University of Saskatchewan
College of Dentistry

Frequently Asked Questions

Application for Admission

Q.   How can I apply for admission?
A.   We accept on-line applications only.
       For University of Saskatchewan Students
       For Non-University of Saskatchewan Students

Q.  When is the application deadline?
A.  January 15 is the deadline to apply.  February 1 is the deadline to submit documents to support your application.

Q.  Can I send my credentials (i.e. transcripts and test scores) ahead of my application?
A.  Yes. These items are kept on file and matched with your application when it is received.

Q.  Do you have rolling admissions?
A.  No.

Q.  When are offers of admission made?
A.  Offers of admission are around mid-June of each year.

Q.  How many applications does the college receive?
A.  We receive over 300 applications each year.

Q.  How many applicants are accepted each year?
A.  The normal admission quota is 28

Applicant Status

Q.  Do residents of Saskatchewan have preference?
A.  Yes. 22 spaces are allotted to permanent residents of Saskatchewan.  This number includes three spaces for Aboriginal access and one space for a foreign-trained dentist.  You must identify yourself as a Saskatchewan resident on the application.

Q.  Does the college accept international applicants?
A.  Yes, up to 6 spaces are set aside for other applicants, regardless of residency.

Q.  Is there a limit to the number of times I can apply for admission?
A.  No. You can apply as many times as you like.

Q.  How do you determine whether or not I am a resident of Saskatchewan?
A.  To apply as a Saskatchewan resident, an applicant must have resided in the province for at least 4 years immediately prior to September 1 of the year in which admission is being sought.  The College of Dentistry considers the information you provide in support of your application and compare it against the definition of a resident. You will be required to provide evidence of residency, such as your Saskatchewan driver’s license and your Saskatchewan health card by February 1st.

Q.  Are there any exceptions to the 4-year residency policy?
A.  There are no exceptions made to the four-year residency ruling.  All applicants applying as a Saskatchewan resident must have resided in the province for no less than 4 years immediately prior to September 1 of the year in which admission is being sought.

Q.  I am not a Canadian citizen or a Landed immigrant, what are my chances for admission?
A.  Space is available to consider up to 6 applicants, regardless of residency.

Q.  Do you have spaces available for applicants of Aboriginal ancestry?
A.  Yes, three first year spaces are reserved for persons of Canadian Aboriginal ancestry.  Applicants must meet the minimum admission requirements – an overall academic average of 75% and an average of no less than 70% in the required courses for admission. They must also achieve an acceptable rating on the interview and complete the DAT. Applicants in this category must identify themselves on the application.

Q.  Do you offer a qualifying program or advanced standing?
A.  No, there is no provision for accepting advanced standing students and the College of Dentistry does not offer a qualifying program.

Q.  Can I apply to your program as a foreign trained dentist?
A.  Yes, effective 2009-10 admissions, there is a separate category in which ONE first year space is reserved for a foreign trained dentist.  Applicants in this stream will compete in a separate pool for this position.  Applicants in this category must be a Saskatchewan resident.

Q.  What is your definition of a foreign trained dentist?
A.  A foreign trained dentist is an applicant who has earned a dental degree from a recognized dental college other than in Canada or the United States of America.


Dental Aptitude Test (DAT)

Q.  Is the Canadian Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) required?
A.  Yes

Q.  Would I be required to write the DAT if I am currently enrolled in a dental degree program, or if I am a foreign trained dentist?
A.  Students who have completed or are currently enrolled in a Canadian or U.S. accredited dental program would be exempt. Foreign trained dentists, however, are required to write the DAT.

Q.  Do you accept the U.S. DAT?
A.  We will use it only to determine eligibility for admission consideration. If accepted, the candidate must write the CDA DAT in the first term of attendance.
 
Q.  When should I write the DAT?
A.  You may write the CDA DAT any number of times up to February of the year in which admission is being sought.

