Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

This four-year (11-term) undergraduate program leads to a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. At least two pre-professional years of university education are required before admission.

The information below is applicable to

Fall 2024 Admission.

This webpage is updated regularly.

Admission requirements for Fall 2025 intake can be found in the 2023-2024 University Calendar

NOTICE

The School of Dentistry is now offering a Human Physiology Challenge Examination for eligible applicants. More details can be found below.

DDS Program Overview

Students applying to the program need to be aware that they will be expected to meet the Technical Standards Policy.

The first and second years of the program are comprised of an integrated curriculum, studying anatomical, physiologic, and health systems, including:

  • Infection, Immunity and Inflammation
  • Endocrine System
  • Cardiovascular
  • Pulmonary and Renal Systems
  • Gastroenterology and Nutrition
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Neurosciences
  • Oncology

The first two years of the program also include the study of Oral Biology, Dental Anatomy, Oral Pathology, and an introduction to the pre-clinical practice of dentistry.

The third and fourth years of the program are comprised of lectures, laboratories, seminars and clinical practice. Topics include:

  • Dental Implants
  • Diagnostics
  • Endodontics
  • Ethics in Dentistry
  • Fixed Prosthodontics
  • Hospital Dentistry
  • Operative
  • Oral Surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Radiology
  • Removable Prosthodontics
  • Geriatrics
  • Oral Biology
  • Practice Management
  • Sedation and Pain Control

In addition to clinical practice at the University of Alberta Dental Clinic, students participate in clinics at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, the University of Alberta Hospital, and a satellite dental clinic rotation in Northern Alberta.

Application Process

The admissions cycle is a year-long process. Applications for admission are submitted in the year prior to the Fall term admission is sought. Late applications will not be accepted.

Application opens:
July 1
Application deadline:
November 1 9:59 PM MST

Application fee:

  • CAD$75 for University of Alberta students
  • CAD$125 for non-University of Alberta applicants

Applicants that have been Required to Withdraw from their program will not be considered for admission.

See the DDS Admissions Checklist for a summary of all application requirements and deadlines.

The following documentation is required:

    1. A completed University of Alberta online undergraduate application for admission with a paid non-refundable application fee.
    2. Personal Experiences form.
    3. Official transcripts of your academic record. All previous and current post-secondary academic records must be declared and provided.
    4. Canadian Dental Aptitude Test results.
    5. Situational Judgment Test (Casper) results.
    6. English Language Proficiency/Spoken English Requirement documentation (if required).

More information about English Language Requirements can be found under Undergraduate Language Requirements. Documentation must be received by June 15 in the year admission is sought.

Indigenous applicants interested in this program are encouraged to contact the Indigenous Health Initiative Program at or ihi@ualberta.ca or 780-492-9526 for further information and assistance with the admissions process.

Academic Requirements

Pre-professional requirements can be completed within any Faculty or program.

See the DDS Admissions Checklist for a summary of all application requirements and deadlines.

Credit and Course Load Requirements

Applicants must complete a minimum of *60 of transferable postsecondary work (i.e., 10 full-year or 20 half-year course equivalents).

Applicants must meet the minimum course load requirement of two Fall/Winter years with a course load of *30 each year. A Fall/Winter academic year is September 1 to April 30 inclusive.

Pre-professional Course Requirements

IMPORTANT

Courses taken under a specific subject area are NOT guaranteed to transfer to the University of Alberta as the same subject area depending on Faculty review and evaluation. Course evaluations will be completed following the submission of an application and all required documents.

A minimum grade of C- (or equivalent) is required in any transfer course (i.e., courses not completed at the University of Alberta) used to meet a pre-professional requirement. A minimum grade of D is required for University of Alberta courses.

Notes:
*3 is equivalent to one half-year course
*6 is equivalent to one full-year course or two half year courses

Course Requirement Accepted UAlberta Courses*
*3 of General Chemistry CHEM 101 or 103
*3 of Organic Chemistry CHEM 261 or 264
*3 of Cell Biology BIOL 107
*3 of Microbiology MICRB 265 or MMI 133 
*6 of English See additional information
*3 of Statistics STAT 151 or equivalent
*3 of Introductory Biochemistry BIOCH 200 or equivalent
*6 of Human Physiology PHYSL 210 or equivalent
See additional information

* The listed UofA courses are intended to assist prospective applicants in planning their coursework for the DDS program. Non-UofA applicants may use this list as a guide to review course descriptions and select similar courses from their home institutions. We are not able to provide a comprehensive list of all courses from all institutions.

