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Darlene Johnson

Application to the graduate program is accepted through the American Dental Education Association Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS) program. This is required for all candidates applying in 2022 to be accepted for admission in 2023.  The application deadline is September 1, 2022.

Your PASS application should include the following items:

  1. Online application form (filled out in full).
  2. Essay/Personal statement. Please tell us about your personal history that led you to apply for an educational program in orthodontics. Include your plans for the future and any factors you believe are important for us to know in reviewing your application. Please limit your comments to one page.
  3. CV/Résumé. Include a curriculum vitae to give us more information about yourself. Your CV should include your education and work experiences, awards, honors, research experiences and personal interests.
  4. Undergraduate transcripts. Include transcripts from all colleges or universities you have attended before dental school.
  5. Official dental school transcripts.
  6. Institution Evaluation Form (completed by the dean of your dental school).
  7. Professional Evaulation Forms (PEFs). Applicants must submit 3 PEFs per program. A letter from the chairperson in orthodontics is not required, but may be included if they have personal knowledge of your skills.
  8. Advanced Dental Admission Test (ADAT) Scores. We will consinder the ADAT scores submitted with the ADEA PASS application; however, it is not a requirement for our program.

The following supplementary items are to be submitted directly to the VCU Department of Orthodontics:

  1. Application cover page(please fill out the application cover page completely) or apply online.
  2. Application fee of $85 (U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank), made payable to VCU (application fee is non-refundable).
  3. Official transcripts from all colleges or universities you have attended that are NOT already submitted through PASS, if any (if you have submitted your "unofficial" transcripts through PASS, you do NOT need to send us "official" versions of those transcripts). If you have attended a program without a transcript, such as a residency, we will need a letter from your program director documenting the experience.
  4. Additional letters of recommendation may be submitted if you feel they would be beneficial to your application. This is optional.
  5. National Board scores (INBDE or NBDE Parts I and II). Have an original score report sent directly to the Department of Orthodontics (sent by email to from the National Board office in addition to enclosing an unofficial report or photocopy in your supplementary materials package/envelope. If you have taken other exams (or if you wish to add to your file), you may send any item of this type for our consideration. If you have not taken the INBDE in time to receive the score report prior to our deadline, please note that if you are accepted into our program, you will be required to take and pass the INBDE prior to the start of the program.
  6. GRE scores. Have an original score report sent directly to the Department of Orthodontics from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) office in addition to enclosing a photocopy or screenprint in your supplementary materials package/envelope. The GRE scores are required (even if you are a graduate of a foreign school) - no exceptions.  When requesting the official score report from the ETS, please use the Institution Code for Virginia Commonwealth University (5570) and the Department Code for Dentistry and Oral Sciences (0604), which are both found on their web site.
  7. TOEFL (minimum score of 550-paper, 213-computer or 80-internet) or IELTS (minimum score of 6.5) scores are required for students whose native language is not English. These scores are not required if you went to dental school or graduate school in an English-speaking environment (USA, Canada, Australia or Great Britain, etc.). Foreign dental school graduates: Graduation from our orthodontic program qualifies you to apply for a dental license in the commonwealth of Virginia; however, other regulations apply. For example, after graduation from our program, you will be required to take and pass a Regional Testing Agency dental examination.

Mailing supplementary materials

All supplementary materials must be sent directly to the VCU Department of Orthodontics:

Postgraduate Selection Committee
Department of Orthodontics
VCU School of Dentistry
520 North 12th Street, Room 111
Box 980566
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0566

  • We are not responsible for misdirected mail to other departments within the school, college or university.
  • Please gather all materials and mail them together in one envelope.
  • All recommendation letters and transcripts must be in their respective envelopes (envelopes must be signed and sealed).


To reactivate a previously submitted application, please submit a letter requesting reactivation of last year's file, remit the $85 fee (non-refundable) and a new cover page, along with any other required documents and any information that may have changed (such as taking Part II Boards, final transcript, etc.). You may add additional information to your file. Note: Only one year's applications are kept, therefore, if your initial application was before last year, submit as if a completely new application package following the directions above for PASS materials and supplementary materials.

Important information

  • Although three letters of recommendation (PEFs) are required to be submitted through PASS, you may enclose as many additional letters as you wish in your supplementary materials package/envelope. A chairman's letter is not required, although if they know you personally, you may wish to include one.
  • Foreign dental school graduates, please do not apply unless you have TOEFL or IELTS scores (exception only if you went to dental school or graduate school in an English-speaking environment), GRE Scores. PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU ARE ACCEPTED INTO OUR PROGRAM, YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO TAKE AND PASS THE INBDE PRIOR TO THE START OF THE PROGRAM.
  • We do not require nor wish to receive photographs.
  • Re-applying? Application files are kept for one year only. If you were a senior last year, we will need your final transcript. If you have taken National Boards Part II since then, send an updated version. We also now require the GRE Score Report, so please submit a copy and have the original report sent directly to us from the ETS Office. We need a completed cover page and check ($85 program application fee). Other letters, etc. may be enclosed.
  • Most important – send all items as one package if possible. Deadline: Sept. 1 in our office; however, packages may be mailed as soon as you have them together. Note: If sending by regular mail, we recommend that you mail no later than Aug. 15.
  • Enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard (we will return it to you to confirm receipt of your application) that says:

Envelope example

Organizing your application

For recommendation letters, our students found this envelope format to work best.

Envelope example

Envelope example

Application information

Further inquiries may be directed to:

Darlene D. Johnson
Department of Orthodontics
Postgraduate application coordinator
Virginia Commonwealth University
School of Dentistry
Box 980566
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0566

Phone: (804) 828-9326
Fax: (804) 828-5789