Admission to the Dental School

Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Select the email address below to ask a question of an admissions official at the School of Dentistry. dentaladmit@mu.edu 

Admission Requirements

Marquette University School of Dentistry requires the successful completion of a minimum of 90 semester hours or 135 quarter hours from an accredited college or university.

The following are scholastic requirements:

Chemistry — 16 Semester Hours (24 Quarter Hours)

Eight semester hours (at least two courses) in general inorganic chemistry including laboratory work are required. A course in quantitative and qualitative analysis may be accepted in lieu of one course in general inorganic chemistry.
Eight hours of organic chemistry (at least two courses) including laboratory work are required.

Physics — 8 Semester Hours (12 Quarter Hours)

College physics courses including laboratory work are required.

Biology — 8 Semester Hours (12 Quarter Hours)

Zoology and a course in comparative vertebrate anatomy are preferred but not mandatory. Only four semester hours of botany or that portion of a general biology course pertaining to botany apply toward the biology requirement. Laboratory work must be included.

English — 6 Semester Hours (9 Quarter Hours)

Six semester hours of English. Composition, literature and/or comparative literature fulfill the requirement.

Biochemistry — 3 Semester Hours (5 Quarter Hours)

Three semester hours in biochemistry. This course must be taken at a four-year institution. Laboratory work is not required.

Note: The School of Dentistry does not accept AP course work for prerequisite science requirements. All requirements must be completed before students begin their freshman year in the School of Dentistry. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the dean or designee.

Recommended Electives

Suggested pre-doctoral science electives include anatomy, cell biology, genetics, microbiology and physiology. Math courses are suggested in preparation for physics and advanced chemistry.

Students are advised to gain, through their college studies, an understanding and an appreciation of various cultural backgrounds in preparation for their futures as professionals and community leaders.

With these ideas in mind, it is recommended that courses in English composition and literature, speech, history, philosophy, sociology, political science, economics, psychology, second language and the like be included in the schedule of pre-dental studies.

Application Procedures

  1. Application for admission to Marquette University School of Dentistry may be made through the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). All AADSAS applicants must submit an online application. The application may be accessed at www.ADEA.org in mid-May and should be submitted in early June prior to the year for which admission is being sought. Individuals who do not have computer access should contact AADSAS by phone at (202) 289-7201 or (800) 353-2237 or by mail at 655 K Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20001.
  2. The completed application should be submitted to AADSAS in the month of June. For optimum consideration, completed credentials should be received no later than Sept. 1.
  3. After completing the AADSAS application, the student should forward a $45 processing/application fee to the Marquette University School of Dentistry as soon as possible. Three letters of recommendation (at least two from science professors) should be submitted to AADSAS. Qualified candidates that the Admissions Committee chooses to pursue are invited for personal interviews that occur during October and November.
  4. Every applicant is required to take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). The computerized DAT is offered, by appointment, through the Dental Admissions Testing Program and local Prometric Testing Centers across the country. Applications for the DAT may be obtained by writing to: Department of Testing Services, American Dental Association, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 or online at www.ada.org or www.adea.org.
  5. All students entering the Marquette University School of Dentistry must be immunized against Hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and tetanus-diphtheria. Students who do not have proof of immunization are required to show immunity through a blood titer. A negative or equivocal blood titer result on any of these vaccine-preventable diseases requires students to be vaccinated. Students are also required to have an annual TB skin test and show immunity to varicella-zoster through a blood titer. Students should receive immunizations through their personal physician or contact MU Student Health Services for further information. Students are also required to provide proof of health insurance coverage.
  6. The School of Dentistry’s Admissions Committee accepts applicants based on scholarship, Dental Admission Test scores, a personal interview and the applicant’s overall suitability for the study of dentistry. An applicant may be accepted provisionally, pending receipt of the grades earned in the balance of courses taken or the results of the Dental Admission Test. All test scores, as well as complete and final transcripts from colleges and universities previously attended, must be submitted before a student finally enrolls in classes. No consideration is given to an applicant with an outstanding balance of $3,000 or more owed to Marquette University.
  7. Accepted applicants must respond in writing within the deadlines stated in the letter of acceptance. A $1,000 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve an applicant’s position in the class. Special deposit and insurance fees are required of international students.

Admission for International Students

International students must submit the necessary application forms, fees, official transcripts and any other items that are required by the School of Dentistry. All documents must be issued by the appropriate source and must bear fresh-ink printing, signatures, stamp, seal or other mark of certification as an official document. All materials not in the English language must be accompanied by official language translations.

