School of Dentistry

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.

  • 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 includes 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 in a satellite dental clinic rotation in Northern Alberta.

  • Application Process

    Application deadline: November 1 (see all DDS Admissions Deadlines)

    Applications for admission are accepted from the beginning of July to November 1 the year prior to the year admission is sought. For example, July 5, 2016, to November 1, 2016, for Fall 2017 admission.

    Only electronic applications will be accepted.

    The following documentation is required:

    1. Completed University of Alberta online undergraduate application for admission and readmission or internal transfer with the non-refundable application fee.
    2. Results from the Canadian Dental Aptitude Test.
    3. Official transcripts of your academic record. All previous post-secondary academic records must be provided.
    4. English Language Proficiency/Spoken English Requirement (if required). 
  • Academic Requirements

    The minimum requirement for admission to the DDS Program is the satisfactory completion of *60 of transferable postsecondary work (10 full year course equivalents or 20 half year course equivalents), of which *30 (5 full year course equivalents or 10 half year course equivalents) must be taken during one Fall/Winter (a Fall/Winter academic year is September to April inclusive).

    The pre-professional course requirements are:

    • General Chemistry (*6)
    • Organic Chemistry (*6)
    • Biology (*6)
    • Physics (*6)
    • English (*6)
    • Statistics (*3)
    • Introductory Biochemistry (*3)

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

    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 prerequisite requirement. Grades of D+, D, D- and F are considered deficient for transfer coursework.

    Applicants having high school courses in English Language Arts 30-1; Pure Mathematics 30, Chemistry 30, Biology 30 and Physics 30 will be best prepared to succeed in the two-year pre-dental program.

    General Chemistry: IB Chemistry (higher level) with a grade of 6 or 7 only is equivalent to Chemistry 101 (*3) or Chemistry 103 (*3).

    Biology (including Microbiology, Zoology, Genetics, Botany, Bacteriology, Immunology): IB Biology (higher level) with a grade of 6 or 7 only is equivalent to Biology 107 (*3).

    Physics (Does not include U of A Physics 114): Courses in Astronomy, Astrology or Music and High Fidelity will not meet the Physics prerequisite requirement.

    English (Courses offered by the Department of English): ENGL or WRITE will meet the English requirement. IB English (Higher) with a grade of 6 or 7 will meet the English requirement. Classics, History, Linguistics or Philosophy DO NOT meet this requirement. For Fall 2019 admission ONE of WRS 101 OR 102 will be considered. For Fall 2020 admission and going forward WRS courses WILL NOT meet the English requirement.

  • Canadian Dental Aptitude Test

    Applicants must write the Canadian Dental Aptitude Test (DAT). It may be written in February and/or November. If the test is taken more than once, the best set of scores will be used. To meet minimum requirements a score of 15 or more must be achieved in each of: Reading Comprehension, Perceptual Ability and Manual Dexterity.

    Canadian Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) results must be submitted to the Admissions Office by January 15 of the year admission is sought. The DAT must have been written within the last five years and, at the latest, the November prior to admission.

    Deadline dates to apply to write the DAT:
    • November testing application deadline is September 15
    • February testing application deadline is January 15

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

    Please note: The DAT must be written by the November exam date of the year prior to the year admission is sought. For example, if you are applying for Fall 2013 admission the latest you could write the DAT would be November 2012. We recommend applicants take the February DAT exam of 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 in November. (See all DDS Admissions Deadlines.)

    The University of Alberta DDS Program does not accept U.S. DAT results. All applicants must complete the Canadian DAT.

  • Transcripts

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

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

    Please note: 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. (See all DDS Admissions Deadlines.)

    Official final transcripts of current Fall/Winter academic year must be submitted by June 15.

    Please submit all transcripts to:

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

    Submission of University of Alberta transcripts is not necessary for Fall/Winter coursework. Applicants planning to take Spring term courses the year admission is sought must notify the Admissions Office of their registration and provide a final transcript by June 15.

    Post-secondary education completed outside of Canada

    All applicants are required to provide a detailed course description for post-secondary work completed outside of Canada, due February 1 the year admission is sought.

    English Language Proficiency and Spoken English Requirement: deadline June 15 of year admission is sought. See University of Alberta Calendar 13.3.1 and 13.3.2

  • Interview

    Interviews are scheduled for Saturday, March 7, 2020.

