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University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 13, 2024
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog

Doctor of Dental Medicine, DMD

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Students from all over Pennsylvania-across the country-and around the world-earn their degree as part of the Pitt Dental Medicine Family. Among the best dental schools in the country, the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine seeks only the most qualified students for admission to its nationally recognized predoctoral and graduate academic programs.

The premiere program at the School is the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program. Providing students with a solid evidence-based education in dental medicine, graduates of the program are well prepared to be practicing clinicians or researchers. The four-year predoctoral program begins on students’ first day at the White Coat Ceremony and leads to a Doctoral degree in Dental Medicine (DMD). 

Advanced Dental Education and Residency Programs are available to students upon completion of their DMD. Students may take part in a Dental Public Health certificate program or specialty program for those interested in careers in academic dentistry while earning their DMD, including Academic Programs in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences.

Competency-Based Educational Program

The four-year DMD program prepares students to provide basic health promotion and disease prevention, diagnose and develop treatment plans, analyze complex medical and dental cases, and achieve competency in all areas defined for general practitioners. The competency-based curriculum also reflects the school’s commitment to supporting the development of professionalism, life-long learning, and synthesis of clinical and biomedical science concepts.

An essential part of the training of students at Pitt Dental Medicine is to learn and practice clinical concepts that involve administering anesthesia, dental hygiene and cleaning as well as other facets of dental examination and care. In order to facilitate this training, part of the educational experience at Pitt Dental Medicine requires students to serve as patients for other students.

Beyond the Classroom

Student learning continues far beyond the classroom. Community service is encouraged through the Student Community Outreach Program and Education (SCOPE) and the University of Pittsburgh WISER Center offers dental students hands-on medical experience in a world-class multidisciplinary simulation-based training facility.

The Simulation Clinic gives students life-like experience with simulated patients in a classroom, clinical learning environment. This preclinical space introduces DMD students to the practice of dentistry in a simulated learning environment providing 80 student workstations, fully equipped with closed circuit video monitors, dental units, operatory lights, computers, and even simulated patients.

Fassinger Learning Resource Center lets students continue learning past the traditional hours and space of the  classroom meetings.

Students are encouraged to participate in any of a number of the school’s active student organizations to connect with others sharing and investigating the same interests. Student organizations focus on advancing knowledge and extend the frontiers of a particular segment of oral health. Personal, academic and career counseling are available through the school’s Office of Student Affairs for all students. An extensive library system, learning skills center, housing resource center, student health care and recreational and fitness facilities are available through the University.

Research opportunities abound for students in good academic standing to study many different aspects of dental research, including craniofacial genetics, tissue regeneration, informatics, public health and other fields. With an extended history of profound dental research, the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine also fosters interactions between dental students and researchers in other disciplines. Academic rewards and contributions to the dental profession are just two reasons many students conduct research at the school. Students have opportunities to share their projects and results at national meetings and conferences and provide excellent learning and networking opportunities with colleagues. Student researchers also may compete for awards, scholarships, and other opportunities at the University.

Pitt Dental Medicine Visits & Tours

We are always interested in speaking with students who are serious about their pursuit of a career in dental medicine. At this time, however, we are not able to accommodate requests for individual meetings or School tours.

In place of individual tours, we hope that you will take advantage of our Open House Events, which generally occur in spring before the start of the upcoming application cycle. These events include time for discussion about Pitt Dental Medicine program details; presentations on best practices for building your dental school application; meeting with current faculty, staff and students; and a tour of our dental school.

Admissions Process

Applicants must meet all admission requirements before their applications can be processed by the Office of Admissions to then present to the Admissions Committee. This committee comprises faculty, alumni, and upper-level student representatives. Careful review of applications is ongoing. Consideration is given only to those candidates who have submitted completed AADSAS applications and fees. If an applicant has a fee reduction waiver letter from AADSAS, a copy of this letter should be forwarded via email so that the supplemental application fee can be waived.

A non-refundable $75 supplemental application fee is required at time of application.

