The Office of Diversity Affairs is deeply committed to increasing and celebrating diversity at Penn Dental Medicine. Specific recruitment and retention programs have been developed to attract some of the brightest students who are currently underrepresented in dentistry and support them during their education at Penn. The outreach program consists of the following activities:
The University of Pennsylvania’s Summer Mentorship Program (SMP) is a month-long, full-day, full-immersion experience on campus for select juniors and seniors from Philadelphia Public and Charter high schools. SMP is administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for University Life, with funding from the Office of the Provost. The program provides classroom instruction, one-on-one sessions with professors, and tours of labs and other facilities. It also includes intensive SAT preparation (provided by Kaplan), writing workshops, and instruction in personal finance.
Through a partnership with the Randolph Career and Technical High School, this program offers qualified minority students enrolled in its high school dental assisting program both academic and hands-on learning opportunities at Penn Dental Medicine. Interaction with dental students and faculty provides a reality-based translation of their high school vocational program to a professional career that is economically viable and intellectually gratifying.
The Bio-Dental Program, unique to Penn Dental Medicine admissions, is an early matriculation program, enabling accepted students from five undergraduate institutions to enter Penn Dental Medicine after their junior year. Hampton University, a historically black institution, is among the participating schools supporting the recruitment of underrepresented minority students.
The Student National Dental Association (SNDA) Impressions Program is composed of a series of one-day workshops geared towards educating underrepresented minority undergraduate college students about careers in dentistry. The Impressions Program consists of lectures and hands-on activities, which expose students to a typical dental school curriculum. Students are also introduced to various dental procedures and the application process, in addition to financial aid and scholarship opportunities. At the conclusion of the program, students will be familiar with the hosting dental school (Penn Dental Medicine) and have information that can make them stronger dental school applicants.
This is a program in partnership with Howard University College of Dentistry and Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry, welcoming junior and senior dental students to spend one week with the graduate residents in University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine specialty clinics. Students shadow residents and attend lectures in Oral Medicine, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontic, Periodontic and Endodontic specialties. Housing is provided for one week.
Download registration form (PDF)
This program allows participants from our recruitment initiatives and pre-dental undergraduate students from local universities to visit the Dental school to observe patient care in a school environment.
Waiver for Visitors Observing in Clinical Areas (PDF)
Dental students at Penn Dental Medicine are given opportunities to network with alumni for “role modeling” and support during their educational experience or when seeking employment or applying to postgraduate programs. Sign up to be matched with an alumni mentor >>
A support program for incoming students wherein upper classmen provide support and assistance to ensure a smooth transition to the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Dental Medicine.
Through these recruitment and retention initiatives, Penn Dental Medicine is successfully creating and sustaining a critical mass of underrepresented students within its student body, building an academically strong and socially supportive environment.
Dr. Beverley Crawford
Director of Diversity Affairs