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Admissions Prep from an Admissions Director

April 26, 2018

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Spring has sprung!  For the Office of Admissions, the Spring season brings the anticipation of the upcoming DDS application cycle.  Let me mention a few reasons that you should have Michigan on your list of ‘dental schools to apply to’!

  • For four years, the University of Michigan has been ranked as the top dental school in the US!  We’re very proud to continue to be ranked as the #1 dental school.
  • Students at Michigan have early clinical experiences, beginning in the first year!  By the middle of the D2 year, students are assigned their first group of patients that they are expected to schedule, treat and monitor.
  • Our curriculum offers students great opportunities to enrich their learning.  One such opportunity is the Pathways Program, where one can either focus in-depth on a chosen topic or take elective courses during D2 through D4 year.  Another curricular highlight is the Community Based Dental Education program.  This un-paralled program gives students 12 weeks of outreach rotation experience by the time they graduate.
  • Speaking of graduation, over the past four years, an average of 87% of students who applied to either a residency or specialty program were granted admission!

But, let’s get back to the admissions process and application cycle.

The application process for dental school is competitive!  The application opens in June each cycle and we encourage early application – which means in the month of June or July.  Planning ahead for the timing of the application is important:  you can be working on your personal statement before that time, you can select and speak to those who will be writing your letters of recommendation, you can think ahead and plan for documenting all of your shadowing and other experiences, and lastly, plan for your review and study for the DAT.  The best scenario is to take the DAT either before you apply, or around the same time that you apply.

On average, students apply to about 10 dental schools.  Do your homework when making decisions about which schools to select!  The American Dental Education Association ( offers 2 great resources for reviewing admissions stats and comparing dental schools:  the Official Guide to Dental Schools (hard copy) and the Dental School Explorer.

The admissions process is long!  Students are applying in June of any given cycle to begin dental school 1 year later (for UM) in June.

Once your application is submitted to ADEA AADSAS, we generally receive your application within a few weeks.  We will check to see if your application is complete – if not, you’ll receive notice.  If yes, then it will be made ready for admissions committee review.  We begin notifying applications of interview invitations by late summer for the interview season that occurs primarily in the Fall semester.  On December 1st, the first round of admit offers are made and the rolling admissions process begins!  Once our entering class is full, students begin preparing for Orientation, which occurs at the end of June each year.  It’s an exciting time for all, but most especially for those candidates who can now call themselves D1 students!

Good luck with the DDS application season that begins June 2018!

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Pattie Katcher is the Admissions Director at the School of Dentistry.  Pattie started her career at the School in 1991 and has held several positions leading to her current role which she’s held since 2004. In addition to managing the admissions process for DDS, ITDP and our MS programs, she also provides student services support to ~100 grad students.  When she’s not busy advising students and reading applications, she likes to read historical fiction, and spend time outdoors hiking or biking.  

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