Penn Dental Medicine

Life at Penn Dental/Diversity

Diversity » Office of Diversity Affairs

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:

1. Summer Mentorship Program

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.

2. Shadowing Program

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)

3. Mentorship Program

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 >>

4. Peer Mentorship Program

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.

5. Impressions Program

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.

6. Post-Graduate Externship Program

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)


Dr. Beverley Crawford
Director of Diversity Affairs

  • Impressions Program: The Student National Dental Association (SNDA) hosts its annual Impressions Program at Penn Dental Medicine. This one-day experience provides undergraduate students with an introduction to dentistry. Through this program, SNDA hopes to encourage increased enrollment in dental schools, especially for interested under-represented minority students. The day’s activities include hands-on dental activities, mock interviews, a dental student panel, dental admissions test prep information, and application process information.

  • Summer Mentorship Program: Penn Dental Medicine hosts 10 Philadelphia Public and Charter school students in its annual Summer Mentorship Program. These students participate in hands-on lab activities and attending lectures given by some of the School’s dental faculty.
  • Chinese Dental Association: The Penn Dental Medicine Chinese Dental Association hosted a cultural dumpling-making event at Harnwell Residential Hall. Dumpling wraps and a large variety of meats were provided and students had the chance to blend these ingredients together to create beautiful, scrumptious dumplings.

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The Robert Schattner Center
University of Pennsylvania
School of Dental Medicine
240 South 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6030