Requirements for Admission

Requirements for Admission to the DDS Program

To meet the legal requirements of state licensing boards and to gain the necessary background for the study of dentistry, the following minimum educational requirements for admission to the School of Dentistry must be fulfilled:

  1. Graduation from an accredited four-year high school.
  2. By the end of the spring term preceding the fall in which they intend to enter the School of Dentistry, all applicants must have earned at least two years’ worth of credits from an accredited college or university. This includes a required 64 semester hours (or 96 quarter hours) in academic courses exclusive of physical education and military science. The 64 semester hours must include the following prerequisite courses:
  • General Biology with Lab (8 hours)
  • General Chemistry with Lab (8 hours)
  • Organic Chemistry with Lab (8 hours)
  • English (6 hours)
  • Physics with Lab (8 hours)

Please note the following requirements:

  • All prerequisite courses must be successfully completed prior to matriculation.
  • All prerequisite courses must be completed at an accredited institution within the United States or Canada.
  • All degree coursework must be completed prior to matriculation.

It is highly recommended that prerequisite science courses are completed at a four year institution.  Any prerequisite courses completed at a community college must have been validated and accepted as an equivalent course by the accredited four year institution from which you complete your bachelor’s and/or master’s degree.

Advanced Placement (AP) credits will be accepted, provided the credits are accepted by the undergraduate degree granting institution. Students who have earned AP credit for prerequisite courses are encouraged to take additional, advanced level courses.

The School of Dentistry has found that successful students have completed advanced level courses in anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, histology, and/or equivalent.  Additionally successful students have experiences that improved dexterity and perceptual ability including, but not limited to, fine arts, wood working, knitting, etc.

Dental Admission Test

All applicants must complete the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) administered by the American Dental Association (ADA), preferably no later than June of your final year of college. Please visit the ADA’s Dental Admission Test website for details.

Please note the following – To be considered for Admissions, an applicant MUST achieve a score of 17 or higher in the following areas of the DAT:

  • Academic Average
  • Total Science
  • Perceptual Ability


Through AADSAS, each applicant must submit either three letters of recommendation—two written by instructors in the sciences and one written by an instructor or mentor in a field other than the sciences (for example employer, spiritual leader, dentist)—or else one recommendation from their college’s recommending committee. Please note that, if your college has a recommending committee, we strongly encourage you to submit their recommendation instead of the three letters. All recommendations should testify to the applicant’s potential for success in the field of dentistry, as well as to his or her character.  

Technical Standards

Accepted applicants to Creighton University School of Dentistry must be able to demonstrate the ability to perform the skills and abilities specified in the School's technical standards with or without reasonable accommodation consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Applicants must be able to perform the physical and intellectual functions and possess the communication skills necessary to the performance of dentistry.

Candidates for the D.D.S. degree will be assessed on a regular basis according to the academic standards and the technical standards of the School of Dentistry on their abilities to meet the requirements of the curriculum.


Selection of all students is based upon both objective and subjective evaluation. Objective criteria include GPA, DAT scores, and science grades are given primary consideration. Other factors that will be considered will include, but not limited to:

  1. history of “service to others”
  2. dental shadowing and clinical experiences
  3. recommendation members of the Creighton community (i.e., faculty, alumni, current students, etc.)
  4. quality of pre-professional educational program
  5. residence in states having educational compact agreements with the School
  6. evidence of good moral character, motivation, and emotional and intellectual maturity
  7. any other personal background information the applicant chooses to submit to assist the admissions committee in giving each application holistic consideration. Such personal background factors might include, but are not limited to:
    1. first generation college student
    2. attributes one believes will enhance the campus community
    3. overcoming hardships or economic or educational disadvantages
    4. having lived in a foreign country or spoken a language other than English at home or language fluency

This list is not exhaustive and none of these factors will be considered in isolation. Furthermore, no factor will result in the admission of an academically unqualified applicant.

Applicant Response To Acceptance

A non-refundable enrollment reservation deposit of $500 is required to reserve a place in the class to which admission has been offered. The deposit is credited to the first semester’s tuition.

Background Investigation and Drug Screening

To assure the safety and well-being of patients, students, faculty, and staff in the clinical and academic environments and to attest to clinical agencies the students' eligibility to participate in clinical activities, incoming students will be required to complete background investigations and drug screening analyses prior to matriculation.

State Compacts

Creighton University has dental education compacts with the states of New Mexico, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Idaho.  Applicants who are residents of these states are encouraged to apply to their states’ programs. If accepted into their state's program, residents from these states receive partial tuition remission. Application procedures for the CUSOD for applicants from these states are the same as for all other applicants.

Accepted residents of New Mexico, North Dakota, and Wyoming receive all their dental education at Creighton. Residents of Idaho may have the option of taking their first year at Idaho State University in Pocatello under the Idaho Dental Education Program (IDEP). The remaining three years are spent at Creighton. Additional information is available from the program directors in each state.

Confirmation deposits made to Creighton by IDEP (Idaho) students are applied to the first year’s tuition at Idaho State University.

The first-year program at Idaho is equivalent to that at Creighton. Course outlines, objectives, laboratory projects, texts and teaching aids are nearly identical.

The contract for the dental educational compacts between Creighton University and Idaho State University was signed in March 1982 with the first class entering August 1982.