Personal statement and evaluations

Personal statement

In your personal statement, you will explain why you want to pursue a dental career. The statement should not exceed 4,500 characters (including spaces, carriages, numbers, letters, etc.). Do not make the statement specific to a particular dental school, as ADEA AADSAS will provide the statement to all dental schools designated in the application.

Letters of evaluation

Letters of evaluation are required. Letters of evaluation are traditional recommendation letters written by a person qualified to recommend a person to dental school. Many schools have guidelines for who should complete an evaluation on their website. Determine what requirements, if any, the dental schools you are applying to have regarding an evaluator’s roles or relationship to the applicant before listing any evaluators on ADEA AADSAS. 

You can submit your letters using one of the following options:

  • Four individual evaluations. Each letter should be written by one person.  
  • One committee letter* and one individual evaluation. A committee letter can either be one letter that is collaboratively written by a group of people or a collection of letters submitted on behalf of an institution or office.  

Once you have selected your evaluators, be certain to inform them of the process, including that they will be filling out the reference electronically. Obtain the evaluator’s preferred e-mail address and make sure the person monitors his or her e-mail inbox (and spam filter) for the request e-mail.

For each evaluation, you must select whether or not to waive your access to the evaluation.** When you save an evaluation request, the evaluator will receive an email request to complete the evaluation. The email will include a link to an online portal where the evaluator can upload a letter (up to 1 MB).

While ADEA AADSAS does not provide a prompt or set of characteristics to include in the letter, evaluators are encouraged to provide information about the applicant’s academic ability, character and time management skills, among other items they feel are important. It is strongly recommended that the letter be on letterhead and include a signature. 

Once a reference is completed on the ADEA AADSAS application, it cannot be removed or replaced, so it is important to define which evaluations each dental school has requested. Please note that references from family members are discouraged.

*Committees letters are usually submitted by a preselected group of individuals at an institution, typically a prehealth committee or a group of advisors.

**The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) provides applicants the right to access letters of evaluation written after Jan. 1, 1975, unless they choose to waive their right of inspection and review. Prior to requesting an evaluation, you will be required to indicate if you wish to waive your rights to each evaluation. ADEA AADSAS does not release any letters of evaluation to applicants, regardless of waiver status.

 

I didn’t agree to the evaluation waiver by mistake. Can I change it?
If you have indicated the wrong waiver status, delete the evaluator, correctly re-enter the evaluator’s name and other information and save. A new email requesting a letter of evaluation will be sent by ADEA AADSAS to the evaluator. This cannot be changed after the evaluation is submitted.

Who should I invite to write my evaluations?
ADEA AADSAS does not require evaluations from specific individuals. Dental schools, on the other hand, do request letters from specific individuals, like science professors or prehealth professional advisors. Check with each dental school for more information.

What should I tell my evaluators to write? What should be included in the letter?
ADEA AADSAS does not provide a prompt or set of characteristics to include in the letter; evaluators are encouraged to provide information about the applicant’s academic ability, character and time management skills, among other items they feel are important. It is recommended that the letter be on letterhead and include a signature.

Can an evaluator be changed after the application has been submitted?
Completed letters cannot be deleted, but new evaluators can be added if the maximum has not yet been reached.