International students must also have an adequate command of both written and spoken English. If English was not the language of a student’s formal education, the student must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) administered by the Educational Testing Service or submit other evidence of English proficiency. Information concerning the TOEFL can be obtained from: TOEFL; Box 6155; Princeton, NJ 08541-6155, U.S.A, or www.ets.org/toefl

Once accepted, prospective dental students who are not citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States work with the Office of International Education toward completion of the university and student legal arrangements required before enrollment. Each prospective Marquette F-1 or J-1 visa student must document financial resources for the full duration of the Marquette program before the student’s required Certificate of Eligibility can be issued for subsequent governmental arrangements.

Non-immigrant students must abide by the regulations of their legal status in the United States, including those regarding their defined educational objectives, academic load and employment. Students are to consult with the Office of International Education regarding maintenance of proper legal status throughout the years of dental education.

Minority and/or Disadvantaged Applicants

Prospective students who consider themselves socioeconomically disadvantaged and/or from racial minority groups are encouraged to utilize the services of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The School of Dentistry’s commitment to the recruitment, retention and graduation of underrepresented minority dentists has been in operation since 1977. Services and activities for students include application assistance, tutorial support and academic and personal counseling. Contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for more information about programs and services for disadvantaged and/or minority students.

Advanced Standing Admissions

Transfer Admissions

Students who desire a transfer to the Marquette University School of Dentistry from another recognized School of Dentistry must submit to the Admissions Committee official transcripts of their dental school and pre-dental college and/or university records along with their application and application fee. In addition, transfer applicants must submit the results of their DAT and National Board, Part I score (if taken). Most importantly, a letter from the dean of the dental school stating rationale for the requested transfer is also required. Students seeking a transfer must complete three years of study at Marquette.

Foreign Trained Dentists

Dentists, who were trained in countries outside the United States, but wish to practice here, may apply for advanced standing admissions. These candidates are required to complete three years of study at Marquette. Interested parties may apply through the Centralized Application for Advanced Placement for International Dentists (CAAPID). The CAAPID application may be accessed at www.adea.org. Along with an application and application fee, these candidates are also required to submit a translated, course-by-course evaluation of their dental school transcripts, three letters of recommendation and TOEFL test results, if English was not the language of the student’s formal education. National Board, Part I or the new Integrated National Board (INBDE) results are required. Selected candidates are invited for an interview with the Admissions Committee.

Note: Any candidate accepted with advanced standing is required to complete three years of study at Marquette. These candidates join the rising freshman class after acceptance. (Limited spaces may be available on an annual basis.)

Residency for Tuition Purposes Policy

To be considered a resident for tuition purposes, in the state of Wisconsin, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Graduate from a Wisconsin high school and maintain residency in the state of Wisconsin.
  2. Graduate from a Wisconsin high school and still have at least one parent residing in the state of Wisconsin for at least 12 continuous months preceding the beginning of the term to which the student plans to enroll. If both parents are deceased, the last surviving parent must have resided in Wisconsin at the time of their death.
  3. Live in Wisconsin for a period of at least 12 continuous months, immediately preceding the beginning of the term to which the student plans to enroll. Students may not complete course work at any educational institution during this 12-month period. Wisconsin state income taxes must have been filed as a full-year resident of Wisconsin for this period.
  4. Be the spouse or dependent of a person who was relocated to the state of Wisconsin by their current employer for full-time, permanent employment. The position must have been offered and accepted prior to making the move to Wisconsin and prior to the spouse or dependent applying for admission.
  5. The determination of residency for tuition purposes is only necessary for students entering as first-time freshmen. The state subsidy is not available for students who enter as advanced standing or transfer students.

Note: Wisconsin residency requirements for tuition purposes differ from those requirements for taxes, voting, etc. Any questions regarding the appropriate determination of residency for tuition purposes may be directed to the State of Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board.

Minimum Technical Standards Policy for Admissions and Matriculation at MUSOD

The Marquette University School of Dentistry is committed to the principle of diversity in all areas. In that spirit, admission to the School is open to all qualified individuals and complies with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (1993).