Q.  For how long is the DAT score valid?
A.  DAT results older than THREE years are not accepted for admission purposes.

Q.  If I write the DAT more than once, which results do you use?
A.  If an applicant has taken more than one DAT within the three-year period, the best overall DAT score is used for admission purposes.

Q.  What components of the Canadian DAT does the Admissions Committee consider?
A.  The Admissions Committee considers scores earned on Reading Comprehension, Academic Average, Perceptual Ability, and Carving.

Q. How much is the DAT weighted.
A.  The Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) is given an overall weighting of 15%.

Q. Is there a minimum DAT score
A.
The minimum score for the DAT Carving test is 3 (effective 2010-2011 admissions).

Q.  I wrote the French DAT which does not have a score for Reading Comprehension.  Will you accept the French DAT for admission purposes?
A.  We will require a DAT Reading Comprehension score.  Consequently, you will have to write the English DAT to be eligible for admission to this dental program.  It may be possible to satisfy the DAT requirements (both French and English) for all dental schools by writing the English DAT alone.  You should seek advice from the appropriate school that requests a French DAT to ensure that the English DAT would be acceptable for their admission purposes.

General

Q.  Which program of study should I enroll in for pre-dentistry?
A.  There isn’t a specific “program of studies” for pre-dentistry, but you must be sure to register in, or successfully complete, a minimum of TWO 30-credit unit years over 8 consecutive months (September to April) in any degree program at a recognized university. All prerequisite courses as outlined on the web site and published elsewhere must be completed as well.

Q.  Are there special considerations given to applicants with a graduate degree?
A.  No. We do not have special categories for this group of applicants.

Q.  Do you require a minimum academic standing to apply?
A.  Yes. The minimum academic standing is no less than an overall average of 70% for required pre-dentistry courses and 75% weighted average for the two best 30-credit unit years of study.

Q.  I have IB/AP credits. How are these handled?
A.  The minimum grade required for IB credit in Biology or Chemistry is 5. The minimum required for AP credit in Chemistry is 4. If you have received credit for an IB or AP course at another university, you cannot assume you will receive credit for it at the University of Saskatchewan.

Q.  I have GCE A-Levels. How are these handled?
A. To be considered for admission to the College of Dentistry, we will accept A-Level Physics, Chemistry, and Biology to satisfy the introductory university level pre-dentistry requirements. These subjects are considered equivalent to courses listed for pre-dentistry General Physics, General and Organic Chemistry, and Introductory Biology.

Q.  I attended a CEGEP institution in Quebec. Will I be granted credit for courses completed in the second year of the science program?
A.  Yes, provided a second year of 30 credit-hours has been completed at the university degree level.

Q.  How do you determine the credit unit equivalencies for pre-dentistry courses if I’m in CEGEP?
A. 
Since applicants from Quebec generally finish high school after grade 11 and then proceed to the CEGEP system, the first two CEGEP classes in any given subject are considered to be equivalent to Saskatchewan grade 12 classes and any additional work in the subject area may be evaluated for possible university level equivalency.  If there is one additional class after the first two classes, you may be awarded a maximum of 3 credit units of university level course equivalency.  For example, a student who completed 203-NYA-05, 203-NYB-05, and 203-NYC-05, the first two classes would be considered equivalent to grade 12, and we would consider 203-NYC-05 as possibly equivalent to 3 credit units at the university level.

Q.  Will I be required to complete the English Proficiency requirement if I complete my CEGEP diploma entirely in the French language?
A.  Yes

Q.  Why does the University of Saskatchewan require Biochemistry as a requirement?
A.  Biochemistry provides the background to master many of the topics covered in the initial phases of the curriculum.

Q.  Is it acceptable to attend university on a part-time basis and still be considered for admission to dentistry?
A.  No. You must attend full time (30 credit hours) in each of the two years. The College may consider students with special circumstances with regard to one or both 30 credit unit years, if one or both years were completed over twelve consecutive months as part of a program requirement.

