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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 2024 to be accepted for admission in 2025.  The application deadline is September 1, 2024.

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 Evaluation 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. National Board Scores: Have an official score report sent directly to ADEA PASS.
  9. Advanced Dental Admission Test (ADAT) Scores. We will consider 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 $100 (U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank), made payable to VCU (application fee is non-refundable).
  3. 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. Copy of National Board Scores: Enclose a photocopy/screenprint of your National Board score report in the supplementary materials package/envelope. If you have taken other exams (or wish to add to your file), you may send any item of this type for 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. Enclose a photocopy/screenprint of your GRE score report with the supplementary materials package/envelope. The GRE scores are required (even if the applicant is a graduate of a foreign school), no exceptions.
  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 $100 fee (non-refundable) and a new application 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 and completion/anticipated completion of INBDE or previous completion of NBDE Parts I and II. PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU ARE ACCEPTED INTO OUR PROGRAM WITHOUT NATIONAL BOARD SCORES, 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. We also require your GRE Scores, so please submit a photocopy/screenprint of your score report. We need a completed new application cover page and check ($100 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:

Organizing your application

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

Professional liability

The Commonwealth of Virginia Self insurance program provides professional liability (malpractice) coverage, subject to policy limits, for advanced dental education students. Coverage includes professional service on duty within the institution and professional service on assigned duties in one of the VCU Medical Center-affiliated hospitals or programs. It does not cover any other professional service, e.g., moonlighting activities at other facilities or institutions.

Application information

Further inquiries may be directed to:

Darlene D. Cole
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