Dentistry and business schools collaborate for new D.D.S./M.B.A. degree at WVU

 
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics and School of Dentistry have signed an agreement that will provide dental students with the unique opportunity to pursue a dual degree. The schools have partnered to create the D.D.S./M.B.A., making WVU one of only eight dental schools in the United States to offer such a program.
 
David A. Felton, D.D.S., M.S., dean of the School of Dentistry, said that the business aspects of dentistry have primarily been learned on the job or through mentorships with seasoned practitioners training new associates in their practices. The demand for basic and advanced business knowledge in today’s world has increased, he said, prompting the creation of the D.D.S./M.B.A. dual degree.
 
“This collaborative partnership between the WVU School of Dentistry and the College of Business and Economics offers WVU dental students a critical piece of education that most dental schools have lacked for years,” Dr. Felton said. “While we educate students to be very good clinicians, we have not equally prepared them for the ‘business of dentistry.’ This partnership will give our graduates a career advantage by enabling them to compete at the highest levels in the dental profession and provide them with an educational experience that only a few schools of dentistry currently provide.”
 
The 2013-14 academic year will be the first year of the new degree program. Student dentists will complete the requirements for the M.B.A. degree program during an additional fifth year of study beyond the D.D.S. degree.
 
“This degree offering is an excellent example of the kind of innovative, forward-thinking education that WVU aspires to offer all of our students,” said Provost Michele Wheatly, Ph.D.  “As we continue to advance our strategic plan WVU2020, I am excited to see our colleges and units across campus embarking on collaborations like this one.”
 
The D.D.S./M.B.A. is the fifth cross-disciplinary collaboration for the College of Business and Economics. Programs currently exist between the business school and the College of Law for the J.D./M.B.A. degree; the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences for the M.S. in Sport Management degree; the School of Medicine for the M.D./M.B.A. degree; and the School of Pharmacy for the Pharm.D./M.B.A. degree.
 
“Students graduating from WVU’s dental school will have much needed and highly demanded business knowledge when they earn this degree,” said Jose Sartarelli, Ph.D., Milan Puskar Dean of the WVU College of Business and Economics. “Having the knowledge of business principles will give these graduates a true competitive edge, and the School of Dentistry will distinguish itself as one of the only dental schools in the country to offer this valuable dual degree.”
 
Of the 58 dental schools in the United States, only seven other schools offer the dual degree M.B.A. option. The WVU School of Dentistry joins an elite group that includes Columbia, Harvard, Howard, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Temple and the University of Pennsylvania.
 
“Joint programs like our D.D.S./M.B.A. track expand the skill sets for our graduates that will provide them a competitive edge in their careers,” said Christopher Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., Chancellor for Health Sciences. “It also enables WVU to attract the best and most talented students to our institution. I am extraordinarily pleased with this partnership and thank Drs. Felton and Sartarelli for their leadership in getting this formalized for our university and its Health Sciences Center. It adds to our national stature.”
 
For more information on the D.D.S./M.B.A. program, visit http://dentistry.hsc.wvu.edu/Academic-Programs/Graduate-Programs or http://be.wvu.edu.