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Predental Requirements

It is to the advantage of a student intent upon a career in dentistry to pursue a strong college preparatory course in high school, including as many courses in science and mathematics as possible.

Students who are uncertain about their interest in dentistry are invited to contact the Admissions Enrollment Manager, College of Dentistry, 4000 East Camus Loop South, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583-0740. All students considering careers in dentistry are welcome to visit the College.

Applicants for admission are required to have completed a minimum of three years (90 semester hours) of college preparation, including specified predental courses. Most students, however, will have completed four years of college. Students are encouraged to work toward a degree in their field of interest since admission cannot be assured.

Whether enrolled at the University of Nebraska‒Lincoln or elsewhere, predental students are encouraged to take the following courses during their first two undergraduate years:

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
First SemesterCredit Hours
English composition 3
Inorganic chemistry w/lab 4
General biology (life sciences) w/lab 4
Humanities or social science electives 5
 Credit Hours16
Second Semester
English composition 3
Inorganic chemistry w/lab 4
General biology (life sciences) w/lab 4
Humanities or social science electives 5
 Credit Hours16
Second Year
First Semester
Organic chemistry w/lab 4
General physics w/lab 4-5
Humanities or social science electives 8-9
 Credit Hours16-18
Second Semester
Organic chemistry w/lab 4
General physics w/lab 4-5
Humanities or social science electives 8-9
 Credit Hours16-18
 Total Credit Hours64-68

In addition to basic preparation in science, courses should be selected which will broaden the student’s intellectual background and lay the groundwork for a full professional life. The following electives are especially appropriate: business, human communication, English literature, economics, mathematics, statistics, political science, psychology, scientific Greek, sociology, life sciences (biochemistry, microbiology, zoology, genetics) and behavioral sciences.

Transfer of Credits

The University Board of Regents on January 11, 1975, established policy resulting in these statements:

“The University of Nebraska Medical Center Registrar will maintain a record of names and credit hours of courses taken at other institutions of higher learning in Nebraska and, upon the student’s request, provide unofficial copies of such records only as authorized by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.”

“Grades received in courses presented for advanced standing credit will not appear on the permanent record sheet of the student.”

The applicability of transferred credits to entrance and degree requirements or from petitions for advanced standing is determined by the Dean of the College, Admissions Committee, and Academic Affairs Committee on an individual basis after all necessary materials are submitted. A limited number of students may be admitted with advanced standing. Courses not considered applicable are:

  1. graded ‘I’ (Incomplete), ‘W’ (Withdrawal), or Audit
  2. completed but not given for credit
  3. those remedial in nature.

Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP)

The College of Dentistry has entered into a program with Chadron State College (www.csc.edu), Peru State College (www.peru.edu), and Wayne State College (www.wsc.edu) where selected applicants to dentistry and dental hygiene, prior to their enrollment at these schools, are given acceptance into the College of Dentistry through the Rural Health Opportunities Program. Tuition may be waived while completing prerequisites for dental college. For further information, contact:

Wayne State College: https://www.wsc.edu/rhop

Chadron State College: http://www.csc.edu/sci/rhop

Peru State College: https://www.peru.edu/rhop/

Kearney Health Opportunities Program (KHOP)

KHOP is a cooperative program between the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) and the College of of Dentistry. The purpose of this program is to recruit and educate students from rural Nebraka who are committed to returning to Nebraska to practice dentistry or dental hygiene. Prior to UNK enrollment, selected applicants are given acceptance into the College of Dentistry, and UNK tuition may be waived while completing prerequisites for dental college. For further information go to: http://www.unk.edu/academics/health_sciences/scholarshipprograms.php

Admission Guidelines

Students may be considered for admission who are academically prepared1 and are United States citizens or resident aliens at the time of application. Nonimmigrant foreign students who want to be issued Form I-20 (certificate of eligibility for a student visa) must meet the following requirements before they can be considered for admission:

  1. Supply official or certified transcripts, mark sheets, and degree statements from all institutions they have attended;
  2. Furnish evidence of adequate financial resources for self-support required of each foreign student;
  3. The English proficiency of students whose first language is not English must include a TOEFL score of at least 575 (paper-based), or 95 (internet-based) with no individual score lower than 20 exam;
  4. The student must have completed at least one academic year at an accredited college or university of the United States.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry is a state institution and preference is given to legal residents of the State of Nebraska. A dental education contract presently exists with Wyoming whereby a limited number of state-approved legal residents are accepted to satisfy contract quotas. A limited number of students from states other than Nebraska or contract states may be accepted for the freshman class. All students must be legal residents of their states at the time of application.