The Marquette University School of Dentistry recognizes the award of a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree carries with it the full authority of the institution and communicates to those who might seek the services of the bearer that they are competent to practice dentistry. The D.D.S. degree is unique in that the graduate is prepared and, upon licensure, is allowed to practice all disciplines of the dental profession. This requires that the student acquire didactic knowledge as well as learning skills and attitudes essential to the profession and agreed upon by the faculty as requisite for the practice of dentistry. The student requires both cognitive and technical skills to negotiate the curriculum.

The Marquette University School of Dentistry is aware of the unique nature of the dental curriculum. Applicants must possess the skills and abilities that allow them to successfully complete the course of study and receive the full benefit of the education. In the process the student is required to manage or perform treatment on the patients of the school. The school has the responsibility of ensuring the well-being of patients. This includes the completion of treatment safely and within an acceptable amount of time. With this in mind, the student must be able to meet the following technical standards with or without accommodation.


  1. Motor Skills
    General: Candidates and students must have sufficient motor functions to execute movements reasonably required to provide general care and treatment to patients within an acceptable amount of time.
    Specific: A candidate must possess the motor skills necessary to directly perform palpation, percussion, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers, basic laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures. Such actions require coordination of gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional uses of the senses of touch and vision.
    Specific: A candidate must be able to perform basic life support (including CPR), transfer and position disabled patients, physically restrain adults who lack motor control and position and reposition self around patients. A candidate must be able to operate controls utilizing fine movements, operate high or low speed dental instruments within less than one millimeter and utilize hand instruments (including scalpels for surgical procedures).
  2. Sensory/Observation
    General: A candidate must be able to acquire a defined level of required information as presented through demonstrations and experiences in the basic and dental sciences.
    Specific: This includes, but is not limited to, information conveyed through physiologic and pharmacological demonstrations in animals; and microbiological cultures and microscopic images of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A candidate must be able to acquire information from written documents and to visualize information presented in images from paper, films, slides, video and computer. A candidate must be able to interpret unannotated radiographs (X-rays) and other graphic images, with or without the use of assistive devices. A candidate must have functional use of visual, auditory and somatic sensation while being enhanced by the functional use of sensory modalities.
    General: A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately, at a distance and close at hand and observe and appreciate auditory and non-verbal communications when performing dental operations or administering medications.
    Specific: A candidate must be able to perform visual and tactile dental examinations and treatment, including use of visual acuity, accommodation and vision to discern the differences and variations in color, shape and general appearance between normal and abnormal, soft and hard tissues. Use of tactile senses may be by direct palpation or indirect through instrumentation. A candidate must also possess the visual acuity to read charts, records, small print and handwritten notation and distinguish variations in colors intra- and extra-orally. A candidate must be able to sense and distinguish sounds for patient safety, both verbal- and non-verbal including, but not limited to, a verbal request for help, non-verbal sounds of distress such as choking and sounds of equipment problems or failure.
  3. Communication
    General: A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and/or guardian; convey or exchange information at a level allowing development of a health history; identify problems presented; explain alternative solutions; and give directions during treatment and post-treatment. For effective patient treatment, the candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with all members of the health care team, orally and in writing.
    Specific: A candidate must have sufficient facility with English to retrieve information from literature, computerized data bases and lectures, to communicate concepts on written exams and patient charts; elicit patient backgrounds; describe patient changes in moods, activity and posture; and coordinate patient care with all members of the health care team.
  4. Cognitive
    General: A candidate must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate and synthesize.
    Specific: A candidate must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. Problem solving, a critical skill demanded of a dentist, requires all of these intellectual abilities. A candidate must be able to perform these problem-solving skills in a timely fashion for effective patient treatment.
  5. Behavioral
    General: A candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, maintenance of patient confidentiality, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients.
    Specific: A candidate recognizes the curriculum is physically, mentally and emotionally taxing. They must be able to tolerate demanding workloads, to include functioning effectively under stress, adapting to changing environments, displaying flexibility and learning to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that are assessed during the admission and educational processes. A candidate must also be able to manage apprehensive patients with a range of moods and behaviors in a tactful, congenial, personal manner so as not to alienate or antagonize them. A candidate must reasonably be expected to accept criticism and respond by appropriate modification of behavior.
    The school considers for admission any applicant capable of acquiring the necessary knowledge and having the ability to perform, or learn to perform, the skill specified in these standards. The school has determined that these skills are essential to the program of instruction.
    Although the school may not inquire whether an applicant has a disability prior to making a decision on admission, an applicant may disclose during the admissions process a disability for which they wish accommodation during the admissions process or upon admission. If this occurs, the school requests the applicant to provide documentation of the disability to the director of Admissions. The Admissions Committee considers the applicant based on the published criteria for admission of all applicants. The Admissions Committee makes a determination as to whether the applicant can perform the essential functions of the educational program, taking into account the accommodations that the applicant has requested or alternative reasonable accommodations that the institution can offer.
    After admission, a student who discloses a disability and requests accommodation may be asked to provide documentation of their disability for the purpose of determining appropriate accommodations, including modification to the program. The school provides reasonable accommodations but is not required to make modifications that would fundamentally alter the nature of the program or provide auxiliary aids that present an undue burden to the school. The student must be able to perform all of the technical standards with or without accommodation to matriculate or continue in the curriculum. Costs of reasonable accommodations are borne by the school unless otherwise funded.
    Requests for accommodation should be initiated with the associate dean for Academic Affairs.

