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Applying to a Postdoctoral Program

ADEA and the National Matching Services try to make it easy for you to apply to multiple postdoctoral programs at once. ADA offers a searchable database of all advanced programs by specialty and state.

Advanced Dental Admission Test (ADAT)

The ADAT was developed by the ADA to enable dental education programs in general dentistry and the dental specialties to quantitatively compare and rank order applicants using a nationally standardized and objective test.

The ADAT is administered by Pearson VUE. In its pilot year (2016), ADAT will be conducted from May 16 through August 31, 2016. To find more information, including fees and content, or to register, go to or read the October issue of ASDA News. Questions can also be directed to or 800-232-1694.

PASS/Match Partnership

Students applying to postdoctoral dental residency programs will find a streamlined system in place through the ADEA Postdoctoral Application Support Service (ADEA PASS) website. The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and National Matching Services, Inc. (NMS) have partnered to provide a single access point for students applying to both services.

Most postdoctoral programs in general dentistry, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery currently utilize ADEA PASS and the Match. About two-thirds of all ADEA PASS applicants participate in the Match.


PASS processes applications for the following participating advanced dental education programs:

  • Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD)
  • Anesthesiology (ANES)
  • Clinical Research Fellowship (CRF)
  • Dental Public Health (DPH)
  • Endodontics (ENDO)
  • General Practice Residency (GPR)
  • Implant Dentistry (IMPD)
  • Operative Dentistry (OP)
  • Oral Biology (OB)
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (OMP)
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS)
  • Oral Medicine (OM)
  • Orthodontics (ORTHO)
  • Pediatric Dentistry (PED)
  • Periodontics (PERIO)
  • Periodontics Prosthesis (PPROS)
  • Prosthodontics (PROS)

The Match

Students can use the ADEA PASS portal to apply to both PASS and the Match or just one service. Applicants for the Match only, who do not need to use PASS, will register for the Match through the ADEA PASS applicant portal, but will not be required to complete PASS applications to submit their information and payment. The Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program (the “Match”) provides an orderly process to help applicants obtain positions in first year postdoctoral programs of their choice and to help programs obtain applicants of their choice. For many years, hospitals throughout North America have used a similar matching program in the annual recruitment of medical residents. Similar matching programs are also in use in other professions, including pharmacy, psychology and law.

Matching Process
The matching process uses the preferences stated on the Rank Order Lists submitted by applicants and programs to place individuals into positions. The process starts with an attempt to place an applicant into the program that is most preferred on the applicant’s list. If the applicant cannot be matched to this first choice program, an attempt is then made to place the applicant into the second choice program, and so on, until the applicant obtains a tentative match, or all the applicant’s choices have been exhausted. For more info, click here.

Dental Specialty Associations

Learn about your future profession by joining one of the dental specialty associations.

Heartland Dental Pacific Dental Services ADA


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