Doctor of Dental Surgery Program

The UMKC School of Dentistry educates competent and caring oral health care providers through a dental curriculum that combines the best of the classroom and clinic. Preclinical dental and biomedical courses give our students the solid conceptual foundation they will need to successfully practice dentistry. Beginning early in the first year and increasing throughout the four-year program, students work with peers and faculty to master the clinical skills required to deliver comprehensive oral health care. Students treat their assigned patients within a "team" system of clinic organization, which is a hallmark of this program.

If you are a college student with at least 90 hours of college credit or a college graduate, you may apply for admission to the D.D.S. program. Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete a baccalaureate degree prior to starting their dental education. As a public institution financially supported by the state of Missouri, our first obligation is to qualified residents of Missouri. Additionally we have long-standing agreements with the states of Kansas, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Hawaii to accept qualified residents of those states to our program. Applications from other states are welcome and are considered on an individual basis for highly qualified candidates.   A limited number of students are also considered through an agreement with the State of Kuwait.

To apply for the D.D.S. program, you must submit an application through the American Dental Education Association’s application service (AADSAS). Although the UMKC deadline for application submission is October 1, early applications are strongly recommended. A preference is given to applications received in the Office of Student Programs of the School of Dentistry prior to September 1. Keep in mind that AADSAS can take up to six weeks to process and deliver an application. Therefore, it is extremely important that you apply in June or July of the year prior to anticipated entry into dental school.

The admission process is a selective one. A number of variables will be considered: academic credentials, Dental Admission Test scores, letters of recommendation, investigation of dentistry, community service, personal attributes and your written responses to a series of questions. In addition, an “invitation only" interview is a part of the selection process. To be sure you fully understand the admissions process, applicants are encouraged to thoroughly review the additional admissions guidelines available here.

This four-year program begins in August and culminates with a doctor of dental surgery degree. Click here to view the curriculum in detail.

A suggested pre-dental schedule of activities can be downloaded here.

D.D.S. Program & B.S.D.H. Entry-Level Program Time Limits (March 2019)
Continuous enrollment is required for D.D.S. and B.S.D.H. entry-level students every semester (fall/spring/summer) from the time of matriculation until degree conferral except for cases with an approved Leave of Absence (as defined in the UMKC SOD Student Handbook).

The normal timeframe for completion of required coursework for the D.D.S. degree is four (4) academic years and two (2) academic years for the B.S.D.H. entry-level degree. In the event of academic and or personal difficulties, a student may require additional time. In such situations, the Academic Standards Committee may establish a schedule for that student which departs from the norm. Regardless of the rationale for extended time limits, the D.D.S. program must be completed within six (6) years and the B.S.D.H. entry-level program must be completed within three (3) years of initial matriculation.

Failure to complete the work with the periods specified may include but not limited to reevaluation of the student’s entire program and/or notice of dismissal from the School of Dentistry.

Dental Education Curriculum Mission

The mission of the Doctor of Dental Surgery program is to graduate a dentist who delivers patient care with a scientific basis and in a caring and compassionate manner. Through integration of the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical sciences, the graduate dentist will effectively lead the oral health care team to provide comprehensive oral health care for diverse populations in a rapidly changing society.

Graduates will use critical thinking and self-assessment so that behaviors and practices are derived from established standards of care. They will demonstrate professional ethics and values associated with lifelong learners, directing their professional growth during and beyond the educational program.  (rev. March 2018)

Student Organizations/Activities

For students interested in extracurricular activities, there are a variety of student organization with a focus on professional service and development. Most are affiliated with national dental organizations. Students may also participate in other non-dentistry oriented organizations.

Active student organizations within the school include:

  • Academy of LDS Dentists
  • American Academy Cosmetic Dentistry
  • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
  • American Association for Dental Research-Student Research Group
  • American Association of Women Dentists
  • American Student Dental Association
  • Christian Medical-Dental Association
  • Delta Sigma Delta Fraternity
  • Hispanic Dental Association
  • IInterfraternity Council
  • Psi Omega Fraternity
  • Student American Dental Hygienist's Association
  • Student National Dental Association
  • Student Professionalism & Ethics Association
  • Students Take Action
  • UMKC Chapter of the Academy of LDS Dentists
  • UMKC Student Council
  • Xi Psi Phi Fraternity