Q.  My school uses a very tough marking scheme. Will I get credit for the difficulty of the program?
A.  No. For the purpose of assessing eligibility and selection for an interview, we do not attempt to adjust the cumulative weighted average for degree of difficulty of the program.

Q.  How are grades attained for my graduate degree used in the average calculation?
A.  The results of your graduate program will not be included in the overall average, unless you were registered in no less than 30-credit units (September to April).

Q.  If I have a bad year, will it be used in the average calculation?
A.  No, the average of the two best 30-credit hour years will be used.

Q.  What are the criteria for the selection of eligible candidates?
A.  65% weighting is given to the average of the two best years of no less than 30 credit hours each, 15% weighting to the results of the DAT, and 20% weighting to the interview.

Q.  Do you have a quota for mature applicants?
A.
  No. We do not have a mature applicant category.

Q.  If I completed a six-credit unit pre-dent class (e.g. BIOL 110.6) and needed to improve my overall pre-dent average, can I take a higher level three-credit unit class (e.g. BIOL 202.3) to "wipe out" the grade that I received for the six-credit unit pre-dent class?
A1.  For admission eligibility consideration into the College of Dentistry, we will ignore the lower level (e.g. BIOL 110.6) grade only if you complete the equivalent six credit units at the higher level that has the applicable pre-dentistry course as a pre-requisite. (e.g. BIOL 203.6 or BIOL 202.3 and BIOL 211.3) also;
A2.  If you needed to improve on your pre-dent average for a six credit unit class (e.g. BIOL 110.6) and selected a three credit unit higher level class (e.g. BIOL 202.3), the College of Dentistry will calculate the average based on nine credit units. A three credit unit higher level class will not "wipe out" the grade obtained in a six credit unit lower level pre-dent class.
 
Q.  If offered admission is there a deposit required?
A.  Applicants who are offered admission must pay a non-refundable deposit of 15% of the tuition by the deadline date of the acceptance of the offer, that is, candidates who withdraw their admission acceptance after paying the fee will forfeit the 15% deposit.

Q.  Will you consider my attendance in a dental hygiene program as acceptable credit to be eligible for admission?
A.  The year(s) in a Diploma of Dental Hygiene program that are university-based and accredited by the Canadian Dental Association and the American Dental Association may be used in the calculation of averages in determining the two best 30 credit unit years.

Q.  I have a 30 credit unit year that included a “pass/fail” 12 credit unit Education practicum.  Will you consider this academic year as one of the required 30 credit unit years of study for admission purposes?
A.  The 12 credit unit pass grade for the Education practicum may be included as part of the 30 credit unit year for admission to dentistry,  The year will be calculated using the remaining 18 credit units that have percentage grades.

Q.  Only letter grades are shown on my institution’s official transcript.  How do you determine the average for admission purposes?
A.  The College of Dentistry shall be guided by the University of Saskatchewan Post-Secondary Grading Systems grade conversion chart to convert letter grades to percentage grades.  The letter grade conversions are:
A+ = 93%
A = 88%
A- = 83%
B+ = 78%
B = 75%
B- = 73%
C+ = 68%
C = 65%
C- = 63%
D+ = 58%
D = 55%
D- = 53%

Q.  The grades used in the program that I’m in at my institution are not the same as other programs at the institution.  How do you consider the grades reported in this case?
A. In all cases, the official transcript is the main source for evaluations, grades, and average calculations. Statements of grading patterns contrary to what is indicated on the official transcript shall not be considered.

Q.  The minimum passing grade at my institution is 60%.  How do you evaluate transcripts that show a minimum pass other than 50%?
A.  All grades, grade points, and minimum pass grade, etc., must appear on the official transcript and shall be converted to University of Saskatchewan grade equivalencies.  That is, if the pass grade is other than 50%, it shall be converted to a 50% pass scale.  For example, 60% pass shall be converted to the equivalent University of Saskatchewan 50% pass mark.

