Advanced Standing Program

The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine is committed to diversity within the dental profession, as evidenced by our recruitment of students from more than 20 countries around the globe. Here, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, our Advanced Standing students are integrated seamlessly into the predoctoral DMD program and are provided with the same opportunities and incentives as our regular class. We believe in embracing and learning from each other's diverse backgrounds. Our program also provides numerous possibilities for research, community outreach and a personalized educational experience apart from the already rich, holistic and innovative clinical experience that we provide to our students.


Research:  Pitt Dental Medicine is ranked 4th nationally for NIDCR research funding. Students have the opportunity to participate in innovative research involving craniofacial and dental genetics, craniofacial regeneration, informatics, caries research, the county's first DNA registry and repository obtained from saliva samples, and many clinical and translational projects.


Education and clinical care:  Our comprehensive clinical care model, coupled with evidence-based practice, allows for limitless student experiences. Utilizing advanced technologies, such as simulation patient labs, CBCT imaging, CAD/CAM, implants, 3D printing and more, provides unlimited opportunities which are student driven and faculty guided. With all eight specialty training programs, plus the country's flagship dental anesthesiology program, students are trained by experts in these specific fields while enjoying a low student to faculty ratio and a collaborative "Pitt Dental Family" atmosphere. Additionally,  students gain valuable experience in our renowned Center for Patients with Special Needs and also may choose to pursue various certificates ranging from dental public health to academic dentistry. Being a part of one of the oldest programs in the country with a strong alumni base and support, students have the prerogative to participate in mentoring experiences, leadership possibilities, and many other social activities. 

About the program:

Our Advanced Standing Program for dentists holding a dental degree from other countries employs a mandatory two-year curriculum. Qualified Advanced Standing Program students are placed in the First Professional Program (DMD) as third-year dental students following a mandatory summer program, and must complete the third- and fourth-year curriculum as prescribed. No waiver of classes is granted. The deadline for application is July 5th of the year prior to starting the program.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine participates in the Centralized Application for Advanced Placement for International Dentists (CAAPID) program. All applications should be submitted there.
Applications for the Advanced Standing Program that are sent directly to the University of Pittsburgh will not be accepted. Please visit the CAAPID website for specific information.

Academic Requirements

  • The completion of a dental degree from a recognized international dental school  is required.
  • Academic credentials will be evaluated by the University of Pittsburgh Office of International Student Services to ensure that the candidate’s undergraduate curriculum prerequisites include the equivalent requirements of biology with laboratory, inorganic (general) chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry and physics.
  • ​ADAT scores are preferred but not required.
  • While the absolute minimum of a 3.0 GPA may be considered, more competitive GPAs will be considered first.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

  • Must be proficient in the English language.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL.
  • Successful completion of the TOEFL with a score of 100 or above is required. This is a mandatory university-wide policy.
  • TOEFL results must be dated after December 31, 2018 and uploaded to CAAPID.

National Dental Board Requirements

  • Program requires passage of NBDE Parts I and II to be considered for admission.
  • Official NBDE score reports must be uploaded to CAAPID.

ECE Evaluation

  • Only ECE evaluations of dental school transcripts with a competitive GPA of 3.0 or higher will be considered.
  • ECE evaluation should be uploaded to CAAPID.

Application Procedure and Selection

The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine participates in the Centralized Application for Advanced Placement for International Dentists (CAAPID) program.  Please visit the CAAPID website for specific information.  **All visa statuses are eligible to apply.**

Letters of evaluation

  • Required letters of Evaluation 3:
    • Two letters of evaluation must be from a dean, associate dean, department chair or faculty member of the dental school from which applicant graduated.
    • One letter from a shadowing experience, preferably within the U.S.A.
    • These letters must be directly uploaded by the letter writers to ADEA CAAPID. When you fill out your CAAPID application you will provide the names of your evaluators and their contact information. CAAPID will then contact them via email with instructions on how to submit a letter. The email will include a link to an online portal where they will upload their letters.
  • *These 3 letters are non-negotiable
  •  Up to an additional three letters may be accepted from other sources for inclusion in the application and can be uploaded into CAAPID. If relevant, recommendation letters from graduate schools or dentists pertaining to shadowing experiences are encouraged.

Transcripts and evaluations

  • All Foreign Dental School transcripts must be evaluated and uploaded by ECE Evaluation Servicesonly the ECE evaluation will be accepted. It is the Applicant's responsibility to have transcripts uploaded to their CAAPID Application.
  • Licenses/Certificates should also be uploaded to CAAPID under 'Supporting Information' section.

Application fees

  • In addition to the CAAPID application fee, a university application fee of $75 is required upon submission of your application. 
  • University application fee can be paid online Here.


