Harvard School of Dental Medicine Interview Questions

Past Interview Questions & Tips

Harvard Dentistry Key Information

​Interviews at Harvard provide the candidate with the opportunity to articulate their knowledge and experience, their suitability for the program, and their potential contribution to the field of dentistry. Interviews may be in-person or virtual.

An overview of a typical assessment day:

8:45AM – Arrive at HSDM
9:00AM – Introduction to HSDM and DMD program overview
10:15AM – Interview I
11:15AM – Interview II
12:00PM – Lunch with current students
12:30PM – Tour of the School and Longwood Medical Area campus
1:30PM – Diversity & Inclusion Presentation
2:00PM – Financial Aid Information Session
3:00PM – Wrap-up with Admissions and departure from HSDM

Harvard Dentistry Key Application & Interview Statistics

Overall Success Rate (Total Applicants : Total Spaces)

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Harvard Dentistry Past Interview Questions

Motivation and Insight into Dentistry

  • Tell us about your research
  • Why have you chosen Harvard?
  • Why do you want to be a dentist?
  • Why not Medicine?
  • How difficult was your undergraduate school?
  • What is the most recent book that you’ve read?
  • How would a friend describe you?
  • How would you rate how hard you worked at your undergraduate school?
  • You have a very high DAT score and GPA. You have a passion for research, have a wealth of diverse dental experiences, and have completed many community service projects, both locally and internationally. But we have plenty of applicants like you. Why are you different? What can you bring to HSDM that is unique?
  • Where do you see yourself ten years from now in your dental career?
  • What was your biggest failure?
  • Did you work hard enough at your undergrad school to justify a place at Harvard?
  • Have you spoken to current students?
  • Tell us about yourself.
  • Why have you chosen dentistry?
  • What has been your biggest disappointment in life?
  • How did you become interested in Dentistry?
  • Are any of your family members dentists? Tell us about them if so.
  • What are you most proud of so far in your academic achievements?
  • What would your friends say is your quality that best suits a career in Dentistry?
  • If you could do something outside of science, what would you be doing?
  • Tell us in more depth about a program that you were involved in school that is relevant to Dentistry.

​Ethical Scenarios

  • Imagine you are in a PBL class where none of the other students include you. How would you handle this situation?
  • How would you fix the disparity in available and affordable healthcare in America?

Calculation Tasks (Intermediate & Advanced)

  • Why did you get a C in Calculus II at college?

Communication Stations​

  • What have you learned about communication through playing sports in college?
  • On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your leadership skills, from lamb to tyrant?
  • Tell us about your favourite leadership experience.
  • Tell us who you would want to sit next to on an airplane if you could sit next to anyone ever, why, and what you would speak to them about.

Harvard Dentistry Interview Questions and Answers

Why do you want to study Dentistry at Harvard School of Dental Medicine?

Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) offers a unique and prestigious dental education in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Renowned for educating clinicians, educators, researchers, and leaders in dental medicine, HSDM stands out for its strong focus on musculoskeletal-disease research and extensive public health opportunities, both locally and globally. HSDM is distinctive in offering direct patient care, and its educational model integrates dentistry with primary care, emphasizing the interchangeability of oral health and general health. Students at HSDM study clinical medicine with Harvard medical students, benefiting from the rich educational facilities and research institutes within the Harvard community and the Greater Boston area. This approach prepares graduates to significantly impact the health and well-being of populations worldwide.

What do you know about the Dentistry course structure at Harvard School of Dental Medicine?

The Harvard School of Dental Medicine offers a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program that is deeply integrated with medicine, based on the belief that dentistry is a specialty of medicine. Students share their initial studies with Harvard Medical School classmates, gaining a comprehensive understanding of the human body. The Pathways curriculum fosters independent learning, critical thinking, and lifelong learning skills crucial for healthcare professionals. This interdisciplinary curriculum includes innovative pedagogies such as flipped classrooms and team-based activities, enhancing the academic environment. A unique aspect of this program is the inclusion of a primary care medical rotation in the first year, reinforcing the school’s vision of interlinking oral and systemic health.

Discuss the significance of research in Harvard School of Dental Medicine's curriculum.

Research plays a central role in the curriculum at Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Students are encouraged to engage in research activities, fostering a deep understanding of the synergy between oral health and general health. The curriculum is designed to stimulate students to think critically and apply their knowledge in novel ways, preparing them for leadership roles in healthcare. Through participation in research, students at HSDM have the opportunity to contribute to the discovery of cures for oral diseases and conditions, underlining the school’s commitment to advancing science and transforming access to healthcare.

What opportunities for global health experience does Harvard School of Dental Medicine offer to its dental students?

Harvard School of Dental Medicine provides its students with significant opportunities for global health engagement. The school emphasizes public health initiatives in local communities and across the globe, allowing students to gain experience in diverse healthcare environments. These opportunities enable students to understand global health challenges, develop culturally competent care strategies, and contribute to improving oral and general health in various populations. Participation in these initiatives aligns with the school’s mission to educate global leaders dedicated to improving human health by integrating dentistry and medicine.

How does Harvard School of Dental Medicine's vision and mission shape its educational approach?

The vision and mission of Harvard School of Dental Medicine profoundly shape its educational approach. The school is committed to fostering a community of diverse global leaders in education, research, and clinical innovation. Its vision to transform access to healthcare and advance science to prevent and treat oral diseases and conditions is evident in the curriculum. This involves integrating dentistry with medicine, focusing on patient-centered care, and promoting interprofessional collaboration. The school’s emphasis on removing the distinction between oral and systemic health, and its innovative pedagogical approaches, reflect its dedication to advancing healthcare and preparing students for the future of dental medicine​.

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