Academic Standards

Professional education in the health sciences manifests characteristics that are unique among advanced educational programs. Academic Standards of the School of Dentistry are established to ensure that the public, whose health will be entrusted to graduates of its programs, will receive care of professionally acceptable quality and that the care will be provided in an ethical and professional manner.

Standards of Scholarship

A. A predoctoral dental or pre-baccalaureate dental hygiene student must maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average each semester in their program. Failure to attain a 2.5 in any semester will result in the student being placed on probation for the next semester. In order for a semester to count toward removing a student from probation, the student must be enrolled full time - at least five hours in summer or 12 hours in fall or spring.

All students who are placed on probation should review their academic progress with the Chair of the Academic Standards Committee or the Coordinator of Academic Support Services and may be asked to appear before the Committee. A second consecutive semester of a below 2.5 grade point average will result in dismissal from the predoctoral or pre-baccalaureate dental hygiene program. A total of three semesters with GPA’s below 2.5 will result in dismissal from the students’ program. Two semesters separated by a summer session in which the student is enrolled in less than five graded hours will count as consecutive semesters. Two semesters separated by a leave of absence will count as consecutive semesters.

B. The failure of any course (receiving a grade of F or No Credit) will necessitate additional work to remove or replace the F or No Credit. This will consist of repeating the course the next time it is offered at the School of Dentistry or completion of a remediation plan. The course of action that is offered a student will be determined by the Academic Affairs Dean in consultation with the course director. If a course is repeated at UMKC, the student will receive whatever grade he or she earns in the repeated course. Both grades will appear on the student’s transcript and will be included in the student’s grade point average. With the approval of the course director, the Academic Affairs Dean may approve a plan to repeat a comparable course at another school.

If a remediation plan is to be developed, the plan will be developed by the course director with the approval of the Academic Affairs Dean. Remediation plan examples include :

1.  Independent study for a number of weeks followed by an examination.
2.  Remedial summer laboratory project  followed by pre-clinical laboratory examination/s.
3.  A series of written exercises followed by an examination.
4.  Clinical mentoring followed by competency assessment
5.  Other appropriate instructional assignments

If a student successfully completes a remediation plan his or her grade of F or No Credit will be changed to a grade of D (no credit to credit). A failure or No Credit in the remediated or repeated course/s will result in dismissal from the program.
A failed course may result in an altered curriculum plan which may result in an extension of the student’s academic program. This altered curriculum will be arranged with the approval of the Academic Affairs Dean in consultation with the course director/s. Students who fail (F or NC) more than one course in any semester will be dismissed from their academic program.

C. UMKC has a Latin Honors system of recognition of graduating undergraduate and first professional students. This recognizes those students who, in the opinion of the faculty, have met the Standards of Professional Conduct, as well as the Academic Standards of the School of Dentistry for each program. Effective Fall 2012, the GPA requirements for Latin Honors for dental hygiene students are as follows: Summa Cum Laude: 3.975-4.0 GPA; Magna Cum Laude: 3.950-3.974 GPA; Cum Laude: 3.900-3.949 GPA as of the end of the fourth term of the dental hygiene program. The academic requirements for dental students for Latin Honors are as follows: Summa Cum Laude: graduating in the top 5% of the class; Magna Cum Laude: graduating in the top 6-10%; Cum Laude: graduating in the top 11-20% (based on the GPA at the end of the ninth term of study in the dental program. All dental students so recognized must attain at least a GPA of 3.75 or beyond. This will be noted on the graduate’s transcript and diploma.

D. Academic standards for advanced education students will be established and monitored through the Advanced Education Committee.

Standards of Professional Conduct


Through decades of experience, education, and service, the dental and dental hygiene professions have earned the trust of patients and the public at large. This trust represents a unique relationship which, when valued and upheld, establishes the very real bond that exists when a dental professional is asked to provide patient care. Trust demands the dentist and dental hygienist place the needs of the patient ahead of their own interests. The beginnings of this intrinsic trust are developed at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry is committed to providing excellent dental care. Students* in the dental, dental hygiene and advanced education programs at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the high ethical standards required of health professionals.  Graduates will be required to take responsibility for the health and well-being of their patients and are expected to demonstrate patterns of behavior that are consistent with professional standards and deserving of the public’s trust. 

These Standards of Professional Conduct are drawn from the Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct of the American Dental Association, and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association Code of Ethics.  Students should aspire to meet the high ideals of their professions, which may exceed their legal duties, but must meet the baseline standards expressed in the School of Dentistry’s Standards of Professional Conduct.  The School of Dentistry faculty should be effective advisors and mentors in the process of growth in this vital area.  The matriculation process affords the opportunity to learn together, support one’s colleagues and encourage growth through challenges. 

The following Standards of Professional Conduct articulate expectations of UMKC School of Dentistry students during the time you spend in the school as you transition into your practice of the profession of dentistry or dental hygiene. Maturation, discernment, and wisdom will be needed as you assume the role of dentist or dental hygienist.

1. Nonmaleficence – Do No Harm: the student strives to first do no harm.

a. Patients are treated according to the School of Dentistry’s Standards of Care, and their preferences and desires must be considered in treatment decisions.

b.  No harm or potential harm is done to the patient either through intent, ignorance, lack of preparation for the patient encounter, lack of skill, or personal impairment of any kind.

c. No patient is “abandoned,” which is defined as discontinuance of care without just cause and without giving the patient adequate notice and the opportunity to obtain the services of another provider.