Interviews and Selection of Students

The Advanced Standing Admissions Committee will review all applicants, but will only invite competitive, qualified applicants to participate in the interview process. Interviews are by invitation only and will be sent via email.  Our interview process consists of an orientation to Pitt School of Dental Medicine, faculty interview, student panel discussion, and a bench testing pre-clinical exercise. If invited for interview, applicants will be asked to submit 1) an electronic copy of passport page or proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, (Any status is acceptable) 2) an electronic  2” x 2” cell phone “headshot” photo. Photo must be in .jpeg or .png format.

Bench testing exercise

  • Class II Amalgam cavity preparation on a bicuspid
  • PFM crown prep on one of the 1st molars (Maxilla or Mandible).
  • Class III composite cavity preparation on one of the maxillary anterior teeth(determined later)

Selection of applicants for admission will be based on interview outcomes as well as academic performance, letters of evaluation and overall application strength. Upon completion of the interview process, the Advanced Standing Admissions Committee will evaluate and offer provisional acceptances to those selected. Formal acceptance will be granted after successful completion of a series of summer courses. The summer program consists of formal classes, small group seminars, and manikin exercises to further assess the candidate’s knowledge of dentistry.

 Additional details:

  • A bench testing fee will be required from those applicants invited to interview. The interview will be confirmed upon receipt of this fee.
  • The bench testing fee must be a money order or cashier's check payable to the 'University of Pittsburgh'. No personal checks are accepted.
  • Applicants accepted for admission will pay a non-refundable tuition deposit at time of acceptance. This will be applied towards the fall term tuition.
  • Accepted applicants must also pay a non-refundable fee prior to the provisional summer program that begins in late April/early May.
  • All fees described herein are non-refundable.

Bench test/tuition fees must be sent to:

Office of Admissions/Advanced Standing Program
Attn. Katherine Adomitis

University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine

3501 Terrace Street
Suite 2114E, Salk Hall

Pittsburgh, PA 15213

The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine Advanced Standing Program accepts 6 to 8 qualified applicants per year depending on the number of spaces available.


Please review our website and these often asked questions before you contact us. ( We do prefer email correspondence)

Do I need to retake and/or can I skip taking the TOEFL?  ALL international students, irrespective of their educational status in the United States, must submit a current(within the last two years) TOEFL score as part of the application.  A few exceptions are at the discretion of the University.

Should I send the NBDE scores directly to the program?  This is not necessary. You should be reporting your pass/fail status on both parts of the NBDE testing through your CAAPID application.

What does visa status mean?  I am on a student visa, can I apply to your program? We accept any visa status for application.  If accepted, our Office of International Services OIS) will work with you to obtain a valid VISA status, proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.

I have applied last year but was denied. How can I improve my chances this application cycle?  Each year the applicant pool will be different with some cycles even more competitive than others. That being said, we ask you to check whether you meet at least our minimum eligibility requirements. If you meet or exceed these then your shadowing experiences, work experiences, research and additional higher education in the field will help to distinguish you. Moreover, good clinical and communication skills are a must!

I appliled last year. Must I go through the entire procedure again?  Applicants will be considered for only one year at a time and applicants must reapply for subsequent years. All required documentation/fees must be resubmitted each time an application is made.

Find more FAQS here.

Additional Information

For information or application for the TOEFL, you may visit their Web site, or contact the Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6151.  Our institution code is 2927 and the department code is 38.

The NBDE information may be obtained by visiting ADEA's Web site.

Information regarding ECE evaluations is availalbe at their Web site.

Where official, original documents are issued in a language other than English, certified (notarized) English translations must also be submitted.

All materials submitted for consideration become the property of the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and will not be returned to the applicant for any reason.


Upon successful completion of the mandatory summer program, individuals will be placed into the First Professional curriculum as third-year students.

Tuition and Costs

International applicants must submit official statements from banking institutions at the time of acceptance stating that the financial commitment for both years will be able to be met.
*Please note that all figures are subject to change annually.
U.S. citizens and permanent residents will have the option of meeting with the School of Dental Medicine Office of Financial Aid to determine if aid will be available. For tuition information, please visit our budget page.


Bench Testing Preparation course for Advanced Standing

Bench testing preparation course is now offered at Pitt Dental Medicine Continuing Education.

Bench Testing Preparatory Course in Restorative and Prosthetic Dentistry
Saturday, August 8, 2020 through Tuesday, August 11, 2020

This, hands-on course will help to prepare you for most bench testing exams that are required by many schools as part of their advance standing admissions, as well as help you to prepare for the prosthodontic portion of the CDCA manikin exam.

The course includes:

Structured Curriculum: Saturday, August 8, 2020 - Sunday, August 9, 2020

16 credit hours of hands-on participation continuing education will be provided.

(plus up to 12 hours optional additional individualized unstructured practice time, under faculty supervision, in the simulation clinic Monday, August 10 and Tuesday, August 11, 2020)

Please note, this course will not guarantee admission into the Advanced Standing Program at Pitt Dental Medicine.

For more information or to register for this course, please visit our course description.