    A personal interview is required of all competitive applicants annually. Interview selection is based on interim transcripts, post secondary academic record and DAT scores. The interim document deadline is February 1. 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.

    Applicants selected to interview will be contacted by email by the end of February. Primary contact will be through the University of Alberta email account, please have your U of A account forwarded to your regular email account if you do not check your U of A email account regularly.

    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 in person at the University of Alberta.

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

    Sample MMI Questions

  • Selection Process and Acceptance

    Admission to the DDS program is limited to 31 students and applications are selected on a competitive basis. Of the 31 seats in the program 85% are reserved for Alberta residents, 5% for international students (Student Visitors) and 10% for other Canadians. No non-resident of Alberta may be admitted who is less qualified than any Alberta resident who is denied admission.

    For admission purposes, a resident of Alberta is defined as a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident (Landed Immigrant) who has been continuously 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 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 section 13.2 Residence Requirements of the University of Alberta calendar for more information.

    We do not accept any advance standing or transfer students from other Dental Schools. All applicants admitted to the DDS program must begin in year one and complete all four years at the University of Alberta.

    Aboriginal Applicants: In addition to the regular quota positions, additional position/s per year may be available for a qualified student/s of aboriginal ancestry. Applicants interested in this program are encouraged to contact the Administrator, Indigenous Health Initiative at (780) 492-9526 for further information and assistance.

    Applicant Profile and Admission Formula

    1. Overall GPA (OGPA) - (50% of overall rank score) is comprised of all transferable postsecondary work completed as a full-time student taken during Fall/Winter or Spring/Summer Terms. For overall GPA calculation full-time study is equivalent to a minimum of *18 taken during Fall/Winter Terms or *12 taken during Spring/Summer Terms.
    2. Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) scores - (25% of overall rank score) is the sum of grades in the reading comprehension, perceptual ability and manual dexterity.
    3. Interview results (25% of overall rank score)

    In order to be competitive, applicants should strive for a minimum GPA of 3.5 in their university studies. Students with a GPA of less than 3.0 will not be considered for admission.

    For applicants who have completed four or more years of full-time transferable postsecondary work, the cumulative (overall) GPA is calculated with the deletion of the lowest Fall/Winter GPA, provided it is not the most recent Fall/Winter or the only Fall/Winter where *30 was taken.

    Minimum standards:

    1. Overall GPA of 3.0 (out of 4)
    2. DAT scores of 15 out of 30 in reading comprehension, perceptual ability and manual dexterity components
    3. Minimum required interview score.

    Please note: meeting the minimum standards does not guarantee admission. All applicants are in open competition and ranked according to the above noted criteria.

    Special Consideration

    Applicants who have extenuating circumstances may submit a request for special consideration in writing to the Admissions Committee with supporting documentation. Special consideration requests must be received by the Admissions Office by January 31 of year admission is sought. Applicants will be expected to have successfully completed all pre-professional requirements. Applicants requesting special consideration must contact the Admissions Office prior to submitting their request for a Request for Special Consideration form.

    Notification of Acceptance (May-July)

    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 payment of tuition upon completion of registration. (See §13.5.4).

    Applicants should be aware that a clear Police Information Check (PIC) is required as a condition of admission and that any criminal charges pending must be declared. Under the Protection for Persons in Care Act, all students going to any clinical placement or rotation in Alberta are required to complete a Police Information Check (also known as a Criminal Record Check, Security Clearance Check, or Police Clearance), which must include a Vulnerable Sector Check. The clinical practice site will determine the criteria for acceptance/denial of a placement.

    Police Information Checks are due at the time admission is confirmed. Applicants should plan to have their PIC complete prior to an offer of admission. Failure to submit a clear and complete PIC by the date noted in the offer of admission will result in the offer of admission being revoked.

    Applicants should be prepared to have their immunization records reviewed and updated by a health care professional at the time admission is offered. We recommend this be done at the University Health Centre (UHC) on campus, by a personal physician, at a public health clinic or a travellers clinic. 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. Translation should be provided if there is not a legend attached. Students without records will be required to complete their primary series.

  • Costs and Fees

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


    Tuition/COF and Non-Instructional Fees

    Fees for Equipment & Instrumentation Rental













    Note: All costs noted above are estimates only and are subject to change. Students pay the fees in effect at the time of registration. 

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


    Tuition Includes
    Clinic Fee

    Fees for Equipment & Instrumentation Rental













    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.