Applying to Dental School

Well in advance of the application cycle, prospective applicants to dental school should determine when to take the DAT. The DAT should ideally be taken 3 months in advance of when you plan to submit your application and no later than August 2022 for those planning to matriculate to dental school in August 2023. Dental school applicants should refer to the ADEA GoDental web page on the DAT.

Students will be notified of workshop dates and times via email and/or you can find them listed on Handshake. Please sign up in advance: log in to Handshake and click on the Events tab; under "type", click "workshop" and Join the event. The workshop will review/discuss:

  • the timeline and process for applying to medical or dental school
  • the documents required to obtain a Committee Letter
  • letters of recommendation

A Committee Letter is a letter authored by a pre-health committee or pre-health advisor and intended to represent your institution’s evaluation of you. At Hamilton, the Committee Letter is a detailed narrative of your path to a career in dentistry written by Leslie Bell and edited by the Health Professions Advisory Committee. It is combined with your other letters of recommendation (LOR’s). Although not required for admission to dental school, dental schools prefer to receive a Committee Letter so it is a benefit to you. In fact, they will become suspicious if an applicant doesn’t submit such a letter when his/her school offers this service.

As part of the dental school application process, you will need to solicit four-to-six letters of recommendation (LORs). Serving as an outside endorsement of your candidacy, a LOR is a letter in which the author will assess your qualities, characteristics, and capabilities as they pertain to dental school and the dentistry profession. Don't underestimate the importance of a strong letter of recommendation. A comprehensive letter from a solid source who knows you well can speak volumes about your integrity and the quality of your work.

LOR's will be collected by and stored in veCollect. Those applying for admission to dental school for fall 2023 will need to create an account (paid for by the Career Center) by December 1, 2021 (more information below.) Applicants should confirm writers' willingness to support them before setting up an account and listing your evaluators. For tips on soliciting letters of recommendation, visit our Letters of Recommendation Page.

The Declaration of Intent is a Qualtrics form that notifies the Health Professions Advising office of your intent to apply to dental school in the spring/summer 2022 and provides the office with basic identifying information. Complete this form no later than December 1st, 2021. Re-applicants from prior application cycles should submit a new Declaration of Intent by February 1st, 2022.

All applicants, including those with letters currently on file at the Health Professions Advising office, must create an account on veCollect.

  • Watch the video about registering for an account
  • Register for veCollect access
    • Select your state from the dropdown
    • Select Hamilton College from the dropdown.
    • Enter the required authorization code sent in an email in November. If you did not receive this email, contact Cheney Cronin in the Health Professions Advising office at hpa@hamilton.edu for the code.
    • Complete the registration form, choosing a login and password, to create your account. You will receive an email that includes a link to activate your account and takes you to the Applicant "dashboard".
  • On the Applicant dashboard, read the detailed instructions under the "For Applicants" tab in order to understand the steps involved in requesting letters of recommendation (LOR's) .

Generate Letter Requests in veCollect

  • Applicants will be responsible for generating letter requests and monitoring the receipt of letters in their file.
  • Those who have letters on file with the Health Professions Advising office must create both an evaluator record and a letter record for each of the recommenders/letters that you wish to use this cycle. Once this is done, your letters will be uploaded to veCollect by the Health Professions Advising office.
  • Letters of recommendation are due by February 1. Candidates' materials will be presented to the Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) in the order in which files are completed. We strongly recommend generating letter requests, especially those for faculty, in early December with a deadline of February 1 so that they can use winter break to write. Check your account frequently to monitor receipt of letters as you may need to follow up with evaluators whose letters have not been submitted.
  • Applicants who wish to request an LOR for a later date may do so (e.g. from a supervisor at a new job or from a professor who is just getting to know you.) However, note that candidates will not be presented to the Health Professions Advising Committee until their files are complete (all LORs and other documents received, and DAT taken)
  • Some recommenders may be difficult to reach or may need reminders to submit their letters; starting early is the key to success.
  • Files must be complete by May 1, 2022 in order to receive a Committee Letter. A completed file consists of all LORs, your Self-Assessment, personal statement, resume, and the Interview for Committee Letter with Leslie Bell.

The evaluation of your candidacy will include a review of all of your transcripts (other than study abroad) by the members of the Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC.) You do not need to provide a Hamilton transcript because the Registrar will provide it.

However, if you have completed relevant course work at other post-secondary institutions (e.g. summer classes, post-bac programs, Master's degrees), you will need to request that transcripts from those institutions be sent to Cheney Cronin, Assistant Director, Health Professions Advising, at hpa@hamilton.edu, by February 1, 2021.

