Frequent Questions

What types of students prove to be successful applicants?

All types. Atlantic Bridge is a cultural diversity scheme that is designed to add well-qualified students of diverse backgrounds to the university’s student body. Students of all ages, nationalities, college majors, ethnicities, financial resources, etc., are encouraged to apply.

Must I be a US or Canadian citizen to apply to the Irish dentistry schools through Atlantic Bridge?

No, students from all NON-EU nations are welcome to apply through Atlantic Bridge, particularly if a portion of your second and/or third-level education took place in the USA or Canada, or at a US or Canadian school overseas.

Is there a minimum age requirement?

Students must normally have attained the age of seventeen years by 15th January following the year of entry to a University.

What degrees are awarded by the Irish Dental Schools?

Successful completion of the dentistry degree courses leads to a Bachelor in Dental Science (B.Dent.Sc.) at Trinity College Dublin and a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) at University College Cork. Trinity College Dublin awards a Bachelor in Arts (B.A.) in addition to the B.Dent.Sc., at the end of the five years. Queen’s University awards the degree of Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS).

Once applicable licensing procedures have been successfully met, holders of these degrees are eligible to practice dentistry in the United States, Canada and all of the European Union nations. The schools have graduates currently practicing and/or teaching dentistry in North America.

Will I be able to practice dentistry in the United States/Canada following graduation from an Irish dental school?

The dental degrees awarded are recognized by the dental licensing authorities in the United States, Canada and the European Union. However, you should check with your national and state/provincial licensing authorities for specific details on applicable licensing procedures and additional training that may be required of foreign-trained dentists.


The Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC) and the Dental Council of Ireland was signed on December 5th, 2012.  Under this agreement, the CDAC and the Dental Council of Ireland agree that each party recognizes the accreditation standards and policies of the other party as being equivalent to its own.  There are twelve dental programs covered under this agreement, ten in Canada and two in Ireland (University College Cork and Trinity College Dublin).

Students who graduate from University College Cork (UCC) or Trinity College Dublin (TCD) after December 5th, 2012 will be accepted for licensing in Canada as graduates of an accredited dental educational program and do not need to meet other educational requirements typically required of graduates of non-Canadian Dental schools.

Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada
National Dental Examining Board of Canada
Canadian Dental Regulatory Authorities Federation
Dental Council of Ireland

Students intending to practice in the United States can find more information about practicing in the United States through the American Student Dental Association. To be eligible for licensing in the United States, graduates of Irish Dental Schools will likely be required to complete additional training in a School of Dentistry located in the United States.

American Dental Association
American Student Dental Association
American Dental Education Association

What should happen if the Mutual Recognition Agreement ceases to be renewed or is terminated?

Under the terms of the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA), any student who is enrolled in an accredited program at the time of the MRA being terminated, and proceeds to successfully complete said program, shall be considered to have graduated from an accredited program and shall subsequently benefit from the provisions of the MRA.

What are the tuition fees?

The following is a guideline for Annual Tuition Fees for the 2021/22 academic year.

Trinity College Dublin – €41,200 Euros
University College Cork – 4 Year Graduate Entry – €43,750 Euros
University College Cork – 5 Year – €39,000 Euros
Queen’s University Belfast – £31,530 UK Pounds**

The above fees should be treated as a guideline only and are not official. Tuition fees are subject to annual review.

** = 2019/20 academic year fees


How many North American students are admitted each year?

Up to 30 North American students are admitted annually.

What are the minimum application requirements?

University College Cork

In order to apply to University College Cork (UCC) you must have your Bachelor’s Degree completed no later than September 1st of the year of proposed entry. Your degree program should include a significant science component including courses in Chemistry and Biology.

Candidates who are applying to the Graduate Entry 4-Year Program in Dentistry must have:

  • completed an Honors Bachelor’s Degree by September 1st of the year of proposed entry
  • completed courses in General Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry by September 1st of the year of proposed entry

Students with Bachelor’s Degrees who have not completed these course requirements will be considered for the 5 Year Program only.

When applying to UCC, all eligible candidates will initially be considered for the 4 Year Graduate Entry Dentistry (GED) Program. However, GED places are limited and consequently not all candidates can receive a GED offer. Therefore, although you may be qualified for GED, you may receive an offer to the 5 Year dentistry degree program.


Trinity College Dublin

Candidates who will have completed their Bachelor’s Degree by September 1st of the year of proposed entry are eligible to apply to the 5-Year Dentistry Program at Trinity College Dublin. Your degree program should include a significant science component including courses in Chemistry and Biology.


Queen’s University Belfast

The following are eligible to apply:

  • Candidates with Bachelor’s Degrees or completing their Bachelor’s Degree. Your degree program should include a significant science component including courses in Chemistry and Biology.
  • Students completing High School or students with one or more years of college/university who have completed Grade 12 and/or College Level courses in a.) biology, b.) chemistry and c.) either physics or mathematics.
  • Students presenting International Baccalaureate (IB) or A Levels. Chemistry is a required subject and at least one other laboratory science course or mathematics.

What application documents are required?

Please refer to the Application Instructions page of our website.

What is a competitive GPA?

Because GPA can be very subjective, the Irish Dentistry Schools do not typically use guidelines around GPA for admissions purposes. For instance, Student A may have a slightly lower GPA than Student B, but Student A may have a much higher degree of difficulty in his/her degree or high school program. Also, many schools (especially in Canada) do not even have a GPA system. So there are many variables involved, therefore, GPA is not always a useful system for assessing students for dentistry school and it can be misleading.

