Frequently Asked Questions
I need to speak with someone. Who Should I call?
Prior to contacting the College of Dentistry, please review the information on our website regarding the admissions process to prepare your questions in advance. We may be reached Monday-Thursday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. EST (202) 806-0337. If you are unable to reach us at once by telephone, you may email us at HUCDAdmit@howard.edu.
Do you allow visits?
Visits to the Office of Admissions should be through appointment. Our admissions team will be happy to correspond with potential students to answer questions/concerns that are not addressed in our literature or website. Based on current recommendations for the College of Dentistry, on-campus group tours will be scheduled and announced periodically throughout the school term. Where possible, alternate information sessions via online media platforms are also scheduled periodically. Check here for details.
Interviews for the 2022-23 cycle will be conducted remotely.
Do you provide individual counseling?
We do not provide individual counseling for applicants. We rely heavily upon predental applicants' interaction and guidance with pre-health Advisors at your undergraduate/graduate institution. Our admissions team will be happy to correspond with potential students to answer questions/concerns that are not addressed in our literature or website. We are happy to provide an overview of HUCD and the admissions process to pre-dental societies or clubs in a group setting. Please email us to arrange a visit. Our admissions team also provides a monthly online Q&A session and/or Instagram Live sessions to answer student questions in a group setting. Follow us at HowardUniversityDental (Instagram).
Do you accept AADSAS fee waivers?
No, we do not accept fee waivers for the $75 application fee.
How long will it be until I hear if I will get an interview?
We will review applications from August 1st to January 1st. If you are chosen for an interview, you will receive an email invitation. We conduct 6 interview sessions (4 in September; 4 in October; 2 in November; and 1 in January). First-round decision letters are sent to applicants on December 15th. Early applications are highly encouraged. Submitting later than December 15th greatly reduces admissions opportunities. Interviews may continue on a rolling basis until the class is filled. HUCD first-year class rosters are typically filled by January 31.
Can I submit if I have not taken the DAT or if I need to retake the DAT?
You may submit the application without DAT scores, however, we will not review incomplete applications for interview consideration. Complete applications include current DAT scores and submission of HUCD application fees. If you plan to retake the DAT, please note our review of the application and decision will consider only the scores submitted. You may update your DAT scores once you have taken the DAT again if you have not already received a decision letter from our Admissions Office. If you have not received a decision letter, you may submit your unofficial transcript of scores to HUCDAdmit@howard.edu. Please adhere to the dates above in the resubmission of scores.
Should I send transcripts?
No. Please do not send transcripts or any other unsolicited information. If more information is required, we will make a request. Letters of intent are not considered in the application process. All supplemental information should be submitted via the AADSAS portal.
How old should my DAT scores and class completion be in order to submit an application?
We do not accept DAT scores older than 2 years from the beginning of the application cycle for which you apply. A gap year is perfectly fine! We do prefer that required classes are taken no more than 5 years from the time of application.
What about letters of Recommendation?
The College of Dentistry requires a minimum of three (3) letters of recommendation which must include at least two letters from science professors who taught you and issued a grade in a science course. A letter from a dental professional with whom you are employed or have shadowed is highly encouraged. All letters of recommendation must be on letterhead and include the recommender’s signature. You may submit up to four (4) letters of recommendation.
Committee letters from your pre-professional committee are accepted. In the case where there is a Committee letter, the applicant should also include a letter from a dental professional with whom you are employed or have shadowed. All letters of recommendation should be included with the submission of your application directly to AADSAS. Do not send information directly to the Office of Admissions as this will delay the review of your application. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to verify the information presented in letters of recommendation.
Application Processing Fee: Upon receipt of your application from AADSAS, you will receive a link via email with instructions for submitting the application processing fee of $75. We do not accept fee waivers.
Shadowing Requirement: We highly recommend at least 75 hours of shadowing or significant work hours in a dental office. *Please note: the College of Dentistry is unable to provide applicants with shadowing opportunities.
Deferrals: A delay of admission is granted for one year only. Applicants requesting a delay must do so in writing. Deferred applicants must keep the same standards that the offer of admission was based on between acceptance and enrollment. The Admissions Committee may require a follow-up interview.
Transfer: Transfers are seldom granted. Transfer requests are evaluated on the merits of each individual request. We will consider transfer requests after the first year of a successful dental school term only. Requests should be made in writing prior to February 1st.
Financial Aid: The D1 Merit Scholarship is awarded to a select number of first-year entering students who have demonstrated academic excellence in their course of study. The scholarship may be full or partial tuition. There is no application process for these scholarships. Students will be awarded by recommendation of the Admissions Committee based upon GPA and DAT performance.
The Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students is also awarded. There is no application process for these scholarships. Students desiring to be considered must submit parental information with the FAFSA. This is required for independent students as well.
International Students: For accepted international students ONLY, proof of financial resources must be sent no later than July 15th. The International Dentists Program is designed for dentists who have been trained in an international dental school. Our office does not process applications for the program. Contact Information:
Information for internationally trained dentists may be obtained from the link:
Do you accept nontraditional students?
Absolutely! We encourage all students to follow their passion. HUCD has many students who have worked in various capacities in the dental field and in other professions prior to enrolling in dental school. The road to entering dental school for a nontraditional student may be longer, however previous work experiences often add value to the student's academic pursuits. Nontraditional students are required to meet the minimum admission as all other applicants. Special attention should be paid to the date of completion of required courses. Postbaccalaureate programs and/or classes should be considered if the completion date of a required course is beyond 5 years.
What makes a student competitive for HUCD?
We are seeking students who have shown growth over their academic and career experiences. We are also seeking students with a record of leadership, empathy for the needs of others, and strong community involvement. This is indicated in your curriculum vitae and letters of recommendation.
While we do use a holistic review of applications, our more successful students meet or exceed the DAT scores and GPA requirements for admissions. Your road to success begins with your classroom performance and DAT performance.
What if my GPA and/or GPA do not indicate a competitive application?
Never give up on your dream! Work closely with your pre-health Advisor to access resources that may prepare you for success on the DAT. Joining USNDA and/or your school's Pre-Dental Society is also a great way to expose yourself to DAT prep tools and a community of people who will support you along your journey. Many students find success by enrolling in a Master of Health Science program or an intensive Post-Baccalaureate program.
Do you accept credits from a community college?
We will accept a maximum of 22 semester hours/33 quarter hours from community college for the satisfaction of required courses.
Will a Master of Public Health make my application more competitive?
A MPH is a very valuable tool for any healthcare provider who has a keen desire to serve populations in need following dental school. While the Admissions Committee may recognize the great value in such training, the Master of Health Science or Biomedical Science are preferred programs when determining students' competitiveness for dental school. Applicants in graduate-level academic programs will still need to meet minimum DAT and GPA requirements.
Are there areas of the DAT that are weighed more heavily?
Our minimum requirements are an 18 Total Academic score and an 18 Total Science score. PAT and Reading Comprehension are carefully considered for each applicant.
Reginald O. Salter, D.D.S., M.B.A., Ph.D.
Director of Admissions, Student Activities, & Programs
600 W Street, NW
Washington DC 20059