Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

Program Overview

The Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program is a four-year (11-term) undergraduate program. Applicants must complete at least two years of university-level coursework before admission.

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

The 1st and 2nd 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 3rd and 4th 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 in a satellite dental clinic rotation in Northern Alberta.

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Application Process

The admissions cycle is a year-long process. Applications are submitted in the year prior to the Fall term admission is sought. The current academic year is considered, e.g., applications for Fall 2025 admission include Fall 2024/Winter 2025 coursework.

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

Applications Open
July 1
Applications Close
November 1 9:59 PM Mountain Time (MT)

Late applications will not be accepted.

Non-refundable Application fee:

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

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

The following documentation is required:

  1. A submitted online undergraduate application with a paid application fee
  2. Transcripts of your academic record. All previous and current post-secondary academic records must be declared and provided.
  3. Personal Experiences forms
  4. Canadian Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) results
  5. Situational Judgment Test (Casper) results
  6. English Language Proficiency/Spoken English Requirement documentation (if required). More information can be found at

Indigenous applicants interested in this program are encouraged to contact the Indigenous Health Initiative Program at or or 780-492-2209 for further information and assistance with the admissions process.

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Academic Requirements

Applicants to the DDS program must complete at least two years of university-level coursework before admission. All academic requirements must be completed or in-progress (registered) at the time of application.

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

Applicants must present:

  • a minimum of 60 units of transferable post-secondary coursework (i.e., 20 half-year courses)
  • two Fall/Winter academic year with a course load of 30 units each year (i.e., 10 half-year courses). A Fall/Winter academic year is September 1 to April 30 inclusive.
  • all required courses with the minimum grade
  • the minimum overall GPA

Required Courses

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.

For required courses, a minimum grade of C- (or equivalent) is required for transfer (Non-University of Alberta) courses. For University of Alberta courses, a minimum grade of D is required.

Some required courses can be met through advanced credit from International Baccalaureate (IB) or Advanced Placement (AP) programs.

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 units) or CHEM 103 (3 units)
  • Biology (HL) is equivalent to BIOL 107 (3 units)
  • English: Literature (HL) is equivalent to 6 units of ENGL
Advanced Placement (AP) Graduates

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

  • Biology is equivalent to BIOL 107 (3 units)
  • English is equivalent to 3 units of ENGL
  • Statistics is equivalent to STAT 151
  • 3 units is equivalent to one half-year course
  • 6 units is equivalent to one full-year course or two half-year courses
Course Requirement Accepted UAlberta Courses*
3 units of General Chemistry CHEM 101 or 103
3 units of Organic Chemistry CHEM 261 or 264
3 units of Cell Biology BIOL 107
6 units of English See additional information
3 units of Statistics STAT 151 or equivalent
3 units of Microbiology MICRB 265 or MMI 133
3 units of Introductory Biochemistry BIOCH 200
6 units 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 Dental Hygiene program. We are not able to provide a comprehensive list of all courses from all institutions.

Transfer Tools:
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. Select the + to learn more.

Human Physiology Challenge Examination Information

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 course requirement.

This comprehensive examination does NOT replace the required *6 in Human Physiology. Applicants must present 6 Units of approved Human Physiology coursework. 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. 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.

Overall GPA (OGPA)

Starting Fall 2025, the minimum OGPA has been lowered from 3.5 to 3.3.

A minimum overall GPA of 3.3 is required for admission. Students with a OGPA of less than 3.3 will not be considered for admission. OGPA is not used competitively to rank applicants, only the minimum must be met.

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 units taken during Fall/Winter Terms or;
  • 12 units 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 only two required Fall/Winter years where 30 units was taken.
Special Consideration Request

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

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Transcript Deadlines

Applicants must submit several transcripts throughout the application cycle. Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded to your UAlberta Launchpad. Official transcripts must be sent by the issuing institution directly to the University of Alberta. University of Alberta transcripts will be requested for previous and current UofA students.

Post-Secondary Transcripts

November 15: Unofficial transcripts showing completed coursework to date, and Fall/Winter registration if currently attending.

February 1: Unofficial transcripts showing Fall term grades and Winter term registration

Important: Applicants who fail to submit the required documents by February 1st cannot be considered for interview selection. Applicants planning to take Spring term courses in the year admission is sought must notify the Admissions Office of their intention to register by February 1.

June 15: Final Official transcript with Fall/Winter grades.

