CDM Admission Requirements

Admissions Requirements

KCU’s College of Dental Medicine seeks a diverse and balanced student population and considers academic and non-academic criteria in selecting applicants who have the potential for success. Admission to the DMD program is competitive and based on a “whole file review” process including the factors below:

  • Academic Background - Grade point averages, performance trends, dental admission test scores; degree of difficulty of courses taken and course load
  • Maturity - Academic, personal and employment experiences
  • Motivation - Perseverance, non-academic achievement and personal declaration
  • Professionalism – Leadership experiences/potential; ethics; integrity; commitment to service
  • Recommendations - Source, degree of association, directness and environmental similarity to professional education
  • Interview - Acceptable applicants will be interviewed at the discretion of the committee. Speech, manner, interests, goals and individual characteristics are evaluated during the interview process.
  • Communications Skills – Oral and written
  • Diversity - The CDM is dedicated to building a diverse community that recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of each individual. The College is committed to equal opportunity, fairness and access in the admissions policies without regard to age, national origin, race, religion, gender and/or sexual orientation.
  • State of Residence – Preference given to permanent residents of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and KCU College of Biosciences graduates.

Admission requirements are as follows:

  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college is required for admission to the College of Dental Medicine. This requirement may be waived for students enrolled in KCU-CDM Partner Programs. 
  • Demonstrated community service through volunteerism and/or service-oriented employment
  • Clinical dental experience (shadowing or practice)
  • U.S. DAT score (taken within the last three years)
  • Completion of prerequisite coursework with a grade of C or better.


  • General Biology (Zoology, or similar is an acceptable alternative)- one year of lecture & lab (8 semester/12 quarter hours)
  • Microbiology – one semester of lecture & lab, (4 semester/6 quarter hours)
  • General Chemistry – one year of lecture & lab, (8 semester/12 quarter hours)
  • Organic Chemistry – one year of lecture & lab, (8 semester/12 quarter hours)
  • Additional Biology, Chemistry, and/or Physics courses – (12 semester/18 quarter hours)
  • English Composition/Technical Writing – (6 semester/8 quarter hours)
  • *Human Anatomy – one semester lecture and lab, (4 semester/6 quarter hours)
  • *Biochemistry – (3 semester/4 quarter hours)

*Course is strongly recommended, but not required

Three Letters of Recommendation

  • One from a pre-health advisor or committee; may substitute a science faculty member who is familiar with your scholastic performance
  • One from a dentist (non-family member)
  • One from an individual who can attest to your academic strengths, abilities and fit for dental school
  • Letters must be dated within two years of matriculation year (i.e., if starting classes at KCU in August 2023, letters must be dated no earlier than May 2021)

International applicants are considered.

Health and Technical Standards

Candidates for the Doctor of Dental Medicine program must have the intellectual, emotional and physical abilities, with or without accommodations, to acquire the knowledge, technical, and clinical skills needed to successfully complete the curriculum in order to pursue a career in dentistry. The essential academic standards presented in this document are prerequisite for matriculation, subsequent promotion from year to year, and ultimately graduation from the Kansas City University College of Dental Medicine. These standards pertain to all matriculated students. All required courses in the curriculum are necessary in order to develop essential skills required to become a competent dentist.

Students, including students with disabilities, must have the capacity to manage their lives and anticipate their own needs. Students must be able to demonstrate the following abilities and skills with or without reasonable accommodation(s):

A student must be able to observe a patient accurately, at a distance and close up, interpreting non-verbal communications while performing dental operations or administering medications. A student must be able to perform dental examinations and treatments that require the use of sight and touch. He or she must be able to see fine detail, focus at a variety of distances, and discern differences and variations in color, shape and texture that are necessary to differentiate normal and abnormal soft and hard tissues. He or she must be able to use tactile senses to diagnose directly by palpation and indirectly by sensations transmitted through instruments. A student must also possess the visual acuity to read charts, records, radiographs, small print and handwritten notation.

A student must be able to: communicate effectively and sensitively with patients; convey and exchange information at a level allowing development of a health history; identify problems; explain alternative solutions; and give directions during treatment and post-treatment. A student must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with all members of the healthcare team. A student must have sufficient facility with English to: retrieve information from texts and lectures and communicate concepts on written exams and patient charts; elicit patient backgrounds; describe patient changes in moods, activity, and posture; and coordinate patient care with all members of the health care team. A student must be able to communicate in lay language so that patients and their families can understand the patient’s conditions and,
thereby, be more likely to comply with treatment and preventive regimes.

Motor, Strength, and Mobility
A student must possess sufficient motor functioning to execute movements essential to providing oral health care to patients. A student must possess the motor skills to perform palpation, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers; basic laboratory tests; and diagnostic and restorative procedures. Such actions require coordination of gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional uses of the senses of touch and vision. A student must be able to perform basic life support including CPR, to transfer and position patients with disabilities, to physically restrain himself or herself around the patient and chair in a sitting or standing position. A student must promote and support the ability of coworkers to perform prompt care. A student must be able to operate controls, use high-speed or low-speed dental handpieces for tooth preparation, and use hand instrumentation including scalpels for surgical procedures. A student must be able to maintain strength and posture and to reach and manipulate equipment to all positions in order to control the operating environment.

A student must be able to acquire a predetermined level of required information through demonstrations and experiences in basic and clinical dental science courses. Such information includes, but is not limited to, information conveyed through: a) physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations, b) microscopic images of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states; and c) demonstration of techniques using dental models. A student must be able to acquire information from written documents, and to evaluate information presented as images from paper, films, slides or video. A student must be able to benefit from electronic and other instrumentation that enhances visual, auditory and somatic sensations needed for examination or treatment.

A student must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate and synthesize. A student must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures. Problem-solving requires all of these intellectual abilities. A student must be able to perform these problem-solving skills in a timely manner.

Behavioral and Social
A student must possess the emotional health required for full use of his or her intellectual skills, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. A student must be able to endure physically-taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. He or she must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients.

Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interests and motivations are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admissions and educational processes. A student must be able to manage apprehensive patients with a range of moods and behaviors in a tactful, congenial, personal manner so as not to alienate or antagonize them. A student must be able to interrelate among colleagues, staff and patients with honesty, integrity, respect and nondiscrimination.

All candidates for the College of Dental Medicine will be required to complete a Technical Standards Attestation form on a yearly basis. If at any point an enrolled candidate ceases to meet the technical standards of the College of Dental Medicine, they must notify KCU’s Disabilities Services Coordinator who will determine what accommodations are reasonable.

If, after all reasonable accommodations are made, there is concern that the student remains unable to meet the technical standards, the student will be referred to the Student Progress Committee, who will review the student’s performance. It is the responsibility of the Student Progress Committee to determine whether a student can or cannot meet the described standards after reasonable accommodations have been made. The Student Progress Committee will determine any necessary actions on a case-by-case basis.