Career Compass

ADEA PASS application: What you need to know

Applying to residency is a daunting experience, like applying to dental school all over again. You’re stuck wondering if you’ll get accepted, what you’ll do if you aren’t accepted and what the requirements are for each program that you’re planning on applying to include. In trying to keep track of all of these different applications and requirements, it’s super easy to get overwhelmed or bogged down.

The American Dental Education Association Postdoctoral Application Support Service (known as ADEA PASS) was created to mitigate some of these stresses. Listed below are some facts about the PASS application, as well as some tips and tricks on how to use it to help you have a stress-free experience while applying to residency programs.

  • What is the PASS application for? The PASS application is basically used as a centralized system, comparable to the Common Application or AADSAS. The PASS application allows you to submit one application for the multiple programs that you will most likely be applying to for residency. The PASS itself includes over 700 advanced dental education programs, encompassing all specialties.
  • When does it open, and when should it be completed? The PASS application opens each year around mid-May. Applications for the 2020-21 cycle will open May 14, 2020.There is ample time to fill it out, as it doesn’t close until Feb. 8, 2021. That being said, it is always beneficial to submit your applications early. You never can be too careful when submitting an application so important to your future. With any computer-based application, there are always processing times, and you don’t want these to delay your application.

Keep in mind, you also need to be checking on the dates for submission of applications to each individual residency program. Just because the PASS application closes in February, does not mean that you have that long to submit your application for an individual program you’re interested in.

  • What do you need to have ready? The most important first step in applying to residency through the ADEA PASS application is to make sure you figure out if the program(s) that you want to apply to participate in the application. Although there are over 700 participating programs, this does not guarantee the program you’re applying to is one of them. As far as physical materials you will need, you should have your transcripts, test scores (when applicable) and letters of recommendation ready to go.

Outside of that, requirements vary program to program, and it’s important to look into each one to see what else they require. A great way to do this is by visiting the ADEA PASS Search Engine, which allows you to look up programs and see the program contact, deadline and other information (i.e. requirements, supplemental fees, length of program, etc.)

  • What does it cost? The first program that you apply to through ADEA PASS will cost you $195 and then each successive program is $89. Keep in mind that individual programs might have fees outside of this through the PASS app (similar to AADSAS). If your program requires a background check, this will also have a fee of around $100.

Applying to residency can be a stressful experience, but hopefully the ADEA PASS application can mitigate some of that for you so that you can focus on patients instead of what materials you need to submit and where to submit them. For more specific questions, definitely reach out to someone you know who has used the PASS application or visit ADEA’s website.

~ Lauren Young, Detroit Mercy ’22, Chapter Outreach Chair

Lauren Young

Lauren Young is a second-year dental student at Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry. She serves as the chapter outreach chair and says she loves ASDA because “it’s a great opportunity to meet dental students from all over and to better our school because of it!”

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