Personal Interview

Interviews are by invitation only and sent after thorough review of submitted material. Most interviews take place during the fall term of each year. The interview is composed of personal interviews with members of our faculty, and presentations by various department chairs and directors. Applicants have an opportunity to interact with our current dental students and tour the School of Dental Medicine facilities. 

During the interview, applicants are expected to display evidence of personal exposure to the field of dentistry, as well as qualities of maturity, motivation, and integrity. Personal interviews do not guarantee admission.

Minority Recruitment

The School of Dental Medicine is committed to recruiting, enrolling, and graduating a diverse population of students.

“The University of Pittsburgh, as an educational institution and as an employer, values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and racial/ethnic and cultural diversity. Accordingly, the University prohibits and will not engage in discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era. Further, the University will continue to take affirmative steps to support and advance these values consistent with the University’s mission. This policy applies to admissions, employment, access to and treatment in University programs and activities. This is a commitment made by the University and is in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.”

-From the University of Pittsburgh Graduate and Professional Bulletin

The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine is dedicated to preparing culturally competent world class clinicians, educators and scientists that are as diverse as the challenges faced and populations served. Applicants from population segments underrepresented in dentistry are encouraged to apply for admission.
Opportunities for diverse immersion experiences are afforded by the eight chartered student organizations at the School of Dental Medicine as well as more than four hundred other student organizations in this academic community.

Offers of Admission

The School of Dental Medicine Admissions Committee is the sole determining body that decides to whom offers of admission will be made.  Admission is offered based on criteria discussed above.
By general agreement among schools, the earliest date of acceptance to American dental schools is the first business day of December. A rolling admissions process begins on this date and continues until the class is filled. The School of Dental Medicine class size is limited to 80 students. Applicants are notified initially by phone, followed by written acceptance and offers of admission.

Please note that the University has a limited number of seats in its incoming class.  As a result, offers of admission do NOT guarantee enrollment to the extent that a deposit is not submitted before all seats are filled (as described below).  As such, it is imperative that you submit your deposit as soon as possible and complete the steps by the dates listed in the offer of admission letter.

Offers of admission are contingent upon the following


An enrollment deposit in the amount of $2,000 is required. All deposits are nonrefundable, except as otherwise set forth in the Offer of Admission letter. Upon matriculation, all deposits will be credited towards tuition costs. 

Seats for the incoming class will be filled in the order in which deposits of individuals who have been offered admission to the University are received (i.e., seats are filled on a rolling basis upon receipt of your deposit). In order to guarantee enrollment at the University, applicants who have been offered admission must submit their deposit before the class is filled. In any case, the deposit is due no later than the due date on your Offer of Admission (though, if the class is filled prior to that date, submission of the deposit by the due date does not guarantee enrollment).

If all seats for the incoming class are filled prior to the final deposit deadline, any individual who has been offered admission who has not yet submitted their deposit will be notified that all seats have been filled.  Any individual who has been offered admission who submits their deposit after the seats are filled will be placed on the deferred enrollment list.  If seats later open up (e.g., if an individual fails to complete the remaining steps outlined in their offer of admission, or if an individual chooses to forego their deposit in favor of attending another school, or if seats open up for any other reason), individuals will be moved from the deferred enrollment list into the incoming class in the order in which they submitted their deposit. As such, it is critical to submit enrollment deposits as soon as possible, even after all seats for the class have been filled. Any individual who has been offered admission who submits their deposit after all seats are filled and who does not have the opportunity to enroll in the class because they were never offered a seat in the class after initially being placed on the deferred enrollment list will be refunded their $2,000 deposit (note: if an individual is offered a seat in the class after initially being on the deferred enrollment list but that individual declines to enroll, the individual will not be refunded their deposit.)

Essential Program Standards

Offers of admission are contingent upon the applicant’s ability to fulfill the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine Essential Program Standards. Individuals who have been offered admission will receive the updated version of Essential Program Standards with all other credentialing information.

Completion of a successful FBI background inquiry, as well the successful completion of any contingencies including an applicant’s baccalaureate degree must be done by June 30. Continued satisfactory academic performance and behavior during the period between acceptance and enrollment also is required. A final offer of admission is determined once all conditions and contingencies of acceptance have be successfully completed. Misrepresentation of credentials by an applicant is reason for immediate revocation of admission offer.

