How to Write a Compelling Personal Statement for the University of Washington School of Dentistry Application

Learn how to write a winning personal statement for your University of Washington School of Dentistry application.

Posted May 19, 2023

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Applying to the University of Washington's School of Dentistry is a significant step towards achieving your career goal of becoming a dental health provider. While academic achievements are important, a personal statement is also critical to impress the admissions committee and secure a spot in the program. Therefore, this article discusses how to write a compelling personal statement for the University of Washington School of Dentistry application, providing tips and insights that will help you craft a powerful essay that will impress the admissions committee.

Why the Personal Statement is Important for UW School of Dentistry Application

The personal statement is one of the essential parts of your UW School of Dentistry application. This essay helps the admissions committee understand your motivations, experiences, and goals, giving them a glimpse of who you are outside of your transcripts and test scores. Additionally, it can be a deciding factor when many candidates have similar academic qualifications. A successful personal statement showcases your passion for dentistry, your strengths, experiences, and unique qualities that make you a strong candidate for the program.

Another reason why the personal statement is important for the UW School of Dentistry application is that it allows you to explain any gaps or weaknesses in your academic record. If you had a difficult semester or year, you can use the personal statement to provide context and explain how you overcame those challenges. This can demonstrate your resilience and determination, which are valuable qualities in the field of dentistry.

Furthermore, the personal statement is an opportunity to demonstrate your writing skills and ability to communicate effectively. As a dentist, you will need to communicate with patients, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals on a daily basis. A well-written personal statement can showcase your ability to articulate your thoughts clearly and concisely, which is a crucial skill in the dental profession.

Understanding the UW School of Dentistry Application Process

Before delving into how to craft a personal statement, it's vital to understand the UW School of Dentistry's application process. Typically, the application cycle starts from June 1st and continues until November 15th for the following year's entering class. The university uses the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) AADSAS application, which is a centralized application service that simplifies the process for prospective dental students. Additionally, the university requires letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and DAT scores. Please take note of the application deadlines and requirements and ensure that you submit all the necessary documents on time.

It's important to note that the UW School of Dentistry also considers non-academic factors when evaluating applicants. These factors include community service, leadership experience, and extracurricular activities. The admissions committee looks for well-rounded individuals who have a passion for dentistry and a commitment to serving their communities. Therefore, it's essential to highlight these experiences in your application and personal statement to demonstrate your suitability for the program.

Tips for Brainstorming Personal Statement Ideas

As the first step in crafting your personal statement, you need to come up with an idea or a theme that helps you stand out. Typically, the prompt of the personal statement will ask you to talk about your motivation and experiences related to dentistry. To brainstorm, you can start by reflecting on the following: What experiences or events led you to pursue dentistry? What sets you apart from other applicants? What unique perspectives can you bring to the profession?

It is essential to have a clear idea of what you want to communicate in your personal statement and start building your essay around that central idea. Once you have a few ideas, write them down, and organize them into a coherent narrative that showcases your unique experiences and aspirations.

Another helpful tip for brainstorming personal statement ideas is to seek feedback from others. You can ask friends, family members, or mentors to read your ideas and provide their thoughts and suggestions. This can help you gain a fresh perspective and identify any areas that may need further development. Additionally, consider researching successful personal statements from previous applicants to gain inspiration and ideas for your own essay. Remember, the personal statement is your opportunity to showcase your unique qualities and experiences, so take the time to craft a compelling and memorable essay.

How to Structure Your Personal Statement

Your personal statement should be structured and easy to navigate. The following is an outline to guide your writing:

  • Introduction: Start with an attention-grabbing opening sentence that hooks the reader and introduces your central idea or theme.
  • Body Paragraphs: The body of your essay should support the central idea and showcase your unique experiences and qualifications. Break your essay into multiple paragraphs and make sure that each paragraph has a clear topic sentence.
  • Conclusion: End your essay with a conclusion that ties back to the introduction and leaves a lasting impression on the reader.
  • Proofread and Edit: Make sure to reread your essay multiple times, checking for grammar mistakes, typos, and unclear sentences.

It is important to keep in mind that your personal statement should be tailored to the specific program or institution you are applying to. Research the program and its values, and make sure to highlight how your experiences and qualifications align with their mission. Additionally, consider asking a trusted friend or mentor to review your personal statement and provide feedback. This can help ensure that your essay is clear, concise, and effectively communicates your strengths and goals.

Dos and Don'ts of Writing a Personal Statement for UW School of Dentistry

Here are some tips to help you stand out with a well-crafted personal statement:

  • Do showcase your passion for dentistry, explain why you are interested in the field, and what motivates you.
  • Do include a range of experiences from your academic, personal, and professional life to showcase your well-roundedness and highlight the qualities that make you a strong candidate.
  • Do demonstrate your problem-solving skills and ability to take on challenging situations
  • Don't use overly technical language or industry jargon.
  • Don't forget to proofread and edit your essay multiple times before submitting it.

Strategies for Captivating Your Reader with Your Personal Statement

If you want your personal statement to stand out, you need to captivate your reader right from the start. Here are some strategies you can use:

  • Craft an attention-grabbing opening sentence
  • Show your personality and voice through your writing style
  • Use examples and anecdotes to emphasize your points
  • Make sure your essay flows in a logical and clear manner, so your reader can follow your compelling story.

Highlighting Your Experience and Achievements in Your Personal Statement

One way to stand out in your personal statement is to highlight your accomplishments and experiences. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Showcase how your achievements demonstrate your commitment, leadership, and problem-solving skills.
  • Talk about experiences, both in and out of dentistry that helped shape your perspective and interests.
  • Choose specific examples, not generalizations.

Emphasizing Your Passion for Dentistry in Your Personal Statement

Your passion for dentistry and your motivation to become a dental provider should shine through in your personal statement. Here are some tips on how to emphasize your passion:

  • Share specific instances that demonstrate your interest and dedication in the field of dentistry.
  • Discuss your long-term goals and how you see yourself making a difference in the field.

Addressing Weaknesses or Challenges in your Personal Statement

Addressing challenges or weaknesses in your personal statement can show the admissions committee that you are reflective, self-aware, and resilient. Here are some tips on how to address weaknesses in your essay:

  • Be honest: The admissions committee is looking for authenticity, so speak candidly about any challenges.
  • Focus on what you learned from those challenges and how it shaped you as a person and a prospective dentist.
  • Emphasize how you overcame challenges and how they have motivated you to become a better dentist.

Editing and Polishing Your Personal Statement: Common Mistakes to Avoid

Once you've finished your personal statement, you need to polish it and make sure it is error-free. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Avoid typos and grammatical errors
  • Don't use overly flowery language or jargon that could confuse the reader
  • Avoid being too generic and using buzzwords that everyone uses. Instead, focus on powerful storytelling and concrete examples.

Examples of Successful UW School of Dentistry Personal Statements

If you want a blueprint of how to craft a successful personal statement, read examples from previous successful applicants and learn what worked and what didn't. However, make sure that you draw inspiration from these examples, but do not copy them verbatim.


Writing a compelling personal statement is an essential part of the University of Washington School of Dentistry's application process. Through your essay, you have to demonstrate your passion for dentistry, your unique qualifications, and your exceptional qualities that make you a strong candidate. Utilize these tips to craft a personal statement that stands out and showcases your achievements, challenges, and aspirations.

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