The West Virginia University School of Dentistry - Academic Programs

In the WVU School of Dentistry, a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree is offered for students who wish to become dentists. High school students who are interested in pursuing a D.D.S. should enroll in a college preparatory program that includes courses in biology, chemistry, higher mathematics, and physics.  West Virginia University does not offer a pre-dentistry program. Any course of study is fine as long as the prerequisite courses are completed.  A minimum of 90 semester credit hours is required at the time of application. While some applicants apply after three years of undergraduate study, others decide to earn an undergraduate degree before entering dental school. To provide students in Dentistry with the necessary clinical experience, the School of Dentistry maintains and operates dental clinics in the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center of West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia.

The WVU School of Dentistry is the state's only dental school. Over 80% of West Virginia dentists are graduates of our program. Many of the faculty and graduates are recognized leaders in dental education and organized dentistry.

It is the mission of the West Virginia University School of Dentistry to promote a learning environment that addresses the present and future oral health needs of the citizens of West Virginia and beyond by providing an oral health center committed to excellence and innovation in education, patient care, community service, research and technology

The predoctoral curriculum consists of eight semesters and three summer sessions. Dental students are enrolled in courses designed primarily to prepare them for the general practice of dentistry. Student progress is monitored regularly by the Committee on Academic and Professional Standards and a team leader program to ensure that students have the appropriate learning experiences to achieve clinical competency. The predoctoral curriculum provides comprehensive and current course content that is sequenced in a logical manner by addressing how each discipline can contribute to the attainment of competencies that build upon one another.

The predoctoral curriculum prepares students to:
• Integrate course theory with practice to enhance learning
• Perform appropriate clinical care/community service as early as possible in the curriculum
• Do dentistry commensurate with your knowledge and training
• Manage the comprehensive needs of a family of patients through the team approach

In addition, a community-based rural practice rotation is required during the senior year of the curriculum.

Career Opportunities
Following completion of the D.D.S. program, the dental graduate has various career options ranging from general practice of dentistry to post-doctoral education specialization in one of nine American Dental Association recognized specialties; graduate studies in the basic sciences that lead to additional degrees (M.S., Ph.D.); a career in teaching and research; and postgraduate study that provides graduates with advanced training for the practice of general dentistry. A relatively large portion of dentists are self-employed.

West Virginia University is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
In 2009, WVU School of Dentistry, underwent successful review by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and extended another seven years of accreditation.

Majors in the School of Dentistry

B = Bachelor's
M = Master's
D = Doctorate