Admissions Information

The inaugural class of students in the Dental Program began classes in the summer of 2011. Students wishing to be considered for admission may initiate the formal application process in June prior to the desired matriculating year. Visit the AADSAS Dental School Application in order to begin your application.

Residency Requirement

The East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine is a state-supported professional school, with a mission to provide dentists to serve the people of North Carolina. At this time, enrollment is limited to residents of North Carolina.

The ECU School of Dental Medicine actively seeks to admit students with established roots and connections to North Carolina, and who have a desire to serve the communities of need throughout the state.

Residency Determination

All applicants to ECU SoDM must obtain a Residency Certification Number (RCN) by completing the Residency Determination Service (RDS) Online Interview. Do not complete this until you have received notification from ECU SoDM, indicating receipt of your ADEA Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) application.

The RDS has been established by the North Carolina State Legislature as the centralized service for determining residency for students. RDS provides students access to transparent information and the opportunity to claim NC residency in a simple, accurate and straight forward manner. If you are a prospective dental student applying for admission and claiming in-state residency for tuition purposes, you must visit to verify your residency. If you’ve already completed the residency determination process and obtained your RCN, you can enter your RCN when filling out our supplemental application. If you do not already have your RCN, you may start your supplemental application but cannot submit without your RCN. It is your responsibility to complete the RDS process in a timely manner. Your residency status determines your eligibility for considerations of admissions to East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine.

Overview of Requirements:

  • In most cases the residence of a person (under the age of 24) is presumed to be that of the parent(s) or legal guardian. In order for a person to be considered separate or apart from their parents, they must have the capacity of establishing a legal residence (domicile) in North Carolina on their own.
  • A person must be physically present in the state of NC for 12-months before claiming residency in North Carolina for tuition purposes and must have established North Carolina as their domicile. The RDS residency determination process allows students to indicate their time in North Carolina and will validate their domiciliary acts during that time.
  • A person must intend to make North Carolina their permanent home indefinitely and not only for the purpose of attending college.

Active duty military personnel who wish to use their military status to show residency must have North Carolina listed as the state of residence on their Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), however some active duty personnel may qualify as residents without using their military status.

For more information on residency for tuition purposes and to check the status of your residency, please visit the RDS website at:
844-319-3640 (toll free)
919-835-2427 (fax)

School of Dental Medicine

Required Courses

Successful applicants must have completed – or be on track to complete – an undergraduate bachelor’s degree prior to dental school matriculation. All prospective students are required to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited US or Canadian college or university. No specific undergraduate major is required, but regardless of the major interest area, applicants must complete – at a minimum – the following specifically required courses:

  • Biological Sciences (8 semester hours)
    A minimum of one year of general biology or zoology is required. This includes lecture and laboratory courses for the entire year (courses designed for biology majors required). Botany will not satisfy this requirement.
  • General/Inorganic Chemistry (8 semester hours)
    A minimum of one year of general/inorganic chemistry, including lecture and laboratory courses for the entire year, is required.
  • Organic Chemistry (8 semester hours)
    A minimum of one year of organic chemistry, including lecture and laboratory courses for the entire year, is required.
  • General Physics (8 semester hours)
    A minimum of one year of general physics, including lecture and laboratory courses for the entire year, is required.
  • English (6 semester hours)
    A minimum of one year of English composition is required. English as a second language (ESL) courses are not accepted.
  • Mathematics (6 semester hours)
    A minimum of one year of college level mathematics (College Algebra and above) is required.

Applicants are urged to complete pre-requisite courses at a four-year university. A letter grade of C or higher is required for all pre-requisite courses.  Due to the spread of COVID-19 during the Spring 2020 semester, many colleges and universities are providing students with the option to receive a letter grade or a pass/fail grade.  While passing grades will be accepted for Spring 2020 classes, the pass/fail system does not fully exhibit the applicant’s educational aptitude, thus we highly recommend that applicants receive a letter grade rather than take the pass/fail option-especially when taking more than 1 pre-requisite course during Spring 2020. Moreover, applicants are expected to achieve superior grades, since these courses best predict performance in the biological sciences of the dental curriculum. All admission requirements must be completed no later than June 30th of the desired year of matriculation.

Pre-requisite science coursework should be taken at a 4 year institution. Any course taken at a community college must be validated (i.e., accepted for transfer credit) by an accredited college or university.

