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Graduates of Non-CODA Accredited International Dental Education Programs


During the 2001 legislative session, M.S. 150A.06, Subd. 1 was passed and signed into law. The law, which became effective on August 1, 2001, allows internationally-educated dental graduates to apply for Minnesota licensure. Specifically, the law states that:

A graduate of a dental college in another country must not be disqualified from examination solely because of the applicants foreign training if the board determines that the training is equivalent to or higher than that provided by a dental college approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association or a successor organization.

The first step in determining if the foreign dentist qualifies for licensure and can meet the above underlined statutory requirement, will be for the Board to conduct a review of the applicant’s credentials and education. The applicant’s documents will not be submitted to the Board until all documentation has been received, along with the non-refundable $200 fee. The specific documents required to initiate this review are outlined below in Step 1.

NOTE: When reviewing the education of a dental graduate from a non-accredited dental program, the Minnesota Board of Dentistry is evaluating the dentist’s dental degree program for equivalency. They consider the course content and credit hours from pre-dental, dental didactic, clinical and lab credit hours required by dental colleges accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association to be critical. The Minnesota Board requires passing grades in all subjects (defined as U.S. grade C or higher). On our website page we also have additional information to help inform the applicant as to what these specific Standards are in the U.S.


Below are 3 different types of decisions the Committee will make upon initial review of the applicants documents:

1. Licensure Eligible Status Granted. 

You will be notified if the Board has deemed your education is equivalent and then the staff will work with you to schedule the oral interview and electronic submission of 3 patient records (copies of records where you were the treating dentist and reflects your diagnosis and treatment along with supporting radiographic surveys). This meeting will be in person and will be the next step in the process to determine if you qualify for the Limited General License. Following the interview and case presentation, there is still several more requirements the applicant would need to pass before qualifying to apply for the LGL license.

2. Request Tabled. 

If the Committee determines that you need to provide additional documentation, your application will be tabled. You will need to provide the necessary information within sixty (60) days or repeat the entire process. 

  There are two common scenarios where this might happen: 

(1) the Committee will request additional information regarding your education or experience if they feel the documentation submitted does not clearly describe your professional background 


(2) the Committee will request materials that are missing or incomplete. 


A tabled application does not guarantee that you are eligible for licensure. If the Committee votes to table your application, you will be notified of your legal options to agree or not agree to meet the Committees request.


3. Request Denied. 

The Committee may determine that you do not meet the minimum considerations for licensure, and deny licensure. In this case, you will be notified of the decision and have the option of an appeal within a specific number of days before our full Board. The burden of proof will be on the applicant to prove that they meet the Statutory requirement of educational equivalency specific to their dental degree training. 



Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis. Below are the specific documents needed to initiate the Credential Review process. Please do not submit any materials until you can send all of these (itemized in Step 2) together as a complete packet to our Board office. When originals are not in English, please include an official translation.

Step 1: Applicant provides documents to an educational evaluating company. The company creates a report and sends it to the Minnesota Board of Dentistry. The Minnesota Board of Dentistry shall make the sole judgment in determining whether the educational credentials are equivalent to those in the United States and whether they meet the considerations of the Board. Third-party educational evaluations and all other information are advisory to the Board and are not intended to supersede the authority of the Board. The Board of Dentistry does not accept educational evaluations from the ECE, WES, or any other company. You must contact the Foreign Credentials Service of America to have your education evaluated.

Foreign Credentials Service of America
1910 Justin Lane
Austin, TX 78757
(877) 553 - 4285 (toll free)
(512) 459 - 8428  


Step 2Applicant submits the following documents to our office. Please note that all documents will be discarded after processing. Have copies of documents notarized and certified whenever possible.

- Non-refundable fee of $200.00 (check or money order made payable to the Minnesota Board of Dentistry)

       - Complete the Internationally Educated Dentist Questionnaire.

       - The ADA's National Board Examination. The integrated National Board exam is accepted starting on July 2020.

American Dental Association 
Commission on National Board Examination 
211 East Chicago Avenue 
Chicago, IL 60611 
(800) 621-8099 or (312) 440-2500


- Proof of passing the TOEFL:

Educational Testing Service

English Language Institute                                           



TOEFL required scores:

Total score





























- Curriculum vitae or resume. 