All men and women planning to attend the University of Nebraska Medical Center under Chapters 31, 34, and 35 of the educational assistance and vocational rehabilitation laws administered by the Veterans Administration should inquire at the Office of Academic Records, Student Life Center, Room 2043, UNMC, Omaha (402-559-8086), before they register, to make sure all necessary arrangements have been made.

In accordance with University policy, UNMC prohibits the denial of admission or of Medical Center privileges to students or applicants on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, handicap, and religious or political beliefs. These privileges include, but are not limited to, admission, class assignments, scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, and financial aid, as well as housing and recreational facilities. Furthermore, student organizations must base their selection of students for membership on criteria which will not include race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap.

Admittance to UNMC programs will not be denied to otherwise qualified handicapped individuals. Qualified handicapped persons are those who meet the academic and technical standards for each program. These nonacademic skills are essential to successful program completion.

In summary, UNMC policies are in accordance with: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Sections 799A and 854 of the Public Health Services Act.

Technical Standards for Admission to the College of Dentistry (Dentistry and Dental Hygiene)

Decisions by the College of Dentistry Admissions Committee are based on prior scholastic achievement, personality and emotional characteristics, motivation, industry, resourcefulness, and personal health. Admission decisions do not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, or national origin. Students must possess the intelligence, integrity, and personal and emotional characteristics appropriate to the successful dentist.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry is committed to the principle of providing an educational setting that facilitates the greatest success for all students, within their individual abilities, who are qualified for admission into the College. In that spirit, admission to the College is open to all qualified individuals in compliance with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The College is mindful of the unique nature of the dental curriculum. As a primary surgical specialty, the dental curriculum must include, in addition to the accumulation of certain scientific knowledge, the simultaneous acquisition of essential surgical skills, technical functions, and professional attitudes and behaviors. In the process, the student is required to direct or perform treatment on patients safely within an acceptable amount of time. Students must possess the skills and abilities that will allow them to successfully complete the course of study and receive the full benefit of the education. With this in mind, any student or applicant seeking admission as a student (subsequently referred to herein as “student”) must be able to meet the following technical standards with or without reasonable accommodations.

  1. Motor Skills
    General: A student should have sufficient motor function such that she/he is able to execute movements reasonably required to provide general care and treatment to patients.

    Specific: A student must possess the motor skills necessary to directly perform palpitation, percussion, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers, basic laboratory tests, and diagnostic procedures. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.

    Specific: A student must be able to perform basic life support (including CPR and AED) and to position himself/herself around the patient and chair at heights and locations necessary to achieve effective patient treatment. The candidate must be able to operate all dental equipment and tools commonly necessary to the effective treatment of patients, operate high- and low-speed dental movements of less than one millimeter and utilize hand instrumentation (including scalpels for surgical procedures).
     
  2. Sensory/Observation
    General: A student must be able to acquire a defined level of required information as presented through demonstrations and experiences in the basic and dental sciences.

    Specific: This includes, but is not limited to, information conveyed through physiologic and pharmacological demonstrations in animals; and microbiological cultures and microscopic images of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A student must be able to acquire information from written documents, including charts and patient records, and to visualize information presented in images from paper, films, slides, or video. A student must interpret radiographs and other graphic images. A student must have functional use of visual, auditory, and somatic sensation while being enhanced by the functional use of sensory modalities.

    General: A student must be able to observe a patient accurately, at a reasonable distance and close up, and observe and appreciate non-verbal communications when performing dental operations or administering medications.

    Specific: A student must be able to perform visual and tactile dental examination and treatment including use of visual acuity with an ability to discern differences and variations in color, shape, and general appearance between normal and abnormal, soft and hard tissues. Use of tactile senses may be either direct palpation or indirect through instrumentation. A student must also possess the visual acuity to distinguish colors intra- and extra-orally and to make such visual observations as are necessary to provide diagnosis and treatment.
     
  3. Communication
    General: A student must be able to: communicate effectively and sensitively with patients; convey or exchange information at a level allowing development of a health history; identify problems presented; explain alternative solutions; and give directions during treatment and post-treatment. Communications include speech and writing. The student must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the health care team.

    Specific: A student must have sufficient facility with English to: retrieve information from texts and lectures and communicate concepts on written exams and patients charts; elicit patient backgrounds; describe patient changes in condition, symptoms, moods, activity, and posture; and coordinate patient care with all members of the health care team.
     
  4. Cognitive
    General:
    A student must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, and synthesize.

    Specific: In addition, a student must be able to comprehend three dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. Problem solving, a critical skill demanded of dentists, requires all of these intellectual abilities. A student must be able to perform these problem solving skills in a timely fashion.
     
  5. Behavioral
    General: A student must possess the behavioral qualities and mannerisms required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients.