Advanced Placement (AP) credits will be accepted, provided that they are accepted by the undergraduate degree granting institution. Students who have earned AP credit for pre-requisite courses should avail themselves of the opportunity to take additional, advanced level courses.

Applicants will not be admitted with unresolved failures or other unfavorable conditions. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to modify the prerequisites when additional courses are necessary to improve an applicant’s preparation for dental school. Admission requirements are subject to change without prior notice.

Recommended Additional Coursework

While not required, courses in biochemistry, general microbiology, comparative anatomy, physiology, embryology/histology, vertebrate physiology, anatomy, genetics and cell biology, statistics, humanities, and psychology are recommended.

Note: Academic transcripts should not be sent to the School of Dental Medicine unless specifically requested by the Office of Admissions.

Dental Admission Test

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is required of all applicants who seek admission to the School of Dental Medicine. Information about this test may be obtained online from the American Dental Association (ADA). Applicants should plan to take this test in the spring, but no later than fall, of the year prior to their desired dental school matriculation date. Official DAT scores should be reported directly through the AADSAS application. DAT scores older than three years may not be accepted.

Supplemental Application

Once the AADSAS application is processed by AADSAS and transmitted to the School of Dental Medicine, the Office of Admissions will contact the student via email. The email will include instructions for completing a supplemental application. There will be an $80 non-refundable application fee.

Please ensure that your email and spam filters are set to accept mail from or you will not be able to receive emails from the school as we communicate with you concerning your application status.

Pre-matriculation Course Work

The SoDM strives to support a smooth transition for accepted students into the dental school curriculum. Prior to matriculation, it is expected for students to participate in a pre-matriculation course through Exam Master. This course could aid in filling deficits in areas that will become important during the first year of dental school. The ultimate goal of the course is to emphasize essential knowledge and reinforce high yield concepts foundationally important for excellence in the profession of dentistry. It is expected that accepted students participate in the pre-matriculation online course, through Exam Master, and the SoDM believes this coursework to be a valuable aid in building a foundation for academic success.

Letters of Recommendation

For applicants who are attending or have attended an institution that has a pre-health professions committee, the Admissions Committee requires a committee letter rather than individual letters of recommendation. Alternatively, for applicants whose institution does not offer such an option, two recommendation letters – one from a Biology professor and one from a Chemistry professor, both of who have taught the applicant and know the applicant well – may be substituted.

Each applicant should also provide one letter of recommendation from a (non-relative) dentist, currently practicing or retired from practice in North Carolina, describing how well the dentist knows the applicant, and describing the dentist’s assessment of the applicant’s character, ethical bearing, maturity and commitment to serving the community. This letter MUST be on official letterhead.

All of these recommendation letters should be submitted through AADSAS, and should not be sent directly to the School of Dental Medicine unless specifically requested.

Pre-dental Students Providing Patient Care Abroad

The ECU School of Dental Medicine understands that many students are taking the opportunity to gain dental experience in other countries where regulations are not as strict as the United States or Canada. While these activities provide great opportunities for service to people in need, in some instances, serious ethical situations related to patient care can arise.

Recognizing the potential concerns that face students participating in international patient service activities, the American Dental Education Association has developed specific guidelines related to patient care.

ADEA Guidelines for Predental Students Providing Patient Care During Clinical Experiences Abroad

Transfer Students

Given the structure of the Doctor of Dental Medicine curriculum, the School of Dental Medicine cannot accept applications from individuals seeking to transfer from another dental school.

International Students

All prospective students are required to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited US or Canadian college or university.

The ECU School of Dental Medicine does not offer a special program for internationally trained dentists. Provided they are residents of the state of North Carolina, internationally trained dentists may apply for admission to the Doctor of Dental Medicine program as first year students, and must meet the same admissions requirements as all other applicants. There can be no exceptions to these requirements.

All prospective students are required to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited US or Canadian college or university. Internationally trained dentists seeking admission must submit, as part of their AADSAS application, course transcripts for all degrees earned, including a course by course translation, certified by an accredited credentials agency, such as World Educational Services (WES). As is required of all dental applicants, internationally trained dentists must take Dental Admission Test (DAT). National Board scores cannot be substituted for the DAT.

Given that the School of Dental Medicine does not offer admission with advanced standing, internationally trained dentists may find it helpful to consider institutions that do offer advanced standing programs. The American Dental Association provides resource information for internationally trained dentists, including information regarding accredited dental programs that offer admission with advanced standing. To learn more CLICK HERE.