*NEW* Equivalent course lists for select Alberta post-secondary institutions are now available here. For other Alberta institutions, the Transfer Alberta tool provides transfer credit information based on agreements in place between Alberta post-secondary institutions.

Additional Information:

English courses offered by the Department of English (ENGL) should meet the English requirement. ENGL 150 will not meet the requirement. Classics, History, Linguistics, WRS, WRITE, or Philosophy do NOT meet this requirement.

Human Physiology course(s) must include a minimum 78 hours of lecture on human physiology which cover ALL major body systems (muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, immune, respiratory, digestive, excretory/renal/urinary, male and female reproductive). Labs/ tutorials/ seminars will not count toward the required lecture hours.  Animal physiology and invertebrate physiology will NOT meet the requirement.

*NEW* The School of Dentistry is now offering a Human Physiology Challenge Examination for eligible applicants. More details can be found in the below tab.

For International Baccalaureate (IB) Graduates

Only higher-level courses with a grade of 6 or greater are considered transferable.

  • Chemistry (HL) is equivalent to CHEM 101 (*3) or CHEM 103 (*3)
  • Biology (HL) is equivalent to BIOL 107 (*3)
  • English: Literature (HL) is equivalent to *6 of ENGL

For Advanced Placement (AP) Graduates

Only courses with a grade of 4 or greater are considered transferable.

  • Biology is equivalent to BIOL 107 (*3)
  • English is equivalent to *3 of ENGL
  • Statistics is equivalent to STAT 151

Overall GPA

A minimum overall GPA of 3.5 is required for admission. Students with a overall GPA of less than 3.5 will not be considered for admission.

Statement Regarding Winter 2020 Term Grades

Overall GPA (OGPA) is comprised of all transferable post-secondary work completed as a full-time student. Full-time study is equivalent to a minimum of:

  • *18 taken during Fall/Winter Terms or,
  • *12 taken during Spring/Summer Terms.

For applicants who have completed four or more years (Fall/Winter or Spring/Summer) of full-time transferable post-secondary work, the overall GPA is calculated with the deletion of the lowest GPA year, provided it is not:

  • the most recent full-time period or,
  • one of the two required Fall/Winter years where *30 was taken.
*NEW* Human Physiology Challenge Examination

The School of Dentistry is offering a comprehensive Human Physiology Challenge Exam for applicants who do not present coursework equivalent to PHYSL 210. This exam will allow candidates to demonstrate they have sufficient Human Physiology knowledge to meet the pre-professional requirement.

This comprehensive examination does NOT replace the required *6 in Human Physiology. Applicants must present *6 of approved Human Physiology coursework to partially fulfill the eligibility requirements to take the Challenge Exam. Not all Human Physiology coursework will allow an applicant to take the Challenge Exam. Applicants will be notified if they have approved coursework when their application is evaluated. Applicants that meet all eligibility criteria below will receive an invitation to take the Challenge Exam.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Successfully completed or expected to complete approved Human Physiology courses
  • Meet all other admission requirements
  • Competitive for the School of Dentistry MMI

Examination Information

The Examination will be held online in late February. There is a fee of $50 to take the examination.

The examination will be composed of 150 multiple choice questions. The time allotted to complete the examination is 3 hours. The passing grade will be determined by a standard setting score.

The examination may test any of the listed learning objectives.

To be successful in the challenge exam, applicants should be familiar with human systems physiology at the level presented in Vander’s Human Physiology: The Mechanisms of Body Function, 16th Edition by Eric Widmaier, Herschel Raff and Kevin Strang.

Examination Results

Passing Grade

Applicants that receive a standard setting passing grade in the challenge exam will be considered to have met the Human Physiology requirement. Passing the challenge exam does not guarantee admission to the program.

If an applicant does not satisfactorily complete (withdraws or receives below a C-) their Human Physiology course(s), the Human Physiology requirement will be considered as deficient, even if they receive a passing score on the Challenge Exam.