    Specific: A student must be able to tolerate intellectually and physically-taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. He/She must be able to adapt to changing environments to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interests, and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admissions and educational processes. Further, a student must be able to manage apprehensive patients with a range of moods and behaviors in a tactful, congenial, personal manner so as not to alienate or antagonize them. A student must reasonably be expected to accept criticism and respond by appropriate modification of behavior.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry recognizes that the award of a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree carries with it the full authority of the institution and communicates to those who might seek the services of the bearer that he or she is competent to practice dentistry. The DDS degree is a broad degree unique in that the graduate is prepared, and upon licensure, is allowed to practice all disciplines of the dental profession. This requires that the student in the curriculum acquire didactic knowledge, as well as learning skills and attitudes essential to the profession and agreed upon by the faculty as requisite for the practice of dentistry. The student requires both cognitive and technical skills to satisfy the requirements of this curriculum.

Although the College may not inquire whether an applicant has a disability prior to making a decision on admission, an applicant may disclose during the admissions process a disability for which he or she wishes accommodation during the admissions process or upon admission. If this occurs, the College will, with the cooperation and input of the applicant, evaluate whether the applicant can perform the essential functions of the educational program, taking into account the accommodations that the applicant has requested, or alternative reasonable accommodations that the institution would offer.

Upon admission, a student who discloses a disability and requests accommodation may be asked to provide documentation of his or her disability for the purpose of determining appropriate accommodations, including modification to the program. The College will provide reasonable accommodations, but is not required to make modifications that would fundamentally alter the nature of the program. The student must be able to perform all of the technical standards with or without reasonable accommodation to matriculate or continue in the curriculum. Costs of reasonable accommodations will be borne by the College, unless otherwise funded.

Requests for accommodation should be initiated with the Associate Dean.  mvogt@unmc.edu.

Application Procedure

Students are enrolled in the College of Dentistry each August. Candidates should formally apply for admission approximately 15 months before they wish to be admitted to the College. Applicant application service opens in June for class beginning 15 months later.

The College of Dentistry uses the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) and, therefore, does not provide its own application form.

Applicants are required to take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) sponsored by the Council on Dental Education of the American Dental Association. Tests are given at Sylvan Learning Centers. Special attention is given to science scores. Should the applicant obtain scores below the national average, counseling is recommended before retaking the test. Register for the DAT at www.ada.org/dat.aspx.

Application Deadline

The AADSAS application deadline is February 1, however early application submission prior to October 1 is strongly encouraged! Applicants should not wait for DAT scores, transcripts, or other application materials before applying through AADSAS. Applicants’ files will be updated as these materials are received.

Interviews

Applicants under serious consideration will be contacted to arrange personal interviews. Interviews will not be granted at the request of applicants. Applicants who are not interviewed may counsel with their predental advisers or the Admissions Committee coordinator.

Letters of Recommendation

It is recommended that applicants submit two to three letters of recommendation.

