Tips for International Dental Students

Getting Licensed in the United States

Many dentists and dental students educated outside the United States and Canada wish to obtain a dental license to practice in the U.S. To become licensed to do so, internationally-trained dentists must follow these steps:

  1. Determine the state(s) where you wish to obtain a license and contact the state board(s) of dentistry to obtain specific licensure requirements and a sample application. Click here for requirements by state.
  2. Take the NBDE Part I administered by the ADA Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE). Some dental schools require you take both Parts I and II prior to admission. Please refer to each dental school’s website for their requirements. If Part II is not required, you will take that portion after you complete the program.
  3. Apply to an accredited dental education program with advanced standing to earn a DDS or DMD degree. The application and list of available programs can be found on ADEA’s CAAPID site. Please note: some dental schools do not use CAAPID to administer their application process. You should contact those schools directly for requirements. Reference this list of the 38 U.S. dental schools that offer an AS/IDP program for contact information.
  4. Complete a clinical licensing examination administered by a state or regional clinical testing agency accepted in the state where you wish to be licensed.

Resources for Advanced Standing or IDP students

Connect with other internationally trained dentists and students currently enrolled in AS/IDP programs through ASDA's International Dentists Facebook page

Guide to Applying to U.S. Dental Schools for Internationally Trained Dentists

ApplyingIntlDentists_howtoguide_coversApplying to dental school as an internationally trained dentists can be a complex and difficult task. To get a better understanding of all the requirements, download our guide (ASDA members only). Not a member? Join now.

The guide contains information and tips on each step of the process including:

  • What to do before applying
  • The application process
  • The interview
  • After acceptance
  • After graduating

Members: Log in now to access to access this guide.

Webinars for International Dentists

Are you an international dentist interested in applying to a U.S. dental school and practicing in the U.S.? Watch this video to hear international dentists who graduated from a U.S. dental school share their experiences attending an advanced standing or international dental program.

Join a panel of dental students representing several schools as they prepare advanced standing applicants on common interview questions, the do’s and don’ts of the dental school interview and the different interview models. In addition, learn the different requirements for bench exams from a multitude of dental schools. Different resources used to practice for bench exam will also be shared. This webinar also includes a 30 minute question & answer session with the panelists.

Membership in ASDA

We encourage you to join ASDA to gain access to resources and education on the dental school application and licensure process. There are two categories of membership that you may be eligible for, depending on where you live:

Predental membership is open to any person living in the U.S. who is planning to apply to dental school. This includes international-trained dentists who are planning to apply to an advanced standing or international dental program. Predental membership is $71/year. 

International dental student membership is open to students currently enrolled in an international dental school outside the United States and its possessions. Candidates must be a predoctoral student of a dental school listed in the World Directory of Dental Schools compiled by the FDI World Federation. Upon joining, members become a part of ASDA and the ADA and are entitled to all of the privileges of both organizations. International membership dues are $101 of which $5 goes to the American Dental Association for international dental student membership. 

View a listing of member benefits for both categories.

Online Membership Application 

"As an international student, ASDA played a major role in getting me prepared for the boards. When I got into dental school, it had a huge impact in my life for leadership development and support to know everything I needed about the U.S. dental scene through the ASDA events. It is one voice, one body and one of the largest student organization in the world, it is ASDA and I cannot be more proud to be part of it."

Rami Beshai, BDS, Los Angeles '16