Criminal Background Check Policy

Applicants to Marquette University School of Dentistry apply through the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). The AADSAS application requires disclosure of any misdemeanor or felony convictions other than minor traffic violations. Non-disclosure/falsification of any aspect of the AADSAS application may lead to an offer of admission being rescinded by the School of Dentistry.

A criminal background check is completed on all provisionally accepted applicants to Marquette University School of Dentistry, prior to matriculation, as follows:

  1. The criminal background check is initiated at the time the applicant is provisionally accepted.
  2. The criminal background check is not a component of the application, interview or initial decision-making process for the school. It is the final component of the admissions process. The letter sent by the School of Dentistry to each provisionally accepted applicant includes information regarding this requirement, indicating that the final admissions decision is made after institutional review of the provisionally accepted applicant’s criminal background check report.
  3. Appropriate authorization to initiate the criminal background check is received from all Marquette University School of Dentistry applicants at the time of their formal interview. Interviewees are made aware that the background check is only initiated if they are provisionally accepted for admission.
  4. Final decisions regarding provisionally accepted applicants whose criminal background check reveals negative information are made by an ad hoc committee appointed by the associate dean for academic affairs of the Marquette University School of Dentistry.
  5. No information derived from a criminal background check automatically disqualifies any provisionally accepted applicant from final acceptance. A final decision regarding acceptance is made only after a careful review of the negative information. Offenses revealed by the background check may disqualify a provisionally accepted applicant. The School of Dentistry uses the Wisconsin Caregiver Law as a guide in making such decisions.
  6. All information obtained through the criminal background check is used in accordance with state and federal laws.
  7. Enrolled students are required to disclose any felony convictions, including deferred adjudications that violate the Wisconsin Caregiver Law, within thirty days of occurrence to the associate dean for academic affairs. Non-disclosure or falsification of conviction status may be grounds for dismissal or degree revocation.

Deferment Policy

Students may request that their offer of admission be deferred for one year. These steps must be followed:

  1. Students must have been offered an appointment to the class and paid a deposit to reserve that space before a deferment request is entertained.
  2. The request for deferment must be submitted, in writing, to the attention of the director of admissions. The request for deferment must include plausible rationale and reasons for consideration.
  3. The decision to grant or reject the deferment is made by the director of admissions in collaboration with the associate dean for academic affairs and student services. Requesting a deferment does not guarantee that one is granted. Decisions are based on the quality of the reason(s) cited in the deferment request and are consistent with current selection criteria. Deferments are contingent upon the recipient maintaining the academic standard illustrated at the time of the original offer of admission.
  4. Candidates that are granted a deferment are asked to formally reapply for the following year. All other supporting credentials are kept on file. Candidates is not required to submit a new tuition deposit. The tuition deposit carries over to the following year at the time the deferment is granted. The tuition deposit is nonrefundable if candidates do not enroll for the academic year following the deferment.
  5. Candidates are required to confirm their appointment by January 15 of the year of enrollment. Students are expected to pay the tuition rate current to the year of actual enrollment. Students' residency status remains the same as it was at the time of the original offer of admission.

Continuing Education

The Marquette University School of Dentistry offers courses for graduate dentists throughout the year in virtually all phases of dentistry. These courses vary in length and content and are designed to accommodate the general practitioner and specialist.

Course announcements are mailed regularly to all Wisconsin dentists and other interested parties.

Information may be obtained by writing the Marquette University School of Dentistry, Director of Continuing Education and Alumni Relations; P.O. Box 1881; Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881; (414) 288-3093; or by visiting the website.