USC University of Southern California

Frequently Asked Questions

Advanced Standing Program for International Dentists (ASPID)

How many students do you accept into ASPID?

We accept 32 students into ASPID each year.

I applied last year. Can you reactivate my application?

You must reapply online through the Centralized Application for Advanced Placement for International Dentists and send in all of your supplemental materials again. Click here to learn more about the application process.[link]

If I’m a U.S. citizen, do I still need to take the TOEFL?

Only non-U.S. citizens and those without permanent resident status must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

What if my TOEFL score is lower than what you are asking for?

The USC Graduate School requires that anyone admitted to USC with a score lower than the minimum must take an English course. However, the intensive schedule of the dentistry program leaves no time for an English course. If you are invited to interview and your score is below our minimum, please continue to take the TOEFL until you reach the minimum score.

May I mail my application?

You must complete your admissions application online. Click here to learn more about the application process.[link] If you have questions or technical difficulties, contact us at (213) 740-2851 or or the USC Office of Graduate and International Admissions at (213) 740-1111.

May I send notarized copies of my application materials rather than originals?

We can accept notarized copies of:

  • Proof of dental license from a Ministry of Health or proper governing body
  • Transcripts/mark sheets
  • Dental degree diploma

The following must be official/originals:

  • TOEFL results, which must be sent by Educational Testing Service (ETS) directly to USC (USC Graduate School’s TOEFL code is 4852; department code 00), along with a notarized paper copy
  • National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) score report
  • Course-by-Course Evaluation from World Education Service (WES)

I have my letters of recommendation in a sealed envelope. May I just send them to you?

You may send your letters of recommendation in the packet of all of your supplemental application materials. Do NOT send the letters separately.

Do I need to have the NBDE score report and Course-by-Course Evaluation sent to me first, and then send it to you?

All of the supplemental application materials must be sent to USC in one envelope. Order a copy of the NBDE report and the Course-by-Course Evaluation and have it sent to your home.
When you receive them, do NOT open them. Put them in the packet of supplemental materials that you will be sending to the Ostrow School of Dentistry’s Office of Admissions.

I took the new format of the NBDE and my score went down because the test is much harder. Will you be taking that into account when reviewing my application?

We understand that the NBDE is being offered in a new format. We will review your score report accordingly.

What is the lowest NBDE score you will accept? What is the average score of all applicants?

The lowest acceptable score on the NBDE is 75. The average score of last year’s applicants was 87.

What should I write about for my personal statement?

No specific criteria are required for the personal statement. Simply tell us why you’re applying to the ASPID program.

When will admissions interviews be held?

We hold admissions interviews in October. If you are selected for an interview, we will send you further details.

As an international student, is financial aid available?

International students can be considered for private financing programs. A list of private financing loan programs is available here.

I sent my World Education Services course-by-course evaluation to the Centralized Application for Advanced Placement for International Dentists. Do I need to send them to the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC as well?

No. We will evaluate the WES from your CAAPID application.