Q.  My institution’s official transcript shows both letter grades and percentage grades.  Do you use the University of Saskatchewan’s grade conversion chart to convert the letter grades, or do you use the percentage grades reported on my transcript?
A.  For Canadian official transcripts that report letter grades as well as percentage grades, the percentage grades reported on the transcript shall take precedence over the letter grades.  The University of Saskatchewan’s Post-Secondary Grading Systems grade conversion chart will not be used in such cases.

Q.  My institution uses a 4-point GPA grading system.  How do you convert these grades?
A.  For non-Canadian institutions that show a 4.0 GPA grading system on the official transcript, the University of Saskatchewan Post-Secondary Grading Systems grade conversion chart shall be used to convert the GPA to a percentage grade.

Transfer Students

Q.  Is it possible to transfer into the DMD program at the University of Saskatchewan?
A.  There is no provision for accepting transfer students into the D.M.D. program.

Interview

Q.  What qualifies an applicant for an interview?
A.  Candidates are selected on the basis of the average of the applicant’s two best years of 30 credit hours each. In 2012, the final cut-off average for interviews was approximately 85% for Saskatchewan Residents and 89% for out of province candidates.

Q.  If I have an interview the first time I apply and I am not successful, will I be invited to attend another interview if I apply the following year?
A.  Yes, provided you meet the cut-off academic average for interviews that is set for the year in which you reapplied for admission.

Q.  Is there a pass/fail to an interview score?
A.  Candidates may be disqualified from the admission competition for the year under consideration if their interview score is significantly below the mean of the current pool of candidates.

Q.  Can a candidate use more than one interview score?
A. No.  Candidates must interview in person at the University of Saskatchewan.  The interview score will be the score used for the year in which admission is being sought.

Q.  How much do you weight the interview score?
A.  The interview is given a weighting of 20% for admission purposes.
 

Frequently Asked Questions from American Students

Q.  Can I practice in the United States if I graduate from the College of Dentistry, University of Saskatchewan?
A.  Yes, there is a reciprocal agreement between the Canadian Dental Association and the American Dental Association. Graduates of the University of Saskatchewan can be licensed in either Canada or the United States.

Q.  Do I need to take the Canadian Dental Aptitude Test before I apply?
A.  No. For application purposes we will accept the American Dental Aptitude Test. We will consider the Reading Comprehension, Perceptual Ability, Academic Average, and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the ADA DAT. If you are admitted to the College of Dentistry, University of Saskatchewan, you will be required to take the Canadian DAT in the first term.

Q.  Which DAT scores are competitive?
A.  On average, successful applicants achieve at least 20 out of 30 on each of the sections.

Q.  What is a competitive academic average?
A.  The mean academic average of students accepted into the program is around 89%.

Q.  Can I receive a Stafford loan if I study at the College of Dentistry, University of Saskatchewan?
A.  Yes. Students studying at our university can apply for Stafford loans, as well as some other loans from American institutions. More information is available upon request.

Q.  Can my spouse work in Saskatoon during my studies?
A.  Yes. Spouses of our students are able to work anywhere on or off campus. You will simply need to apply for a work visa when entering the country.

Q.  Are your graduates successful in their applications to graduate schools?
A.  Yes. A considerable number of our graduates choose to continue their education in graduate schools across Canada and the United States. In recent years, our alumni have been accepted in graduate programs at the University of California – Los Angeles, Iowa State, and the University of Washington, for example, as well as at other Canadian dental faculties.

Q.  Is the patient pool in Saskatchewan large enough for the dental school?
A.  Yes. The patient pool is adequate for the size of the dental school. As such, students gain experience in all disciplines of dentistry and treat patients from various ages and socio-economic groups.

Q.  Is Saskatoon a good city for my family?
A.  Yes. Saskatoon is a very friendly city with a population of about 220,000. There is an excellent primary and secondary school system that includes public, private, and French immersion schools. There are many activities and events throughout the year for children, as well as ample cultural and sporting events.
If you have any other questions, please contact the Admissions Office. Our toll-free number is 1-877-363-7275. Our email address is dentistry.admissions@usask.ca.