Applicants taking a class/classes through May 2021 at an institution other than Hamilton should notify the Health Professions Advising Office that a transcript will be forthcoming. Unofficial transcripts, if you have them, are also acceptable. Note: when you complete your application to dental school on ADEA/AADSAS, you will be responsible for requesting transcripts from all secondary institutions you have attended .

Download and complete the Self-Assessment form. Send it to your veCollect account by February 1st, 2022; instructions for sending documents to your account will be included in an email in mid-January. It will be used in combination with your transcript, resume, and the interview to draft your Committee Letter.  Reflecting and writing about your experiences should also help you prepare answers for your application. Please save the “Self-Assessment” with your last name and document name in the filename: (LastName_Self-Assessment)

Also by February 1st, send a draft of your personal statement and a current resume to your veCollect account; instructions for sending documents to your account will be included in an email in mid-January. They will be used in combination with the interview to draft your Committee Letter.

A personal statement is required as part of your application to dental school. Drafting it by February 1st and taking the time to develop it will ensure that this part of your application is in its final form when it is time to upload as part of your application (starting in June 2022). The dental school application essay is limited to 4500 characters (including spaces).

It will be your responsibility to monitor your account of veCollect regarding the receipt of your letters and to contact reference writers who have not yet submitted them. Often a phone call is the best way to touch base with your writer regarding the status of your letter.

Once you have submitted all of your documents, have taken the DAT, and have at least two letters of recommendation on file, the Health Professions Advising Office will contact you to schedule an Interview for a Committee Letter. The interview is a conversation between you and Leslie Bell (and possibly a member of the Health Professions Advisory Committee) to get to know you as well as the experiences, academic accomplishments, and extracurricular activities outlined in your Self-Assessment and Resume (due by February 1st). This information will be used to write a comprehensive Committee Letter that will be sent along with your Letters of Recommendation to the dental schools to which you are applying. Interviews with students will be conducted in person; interviews with alumni will be conducted via Zoom. Allow one hour.

Alumni: Please try to schedule your interview during normal business hours (some lunch times have been reserved). 

It is recommended that you receive and incorporate feedback from several sources, both personal and professional, to craft your final essay. For professional reviews, appointments can be made with the Writing Center and/or your Career Advisor at the Career Center (email your advisor to schedule an appointment). To ensure that your personal statement is ready to be presented to the Health Professions Advisory Committee, aim to finalize your personal statement by mid-March.

The ADEA AADSAS is a centralized application service that enables applicant to submit one standardized online application to any participating dental school (all U.S. dental schools and one Canadian dental school participate in ADEA AADSAS). Texas residents who wish to apply to in-state dental schools must use the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS) at www.tmdsas.com. Texas residents must use ADEA AADSAS to apply to out-of-state schools. Out-of-state residents applying to Texas schools may apply through ADEA AADSAS.

Though the ADEA AADSAS application does not open until mid-May, complete instructions are typically posted on ADEA GoDental in late March. It is strongly recommended that you read through all of the application instructions before completing the application in June. Now is also a good time to identify schools to which you plan to apply and to research each school’s requirements in terms of required/recommended courses and any supplemental materials.

In mid-May, plan to participate in the ADEA AADSAS “Prep Day Virtual Fair” to speak with ADEA AADSAS staff about application questions.

To aid in course entry, it is recommended that you request that an official transcript from the registrar of every college/university you have attended be sent to you in advance of completing the application.

The 2022 ADEA AADSAS application "soft launch" will open for applicants in mid-May 2022, allowing you three weeks to work on and refine your application information. In preparation, refer to ADEA GoDental for information, resources, and important dates. Refer to the 2022 ADEA AADSAS application instructions when they become available in early February.

Because many schools have a rolling admissions cycle, submitting your application in June or July will maximize your chances of being considered for an interview.

In order for your application to be processed, ADEA AADSAS must receive official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. You will need to complete and send a Transcript Request Form to the registrar of each college/university attended as this form must be attached to your official transcript(s) when sent by the registrar(s) to ADEA AADSAS.

Dental schools may require supplemental information in addition to your complete ADEA AADSAS application. To ensure all the necessary requirements have been completed, review each school’s website and the supplemental table in the application.

Schedule an interview preparation appointment with your assigned career advisor, to be conducted in person or via Zoom.


Contact Name

Courtney Hance

Director of Health Professions Advising

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