Honors Degree Program

Penn Dental Medicine students can earn a DMD with honors in the areas of research, community health, community health, clinical dentistry, oral medicine, pediatric dentistry, and radiological services.

Those Penn Dental Medicine students with the interest, motivation, and required academic achievement can earn a DMD degree with honors. The competitive honors program is designed to cultivate a leadership outlook in a select group of exceptional students and enable them to develop the skills to leverage their leadership potential in seven honors areas — Research, Clinical Dentistry, Community Health, Oral medicine, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Pediatric Dentistry as well as Radiological Sciences. All Honor students present their work at the annual Penn Dental Research Day and may be eligible to compete for many school-wide research travel grants and awards.

The application cycle and requirements within each area complement the dental curriculum and the stages of students’ dental education. Students can earn a DMD with honors in more than one discipline if they choose to but must meet the requirements for each individually. They can apply to each area at different points in their dental education.

Research Honors

Students can apply to research honors at the time of admission to Penn Dental Medicine or the midpoint of their first or second years. Students must have a 3.5 science GPA to apply prior to matriculation as a first year student. Within the research honors program, students must identify a faculty mentor and plan, implement, and execute a hypothesis-driven research project over a one- or two-year period. In addition to their individually developed projects, all honors scholars participate in Research Day during which they must present a poster. Director: Dr. K Boesze-Battaglia (battagli@upenn.edu).

Community Health Honors

Students can pursue community health honors during their second, third, or fourth years. For community health honors, students plan and carry out an in-depth community health experience of at least 120 hours over a one-year period at an approved program site. Among the options are projects focused on oral health education, screening, and referral programs at local Philadelphia sites, including the interdisciplinary health care clinics of the Homeless Health Initiative, Puentes, United Community Clinics and University City Hospitality Coalition. Honors students can also choose to develop projects expanding their clinical activities at the following PDM dental care programs: Penn Smiles, First Five Pediatric program, Philadelphia FIGHT, LIFE geriatric center and dental center at Sayre Health Center. Students can also petition to complete the honors requirements at a site of their choice. Co-Directors: Dr. Joan Gluch gluchj@upenn.edu and Ms. Debbie Linkstrom, dlinks@upenn.edu

Clinical Honors

Open to fourth-year students ONLY, with applications submitted in the Fall of the students’ third year. In the clinical program, students complete the honors requirements completing advanced procedures within the William W.M. Cheung Advanced Dental Care Clinic. Director: Dr. Jeffrey Ingber (jingber@upenn.edu).

Honors in Dentistry for the Medically Complex (Oral Medicine)

Open to fourth- year students ONLY. Students can apply for the oral medicine honors program in the Fall of their third year. Honors in Dentistry for the Medically Complex is designed to provide overall patient care in a delivery system that includes all dental services, including emergency care, treatment planning, general dentistry, specialty care, and maintenance programs for those medically complex patients. Patients will include those with immunodeficiencies, hemophilia, transplants, complex cardiac conditions many of whom are traditionally not admitted for routine care in the main clinic. Director: Dr. Temitope Omolehinwa (omote@alumni.dental.upenn.edu).

Honors in Pediatric Dentistry

Open to fourth- year students ONLY. Students may apply for the Pediatric Dentistry Honors Program in their 3rd year. This honors program allows the student to learn more about comprehensive treatment planning and pediatric patient care by participating in the advanced pediatric dentistry seminar series and by using advanced behavioral management procedures that include utilization of nitrous oxide/oxygen inhalation, oral conscious sedation and general anesthesia. The honors students will enhance their clinical and didactic skills in pediatric restorative procedures such as stainless steel crowns, pulpotomies, pulpectomies, indirect pulp capping, anterior aesthetic restorations, etc. They will also gain exposure to operating room procedures. All these activities will better prepare honors students for a residency program in Pediatric Dentistry. Students complete the Pediatric Dental honors requirement within the Pediatric Clinic and the Sedation Suite. Director: Dr. Maria Velasco (velascf@upenn.edu).

Honors in Dentistry for Radiological Sciences

Open to fourth- year students ONLY. Junior students can apply for the Radiology Honors program in the Fall of their third year. HDRS is designed to provide an overall in-depth knowledge of all aspects of imaging in dentistry above and beyond what is traditionally taught at the DMD level. The participants acquire firsthand knowledge of both 2D and 3D imaging, the intricacies of acquisition and interpretation including digital intraoral, digital panoramic, and cone beam CT imaging. The honors students work closely with the Director and interpret multiple cone beam CT cases and will be able to discuss complicated maxillofacial diagnostics using MDCTor MRI during their rotations. Director: Dr. Mel Mupparapu, (mmd@upenn.edu).

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Open to fourth- year students ONLY. Students may apply for the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Honors Program in the Fall of their 3rd year. This honors program allows participants to learn about and provide patient care in more advanced surgical procedures (i.e. preprosthetic surgery, complex dental extractions, biopsies, etc.) This program allows honors students to enhance their clinical skills in oral surgery procedures, gain exposure to OR procedures, and better prepare them for possible careers in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Director: Dr. Steven Wang (Steven.Wang@uphs.upenn.edu).

Students must maintain a 3.25 GPA in all their coursework to apply to an honors degree program and are selected by a committee of faculty in each area based upon their application proposals, which must outline the scope, goals, and objectives of their honors program plan or project. Students should be aware that the honors degree program is competitive and there is no guaranteed acceptance. For general questions please contact Honors Program Director: Dr. Boesze-Battaglia (battagli@upenn.edu

Honors Program Application

Admissions & Academics

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