Consequently the Admissions Committees tend to consider every application individually and on its own merits, taking into account (among other things) the degree of difficulty involved in the undergraduate degree or high school curriculum, the competitiveness of the school, the course load carried by the student and other factors.

Are interviews required by the Irish Dental Schools?

Interviews are not required for those applying to University College Cork or Trinity College Dublin. However, Queen’s University Belfast conducts a online interview as part of their selection process.

I have a European Union (EU) passport but I do not ordinarily reside in the EU. Do I qualify for EU tuition fees?

Holders of EU passports who are not ordinarily residents of the EU are subject to overseas (i.e. non-EU) tuition fees. A student who meets any of the following conditions may request to be assessed for EU Tuition Fees.

*Ordinarily resident means being resident in the EU/EEA/Swiss Confederation for a minimum of 183 days in any one calendar year for a minimum of 3 of the last 5 years.

(a) For all applicants aged under 23 on September 1st of the year of entry to a program:

  • Parent(s) must have been resident as tax-payer(s) (i.e. principal residence for the purpose of taxation) in the EU for three of the five years prior to commencing the program AND
  • Applicant/student must have been ordinarily resident in the EU/EEA/Swiss Confederation for three of the five years prior to commencing a program

(b) For all applicants aged 23 or over on September 1st of the year of entry to a program:

  • Applicants over 23 are considered independent, mature applicants. The applicant/student must have been resident as a tax-payer (that is – principal residence for the purpose of taxation) in the EU/EEA/Swiss Confederation for three of the five years prior to commencing the program

(c) Students educated for 5 years in primary or secondary school in the EU/EEA/Swiss Confederation can be assessed for EU fees

A student who is eligible for EU fees must apply via the Central Applications Office.

Note: Any period of residence as a student or a holder of a student visa will not be included in the assessment of years of residence.

If I am eligible for EU Fees, how should I apply to the Irish Dental Schools?

In order to receive an offer of an EU place, you must apply via the Central Applications Office (CAO).

How long is the dental degree course?

The 4-Year Graduate Entry Program is offered at University College Cork. The 5-Year Program is offered at University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin and Queens University Belfast.

How many entering classes are there each year and when do classes commence?

There is one entering class each year. Classes commence annually in September.

What is a conditional offer?

Students who are currently enrolled in courses and who will not have final marks or earned their degree by the application deadline may be given a conditional offer by the schools. This is a common practice and allows students to (i) apply while they are still undertaking their current coursework and (ii) receive an offer of a place based on past coursework already completed and predicted marks.

A conditional offer is an offer that is contingent on meeting certain condition(s), for instance, a) earning a high school diploma or bachelor’s degree by September of the year of entry, b) earning a certain grade point average, c) completion of the prerequisite science and math courses and/or d) obtaining a certain score on a standardized test (e.g. IB/MCAT etc.).

Are student accommodation available?

Yes, the universities have excellent, modern, on-campus housing. International students who have received letters of admission are guaranteed university housing (provided that their housing applications are received on time). Housing in the private sector, including housing for married couples, may also be located with assistance from the college’s student accommodation office. For more detail, please visit our Accommodations page.

How much should I budget for living expenses?

The universities recommend that, on average, students should budget approximately €18,000 (Euros) per year (approximately £13,000 UK Pounds if attending Queen’s University) for living expenses (housing, food, books, toiletries, transportation, etc.). These expenses may be financed through financial aid.

Are there any exceptional costs involved with the dentistry course?

Yes. Students will be required to purchase books at an approximate cost of €300 (£250 UK Pounds if attending Queens University) per year. At the beginning of the clinical years students attending Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork are required to purchase a set of dental instruments. The estimated cost of the instruments is €4,000.

What kind of financial aid is available?

Financial aid in the form of US and Canadian student loans are available to cover education expenses such as tuition fees, books and supplies, travel, etc. Currently, the Irish universities do not offer scholarships to international students.


Will I have to undergo a health screening?

Yes. In the interests of the safety of both patients and students, Irish health care regulations require that a student entering a health care-related program undergo a health screening at the university health center after registration with the school. This is required to ensure that students are free of any infectious disease that may cause harm to patients, other students or faculty.

Documents for such screenings are provided by the universities. Please note that there is an associated cost of approximately €225 – €300 (depending on the school) for health screening. The fees are paid directly to the university.

What about health insurance?

The Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service require that all non-EU students have private health insurance while studying in Ireland. Students should be prepared to present proof of insurance when arriving in Ireland.

Non-EU students must provide evidence of comprehensive medical insurance when registering with the  Garda National Immigration Bureau. The following health insurance providers in Ireland can ensure that you have the policy you need upon your arrival:  VHI, ODON and AVIVA.

May I obtain employment while I am studying in Ireland and do I need a visa before traveling?

For the answer to these questions, please view our Moving to Ireland page, or click here for information on UK visas required to attend Queen’s University.

Are there any special airfares available to students studying in Ireland?

Yes, the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE) offers special student airfares to students who are studying overseas. CIEE has offices throughout the USA and Canada through which travel arrangements can be made to and from Europe, North America and the rest of the world. For details on their office nearest you call 1-800-781-4040 or visit