A passing grade on the exam will be valid for 12 months (i.e., a passing Challenge Exam score for Fall 2024 admission could be used for Fall 2025 admission as well).

Failing Grade

If an applicant fails to receive a passing grade, they will NOT have met the Human Physiology requirement and cannot be considered for admission. Applicants may be allowed to take the Challenge exam in subsequent application cycles. Alternatively, they may take an accepted course equivalent or PHYSL 210 from the University of Alberta to fulfil the Human Physiology requirement.

Submission of Transcripts

Unofficial transcripts showing completed work to date and course registration for the Fall/Winter term must be submitted by November 15 to assist in the preliminary assessment of your file.

Unofficial transcripts showing completed work up to and including the Fall term of the current year must be submitted by February 1.

IMPORTANT: Applicants who fail to submit the required documents by the February 1 deadline cannot be evaluated for interview selection. Applicants who do not receive an interview cannot be considered for admission.

Final Official transcripts of the current Fall/Winter academic year must be received by June 15. Applicants planning to take Spring term courses in the year admission is sought must notify the Admissions Office of their registration and provide a final transcript by June 15.

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate Transcripts

Official transcripts must be sent directly by the issuing institution to the Office of the Registrar by January 2 to determine advanced course credit.

Post-secondary education completed outside of Canada

All applicants are required to provide detailed course syllabi or course descriptions for each post-secondary course completed outside of Canada by February 1 in the year admission is sought. Please compile all syllabi or course descriptions into one document for upload.

Please submit final official transcripts to:

Office of the Registrar and Student Awards
University of Alberta
11487 89 Avenue NW
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2M7

Via email:
transcripts@ualberta.ca

Submission of University of Alberta transcripts is not necessary for Fall/Winter coursework.

Canadian Dental Aptitude Test

Notice

Beginning March 15, 2022, the Canadian DAT will be offered year-round at professional testing centres across Canada and administered online. The DAT may be written three times within 12 months. There must be 60 days between attempts.

Applicants must write the Canadian Dental Aptitude Test (DAT). A minimum score of 15 or more must be achieved in each of the following:

  • Survey of Natural Sciences (SNS)
  • Perceptual Ability Test (PAT)
  • Reading Comprehension Test (RCT)

If the test is taken more than once, the best set of scores will be used.

The Canadian DAT must be written by November 15 of the year prior to the year admission is sought in order for results to be received by January 15 in the year admission is sought.The DAT must have been written within the last five years.

Information regarding the DAT and registration is available from the Canadian Dental Association website.

NOTE: DAT Scores will show as missing in your UAlberta Launchpad as scores are added after applications are closed. We have most likely received your scores. If your scores are still missing in December, please contact the Admission Office at admissions@dentistry.ualberta.ca.

We recommend applicants take the DAT exam earlier in the year prior to the year admission is sought. If one of the required sections is scored below 15 or something should go wrong, an applicant would have the opportunity to retake the test by November.

The University of Alberta DDS program does not accept U.S. DAT results.

Situational Judgement Test (Casper)

NOTICE: Altus Assessments is now Acuity Insights

All applicants applying to the Doctor of Dental Surgery program are required to complete the Casper test from Acuity Insights, to assist with our selection process.

The Casper test is a standardized, two-part online assessment of non-cognitive skills, interpersonal characteristics, and personal values and priorities that are believed to be important. Casper will complement the other tools that we use for applicant review and evaluation.

You will reserve a test for CSP-10201 – Canadian Professional Health SciencesIn order to take Casper, you will be responsible for securing access to a computer with audio capabilities, a webcam, and a reliable internet connection on your selected test date.

Note: the DDS and Dental Hygiene programs require different assessments. If you are applying to both programs, you will need to complete the required assessment for each program.

Visit AcuityInsights.app for additional information, important dates, and requirements.

Casper test results must be submitted to the Admissions Office by January 2 of the year admission is sought. Note: scores can only be used for the current application period.

Snapshot is not required.

Personal Experiences

The Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta values diversity in our entering Doctor of Dental Surgery class. The Personal Experiences section gives you the opportunity to highlight the life experiences that you feel will enhance your application.

Upon the submission of an application for admission, the Personal Experiences form will be available in your UAlberta Launchpad checklist. The deadline for submission of the Personal Experiences section is November 1 9:59 PM MST.