The preceding paragraphs concern applications for admission to the College of Dentistry. Students interested in beginning study in predental instruction at UNL should consult the General Information Bulletin of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln or inquire at the Explore Center, Love Library South 127, University of Nebraska‒Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588, 402-472-3605.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
First SemesterCredit Hours
ORBI 505 HUMAN ANATOMY 3
ORBI 519 GENERAL HISTOLOGY 3
ORBI 521 CRANIOFACIAL/ORAL DEVELOPMENT AND REGENERATION 1
ADRS 529 DENTAL ANATOMY 3
ADRS 531 INTEGRATED BIOMATERIALS, CARIOLOGY, AND OPERATIVE SCIENCES I 4
ORBI 535 CRITICAL THINKING I 0
ORBI 545 BIOCHEM DENT STUDENTS 4
DENT 660 COMPREHENSIVE CLINICAL CARE 0
 Credit Hours18
Second Semester
ORBI 506 HEAD & NECK ANATOMY 3
ORBI 514 INTRODUCTION TO IMMUNOLOGY 1
ORBI 518 HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY 5
ORBI 522 ORO-DENTAL HISTOLOGY 2
ORBI 525 ORAL & MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY 4
ADRS 530 OCCLUSION 2
ADRS 532 INTEGRATED BIOMATERIALS, CARIOLOGY, AND OPERATIVE SCIENCES II 4
ORBI 535 CRITICAL THINKING I 0
DENT 660 COMPREHENSIVE CLINICAL CARE 0
 Credit Hours21
Summer
ORBI 535 CRITICAL THINKING I 1
PERO 538 THEORETICAL PERIODONTOLOGY 2
ORBI 539 GENERAL PATHOLOGY I 2
ADRS 540 ADULT RESTORATIVE DENTISTRY EVIDENCE-BASED DENTISTRY PRINCIPLES 1
ORBI 561 INTRODUCTION TO ORAL RADIOLOGY 1
DENT 660 COMPREHENSIVE CLINICAL CARE 1
 Credit Hours8
Second Year
First Semester
ORBI 540 GENERAL PATHOLOGY II 3
PERO 553 PERIODONTAL THERAPY 2
ADRS 555 OPERATIVE DENTISTRY II 4
ORSU 557 MEDICAL EMERGENCIES ((yearly)) 0
ADRS 559 PHYSICAL ASSESSMENT 2
ORBI 562 RADIOGRAPHIC INTERPRETATION 1
ADRS 563 REMOVABLE PROSTHODONTICS I 4
ORBI 581 PATIENT COMMUNICATION AND MANAGEMENT 2
ENDO 585 BIOLOGY DENTAL PULP 1
ORSU 597 ORAL SURGERY & LOCAL ANESTHESIA 1
ORBI 620 RESEARCH, ETHICS AND PUBLIC HEALTH ((yearly)) 0
DENT 661 COMP CLINICAL CARE 0
 Credit Hours20
Second Semester
ADRS 556 CARIOLOGY 1
ORSU 557 MEDICAL EMERGENCIES 1
ORBI 566 ORAL PATHOLOGY 3
ADRS 589 BASICS OF DENTAL IMPLANTOLOGY 1
ADRS 590 DIGITAL DENTISTRY I 1
ADRS 572 DIAGNOSIS & TREATMNT PLANNING 2
ADRS 574 FIXED PROSTHODONTICS I 4
ORTHO 576 ORTHODONTIC CONCEPTS I 1
ENDO 586 ENDODONTIC THERAPY I 2
PEDI 596 PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY 2
ORBI 620 RESEARCH, ETHICS AND PUBLIC HEALTH 0
ORBI 639 GENERAL PHARMACOLOGY FOR DENTAL STUDENTS 3
DENT 661 COMP CLINICAL CARE 0
DENT 573 Preclinical Interdisciplinary Concepts (Advanced Standing Students Only) 3 Cr Hrs  
 Credit Hours21
Summer
ADRS 580 ADVANCED TREATMENT PLANNING 1
ADRS 570 REMOVABLE PROSTHODONTICS II 2
ADRS 593 TM DISORDERS AND SLEEP DISORDERS 1
ORBI 620 RESEARCH, ETHICS AND PUBLIC HEALTH 0
DENT 661 COMP CLINICAL CARE 5
DENT 575 PRECLINICAL INTERDISCIPLINARY CONCEPTS II (Advance Standing Students only) 0
 Credit Hours9
Third Year
First Semester
ENDO 605 ENDODONTIC THERAPY II 1
PERO 606 PERIODONTAL TREATMENT I 1
ADRS 608 SPECIAL PATIENT CARE 1
ORBI 620 RESEARCH, ETHICS AND PUBLIC HEALTH 0
ORSU 625 ORAL SURGERY DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT 2
ORBI 648 ORAL MEDICINE 2
DENT 662 COMP CLINICAL CARE 0
 Credit Hours7
Second Semester
ORBI 610 PRACTICE MANAGEMENT 3
ADRS 616 ADVANCED TOPICS IN RESTORATIVE DENTISTRY I 1
ORBI 620 RESEARCH, ETHICS AND PUBLIC HEALTH 1
ORTHO 632 ORTHODONTIC CONCEPTS II 1
ORBI 639 GENERAL PHARMACOLOGY FOR DENTAL STUDENTS 3
ORSU 640 CONSCIOUS SEDATION & PAIN CONTROL 1
DENT 662 COMP CLINICAL CARE 0
 Credit Hours10
Summer
ADRS 633 ADV TOPICS IN RESTORATIVE DENTISTRY II 1
GERI 644 CARING FOR OLDER ADULTS: BEHAVIOR, ETHICS, AND HEALTH SYSTEMS 1
ORBI 687 SEMINAR IN PRACTICE TRANSITION (yearly) 0
DENT 662 COMP CLINICAL CARE 21
DENT 694 REVIEW OF CLINICAL SCIENCES 0
 Credit Hours23
Fourth Year
First Semester
ORBI 653 ORAL PHARMACOLOGY 1
PERO 655 PERIODONTAL TREATMENT II 1
ORBI 687 SEMINAR IN PRACTICE TRANSITION 2
DENT 694 REVIEW OF CLINICAL SCIENCES 1
ORBI 691 CLINICAL ORAL PATH 2
DENT 663 COMP CLINICAL CARE 0
 Credit Hours7
Second Semester
DENT 663 COMP CLINICAL CARE 16
 Credit Hours16
 Total Credit Hours160