DIS Program Application

The Dental International Student (DIS) Program at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine began in 1956 to provide foreign-trained dentists with the education and experience required to practice dentistry in America. The program comprises five semesters (two years and three months) of coursework and clinical experience, including innovative courses in implantology and geriatric dentistry. Upon completion of the program, students receive a D.M.D. degree and are eligible for licensure to practice dentistry in the United States of America.

Application Procedures and Criteria

The deadline for the program beginning in January 2024 is July 1, 2023. All candidates for the program beginning in January 2024 should submit an application through the Centralized Application for Advanced Placement for International Dentists (CAAPID) which is run by ADEA. The application cycle opens in March 2023.

Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis with a review of complete applications first. It is strongly suggested that applicants complete the CAAPID application as early as possible to remain competitive. Traditionally the program fills by September. After the program fills, applications are reviewed for wait-list consideration. Interviews are a mandatory part of the application process. Applicants selected for an interview will likely be notified in writing during July/August, and interview sessions will take place in August. 

Applicants selected for admission to the program will be required to send a $4,000 initial non-refundable deposit to hold a place in the class. Two additional  $1000 non-refundable deposits are required to maintain a position in the class, bringing the total deposit to $6000.

Citizenship Requirement

Applicants must either be a permanent resident or U.S. Citizen to be considered for acceptance into the program.  If you are in the process of obtaining your permanent resident card, please do not apply until you have obtained said document.  Additionally, you will be required to submit proof of residency if you are invited for an interview.  We will not consider permanent resident cards that are in process or expired.

Application Requirements

All applicants must apply through CAAPID and submit items directly to TUSDM.

Items required in the CAAPID application:

  • Personal statement
  • Unofficial academic credentials evaluation for any foreign coursework completed as reported by ECE (Education Credential Evaluators)
  • Two letters of recommendation in English from two dental school professors, or from one former dental school professor and the dean or director of your dental school (see below for more information)
  • TOEFL Score (required of ALL applicants)*
  • National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) Parts I and II scores (accepted if taken after March 1, 2018) OR Integrated National Board Dental Exam (INBDE)*
  • Must be a Permanent Resident or citizen of the United States
  • Unofficial transcript information (see below for official transcript requirements upon acceptance)

Items to send directly to TUSDM:

  • 2″ x 2″ photograph (please see instructions below)
  • $150 Application fee (please see instructions below)
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (if accepted into the program)
  • Official report from ECE (if accepted into the program)
  • Official score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • *If you are unable to upload your NBDE/INBDE and TOEFL results in the CAAPID application, you should send directly to TUSDM.

Personal Statement

A personal statement should discuss your motivation for enrolling in a D.M.D. program in the United States of America, and the experiences and accomplishments that make you qualified for the program.


Applicants will be required to submit official transcripts, directly from the institution to the Office of Admissions, from ALL post-secondary schools attended if accepted into the class.

Letters of Recommendation

A minimum of two letters of recommendation are required and should be submitted directly to CAAPID.  The letters of recommendation must be written in English from two professors from your dental school. If you cannot obtain two, you may submit one from a former professor and another from the dean or director of your dental school. All letters of recommendation should be written on official letterhead with an official signature.

If you are a political refugee and unable to submit two letter of recommendation as directed above, it is acceptable to submit one letter of recommendation from letters from your dental school professor or dean and the second from a current employer, volunteer organization, or from a professor here in the United States that you have worked withfor a minimum of one year. All letters of evaluation should be on official letterhead with an official signature.

A maximum of two additional letters of recommendation may be uploaded separately in the Program Materials section of the CAAPID application.  Please be advised that any additional letters of recommendation beyond that should be emailed to denadmissionsdis@tufts.edu and must be sent directly from the institution's official email address, without exception.

Academic Credentials Evaluation

Applicants must submit an unofficial course-by-course academic credentials evaluation by Educational Credential Evaluators (www.ece.org) to CAAPID. Applicants offered admission to the program will be required to submit the official report to Tufts from ECE, electronically from ECE or by mail.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

All applicants are required to submit official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores through the CAAPID application. Additionally, please have an official score report uploaded into the Program Documents section to supplement official scores. The minimum score for consideration is 90 on the internet-based exam. 

All applicants--regardless of native language, country of citizenship or if they attended school in the United States--are required take the TOEFL to be considered for the Dental International Student program. No exceptions are made to this requirement. The test is given in most countries and registration materials can be obtained from many U.S. Consulates, USLS Centers, and universities. The Home based TOEFL test will also be accepted. We accept TOEFL reports electronically so you do not need to mail a copy to our office.To have your scores sent to Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, use institution code 3902 and department code 38 on the TOEFL registration form.

TOEFL exams taken more than two years before the application deadline are not valid. Exams must have been completed after July 1, 2021.

For more information regarding the TOEFL contact: TOEFL Educational Testing Services, Box 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, or telephone 609-771-7100. You may also visit the website.

National Board Dental Examination & Integrated National Board Dental Examination

Please be aware that the Integrated National Board Dental Examination (or the National Board Dental Examination Part 1 and 2, if taken after March 1, 2018) is a requirement for acceptance to the Dental International Student program. Preference is given to applicants who receive a score of 90 or better on each of the individual sections on Part I, and who receive a score of 85 or above on the Part II examination. The Integrated National Board Examination (INBDE) will be accepted in place of Part I and Part II. The Admissions Committee is also giving preference to applicants who score at or above the national average on the subsections of the National Dental Board Examination, Part II (indicated by an “A” or “H”).

Please note that we will only accept NDBE 1 and 2 if it was taken no later than March 1, 2018.

To receive an application for either Part I or Part II of the National Dental Board Examination (NDB) and a Candidate’s Guide for National Dental Board Examinations, write to: Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Suite 1846, Chicago, IL 60611, or telephone 312-440-2678. You may also visit the ADA website.

The following authors and books are suggested in preparation for the Part I examination: L. Stryer for Biochemistry; Wheeler for Dental Anatomy; Ross, Romrell & Kaye for Histology; K.L. Moore for Human Anatomy; Schaecter for Microbiology; Kumar, Cotran & Robbins for Basic Pathology; R. Berne & M. Levy for Physiology. You may purchase these books at the Tufts University Health Sciences Campus Barnes & Noble bookstore; the bookstore phone number is 617-636-6628.

Application Fee

Applicants must submit a $150 application fee. The Admissions Office will contact applicants with payment information after their application has been received.

2×2 Photograph

Applicants must submit a 2×2 size photograph. The photo can be emailed in JPEG, PNG, or GIF format to denadmissionsdis@tufts.edu. Please include your CAAPID ID number and full name in the email.

Note: Tufts does not return application documents (transcripts, scores, letters of recommendation, etc.) to the applicant regardless of application status.

Immunization and Health Insurance Requirements

The School of Dental Medicine requires all students to complete the required immunizations before matriculation, and matriculated students must have health insurance. Please visit Immunizations and Health Insurance Requirements page for a complete list of requirements from the Student Advisory and Health Administration Office.