USC University of Southern California

How to Apply

Advanced Standing Program for International Dentists

Following are the steps you’ll need to take to apply to ASPID:

Step 1: Complete online application

The Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC participates in the American Dental Education Association’s (ADEA) Centralized Application for Advanced Placement for International Dentists (CAAPID). All applications must be submitted online, directly to CAAPID.

In addition to completing the online application, CAAPID requires that you send by mail:

  • Course-by-Course Evaluation from World Education Services (WES)
  • Two letters of recommendation: one from the dean of your dental school, and one from a faculty member of your dental school

The CAAPID application is available beginning in April each year, and is due by August 15.

Click here to learn more on the ADEA website.

Step 2: Submit supplemental materials to the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

The following supplemental application materials are required.

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) results, which must be sent by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) directly to USC. The Internet-based Test (iBT) is preferred. Applicants should receive a minimum score of 100 (minimum of 20 in each section). USC also will accept the Paper-based Test (minimum score of 600). Exam scores from before April 2011 are not valid. USC Graduate School’s TOEFL code is 4852; department code 00.

The following supplemental materials must be submitted together in one envelope and sent by mail to the Ostrow School of Dentistry’s Office of Admissions:

  • Notarized paper copy of valid TOEFL exam, in addition to the electronic scores that will have already been submitted to USC.
  • Documentary proof of license or registration to practice dentistry from a Ministry of Health or proper governing body
  •  Complete official/original transcripts or mark sheets, in the original language, of all college and university coursework, including dental education.
  • Dental degree diploma in the original language.

NOTE: Although non-English-language materials must be submitted in the original language, please include an English translation of each document.

  • Course-by-Course Evaluation in a sealed envelope from World Education Service (WES).
  • Official National Dental Board Examination (NDBE) Part I results, in a sealed envelope from the American Dental Association (ADA). A minimum score of 75 in each category is required. We recommend, but do not require, that you take the NDBE Part II.
  •  A passport-style photo of yourself, measuring 2 inches x 2 inches.
  • A non-refundable $145 processing fee. We will accept a personal check, cashier/bank check or money order made payable to USC. Please write your CAAPID number on the check.

Mail your supplementary packet, all in one envelope, to:
Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC
Attn: ASPID Program
925 W. 34th St., Room 201
Los Angeles, CA  90089-0641

Step 3: Visit the USC campus for an interview

Interviews are held for invited applicants around the end of October each year in a two-day process.

  • Day One includes a short practical examination in fixed prosthodontics and operative dentistry, which may also include a written dental exam. We will evaluate each applicant’s methods, skills, and artistic ability.
  • Day Two is designed to evaluate applicants on their interpersonal skills, critical thinking, and English-language communication ability. Applicants will have the opportunity to participate in a mock Problem-Based Learning (PBL) case, a method central to the school’s curriculum.

Step 4: Apply for your student visa

USC will assist ASPID candidates in obtaining student visas to study at the Ostrow School of Dentistry.

Once you have been officially accepted to USC, we will issue a form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility, which you must present when you apply for a visa at the U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country.

In order for an I-20 to be processed, you must present to the USC Office of Graduate and International Admissions a notarized statement documenting that you have the financial resources for your first year at USC (approximately $93,000). This document must be verified by a bank stamp or the U.S. consul.

If you wish to include a spouse and/or dependents on your visa, please attach a separate 8½ x 11-inch piece of paper to your financial statement that includes:

  • their full names
  • dates of birth
  • country of citizenship
  • country of birth
  • relationship to you

You must document in your financial statement that you have additional funds of $7,200 for a spouse and $3,600 per dependent.

Note that it is university policy to accept only those candidates who have the personal financial resources to pay for graduate study. Foreign students, with the exception of permanent residents, are typically ineligible for financial assistance through the university or U.S. banks.

Step 5: Meet health requirements

Required Health Documentation