Admissions Process

2020-2021 Application Cycle information for prospective applicants in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

The COVID-19 global pandemic of 2020 has presented institutions of higher education across the country with challenges in teaching and learning, as well as in the assessment of academic performance.  As a consequence of these challenges, The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine is committed to adapting and adjusting in response to the new challenges we now face.

Pitt Dental Medicine will take into account the important disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak when reviewing student transcripts and other admissions materials as part of their screening practice to ensure holistic reviews of individual applications and supporting materials. Specifically, we will accept online prerequisite coursework for the fall semester due to the challenges of Covid-19, and additionally, will require that all course grades moving forward be earned in a letter grade format to be considered to fulfill prerequisite coursework.

If a student's institution has instituted a pass/fail grading system for the fall semester, documentation will be required from the institution's registrar's office confirming this for such coursework to be considered.

This response by Pitt Dental Medicine is to ensure that no applicants are disadvantaged by the overarching decisions made by their colleges/universities as a result of this unprecedented public health event.


Frequently Asked Questions about the application process in response to COVID-19

What will your interview format be?

In the best interest and safety of our prospective applicants, faculty, residents, students and staff, all interviews for the 2020-2021 application cycle will be held in a virtual format. More information regarding the details of the virtual interview format will be provided to students selected to interview for a seat in the class of 2020.


How does my delayed DAT figure into the admissions process?

Pitt Dental Medicine will accept applications from applicants who were unable to take the DAT due to COVID-19 related test cancellations. At Pitt Dental Medicine, a holistic review of applications has always been our practice in the admissions process and we will continue to do so. For those affected, we will base decisions on the information that is available to us at the time of the application. Assuming that DAT testing resumes in the fall, Pitt Dental Medicine will require applicants to have taken the DAT before they are considered for admission to the Class of 2025. If DAT testing does not resume by October 1, 2020, Pitt Dental Medicine will reevaluate this requirement at that time. Applicants should not delay submitting their applications simply because a DAT score is not yet available.


Will you accept pass/fail grades from my current institution?

Pitt Dental Medicine will be flexible in the grading requirement for pre-requisite coursework if an applicant attended a university that made system-wide grading changes due to COVID-19. We will accept Pass/Fail grades for Spring 2020 coursework taken due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 




Applicants must meet all admission requirements before they can be processed by the Office of Admissions and are then presented to the Admissions Committee. This committee comprises faculty, alumni, and upper-level student representatives. Careful review of applications is ongoing. Consideration is given only to candidates who have submitted completed AADSAS applications and fees. If an applicant has a fee reduction waiver letter from AADSAS, a copy of this letter should be forwarded via email so that the supplemental application fee can be waived.

A non-refundable $75 supplemental application fee is required at time of application. PAY NOW


Personal Interview

Interviews are by invitation only and sent after thorough review of submitted material. Most interviews take place during the fall term of each year and are full-day events. The day is comprised of a personal interview with a faculty member and presentations by various department chairs and directors. Applicants enjoy lunch with our students and tour the School of Dental Medicine facilities. 

During the interview, applicants are expected to display evidence of personal exposure to the field of dentistry, as well as qualities of maturity, motivation, and integrity. Personal interviews do not guarantee admission.


Minority Recruitment

The School of Dental Medicine is committed to recruiting, enrolling, and graduating a diverse population of students.

"The University of Pittsburgh, as an educational institution and as an employer, values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and racial/ethnic and cultural diversity. Accordingly, the University prohibits and will not engage in discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era. Further, the University will continue to take affirmative steps to support and advance these values consistent with the University's mission. This policy applies to admissions, employment, access to and treatment in University programs and activities. This is a commitment made by the University and is in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations."

–From the University of Pittsburgh Graduate and Professional Bulletin

The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine is dedicated to preparing culturally competent world class clinicians, educators and scientists that are as diverse as the challenges faced and populations served. Applicants from population segments underrepresented in dentistry are encouraged to apply for admission.
Opportunities for diverse immersion experiences are afforded by the eight chartered student organizations at the School of Dental Medicine as well as more than four hundred other student organizations in this academic community.


Offers of Admission

The Admissions Committee of the School of Dental Medicine is the sole determining body that decides to whom offers of admission will be made.  Admission is offered based on criteria discussed above.
By general agreement among schools, the earliest date of acceptance to American dental schools is the first business day of December. A rolling admissions process begins on this date and continues until the class is filled. The School of Dental Medicine class size is limited to 80 students. Applicants are notified initially by phone, followed by written acceptance and offers of admission.

Please note that the University has a limited number of seats in its incoming class.  As a result, offers of admission do NOT guarantee enrollment to the extent that a deposit is not submitted before all seats are filled (as described below).  As such, it is imperative that you submit your deposit as soon as possible and complete the steps by the dates listed in the Offer of Admission letter.


Offers of Admission are contingent upon the following


An enrollment deposit in the amount of $2,000 is required. All deposits are nonrefundable, except as otherwise set forth in the Offer of Admission letter. Upon matriculation, all deposits will be credited towards tuition costs. 

Seats for the incoming class will be filled in the order in which deposits of individuals who have been offered admission to the University are received (i.e. seats are filled on a “rolling basis” upon receipt of the deposit). In order to guarantee enrollment at the University, applicants who have been offered admission must submit their deposit before the class is filled. In any case, the deposit is due no later than the Due Date on the Offer of Admission (though, if the class is filled prior to that date, submission of the deposit by the Due Date does not guarantee enrollment).

If all seats for the incoming class are filled prior to the final deposit deadline, any individual who has been offered admission who has not yet submitted their deposit will be notified that all seats have been filled.  Any individual who has been offered admission who submits their deposit after the seats are filled will be placed on the “deferred enrollment list.”  If seats later open up (for example, if an individual fails to complete the remaining steps outlined in their Offer of Admission, or if an individual chooses to forego their deposit in favor of attending another school, or if seats open up for any other reason), individuals will be moved from the “deferred enrollment list” into the incoming class in the order in which they submitted their deposit.  As such, it is critical to submit enrollment deposits as soon as possible, even after all the seats for the class have been filled.  Any individual who has been offered admission who submits their deposit after all seats are filled and who does not have the opportunity to enroll in the class because they were never offered a seat in the class after initially being placed on the “deferred enrollment list” will be refunded their $2,000 deposit (note: if an individual is offered a seat in the class after initially being on the “deferred enrollment list” but that individual declines to enroll, the individual will not be refunded their deposit).

Essential Program Standards

Offers of admission are contingent upon the applicant's ability to fulfill the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine Essential Program Standards. A current version can be found here. Individuals who have offered admission will receive the updated version of Essential Program Standards with all other credentialing information.

Submission of a successful FBI background inquiry, as well the successful completion of any outstanding prerequisite courses or requirements to complete an applicant's baccalaureate degree by June 30th. Continued satisfactory academic performance and behavior during the period between acceptance and enrollment is also required.  A final admission offer is determined once all conditions and contingencies of acceptance have be successfully completed. Misrepresentation of credentials by an applicant is reason for immediate revocation of admission offer.


Additional Information