Pre-Health career pathways

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Pre-Dental pathway

Pre-Dental PathwayPre-health advising

You are encouraged to meet with a pre-health advisor at least once a semester to discuss options for careers in health care, opportunities to gain relevant experience, discussing the best time to apply, preparation for the DAT (Dental Admission Test), the ADEA AADASAS application, and much more. For more information, schedule an appointment with your advisor.


Partnerships/Priority Consideration/Pipeline Programs

Four-year plan

College year 1


  • Maintain a strong GPA and focus on coursework.
  • Make an appointment with a pre-health advisor to introduce yourself and attend the ASU Pre-health Fair.
  • Begin to get involved with clubs and student organizations.
  • Begin volunteering and gaining relevant experience.



College year 2


  • While maintaining a high GPA, look into opportunities for research and clinical experience.
  • Gain clinical experience from a dentist.
  • Build relationships with professors and professionals as they may become letter writers (4 letters recommended).
  • Attend pre-health meetings, events, and the ASU Pre-health Fair.
  • Begin to look into preparing for the DAT (Studying and Registration).
  • Meet with your pre-health advisor.

Clinical experience

Leadership and community service

Special programs

  • Anatomy Advanced Cadaver Dissection

Study abroad


  • Research (Academic, Basic Sciences, Clinical)

Explore schools

Grade point average

College year 3


  • Maintain a high GPA and stay involved with campus clubs/organizations, volunteer opportunities, and clinical experience.
  • Calculate your science and overall GPA to determine your competitiveness.
  • Begin an internship and start prepping for the DAT (take the DAT by spring of Junior year).
  • Apply through AADSAS one year prior to when you plan to matriculate. The AADSAS application usually opens and you may submit in June.
  • Dental schools will start sending supplementary applications. It is important that you are aware of deadlines and complete the supplemental in a timely matter.    


Prior to January

Begin studying for the DAT and register for a test date.


Calculate your science and overall GPA to determine your competitiveness.


Begin collecting letters of recommendation.


Take the DAT no later than April


If taking the DAT in April, you will receive your scores in May. Determine schools to apply to, begin filling out AADSAS as the application will become available at the beginning of May.


Submit AADSAS as soon as possible. Dental schools typically start receiving submitted and verified application at the end of June.


You may start receiving supplemental applications or be invited to interview during this time.

Dental admission test (DAT)

Prep courses and practice exams

Register for test date

ADEA Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (ADEA AADSAS)

Review of AADSAS application offered by the pre-health office.

Fee assistance program

Texas application service

Students applying to medical schools in Texas will need to complete the TMDSAS

Personal statement

Review of personal statement offered by the Pre-Health Office

  • AADSAS Guidelines
    4,500 characters long
    Draft by April of junior year (the year prior to matriculation into dental school)

Letters of recommendation (LOR)

Identify people who know you well and can firmly comment on your ability as a student and future dentist. Ask in advance and give your letter writers sufficient time to complete and submit. Also, remember to stay in touch with letter writers who you may also ask in the future!

ASU letter service

The Pre-Professional Advising Office offers a Letter of Recommendation Service for students applying to AMCAS, AACOMAS, or AADSAS (all other application services use their own portal for LOR). In most cases, letters are not required to be submitted prior to you submitting your application, but can be sent at a later date.

For steps and information regarding the LOR Service, go to

Types of letters (you may submit up to four letters)

Some schools have specific requirements.

  • 1 STEM faculty 
  • 1 D.D.S or D.M.D 
  • 3 Other (STEM faculty, non-STEM faculty, employer, advisor, supervisor, community mentor)

After you submit your AADSAS

After dental schools have received your primary AADSAS application, they may invite you to complete a secondary or supplemental application. Supplemental applications are sent between July and October and usually have fees associated with them. It is important that you complete and submit supplemental applications as soon as possible.

ADEA Admissions Process

Mock interviews

Mock Interviews are offered by Pre-Health Office

College year 4


  • Meet with a pre-health advisor to prepare for interviews.
  • If waitlisted or denied, explore post-bac options or consider taking a gap year.

Post-bac programs


International students

  • ADEA International Students
  • ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools
    The most recent copy is located in the pre-health Library in Health South Student Services.  The guide provides information on the number of international students accepted to each individual dental school.

How to become a dental assistant