Submission of the Personal Experiences forms is mandatory. If you do not submit any of the forms by the deadline, your application will be closed.

The Personal Experiences section is comprised of four subsections:

Employment: Include a brief description of the nature of the work and your responsibilities, a brief description of the average hours worked per week (i.e., part-time during summer, seasonal, full-time, etc.), and the total number of verifiable hours worked in each position. Maximum of 3 entries. 350 characters per entry.

Leadership and/or Volunteer Experiences: List and briefly describe areas where you have provided a leadership role or volunteer experience. This applies to scholastic, sports, arts, and community activities. Include a brief description of the time commitment (i.e., part-time during summer, seasonal, full-time, etc.) and the total number of verifiable hours committed. Maximum of 3 entries.350 characters per entry.

*UPDATED* Life Experience & Achievements: Share achievements or experiences that you feel have defined your life and who you are. This section can include, but is not limited to, achievements and experiences in education, arts, music, sports, athletics, science, research, languages, communication, cultural and ethnic experiences, and travel. One entry is allowed. 2000 characters maximum. 

*UPDATED* Personal Highlights: Please share a life experience where you encountered challenges and describe how you addressed the situation(s). You are strongly encouraged to share an experience that you have not previously addressed in your application which will allow us to learn more about you as an applicant. One entry is allowed. 1000 characters maximum.

Please note that applicants are not required to reveal anything considered protected under human rights legislation.

For Employment and Leadership & Volunteer Experiences sections:

Please be selective and concise in the activities you choose to include. By not including any items in any of these sections, you are accepting a zero for that section. Details about each activity are required, including length of time commitment, description of time commitment, number of verifiable hours committed, and description of the activity. For example, when calculating the number of hours committed to an activity, please do not include hours dedicated to sleep. 

As all activities are verified, you must provide us with the contact information for someone who can confirm the details you have provided for each activity. We strongly recommend that you discuss the information you are choosing to include with your verifier and notify them that they will be contacted. Discrepancies in the information provided may affect your application and eligibility to receive admission. You should NOT be using yourself as a verifier. When possible, avoid using family members or close friends as verifiers. If we have any issues during this process we will contact you directly. If you do not hear from us, assume that there are no issues.

Interview and Personal Statements

A personal interview is required of all competitive applicants annually. Applicants who fail to submit the required documents by February 1 cannot be evaluated for interview selection. See all DDS Admissions Deadlines.

Interview selection is based on:

  • Overall GPA including current Fall (threshold only)
  • DAT scores
  • Casper results
  • Personal Experiences

Competitive applicants will be interviewed to determine if they have the personal qualities necessary for the profession. The interview evaluates an applicant's maturity, motivation, initiative, ability to communicate, personal qualities, and interests.

Applicants who participate in the personal interview, will also be scheduled for an allotted time that same day to complete a written personal statement. This statement will allow applicants to respond to specific questions, provide personal information regarding their preparation for and understanding of the dental profession, and demonstrate written communication skills.

Applicants selected to interview will be contacted by email by the end of February. Emails will be sent to your University of Alberta email account. Please have your U of A email account forwarded to your regular email account if you do not regularly check your U of A email account.

Interview Format

The interview format is the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI). In this format, the interviewee will be exposed without interruption to a series of stations, each of which will take 10 minutes to complete.

At each station, the interviewee will be provided with a question and given two minutes to read the question and formulate a response. After these two minutes, the interviewee will discuss the response with an interviewer for the remaining eight minutes before moving quickly to the next station.

Candidates must interview each year they apply to the University of Alberta.

Applicants not selected for an interview will not be re-evaluated for final selection in the current year.

Sample MMI Questions

Selection Process

Enrolment is limited annually to 32 students. Of the 32 positions available, 29 are reserved for Alberta residents, and up to 3 are available for non-Alberta residents. No non-resident shall be admitted to the DDS program who is less qualified than any Alberta resident denied admission to the program.

See recent Admission Statistics for number of applicants and competitive averages.

See the DDS Admissions Checklist for a summary of all application requirements and deadlines.

