When considering candidates for possible admission, the UMKC School of Dentistry's Dental Student Admission Committee (DSAC) reviews the entire scope of information that is available on each applicant. For each candidate the sources of this information include the academic record (i.e., overall GPA, science GPA and Dental Admission Test scores), AADSAS essay, responses to items on the UMKC School of Dentistry's Application Survey, letters of reference, interview assessment, and any other information provided by the candidate (e.g., personal statement). Specifically, the committee will expect evidence of the following factors in making the difficult choices among candidates:
- Demonstrated investigation of the profession of dentistry. It is strongly suggested that candidates observe in a minimum of five different dental offices (the offices of general dentists and specialists) and acquire a minimum of 80-100 hours of dental office observation, preference is given to candidates who have worked in a dental office.
- Evidence of social conscience and compassion (i.e., caring attitude, sensitivity to those in need, significant community activities). It is strongly suggested that this be active and ongoing participation in volunteer activities.
- Indication of fundamental personal character (i.e., integrity, maturity, self-reliance, leadership skills).
- Evidence of critical thinking and problem solving ability (e.g., performance in courses requiring this skill such as in laboratory segments, in formal logic or in research experiences).
- Significant and sustained level of academic achievement based on full course loads with evidence of a broad science and liberal arts education (i.e., fine arts, business, mathematics, humanities, computer science, etc.).
- Established effective interpersonal/communication skills (i.e., an ability to communicate orally and in writing, a capacity to listen, a personality conducive to forming personal and/or professional relationships, an involvement in a range of extracurricular activities, especially those in which significant leadership roles have been taken).
- Demonstrated ability to balance full academic schedules with extracurricular involvement and/or employment (i.e., effective/efficient management of time).
Because the Dental School Admission Committee looks closely at information from all sources included in an applicant's file, it is in the candidate's best interest that this information is consistent among sources. This is especially true with information supplied directly by the candidate (i.e., AADSAS essay, UMKC School of Dentistry's Application Survey, interview and/or personal statement). You are strongly encouraged to review all written materials for consistency and accuracy before submission.
Finally, before developing these written materials, the candidate is strongly encouraged to honestly and critically assess himself/herself on all the qualities identified. Following this process, the candidate is urged to review drafts of these documents collectively (e.g., to check for completeness, accuracy and consistency) and to evaluate himself/herself comprehensively as if he/she were a member of the Dental Student Admission Committee. Where the candidate feels a question may arise from Committee review, the applicant is encouraged to address this in a personal statement/letter to the Committee.