- Certificate of completion from the following course on Infection Control:

Understanding CDC’s Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Settings.

- A notarized and certified copy of your dental diploma OR e-transcripts emailed to OR original transcripts in a sealed envelope. For documents not issued in English, include a certified translation.

- License verification or letter of good standing. The proof of licensure should include proof of practicing clinical dentistry for a sufficient period of time based on the following criteria:

1. Name
Issue date
License number
4. A statement about disciplinary or corrective actions

Step 3: The Committee evaluates the documents above as submitted, and provides the applicant with their determination. Only if approved would the applicant move forward to Step 4.


Step 4Possible interview, including submitting patient records, with the Committee at the Board office in Minneapolis, MN. This will be conducted in person and scheduled only once the Committee determines the education is equivalent to that of a U.S. dental graduate today.

Step 5: If your interview has been successful, and the Committee determines that your records and interview questions reflect that you are practicing to the “Standard of Care”, you will be granted permission to sit for the Minnesota Bench Exam. This will be coordinated and proctored through the University of Minnesota. The cost is the responsibility of the applicant. This exam is scheduled when there is a minimum number of qualified candidates.


Step 6: Upon receipt of your passing scores from the Bench Exam, the Board will grant you permission to sit for one of the Board approved clinical exams. Minnesota Rule 3100.1130 requires that the non-CODA dentist pass this exam within 18 months, with no more than 2 fails and one remediation.

  • A notarized photocopy of your passing score on the clinical examination administered by CRDTS, WREB, NERB, SRTA or CITA will be required for your LGL application. The Minnesota Board will  need to draft a permission letter to one of these Regional Testing Boards, in order for you to register for the examination.












Step 7Complete the Minnesota Jurisprudence Exam (Contact the Minnesota Board of Dentistry to schedule).

Once the Board receives proof that you have passed all examinations, you will be sent the LGL application form. The Board staff will send you several Board approved documents that will clarify your scope of practice, how to write a Written Agreement, what the responsibility is of your Minnesota Supervising Dentist, and how to petition for the unrestricted license at the end of your 3 year term.


Step 8Complete the LGL license application form and submit a written agreement with a Minnesota Licensed Dentist. (The Committee must approve of the Supervising Dentist, before they will grant the LGL license).


Passed by the 2008 Legislature and effective August 1, 2008, Minnesota Statute 150A.06 Subd. 9 states:

A graduate of a non-accredited dental program who successfully completes the clinical licensure examination, and meets all other applicant requirements of the board shall be licensed to practice dentistry and granted a limited general dental license by the Board.

The Board shall place limitations on the licensee’s authority to practice by requiring the licensee to practice under the general supervision of a Minnesota-licensed dentist approved by the Board. A person licensed under this subdivision must practice for three consecutive years in Minnesota pursuant to a written agreement, approved by the Board, between the licensee and a Minnesota-licensed dentist who


At the conclusion of the three year period, the Board shall grant an unlimited license without further restrictions if all supervising dentists who had entered into written agreements with the licensee during any part of the three year period recommend unlimited licensure, and if no corrective action or disciplinary action has been taken by the Board against the licensee.


Step 9Your application and submitted written agreement are accepted by our Board, they will grant you a Limited General License. You will receive confirmation via e-mail and also receive your legal renewal certificate and wall license in the mail. These two legal documents need to be displayed in your Minnesota practice and you will be responsible to order duplicates for any additional dental offices where you might practice.


The Minnesota Board of Dentistry also wishes for the foreign dentist to recognize that the Limited General License is not the only pathway to licensure in our state. The majority of our licensed foreign dentists obtain licensure through either completion of a 2 ½ year dental degree program in the United States (our University of Minnesota has such a programs called P.A.S.S. [Program for Advanced Standing Student]. Additionally, the vast majority of our licensed foreign dentists earn licensure through completion of a U.S. CODA accredited post-doctoral training program in one of the ADA recognized Specialty areas. Those applicants apply through Specialty licensure.


Should you still have specific questions after reviewing this information, you are welcome to contact the board at:

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