Becoming a Competitive Applicant

Academic Excellence

Grade Point Average (GPA)

UF College of Dentistry does not have a minimum GPA requirement. However, good grades are important indicators of academic potential. Put yourself in a strong position in the application cycle by earning high grades, especially in your science courses. To view the entering class GPA averages visit: Entering Class Stats.

The Admissions Committee understands the GPA number alone doesn’t tell the full story; GPA trend and course load are also very important. An applicant with a low GPA can still be competitive in the applicant pool if they have a well-established upward grade trend. Additionally, an applicant with a GPA in line with our entering class average may not be competitive if they have a downward grade trend.


The Admissions Committee does not give preference to any specific majors. We have a strong history of admitting students with a variety of science and non-science majors. Students are free to choose a major of study in any area they find interesting. However, you will need to pay particular consideration to how challenging it may be to register for our science-heavy prerequisite courses when deciding on which major to pursue.

Complete Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisites are to be completed with a grade of C or higher prior to matriculation (not required to apply). It is important to complete most of the prerequisites before applying in order to show the admissions committee your level of performance. View the details on the full list of our prerequisite courses.

Here is a suggested course plan for traditional applicants to complete prerequisite courses before matriculation. Please keep in mind that the prerequisite courses listed are specific to the University of Florida College of Dentistry. If you plan to apply to multiple dental schools, be sure to visit each school’s website for information about their specific prerequisite courses.

Dental Experience

Q:How can you be sure that dentistry is the right profession for you?
A: By thoroughly familiarizing yourself with the dental profession.

Shadow, observe, and/or work in clinical dental settings so that you are sure this is the right career for you. You can shadow in private dental offices, public health clinics, dental laboratories, Veteran’s Administration hospitals, and in the student and resident clinics at UF College of Dentistry through UF Health Shands Hospital Volunteer Office.

The DMD program leads to a doctor of dental medicine degree in general dentistry. Make sure you have a deep knowledge of what general dentists do on a day-to-day basis. Some exposure to the various dental specialties can also be helpful to you as you explore what you like (and what you might not like) about dentistry, but make sure the majority of your chairside clinical exposure is in general dentistry.

Applicants are not required to complete a minimum number of dental experience hours. However, you do need a substantial amount of first-hand dental observation so you become very familiar with the profession. If all goes as planned, this will be your career for the next several decades, and it’s important that you are sure dentistry is what you want to do. Shadowing isn’t just another box to check on an application; this directly benefits you as you prepare for your career in the dental field. There’s no such thing as too much dental experience.

Considering going on a dental service trip?  Please review the ADEA Guidelines for Predental Students Providing Patient Care During Clinical Experiences Abroad ⤷.

Develop Hand Skills

Exercise your fine motor skills by performing hands-on activities such as playing an instrument, sewing, or sculpting. Choose something you will enjoy and something that require a posture similar a practicing dentist. Dentists perform many of their duties using their hands and fingers while keeping the rest of their body still.

Extracurricular/Volunteer/Community Service

How do you give back to your community? What skills and talents do you have? Did you work hard as a leader on your undergraduate campus? Have you been involved in a pre-dental student organization? Providing evidence of leadership and service is important to becoming a competitive applicant. In fact, service is a big part of the mission and vision at UF College of Dentistry. Dental students are required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of community service while they are in dental school.

These sections of the ADEA AADSAS application help the admissions committee learn more about who you are, beyond grades and test scores. What do you do with your free time? How do you positively impact the world around you?

Many applicants incorrectly assume that they can only include activities that were part of an official student organization. Have you served your community through your religious organization? In your neighborhood? Have you donated your time and efforts to a local community organization?

There are a number of activities that can help prepare applicants for an education and career in dentistry. Aspiring dental students are encouraged to explore any pre-dental student organizations at their institutions. Check out the ASDA website⤷ to find ASDA chapters in your area and other resources for pre-dental student organizations.


Research is not required but can be very beneficial to an applicant. Seeing the application and execution of what you learned in a text book can be very rewarding. Depending on the lab and the research you conduct, you may also develop some fine motor skills.

The research you do doesn’t need to be dental-related. However, there are some opportunities for undergraduate students to get involved with research at UF College of Dentistry.


We strongly encourage you to become familiar with everything available on GoDental as well as the GoDental YouTube channel⤷. Here are some of our favorites:

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