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Admission Steps

  1. Complete CNUCDM admission requirements.
  2. CNUCDM accepts DAT scores from the last 3 years.
  3. Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation from people who can speak to your character and life experience. All three (3) letters must be submitted before your application can be considered to be complete.
  4. Applicants will be required to submit three (3) letters of recommendation from people who can speak to your character and life experience.
  5. All application materials will be submitted through AADSAS.
  6. Take CASPer test & see additional requirements below.
  7. Make application payment via Paypal (found on AADSAS application)

Before asking someone to write about you:

  • consider who can best describe your character and experiences
  • choose people with strong written communications skills who will submit letters in a timely fashion
  • tell them why you have asked them to write on your behalf
  • tell them why you are applying to dental school and why you believe you are a good candidate.

Letters written by immediate family members will not be accepted. All letters of evaluation must be submitted directly from the evaluators. The Office of Admissions does not accept letters submitted by students.

  • applicants must demonstrate a sincere understanding of, and interest in, the humanitarian ethos of health care and particularly dental medicine
  • applicants should reflect a people/service orientation through community service or extracurricular activities
  • applicants should reflect proper motivation for and commitment to health care as demonstrated by previous work, volunteer, or other life experiences
  • applicants must possess the oral and written communication skills necessary to interact with patients and colleagues
  • applicants must pass a criminal background check
  • applicants must be drug free and agree to abide by California Northstate University Policy


California Northstate University College of Dental Medicine prefers a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited, four-year institution within the United States; or a non-U.S. equivalent institution.

Required Coursework

(IB or AP credits not accepted unless indicated)

  • 2 semesters, 3 quarters, or 1 year of college level English (IB or AP credits may be considered if they are accepted by the undergraduate program)
  • 2 semesters, or 3 quarters, or 1 year of Biology with Laboratory
  • 2 semesters, or 3 quarters, or 1 year of Inorganic (General) Chemistry with Laboratory
  • 2 semesters, or 3 quarters, or 1 year of Organic Chemistry with Laboratory

  • 2 semesters, or 3 quarters, or 1 year of Physics

  • 1 semester, 1 quarter, or 3 units of Biochemistry

Highly Recommended Coursework

  • Human Anatomy

  • Microbiology

  • Physiology

  • Statistics

  • Social Sciences

  • Immunology

  • Foreign Languages

Standards in five areas must be met by all candidates: Observation, Communication, Motor Function, Cognitive, and Professional.

Course Credits

All coursework taken from non-US institutions (including Canada) must be submitted to the World Education Services (WES), Inc. for the evaluation of coursework. (WES evaluations should be sent directly to CDMAdmissions)

Most students complete a bachelor’s degree before entering a dental school. However, a minimum of 90 semester credits or 135 quarter credits from an officially accredited US or Canadian College, or equivalent foreign institution, is required.

3+4 BS/DMD Pathway: By virtue of a Memorandum of Understanding between the CNUCDM and the CNU College of Health Sciences, students successfully completing 3 years of pre-dental study in the CNU BS-DMD Combined Pathway will be considered for admission to the College of Dental Medicine after the successful completion of the first 3 years of the program.

Additional Requirements

At a minimum, an applicant must possess both a science and a total GPA over 2.80 (although 3.20 is preferred and 3.40+ will be the likely mean for each class) on a 4.00 scale as well as a bachelor’s degree. A minimum science and overall GPA of 2.80 on a 4.00 scale is required to receive a supplemental application.

To be competitive, an applicant should complete a bachelor’s degree at an accredited North American college or University prior to matriculation. Applicants participating in special affiliated programs with the College and other exceptions to this policy will be considered on an individual basis.

In addition to those noted above, it is advantageous for applicants to have course credit in cellular, molecular biology and histology. To augment the social sciences and holistic admissions course in sociology, psychology, history, arts, ethics and humanism are of value.

Written documentation and explanation is required concerning any academic difficulties, such as grades of I (Incomplete), W (Withdraw), D or F grades. Only under unusual circumstances with credits graded on a Pass/No Pass evaluation process be accepted for required courses.

The DAT (Dental Aptitude Test) is a requirement for admission. The DAT is scored from 1-30 with 18 being the national average.

An applicant must submit competitive scores on the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT). An Academic Average score of 18 or above and a Perceptual Ability score of 17 or above is desired.  The DAT test must have been taken no more than three years prior to application.

The application process will involve the use of the CASPer test. Please visit: www.takealtus.com for test dates and times, as well as to book your test.

In accordance with Federal regulation – the institution admits as regular students only persons who:

  • Have a high school diploma;
  • Have the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma; or
  • Are beyond the age of compulsory school attendance in the State in which the institution is physically located

Technical Standards

The Technical Standards describe the essential abilities required of all candidates. Reasonable accommodation in achievement of the standards is defined under U.S. federal statutes applied to individuals with disabilities. Such accommodations are intended to support the successful completion of all components of the DMD degree.

Standards in five areas must be met by all candidates: Observation, Communication, Motor Function, Cognitive, and Professional.

1. Observation

  • Observe demonstrations and participate in experiments in the basic sciences.

  • Observe patients at a distance and close at hand.

  • Demonstrate sufficient use of the senses of vision, hearing, and smell and the somatic sensation necessary to perform a physical examination.

  • Integrate findings based on these observations and to develop an appropriate diagnostic and treatment plan.

2. Communication

  • Communicate in verbal and written form with health care professionals and patients, including eliciting a complete medical history and recording information regarding patients’ conditions.

