Basic information for Canadian dental school applicants! (updated Sept 2011)
Scroll down for a pre-dent guide!
I noticed several posts lately regarding questions that could easily be answered with a bit of research. I have compiled this post hoping it will help out new applicants. Each school is different in terms of what is considered in the admissions process so please take the time to do a bit of individual research before making a new post. By no means am I an expert on admissions so please let me know if anything should be added to this post.
Thank you and good luck!
CDA: Becoming a dentist
General information from the CDA (Canadian Dental Association).
What you should know about the DAT
All Canadian schools except for McGill use your DAT scores in the admissions process. Not all schools consider scores from all sections.
Sections of the DAT include:
AA = Academic Average. Weighted Average from Biology, Chemistry and Reading Comprehension sections based on the number of questions each section has.
PAT = Perceptual Ability Test (angle discrimination, form development, hole punching, cube counting, orthographic projections and apertures)
Each score may range from 0-30 . Ideally you would want a score in the 20-30 range.
Unlike the American DAT, the Canadian DAT has the optional Carving portion but NO O-CHEM OR QUANTITATIVE REASONING. The Canadian DAT is also completely paper based.
Grade Conversion Scale - Use this to calculate your GPA. For more information, scroll down to "How do I calculate my GPA" in this thread. Keep in mind that some schools may not consider all undergrad years. Refer to each school's admissions page for more details.
Canadian Dental Schools
There are 10 dental schools in Canada. Here is a list of them according to province. The links take you to their DMD/DDS admissions website with plenty of details on the application process.
University of British Columbia
University of Alberta
University of Saskatchewan
University of Manitoba
University of Western Ontario
University of Toronto
Laval University (French)
University of Montreal (French)
Guide for Pre-dental Students
Written by aravis
This guide was written by a current dental student with the well-being of pre-dents in mind. Having been in those shoes, feeling lost, and not knowing who to trust, this straightforward guide was made. The guide is targeted towards Canadian pre-dental undergraduate students interested in applying to English speaking dental schools. Unfortunately, I have limited expertise in French Canadian dental school admissions.
You’ve started your undergrad with that one goal in mind: get into dental school.
• Aim for a 4.0 GPA or >90% average
o Though pristine academics aren’t necessary to get into dental school, they certainly go a long way in terms of making you a competitive applicant.• Plan your required prerequisites
o It would be wise to plan ahead while you’re still starting your program so you can make any changes if necessary to fulfill the prerequisites.• Get involved!
o For schools like McGill and UBC, extracurriculars play a role in supporting your application. McGill will be especially interested in your community involvement and love of hockey (no kidding). You'll also need some life experiences that you'll be able to talk about during the interview.
• Shadow dentists
o Get to know the profession before you apply rather than after you spend tens of thousands of dollars on a few years of tuition. If you’re just in it for career stability, you’re going to end up hating it really quickly.• Take summer school (if you need to)
o Some people don’t have time to fit all the prerequisite courses into the regular school year.
• Study for the DAT
o For the keeners: You may apply to Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Dalhousie if you want to get in after second year. So get started early and study for the DAT! Purchase your knife and soaps and get carving.(Note: material on the DAT does not change from year to year so older editions of DAT prep books will help just as well)
• Maintain a high GPA
o 2nd year is usually significantly harder than 1st year due to overwhelming amount of new material presented to you. Work hard and don’t slack.• Write the DAT
o For people applying to get in after 2nd year, it’s suggested to write in November of your 2nd year.• Stay involved!
o If you’re interested and you have the grades, a summer research project might not be a bad idea. You’ll learn a lot and the experience is invaluable.• Study for the DAT
• Basically the same approach as 2nd year!
• Any combination of: Research, shadow/work with a dentist, and stay involved!
• Study for the DAT (if you haven’t already)
o Your fourth year of undergrad is quickly approaching.• Write personal statements
o American schools, UBC, and McGill require some sort of personal statement. Check their respective websites for specific requirements.• Apply to American schools as backup
o If you feel that you need to and you will have the funding, apply to some American schools. Be aware that American tuition is significantly higher.This year you’ll be able to apply to pretty much all the dental schools:
UBC, UofA, UofS, UofM, UWO, UofT, McGill, and Dalhousie
Note: McGill doesn’t require the DAT
• Write the DAT
• Interviews (hopefully!)
o McGill is traditional style. They will ask questions like “why dentistry”, “why McGill”, and “are you a hockey fan” (c’mon, it’s montreal, they’re big on hockey).• Don’t stress out too much and don’t lose hope. Also don’t slack off because some schools will still look at your fourth year marks!
If you still have questions and/or you're feeling lost, don't hesitate to pm me for advice.
Last edited by aravis : 10-23-2012 at 10:55 PM. Reason: updated links
Great post! Hopefully this results in less repetitive threads! I just want to add something that I did when applying that helped sort out everything - I really recommend it. Going to all the above sites for the Canadian dent. schools you like, make a big spreadsheet for each school with the following things filled in:
>min. years of undergrad required
>specific prerequisite courses (i know I could eliminate several schools since I didn't have an English prereq course)
>date the application form is available
>date that application is due (and supporting documents if different)
>how they want the application/transcript to be sent (ex: UofT wants mailed vs. UWO online)
>application fee and how they want it
>need proof of canadian citizenship? (ex: UofT yes, UWO no)
>Checkmark when you send in your application
>DAT sections each school looks at (ex: UofT is AA and PAT, UWO is just AA)
>how different schools weight gpa, interview, and DAT during admissions
>how each school looks at DAT (ex: UofT is best, UWO is most recent)
>which DAT dates they accept (ex: Uof Saskatch. accepts 1 later DAT than the others i believe)
>do you need reference letters and how many and from any specific types of people?
>approx. 4 year tuition and fees
>Date you'll know if you got an interview
>expected date of interview
>expected date to find out results of interview
>What types of shots/tests you need before admission
>any other school specific things (ex: CPR or Physiology exam or Adult criminal check)
It really helped me to eliminate schools that I wouldn't be eligible for and not waste time applying, stay on top of deadlines, to make sure I had everything needed for each school, and even to compare schools for my personal preference.
Finally, if you get the good news from multiple schools and are trying to decide, here are many things that I considered:
>distance from home
>availability of family (so like distance from family)
>city life vs. more quiet (if that's important to you)
>availability of specialty programs afterwards, and how many
>when do you start clinical
>overall 'feel' you got from the tour of the school
>potential/desire to live nearby after school
All the dental schools in Canada will teach you what you need to know, and any slight differences as far as your dental education will be equalized pretty shortly with experience anyways, so I think the main thing when/if deciding is your personal situation/wants/needs
Preparing the application process
Just a few things to add to the great posts above. I'd suggest doing the same excel spreadsheet format for all the U.S. alternatives you'd consider and doing it simultaneous with your Canadian school considerations - since the american process is so much longer you need to start the ball rolling if you don't want to spin your wheels an extra year if no Canadian school pans out. Start with the aadsas book - well worth the money, but then do your own tailored spreadsheet with all the relevant issues and questions for your own situtation - eg. do they accept online courses, how many Canadians accepted in the past, are internationals given equal consideration, etc etc. It's an efficient way to eliminate the non-starters from the overwhelming number of Amaerican schools to start with.
I have a lot of relatives who lives now in Canada and the information that you gave were really helpful. And starting to do some research as to which will be the best school that i will be going.
i had rc 21, and aa was 21 so that seems reasonable... but TS???