Alberta Residency

For admission purposes, a resident of Alberta is defined as a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident (Landed Immigrant) who has been a continuous resident in the Province of Alberta, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, or Nunavut for at least one year immediately prior to the first day of classes of the Fall term in which admission is sought. Because residency status determines the competitive pool in which an applicant is ranked, applicants may be required to present proof of residency status. Please visit the Residence Requirements of the University of Alberta Calendar for more information.

Indigenous Applicants

The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry is committed to the recruitment, retention and graduation of Indigenous students. All qualified Indigenous applicants who are successful in the Indigenous admissions process will be recommended by the Indigenous Admissions Subcommittee for admission. Applicants interested in this program are encouraged to contact the Indigenous Health Initiative Program at ihi@ualberta.ca or 780-492-2209 for further information and assistance with the admissions process.

Applicant Profile

Selection factors will include, but are not limited to:

  • Overall GPA including current Fall/Winter grades (threshold only);
  • Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) results;
  • Situational Judgement Test (Casper) results;
  • Personal Experiences;
  • Interview score;
  • Personal Statement;
  • Additional assessments as determined by the Admissions Committee.

Minimum Requirements

A minimum OGPA of 3.5 is required for admission. A minimum score of 15 out of 30 score is required in the following DAT sections: Survey of Natural Sciences (SNS), Perceptual Ability Test (PAT), and Reading Comprehension Test (RCT).

SPECIAL CONSIDERATION

Applicants who have extenuating circumstances may submit a request for special consideration to the Admissions Committee with supporting documentation to remove certain years from their Overall GPA. The Admissions Office must receive special consideration requests by January 2 in the year admission is sought. Special consideration can not used to waive pre-professional requirements. Applicants must contact the Admissions Office for the Request for Special Consideration form.

Acceptance of Admission

Notification of Acceptance: mid-May to July

An admission decision is valid only for the Fall Term for which the applicant applied.

Deposit

Upon notification of acceptance, applicants will be required to confirm their admission and intention to register by submitting a nonrefundable tuition deposit of $1000 within the time specified in the letter of acceptance. The deposit will be credited toward the payment of tuition upon completion of registration.

Immunizations

Complete and fully documented immunization is a program requirement. The vaccination requirements are based on the Alberta Provincial guidelines for HealthCare Students in a Post-Secondary Institution and serology/immunization outside the guidelines is not routinely done or recommended. All immunization records need to be written and legible. A certified translation must be provided for all non-English documentation. Students without acceptable records will be required to complete their primary immunization series which can take many months so early action on this requirement is strongly advised.

Police Information Check with Vulnerable Sector

A clear Police Information Check (PIC) is required under the Protection for Persons in Care Act. All students going to any clinical placement or rotation in Alberta are required to complete a PIC (also known as a Criminal Record Check, Security Clearance Check, or Police Clearance), which must include a Vulnerable Sector check. The PIC must have been completed within 6 months of the program start date. The clinical practice site will determine the criteria for acceptance/denial of placement.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Certification (CPR)

CPR is required for all students registered in the program. The School of Dentistry will only accept Canadian Heart and Stroke or American Heart Association: Basic Life Support (BLS) for health care providers. No other courses will be accepted to meet the CPR requirement. A CPR BLS Provider session will be organized by the School of Dentistry for successful applicants. A CPR BLS Provider certificate is valid for one year from the completion date of the course. Students must have a valid CPR certification throughout the duration of their program.

Costs and Fees

Tuition and fees are set by the Registrar's Office. Learn more about Tuition and Fees and use the cost calculator.

The estimated costs for students entering the DDS program are as follows:

Year Tuition & Fees Fees for Equipment &
Instrumentation Rental
1 $35,592 $13,225
2 $35,592 $22,043
3 $27,966 $22,043
4 $24,358 $22,043

 

If you are not a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident, the estimated costs are as follows:

Year Tuition & Fees Fees for Equipment &
Instrumentation Rental
1 $96,509 $13,225
2 $96,509 $22,043
3 $96,509 $22,043
4 $96,509 $22,043


NOTE:
All costs noted above are estimates only and are subject to change. Students pay the fees in effect at the time of registration. Loupes, textbooks and software are separate from the above fees. Students are responsible for any costs associated with these requirements.

Learn more about Scholarships and Awards.

Review the list of Dentistry Awards and Scholarships.

Apply Now