  • Perceive relevant non-verbal communication such as changes in mood, activity, and posture as part of a physical examination of a patient.

  • Establish therapeutic relationships with patients.

  • Demonstrate reading skills at a level sufficient to individually accomplish curricular requirements and provide clinical care for patients using written information.

3. Motor Function

  • Perform physical examinations and diagnostic procedures, using such techniques as inspection, perfusion, palpation and auscultation.

  • Complete routine invasive procedures as part of training, under supervision, using universal precautions without substantial risk of infection to patients.

  • Perform basic laboratory tests and evaluate routine diagnostic tool such as x-rays.

  • Respond in emergency situations to provide the level of care reasonably required of dentists.

  • Participate effectively in physically taxing duties over long hours and complete timed demonstrations of skills.

4. Cognitive

  • Measure, calculate, analyze, synthesize, extrapolate, and reach diagnostic and therapeutic judgments.

  • Recognize and draw conclusions about three-dimensional spatial relationships and logical sequential relationships among events.

  • Formulate and test hypotheses that enable effective and timely problem-solving in diagnosis and treatment of patients in a variety of clinical modalities.

  • Understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of medicine.

  • Remain fully alert and attentive at all times in the clinical settings.

5. Professionalism

  • Demonstrate the judgement and emotional stability required for full use of their intellectual abilities.

  • Possess the perseverance, diligence, and consistency to complete the College of Dental Medicine Curriculum and prepare to enter the independent practice of dentistry.

  • Exercise good judgement in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

  • Complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients within established timelines.

  • Function within both the law and ethical standards of the dental profession.

  • Work effectively and professionally as part of the health care team.

  • Relate to patients, their families, and health care personnel in a sensitive and professional manner.

  • Participate effectively in physically taxing duties over long work hours, function effectively under stress, and display flexibility and adaptability to changing and uncertain environments.

  • Maintain regular, reliable, and punctual attendance for classes and clinical responsibilities.

  • Contribute to collaborative, constructive learning environments, accept constructive feedback from others, and respond with appropriate modification.

MyRecordTracker Immunization Requirements

Please provide proof of all three vaccinations PLUS a positive quantitative (not qualitative) titer. Students who have not completed this series must have the vaccinations administered; their first shot will be marked complete, but with an expiration date for a month as a reminder that the second shot is due. At the second shot it will marked complete, but with an expiration date will be set 5 months later as a reminder that the third shot is due. At the third shot it will be completed, but with an expiration date of a month later as a reminder that the final titer is due.*Set expiration date to 20 years. If the titer is still negative after a total of 6 Hep B vaccines, and two negative titers; the student will be considered a non-responder. No further vaccinations or testing will be needed.

Evidence of coverage must be a statement of coverage from the current provider or MediCal, including dates of coverage. Health insurance cards are NOT accepted. The expiration date should be the final date of coverage or July 31st of the following year, whichever comes first.

Proof of booster (TDAP) is required from within the past 10 years. *** Set EXPIRATION DATE 10 years from the date of your TDAP ***

Provide documentation of one of the following: ** 2 Vaccination dates OR positive titer ** Please note: If the titer is negative or equivocal, please repeat the series AND provide a 2nd titer. A history of the chickenpox WILL NOT fulfill the requirement.

There must be documentation of ONE of the following: a) 2 vaccination dates OR b) positive titer showing results immunity. **If the titer is negative or equivocal, you must repeat series AND provide 2nd titer. **

***MUST BE COMPLETED BETWEEN APRIL 1ST AND JUNE 30TH OF EACH YEAR*** First year students must provide proof of a negative 2-step TB Skin Test or Quantiferon TB Gold Test. A 2-step TB Skin Test means that one is placed and read 48-72 hours later, wait 1-3 weeks and have another one placed and read. The documentation required includes the date and time that the PPD skin test was placed and date and time that the skin test was read. If a first year student has a positive TB Skin Test result, the student must obtain a chest X-ray with a normal result and be evaluated by a healthcare professional for active TB. M2 thru M4 students must complete the 1-step TB Skin Test or Quantiferon TB Gold Test. If a M2-M4 student has previously completed a chest X-ray they only need to be evaluated by a healthcare professional and provide documentation of the evaluation for active TB.

Please provide documentation of flu shot administered between August 1, 2019 and March 31st, 2020. ***INPUT AN EXPIRATION DATE OF APRIL 30th OF THE FOLLOWING ACADEMIC YEAR. ***

Please provide documentation of your COVID 19 vaccinations. Please note, both vaccines must be provided for approval. All students are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If you have any questions, please contact CDM Admissions via email at cdm.admissions@cnsu.edu.

Important Communication Policy for Fall 2022 College of Dental Medicine Applicants: To ensure that all applicants have an equal and ethical assessment of their application; all inquiries regarding your application and material are to be directed and submitted to the Admissions Office only via e-mail at CDM.admissions@cnsu.edu.

Any type of communication made by an applicant whose status is pending (or applicant’s parents, employers/supervisors, and faculty/advisors) to the CNU President, College of Dental Medicine Dean or CDM Admissions Committee members is specifically prohibited. Any attempt to do so will be viewed as “inappropriate communication” and may negatively impact your application. CNUCDM welcomes inquiries from applicants regarding the application process, timelines, requirements, transcripts, etc. and they should be directed to CDM.admissions@cnsu.edu. Email communication should be directed to CDM.admissions@cnsu.edu or by US Postal mail at Admissions, CNU College of Dental Medicine, 9700 W. Taron Dr., Elk Grove 95757.