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) 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:

Via email:

Office of the Registrar and Student Awards
Administration Building
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
T6G 2M7

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Canadian Dental Aptitude Test (DAT)

Applicants must write the Canadian Dental Aptitude Test (DAT). The American DAT is not accept. If the test is taken more than once, the best set of scores will be used.

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)

The Canadian DAT must be written by November 15 of the year prior to admission in order for results to be received by January 15 in the year admission is sought. The DAT must be no older than five years on November 1.

We recommend applicants take the DAT exam earlier in the year that they intend to apply. 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.

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

NOTE: Please ensure your name and birthdate are correct in your CDA account so we can match your results to your application. DAT scores will show as missing in your UAlberta Launchpad as scores are added after applications are closed. If your scores are still missing in late December, please contact

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Situational Judgement Test (Casper)

All applicants are required to complete the Casper test (CSP-10211 Canada Casper 2) 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.

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.

The Casper test results must be received by January 2 in the year admission is sought. Note: scores are only valid for the current application period.

Visit for additional information, important dates, and requirements. Snapshot is not required.

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Personal Experiences

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

Following application submission, the Personal Experiences forms will be available in your Launchpad checklist. The deadline for submission of the Personal Experiences form is November 1 9:59 PM MT.

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

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.

For ongoing activities with no end date, you may put November of the current year as the end date. 

The Personal Experiences section is comprised of four subsections:


Include a brief description of the nature of the work and your responsibilities,start and end date for the commitment, 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.

Leadership and/or Volunteer Experiences

Briefly describe areas where you have provided a leadership role or volunteer experience. This applies to scholastic, sports, arts, and community activities.

Include the start and end date for the commitment, 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.

Life Experience & Achievements (UPDATED)

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. 

Personal Highlights (UPDATED)

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.

Personal Experiences Verifiers

Activities included in the Employment and Leadership/Volunteer Experience sections must be verified. For each activity, applicants must provide an email address for a person that for someone who can confirm the details provided. 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 use yourself as a verifier. When possible, avoid using family members or close friends as verifiers.

Applicants should ask verifiers for regularly monitored personal email addresses where possible. A verifier may lose access to a work-related email address. Additionally, email address domains linked to health services (such as Alberta Health Services), government services, and the military typically have firewalls preventing verification emails from going through. 

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.

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Interview Selection

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.

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.

Interview selection is based on:

  • Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) scores
  • Casper results
  • Personal Experiences

Interview Date - Fall 2025:  

TBA (March)

Applicants selected to interview will be contacted by email by the end of February. Applicants not selected for an interview will have their application closed.

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/scenario, 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.

Sample MMI Questions

Personal Statement

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.

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Admission Selection

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

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

Applicants must meet all academic requirements. Selection factors will include, but are not limited to:

  • Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) results
  • Situational Judgment Test (Casper) results
  • Personal Experiences
  • Interview score
  • Personal Statement
  • Additional assessments as determined by the Admissions Committee

NOTE: Overall GPA is NOT used to competitively rank applicants. Applicants that present at least an OGPA of 3.3 will be considered for admission selection.

Alberta Residency

For admission purposes, a resident of Alberta is defined as a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident 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. 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 or 780-492-2209 for further information and assistance with the admissions process. 

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Program Cost

Note: All costs noted below 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.

Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents

The estimated costs for Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents students in the DDS program are as follows:

Year Tuition 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

ESTIMATED TOTAL PROGRAM COST: $202,862 (not including non-instructional fees)

International Students

If you are not a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident, the approximate costs for International students are as follows:

Year Tuition 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

ESTIMATED TOTAL PROGRAM COST: $465,390 (not including non-instructional fees)

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Acceptance of Admission

Admission Offers are sent between mid-May to early July.

An admission decision is valid only for the Fall term for which the applicant applied. Admission offers can not be deferred.

Upon notification of acceptance, applicants will be required to confirm their admission and intention to register by submitting a non-refundable 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.
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 a 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.

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The possession of a dental degree does not automatically confer the right to practice dentistry in any province of Canada. Each province has a licensing authority. A dentist desiring to practice dentistry in Canada should contact the appropriate provincial licensing body.

The Registrar of a Provincial licensing body may refuse to issue a registration certificate to practice dentistry to any applicant possessing a criminal record. If you have concerns in this area, please contact the appropriate licensing authority.

To practice in Alberta, a dentist must be registered with the College of Dental Surgeons of Alberta.

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