Penn Dental Medicine

Life at Penn Dental/Diversity

Diversity » Office of Diversity Affairs & Inclusion

The Office of Diversity Affairs & Inclusion 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:

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.

School District of Philadelphia/Oral Health Academy at Penn Dental Medicine

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.

Bio-Dental Program

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.

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.

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)

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)

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 >>

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.

Penn GAPSA Affinity Groups

Penn’s Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) IDEAL (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access and Leadership) Committee is charged with representing graduate and professional affinity group interests across all of Penn’s 12 graduate schools. Each of these organizations that make up GAPSA’s IDEAL Committee offer a variety of opportunities to connect academically, professionally, and socially. View list of the organizations »


Dr. Beverley Crawford
Director of Diversity Affairs & Inclusion

  • 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. Read more on the 2018 program »
  • Black History Month Celebration: Penn Dental Medicines’ Student National Dental Association hosted their annual Black History Month celebration on Friday February 2, 2018.
    View photos »

  • National Health Service Corps: The Office of Academic Affairs and Student Life and The Office of Diversity and Inclusion hosted Dr. Joan Malcolm, D’94, for a Lunch and Learn Information session on the National Health Services Corps (NHSC). Dr. Malcolm is a member of the National Advisory Council on the NHSC, a member of the Sub-Committee on Diversity of the Penn Dental Medicine Board of Overseers, and a former Trustee for the National Dental Association. Dr. Malcolm spoke about scholarship opportunities for all dental students while in dental school, the Student to Service Loan Repayment Program for 4th year dental students and the Loan Repayment Program after graduation.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Advancing Tomorrow's Leaders

Program & Faculty Features

Inspiring City’s Youth

Penn Dental Medicine Partners with Oral Health Academy for Philadelphia High School Students

Penn Dental Journal,

Fall 2015

Read PDF »

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