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Guide for non-traditional dental students

A non-traditional dental student can be defined as a student who takes time in between undergrad and dental school. Some students do this by choice to pursue work experience, a post-baccalaureate program or even military training. Others may not get accepted to dental school on their first or even second try so they look for opportunities to enhance their application.

ASDA has developed a guide to help non-traditional students navigate the dental school application process. The information in this guide was provided by non-traditional students based on their experience. The guide gives advice on coursework, the DAT, evaluation letters, personal statement, committee letters, shadowing and extracurricular activities for non-traditional students.

The guide concludes with profiles of five non-traditional dental students currently in dental school. Their profiles contains tips and advice that helped them on their path to getting into dental school.

ASDA held a webinar featuring three dental students sharing their experiences and advice on non-traditional paths to dental school. One student went on to complete an MPH after he didn’t get into school on his first try. Another student spent nine years in the military as a medic before deciding to pursue dental school. The last student applied to dental school six times before getting accepted.

Other resources:

ADA Pacific Dental Services Heartland Dental


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