Holistic Review

ADEA Definition of Holistic Review

Holistic review—a flexible, individualized applicant assessment tool—provides admissions committees a balanced means of considering  candidates’ personal experiences, attributes  and academic credentials, along with qualities and characteristics that would prove valuable in both dental school and the oral health profession.

Grounded in each institution’s mission, holistic review uses multiple criteria to assess applicant qualifications. These criteria—both traditional and nontraditional— include, among others, the following:

Traditional criteria

  • Standardized test scores and
  •  Grade point average.

Nontraditional criteria

  • Linguistic or cultural experience (or both),
  • Demonstrated commitment to community service,
  • Specific career interests, such as plans to practice in underserved communities and
  • Life experiences, such as personal, familial or other challenges overcome.

Sources: AAMC Holistic Review Project.  Roadmap to diversity: Integrating holistic review practices into medical school admission processes.  2010. p. ix. and The W.K. Kellogg Foundation [WKKF] and The California Health Workforce Alliance [CHWA].  Health professions accreditation and diversity: a collaborative approach to enhance current standards. 2010. p. 37.

Updated Holistic Review Slide

Copyright © 2010. American Dental Education Association.