The Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program covers 11 consecutive 14-week trimesters. The course of study maximizes the interrelationship of all basic sciences and clinical detail sciences required by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.
USC’s reputation for excellent preparation of its graduates for private practice has been enhanced by curriculum changes that permit students to begin clinical experience in their first year. At the same time, opportunity and encouragement are given to those who might elect to pursue careers in teaching and research.
The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC admits 144 students each year for the curriculum leading to the Doctor of Dental Surgery. Admission to the school is granted through the Office of Admissions, which receives and processes all applications, evaluates credentials and notifies applicants who qualify for entrance by forwarding letters of acceptance. Students are selected by the Admissions Committee, which bases its decision on consideration of an applicant’s personal qualities, aptitude and superior scholarship necessary for the successful study and practice of dentistry. Candidates who have received or will receive a baccalaureate or higher degree will be considered more favorably than applicants who have fulfilled only minimum requirements. As a precondition of enrollment, accepted students must undergo a background screening and provide evidence of sound health and meet the school’s health requirements.
Admission information may be obtained by mail, online or in person. Address inquiries to: Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, Office of Admissions, 925 W. 34th Street, Room 201, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0641, (213) 740-2841, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or access the school’s Website at dentistry.usc.edu.
Minimum entrance requirements include: (1) graduation from an accredited secondary school, with credit for at least 12 academic units, including three in English, three in one laboratory science course, two in one foreign language and two in college preparatory mathematics; (2) a minimum of 60 semester units, or the equivalent completed or in progress, at the time of application, in an accredited college or university in the United States or Canada. A baccalaureate or higher degree is preferred. No more than 60 semester hours earned at a community college will be accepted and preference is given to candidates who complete the science prerequisites at a four-year institution; (3) required courses, semester hours with laboratory required: 8 units each — one year’s completed course — of general biology, inorganic/general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics; other courses: English composition (8 units or one year), philosophy, history or fine arts (8 units or one year). All prerequisite course work must be completed with a grade of “C” or better; (4) it is strongly suggested that students take additional upper division courses. Biochemistry, human or comparative anatomy, embryology, histology, genetics, physiology, microbiology, immunology and economics are examples of recommended courses; (5) all students who apply for admission to the School of Dentistry are required to take the Dental Admission Test (DAT), given under the auspices of the Council on Dental Education of the American Dental Association. The Dental Admission Test must be taken no later than February 1 of the year for which formal application is made.
To expedite the admissions process, it is recommended that the DAT be taken during a testing period before filing formal application through the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). Test scores more than three years old will not be accepted. Applicants should check with the Dental Admissions Office. Full information about the test is sent to all applicants upon request, or can be obtained from the Division of Educational Measurements, Council on Dental Education, American Dental Association, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. No action can be taken on the application until DAT scores have been received.
(6) An interview at the School of Dentistry is required of all applicants who appear qualified for consideration as determined by the Office of Admissions; (7) complete transcripts of undergraduate and graduate work, including degree notations, must be on file in the Office of Admissions by July 15 prior to enrolling; (8) residency requirements: as a private institution, USC seeks a culturally and geographically diverse population. Therefore, out-of-state applicants are evaluated and selected based on the same criteria as California residents.
No applicant will be denied admission on the basis of race, religion, creed or disability. All admitted students must provide evidence that functional health is sufficient to meet professional demands, both in the student role and as an entry-level practitioner.
(1) An application form should be obtained from the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) online at adea.org. (2) The AADSAS application form must be completed and returned to AADSAS. USC requires that the application be received by AADSAS no later than February 1 of the year in which enrollment is anticipated. Early application and file completion is recommended. Do not send the application form to USC directly. In addition to submitting the ADEA AADSAS application, applicants must submit DAT scores and one official transcript from every college/university attended directly to AADSAS. Application evaluation cannot begin until these items are received by ADEA AADSAS. (3) Applicants are required to pay a nonrefundable $85 processing fee, which should be forwarded directly to the Ostrow Office of Admissions (international students requiring a student visa must submit a $145 processing fee). (4) Notification from the Office of Admissions will be sent, indicating that the application has been received from AADSAS. (5) Candidates who are being seriously considered for acceptance will be sent an invitation for an interview and will be required to submit additional information. No interview can be granted unless the file is complete, including DAT scores. (6) Notification of acceptance will be sent by the Office of Admissions sometime after December 1. (7) A non-refundable commitment fee of $2,000 is required from admitted students by the deadline indicated in the acceptance letter to hold a place in the entering class. A second commitment fee of $1,000 is required by the deadline in their acceptance letter. These non-refundable fees will be applied toward tuition upon enrollment. (8) Preregistration for the first year dental class is held before orientation. (9) All entering students are required to prepay $3,000 toward the initial tuition by their deadline. (10) As a precondition of enrollment, accepted students undergo a background screening conducted by Certiphi Screening, Inc. to help ensure patient safety and compliance with state laws and regulations and provide evidence of sound health and meet the school’s health requirements.
Students who have been accepted into the predoctoral dental program and who have reserved their place in the class will receive information on orientation during the first two weeks in July.
Orientation takes place prior to the first week of classes. The purpose of the orientation program is to acquaint incoming students with the school, its policies, programs, faculty and facilities. Incoming students receive financial counseling and receive their initial equipment issue during this orientation period.
A student is eligible for the Doctor of Dental Surgery after successfully attaining the qualitative and quantitative level expected in the doctoral curriculum, specifically: has met the 2.0 GPA requirement for graduation; has no conditions existing at the termination of the final academic time unit that would qualify him or her for academic probation, clinical probation or academic disqualification; has no marks of “F,” “IN” or “MG”; has passed Part I and Part II of the National Dental Board Examinations; has demonstrated the personal characteristics expected of a professional; has fulfilled his or her financial obligations as well as all other obligations and requirements for graduation.
In addition to meeting the academic requirements indicated above, students must have a completed administrative clearance form on file in the Office of Academic Affairs before a degree can be conferred. This administrative clearance indicates that the student has met other obligations to the university and to the student’s patients.
The curriculum leading to the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree undergoes constant change to meet the challenges of modern dental practice.