Need More Information? Check Out These Resources

DMD Educational Admissions Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree required prior to matriculation
  • Only University of Pittsburgh applicants accepted as an undergraduate student who have successfully completed the requirements for early admission to the DMD program may matriculate without a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A minimum total GPA of 3.2 (overall, science and prerequisite) and a DAT academic average of 19 with subsection scores of 17 or higher are preferred for consideration to the DMD program. If an applicant takes the DAT more than once, the Admissions Committee will consider the scores from the test with the highest academic average. DAT Scores reported may not be more than three years old at the application deadline of October 31, 2023. 
    The Pitt Dental Medicine Admissions Committee reserves the right to request further information regarding an applicant’s academic performance.
  • Prerequisite grades of B or higher taken onsite at a four year institution are strongly preferred. A minimum grade of C or 2.0 GPA for prerequisite courses is required for consideration for the DMD Program. All science prerequisite coursework must be completed within the last five years.
  • The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine will accept pass/fail grades for courses completed during spring and summer 2020 semesters only.
  • It is preferred that no more than one-third of an applicants’ credits are earned from a community college or junior college. No more than 60 of the minimum required credits will be accepted from a community college or junior college. Classes taken in an onsite format are preferred.
  • AP/IB credits will be accepted for prerequisites if the degree-granting institution awarded college credit toward an applicant’s bachelor’s degree.
  • Admissions requirements are subject to change without prior notice.
  • $75 non-refundable supplemental application fee.

Prerequisites Coursework

Successful completion of the following is required prior to matriculation:

English*/Writing Intensive Course English I English/Writing Intensive
Biology (with lab) Biology I (with lab) Biology II (with lab)
Physics Physics I Physics II
General Chemistry (with lab) Chemistry I (with lab) Chemistry II (with lab)
Organic Chemistry (with lab) Organic Chemistry I (with lab) Organic Chemistry II (with lab)
Biochemistry Biochemistry  

*At least one of the two English courses should be an English/Literature course

*All science prerequisite coursework must be completed within the last five years

*Anatomy (3 semester hours) is recommended, but not required.

*The Admissions Committee reserves the right to modify prerequisites when additional courses are necessary to improve an applicant’s preparation for dental school.


There are no residency requirements for either application or admission to the University of Pittsburgh. Applicants should be aware that Federal Stafford loans are available only to U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of Recommendation must be submitted through AADSAS, and must be either:

  • From a pre-health advisory committee (preferred)
  • Three (3) letters from separate individuals, two (2) of which must be a professor/advisor/mentor.
  • A total of four letters of recommendation including the committee letter will be accepted through AADSAS in the 2023-2024 application cycle.

DAT Scores

DAT scores must be submitted through AADSAS.

  • If an applicant takes the DAT more than once, the admissions committee will consider the scores from the test date with the highest academic average
  • DAT Scores may not be more than three years old at the application deadline of October 31, 2023.

Technology Requirement

All Pitt Dental Medicine students are required to have a laptop computer with up-to-date technical specifications. Tablets are not compatible with the required technology.

These requirements must be met in order to use our electronic testing solution, ExamSoft. For more information, please visit the ExamSoft support site for detailed Mac and Windows minimum system requirements.

The University Store on Fifth offers discounts to Pitt students on select Apple and Dell products. Additionally, the University of Pittsburgh has more than 100 software packages available to students at little or no cost.

Health Requirement

Download current student health requirements.

Essential Program Standards



Application Process Checklist

1. Review all of the information above

2. Apply to AADSAS by October 31, 2023 

3. Pay your Non-Refundable $75 supplemental application fee.


Please visit to learn more about the Pitt Dental Medicine DMD Program

The program in dental education is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312-440-4653, or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60611. The Commission’s web address is

DMD Curriculum

Following is a listing of all DMD courses and a typical curriculum for each of the four years of the program:

Total Credits: 233.50

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