2. Veracity & Fidelity: the student maintains high standards of academic and professional honesty and integrity.

a. The student is honest during didactic, preclinical, and clinical communications, assignments and evaluations.

b. The student will not engage in, facilitate or permit unfair advantage by utilizing unauthorized aids or by assisting another student during a didactic, preclinical, or clinical evaluation in a manner not prescribed by the instructor. 

c. The student will not alter, forge, falsify, or fabricate information, documentation, or service.

d. The student maintains confidentiality of patient information.

e. The student strives to attain high levels of competence, admit errors and faulty treatment to faculty, and does not knowingly mislead others or promote oneself at the expense of others.

f.  The student comes to class, lab, and clinic prepared so that the time can be maximized and patient care is optimally provided.

3. Responsibility and Sense of Duty: the student fulfills duties and obligations of the profession of dentistry and dental hygiene which are expected by the public.

a. The student becomes familiar with and adheres to the codes of ethics promoted by the American Dental Association, and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association

b. The student’s responsibility parallels the responsibility of professional practitioners who maintain high professional standards by holding each other accountable.

c. The student maintains professional provider-patient relationships.

d. The student is dedicated to helping patients, colleagues, the profession, and society to reach their maximal potential.

e. The student maintains quality of care while addressing conflicts of interest.

f. The student engages in personal and professional conduct that reflects positively on the UMKC School of Dentistry and the profession.

g. The student strives to uphold the dignity and respect of the profession of dentistry by his or her dress, personal appearance, conduct, and conversation.

4. Justice and Respect for the Rights of Others: the student respects the rights, privileges, and property of other members of the School of Dentistry, the University, and the professions of dentistry and dental hygiene. 

a. The student deals with faculty, staff, peers, and patients in a dignified, considerate manner and with a spirit of cooperation.

b. The student views and treats all people encountered in an academic, clinical or cyberspace capacity equally in regards to liberties, rights, respect, acceptance, and opportunities.

c. The student places the patient’s welfare (i.e., the provision of competent and timely delivery of dental care within the bounds of clinical circumstances as presented by the patients, such as needs, desires and values) as paramount, taking precedence above all else.  This also includes the obligation to a) identify and report perioral or other signs of abuse and neglect, and to consult with faculty to report suspected cases to proper authorities as required by law; and b) report instances of faulty treatment, whether intentional or not, to the appropriate faculty member.

d. All standards and requirements of patient care established by the School of Dentistry are followed at all times.

e. The student submits his or her own original work in a manner prescribed by the instructor and with the expectation that the grade reflects only that student’s achievement.

f. The student is respectful toward the learning process and to those involved with it.

g. No student shall create a disruption in the learning process through behaviors that are not conducive to an academic and patient care environment.

h. The student respects the ideas and words of others by attributing the quoted or paraphrased portions to their original sources.

In addition to the conduct detailed in the preceding sections, a student is subject to the University of Missouri Student Conduct Code (Section 200.010) as administered by the Office of the Provost and the Vice Provost for Student Affairs / Dean of Students (except for provisions dealing with academic dishonesty which fall within the School of Dentistry Standards of Professional Conduct).

Anyone who has reasonable cause to believe that a student has acted unethically, or is in violation of law or policy, is obligated to take action by asking the violator to refrain from the behavior, and/or if not satisfactorily addressed by the violator or severity calls for further action, to bring the matter forward to a supervisor, or the Associate Dean for Student Programs or his/her designee.  The Assistant/Associate Dean for Student Programs or his/her designee will follow the process identified in the Procedures for Violations of the Standards of Professional Conduct, to determine whether there has been a violation and whether charges/sanctions should be brought.  Violations for advanced education or graduate students in regards to the Standards of Professional Conduct will be monitored through the Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Programs and the Advanced Education Committee.

*Student Defined:  In this document, “student” shall refer to any person having once been admitted to the School of Dentistry who has not completed a course of study and who intends to or does continue a course of study in or through the School of Dentistry.  For the purpose of these rules, student status continues whether or not the University’s academic programs are in session. Portions of the above standards language is adapted with permission from the Creighton University School of Dentistry Honor Code, ©2015-2016

Participation in Graduation Ceremony Policy

The Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree requirements include satisfactory completion of the program including the demonstration of competencies expected of a graduating student and satisfactory completion of all program requirements. In addition, graduates must challenge the Integrated National Dental Board Examination, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher for the student’s period as a dental student, and demonstrate the ability to meet the Standards of Professional Conduct.

In the event a student will not successfully meet all of the above requirements by the spring commencement date, the student will be precluded from participation in the spring DDS graduation ceremony. Fourth year students who have not met these requirements and who the faculty, in their discretion, have determined will be unable to complete all program requirements by the end of the subsequent summer semester, will not be allowed to walk during the spring graduation ceremony. Fourth-year students will receive official notification from the Academic Dean not later than April 15th of their fourth year, should their progress in meeting the program requirements preclude them from participation in spring graduation ceremonies.

Students who are notified that they are precluded from participating in spring graduation ceremonies may request a meeting with the Dean of the School of Dentistry to explain why their extraordinary circumstances should be considered in allowing them to walk.  The Dean’s decision on whether the student is allowed to walk shall be final.

Students that extend into the fall semester to complete program requirements will be invited to attend the following spring commencement ceremony.