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University of Pittsburgh    
2018-2019 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Dec 09, 2023
2018-2019 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Predoctoral (DMD) Program

Welcome to Pitt Dental Medicine

Students from Pennsylvania, across the country and around the world come to study at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. Among the best dental schools in the country, the School of Dental Medicine seeks only the most qualified students for admission to nationally recognized predoctoral and graduate academic programs. The central program at the school is the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program. Providing students with a solid evidence-based education in dental medicine, graduates of the program are well prepared to be practicing clinicians or researchers. The four-year predoctoral program begins at the White Coat Ceremony and leads to a Doctoral degree in Dental Medicine (DMD). Advanced dental education and residency programs are available to students, including the Oral Biology Graduate Program.

Competency-Based Educational Program

The four-year predoctoral program prepares students to provide basic health promotion and disease prevention, diagnose and develop treatment plans, analyze complex medical and dental cases, and achieve competency in all areas defined for general practitioners. The competency-based curriculum also reflects the school’s commitment to supporting the development of professionalism, life-long learning, and synthesis of clinical and biomedical science concepts.

View our four-year curriculum .

Beyond the Classroom

Student learning continues far beyond the classroom. Community service is encouraged through the Student Community Outreach Program and Education (SCOPE) and the Univeristy of Pittsburgh WISER Center offers dental students hands-on medical experience in a world-class multidisciplinary simulation-based training facility. The Simulation Clinic gives students life-like experience with simulated patients in a classroom, clinical learning environment and the Fassinger Learning Resource Center lets students continue learning past the traditional hours and space of the  classroom meetings.

Students are encouraged to participate in any of a number of the school’s active student organizations to connect with others sharing and investigating the same interests. Student organizations focus on advancing knowledge and extend the frontiers of a particular segment of oral health. Personal, academic and career counseling are available through the school’s Office of Student Affairs for all students. An extensive library system, learning skills center, housing resource center, student health care and recreational and fitness facilities are available through the University.

Research opportunities abound for students in good academic standing to study many different aspects of dental research, including craniofacial genetics, tissue regeneration, informatics, public health and other fields. With an extended history of profound dental research, the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine also fosters interactions between dental students and researchers in other disciplines. Academic rewards and contributions to the dental profession are just two reasons many students conduct research at the school. Students have opportunities to share their projects and results at national meetings and conferences and provide excellent learning and networking opportunities with colleagues. Student researchers also may compete for awards, scholarships, and other opportunities at the University.

About the School of Dental Medicine

Established in 1896, the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine has been educating students to take their places among the best dental practitioners, researchers and educators in our region, across the country, and even around the world. We are one of six Schools of Health Sciences at the University and are the only school to manage our own clinic. Our accomplishments reflect the dedication and success of each member of the School of Dental Medicine family. 

We are proud of our long tradition as innovators in dental medicine. Our first female student was admitted 117 years ago, and today more than half of our vibrant and diverse first-year pre-doctoral class are women. We nurture in our students a strong foundation in the biological, behavioral and clinical sciences 
and a belief in the importance of professionalism and life-long learning.
Half a century ago we pioneered the specialty dental care that we now deliver in our fully equipped Center for Patients with Special Needs. The School’s general dental clinics and 11 specialty clinics play an integral role in improving the oral health of the patient population of southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond. Some patients travel hundreds of miles to access the high-quality care our clinics provide every day.

Our researchers expand the horizons of knowledge and are internationally renowned for their groundbreaking developments in the areas of craniofacial genetics and craniofacial regeneration. We are identifying genes that contribute to complex human phenotypes, and are using tissue engineering to heal wounds and restore function and appearance to defects of the face and skull. Every day, the positive contributions of our faculty, staff, residents and students-the Pitt Dental Medicine family-demonstrate their commitment to our mission of advancing the future of dental medicine through teaching, research and service.

Degree Programs

Along with several specialized degree programs, degrees offered at the School of Dental Medicine include the doctor of dental medicine (DMD); doctor of philosophy (PhD); master of science (MS); master of public health (MPH) offered in conjunction with the Graduate School of Public Health; and bachelor of science (BS).

The four-year Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) Program prepares students to provide comprehensive care to a diverse patient population. The competency-based curriculum emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention, and prepares students to provide individualized treatments using the best scientific evidence available. Graduates are equipped to practice as independent, entry-level general practitioners. 

The Advanced Standing (DMD) Program  places qualified graduates of foreign dental schools as third-year dental students. These students are integrated into the program and complete the third- and fourth-years of the pre doctoral curriculum with the rest of the class. 

The Oral Biology Program (MS and PhD)   encompasses the study of fundamental biological phenomena related to the development, structure, and function of the craniofacial region as well as the development of new therapies, biomaterials, and diagnostic tools for the treatment of diseases and disorders in the craniofacial area with the aim of improving health. Current research focuses involve craniofacial regeneration and genetics. 

In collaboration with Pitt Public Health, the four-year DMD/MPH in dental public health offers customizable course selection with a special emphasis on oral health-specific public health issues. 

The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine’s Dental Hygiene Program provides students a unique academic environment where they can earn either an Associate of Science or a Bachelors Degree in Dental Hygiene.   The intreprofessional educational experiences within the school’s specialty dental clinics and the University-based hospitals, in conjunction with didactic, community outreach, and research activities, affords the delivery of high-quality education.

The School of Dental Medicine offers advanced residency certificate and Master of Dental Medicine degree programs in each of the full array of dental specialties.

General Dentistry and Specialty Clinics

The School of Dental Medicine provides clinical education and patient care through 15 dental clinics encompassing general dentistry, anesthesiology, special needs, emergency, endodontics, implants, oral and maxillofacial pathology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopaedics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics and preventive dentistry, dental hygiene, endodontics, prosthodontics, radiology, and restorative dentistry/comprehensive care. 

Clinical Centers
The Multidisciplinary Implant Center focuses on patient care, teaching, and research related to the treatment of tooth loss and the functional bone and soft tissue deficits that can follow tooth loss. 
The Center for Patients with Special Needs was established by Dean Thomas W. Braun as a school priority to centralize and increase treatment capacity for patients with physical, developmental, neurological, and intellectual disabilities. 
University Dental Health Services (UDHS) is a legally separate nonprofit practice plan that is closely affiliated with the School of Dental Medicine. UDHS providers are full- or part-time faculty members, many of whom are board-certified specialists and nationally recognized experts in their respective fields. 


Class of 2020

  • Class Size: 80
  • Male: 49 Female:31
  • Average Age: 24
  • Undergraduate Schools Represented: 54


  • DAT AA: 21.4
  • Average Total GPA: 3.64
  • Average Science GPA: 3.55


  • Caucasian: 60*
  • Asian: 17*
  • Hispanic: 5*
  • African American: 4*
  • American Indian: 4*
  • Asian-Indian: 2*
  • *Multiracial: 7

Important Information

  • Type of degree granted: DMD
  • Class size: 80
  • Length of program: 4 years
  • DAT: required
  • Applications accepted through AADSAS
  • Interview are granted by invitation in the fall and early spring
  • Have questions? Email us at

The program in dental education is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312-440-4653, or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60611. The Commission’s web address is

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