Common reasons why dental school applications get rejected

December 10, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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A Gap Medics student shadowing dentists at Hang Dong Hospital in Chiang Mai, Thailand After all the time, money and hard work that you put into applying to dental school, getting your application rejected can be very disappointing. What did you do wrong? Where did you fall short of the admission committee’s expectations? Some dental schools may give you reasons why your application was rejected whereas others offer no explanation, which can make things doubly difficult if you are planning on re-applying.

Take a look at some of the most common reasons why students do not get admission to the dental schools of their choice.


See if any of these reasons could be the cause for your application being rejected and then work harder on this area so that you can apply with a more impressive application again next year.


An average academic profile

While you will not get a seat in dental school based solely on your academic profile, it is one of the essential factors that will influence the decision of the admissions authorities. Dental schools expect students to have a higher than average GPA because it shows that you will be able to handle the rigorous curriculum of dental school and will not lag behind your fellow students.

Corrective measures you can take when reapplying

 If your academic profile was below par when submitting your application, you should aim to improve it. One way to make up for a less-than stellar academic profile is by taking on a short course in a relevant topic and strive to do really well in it. It will demonstrate capability as well as your dedication to dentistry.  


Lack of clinical exposure

All admission committees do not specify clinical experience as a criterion when you apply to dental school but it could work against you if you do not have any kind of exposure in the dental field. Clinical experience shows them that you know what dentistry is about, you’ve seen the good and bad sides to it and you are still committed to becoming a dentist.

Corrective measures you can take when reapplying

 If you are planning on applying again next year, get as much clinical exposure as possible before sending in your application again. Look into pre-dentistry shadowing opportunities whether at home or abroad.


Late submission of your application

Dental school applications cannot be taken lightly. They set a deadline for a particular reason. Your entire completed application is expected to reach them before the deadline. If you have submitted it after the specified date, most dental schools will not even bother to read through the application.

Corrective measures you can take when reapplying

 Start putting together your application as early as possible so that you have enough time to make sure that all is in order and you can send it off well within the deadline.


Badly composed application documents

A messy, badly written application can only be the outcome of a lazy, messy individual or someone not really interested in getting into dental school. Always put your best effort into your application.

Corrective measures you can take when reapplying

 Make sure every page is neat and tidy and all pages are formatted correctly without any spelling or grammatical errors. Type out your application neatly, and attach the correct documents in the correct area before you send it in.


A bad interview

Some students get nervous during the interview stage and end up goofing up with the most basic of things. If the committee was not impressed by your interview, you may have lost your seat to someone who gave a better interview.

Corrective measures you can take when reapplying

 Practice answering common interview questions, brush up on your knowledge and watch your body language before you go for your dental school interview.

Last but not least, select the dental schools you are applying to carefully. Consider the entry grades they require, the number of places available and the competition for those places.