Here is the ATAR score that you will need to study dentistry for each university in Queensland. Just like entry into undergraduate medicine, dentistry is one of the most difficult degrees to enter into from high school.
Students who want to pursue a career as a dentist will face extremely high demand and fierce competition between the brightest and most diligent students in the country. It also seems that it is only becoming more challenging to become a dentist from high school as entry scores continue to climb year after year.
For many universities, there are requirements other than ATAR that students must fulfil to gain entry into dentistry which we will explain below. Hence, it is impossible to give a definitive ATAR score, though you should aim for an ATAR between 95 and 99.
Below, we’ve broken down the ATAR score, UCAT and interview requirements you’ll need to satisfy to study dentistry in Queensland for each university.
Undergraduate Dentistry: Introduction
Three universities offer entry into undergraduate dentistry in Queensland. These are the University of Queensland (UQ), Griffith University, and James Cook University (JCU). The dental degree itself differs slightly between these three universities. UQ offers a 5-year Bachelor of Dental Science (Honours), Griffith offers a 3-year Bachelor of Dental Health Science with the option of an additional Honours year. JCU offers a 5-year Bachelor of Dental Surgery. All of these degrees are pathways to becoming a registered dentist in Australia.
Undergraduate Dentistry: Requirements
The requirements for entry into undergraduate dentistry differ between universities in Queensland and we will look at each of the three universities in detail below. There are no guaranteed entry scores for dentistry. Instead, entry scores are based entirely on the performance of the overall cohort for a particular year. The three universities that offer dentistry differ in the entry requirements, using a combination of ATAR, UCAT, interview, and online applications.
University of Queensland Dentistry
The University of Queensland offers students undergraduate entry into a 5-year Bachelor of Dental Science (Honours) from high school. The program consists of early simulated clinic exposure from your first semester and incorporates a 39-week placement in the final year of your degree at Queensland dental clinics.
UQ ATAR For Dentistry
UQ uses a minimum ATAR for their first selection criteria for entry into the Bachelor of Dental Science (Honours). The minimum ATAR required for entry is 99.00. While this is the minimum required to move to the second selection criteria (UCAT), QTAC also publishes the ATAR profile of successful UQ dentistry candidates which we’ve summarised below.
UQ ATAR For Dentistry
|Without Adjustments||With Adjustments|
As you can see, the median unadjusted ATAR a student had that was accepted into dentistry at the University of Queensland in 2023 was 99.40. The lowest unadjusted score was 95.35 which resulted in an adjusted score of 99.00. As long as students score above 99.00, their application moves on to other rankings (UCAT). Read more about UQ’s ATAR adjustment scheme here.
UQ UCAT For Dentistry
The second step in selecting successful dentistry students is the UCAT. From the University of Queensland’s website, “the aggregate score from all 5 sections of the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) [is used as] the first selection. Applicants with the same aggregate score are ranked by their UCAT ANZ section 5 score. If this score is also the same, the UCAT ANZ section 1 score is used.”
The exact UCAT required for entry into UQ dentistry is unknown, though it has been speculated that the UCAT required was around 3743 in 2022. Note that this score does include the final Situational Judgement section of the test. For the source and more information, check out Med Students Online.
A UCAT score of around 3743 equates to an average of around 749 across the five sections of the test. As a reminder, these are Verbal Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, and Situational Judgement. Interestingly, medical schools usually do not use the Situational Judgement section, but UQ does use this section for selection into its dentistry program.
UQ Interview For Dentistry
Unlike some other universities across the country, UQ does not interview for entry into its undergraduate dentistry program. Selection is instead based on the minimum ATAR of 99.00 and UCAT.
Griffith University Dentistry
Griffith offers a 3-year Bachelor of Dental Health Science for high school leavers. There is also an option for an additional Honours year at Griffith, similar to UQ. Completion of this degree and Griffith University’s two-year Master of Dentistry enables you to apply for registration as a dentist.
Griffith ATAR For Dentistry
There are no cutoff scores or guaranteed entry scores for Griffith’s Bachelor of Dental Health Science. Instead, candidates are ranked based on their performance in the UCAT, their performance in an interview, and their academic achievement in Year 12 (ATAR).
Unfortunately, QTAC does not publish an ATAR profile for Griffith’s dentistry course, though we can estimate that the ATAR required is likely similar to other universities, and aiming for around 99.00 or even higher would put you in good stead if you want to pursue dentistry at Griffith.
Of course, this could be higher or lower depending on the specific year of application and your performance in the UCAT and dentistry interview. While Griffith does have a bonus points scheme, it is not used for entry into this degree.
James Cook University in Townsville offers a 5-year undergraduate dentistry degree for school leavers. At the completion of this degree, students are awarded a Bachelor of Dental Surgery. JCU has a particular focus on rural and tropical health. For final selection, JCU considers each applicant’s ATAR, and an online application form. There does not seem to be any mention of an interview for JCU dentistry on their website. For more information, take a look at the JCU site.
JCU Online Application
James Cook University requires students to apply to their dentistry course via QTAC, and also requires the submission of an additional online application directly to the university. Their website states that you must complete both steps, and the online form likely involves some additional questions similar to the old process for applying to JCU medicine. You can find more information here.
JCU ATAR For Dentistry
The ATAR required for dentistry at James Cook University is likely slightly lower than that required for UQ and Griffith. Nonetheless, the score required is still very high and students should aim to achieve the best score they can as there is no guaranteed entry score. Instead, cutoffs are based on the performance of the cohort of applicants each year. Here are the ATAR scores of successful applicants in 2023:
ATAR For Dentistry (Bachelor of Dental Surgery)
|Without Adjustments||With Adjustments|
As seen, the median unadjusted ATAR achieved by successful dentistry applicants was 98.65 while the lowest was 87.95. The lowest ATAR required for JCU dentistry in 2023 was 87.95. While JCU does have an adjustment or bonus point scheme, it is not used for entry into this degree.
Dentistry is without a doubt one of the most difficult course to enter into from high school. Not only are very high ATAR scores required, there are also several other components to the application process that applicants must perform well in to be considered at many universities. While it is certainly difficult to get into a dentistry degree from high school, it is still definitely achievable and well worth the effort to enter such a rewarding and fulfilling profession.
If you’re considering studying dentistry, our advice is to not get too caught up on the ATAR cutoffs and requirements. At the end of the day, your goal in Year 12 should be to get the best possible ATAR that you can achieve. This will give you the best chance of getting into a dental degree (or any degree) of your choice. To estimate your ATAR, check out our ATAR Calculator.
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