, with submissions beginning on May 30th.

2. Is It Possible to Modify Any Information After Submitting My ADEA AADAS Application?

No, after the initial submission of your application, you can only make changes to your account information, contact information, and password.

3. Can I Complete and Submit My ADEA AADAS Application Before My Transcripts Arrive?

Yes, you can submit your application before your transcripts and evaluations arrive. However, your application won't be reviewed until these documents, along with payments, are received. Make sure to check the specific requirements for completing your application to avoid delays.

4. When Do Dental School Applications Open?

Dental school applications typically become available online in early May, but you may not submit them until the cycle officially opens, which is around May 30. This applies to AADSAS applications. TMDSAS applications are also open in early May.

Final Thoughts

To wrap it up, the ADEA AADSAS application is your ticket to dental school. We've walked you through the key details in this guide. Remember to highlight your personal attributes and experiences. With determination, you can boost your chances of getting into dental school. Best of luck on your journey!

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