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School of Dentistry

Degree Programs

The University of Washington School of Dentistry offers courses leading to a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree, and advanced education leading to a Master of Science in Dentistry degree and/or a certificate of proficiency in endodontics, oral medicine, oral and maxillofacial radiology, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, or prosthodontics. Residency training is available in general practice dentistry, oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, or pediatric dentistry. The Department of Oral Health Sciences offers a Master of Science (MS), an MS non-thesis degree for dental hygiene educators, and a doctoral degree (PhD). Postdoctoral study is available in various disciplines. Opportunities to earn other degrees concurrently (MS or PhD in the School of Dentistry's Department of Oral Health Sciences and other schools) may be arranged on an individual basis.

The primary mission of the School of Dentistry through educational, research, and service programs, is to prepare students to be competent oral health-care professionals. The School's research programs contribute to the fundamental understanding of biologic processes and to the behavioral, biomedical, and clinical aspects of oral health. The service mission is to improve the health and well-being of the people of the community and the region through outreach programs that are especially attentive to minority and underserved populations. The School values diversity in its students, staff, faculty, and patient populations. It seeks to foster an environment of mutual respect where objectivity, imaginative inquiry, and the free exchange of ideas can flourish to facilitate personal development, professionalism, and a strong sense of self-worth.

Doctor of Dental Surgery


The Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) curriculum provides students opportunities to learn the fundamental principles significant to the entire body of oral health. Students learn the basic health sciences, attain competency in clinical skills, professional and ethical principles, and reasoning and critical decision-making skills that enable implementation of the dental knowledge base.

The DDS curriculum extends for 46 months or 16 quarters, including summer quarters. If needed, students may be allowed additional time to complete required coursework.


The School of Dentistry is a state-supported institution and participates in the student exchange program provided by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) which supports students from western states without dental schools. Although all applications are carefully reviewed, preference in admission is given to residents of Washington and WICHE states, followed by residents of other states.

Admission information, including how to apply and requirements, is available on the DDS Admissions page.

Degree Requirements

minimum 287-289 credits

  1. Year 1 (71 credits): DENTFN 500, DENTFN 501, DENTFN 502, DENTFN 510, DENTFN 511, DENTFN 512, DENTFN 513, DENTFN 520, DENTFN 521, DENTFN 522, DENTFN 523, DENTFN 530, DENTFN 531, DENTFN 532, DENTFN 533, DENTPC 510, DENTPC 511, DENTPC 520, DENTPC 523, DENTPC 530, DENTPC 531, DENTPC 532, DENTPC 533, DENTPC 534, DENTPC 565
  2. Year 2 (81 credits): DENTFN 560, DENTFN 561, DENTFN 562, DENTPC 535, DENTPC 550, DENTPC 551, DENTPC 552, DENTPC 553, DENTPC 554, DENTPC 560, DENTPC 561, DENTPC 562, DENTPC 565, DENTPC 570, DENTPC 571, DENTPC 572, DENTPC 573, DENTPC 574, DENTPC 576, DENTPC 577, DENTPC 580, DENTPC 581, DENTPC 582, DENTPC 583, DENTPC 584, DENTPC 585, DENTPC 586, DENTPC 587, and one selective course (one of DENTSL 550, DENTSL 552, or departmental 550 research course)
  3. Year 3 (74 credits): DENTCL 605, DENTCL 607, DENTCL 609, DENTCL 620, DENTCL 633, DENTCL 637, DENTCL 638, DENTCL 641, DENTCL 642, DENTCL 644, DENTCL 645, DENTCL 646, DENTCL 650, DENTCL 651, DENTCL 652, DENTCL 654, DENTCL 655, DENTCL 656, DENTCL 661, DENTCL 662, DENTCL 664, DENTCL 665, DENTCL 666
  4. Year 4 (61-63 credits): DENTGP 650, DENTGP 652, DENTGP 653, DENTGP 654, DENTGP 655, DENTGP 662, DENTGP 663, DENTGP 664, DENTGP 672, DENTGP 673, DENTGP 674, DENTGP 682, DENTGP 683, DENTGP 684, DENTGP 685, and one selective course (minimum 1 credit)
    1. RIDE students enroll in DENTGP 676 and DENTGP 686 to replace DENTGP 655, DENTGP 672, DENTGP 673, DENTGP 674, DENTGP 682, DENTGP 683, and DENTGP 684
    2. Research Track students enroll in a specialty-based research course (12 credits) in summer quarter of year four to replace DENTGP 652, DENTGP 653, DENTGP 654, and the selective course requirement
  5. Selective courses: Students enroll in one selective course (6 credits) during summer quarter of year two of the program. Students enroll in one selective course (minimum 1 credit) during year four of the program (does not apply to Research Track students).
  6. Successful completion of the Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE) or National Board Dental Examination Parts I and II is required for graduation.

School Accreditation and Licensure

The program in dental education is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of "approval without reporting requirements". The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission's web address is: www.ada.org/en/coda.

Admission to the practice of dentistry in any state is conditional upon meeting the requirements of the individual state dental licensure requirement. In the State of Washington, the requirements for dental licensure are determined by the Washington State Department of Health. Requirements available at: www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/ProfessionsNewReneworUpdate/Dentist/LicenseRequirements.

Immunization Policy

The UW Health Sciences Center requires that its students, staff, and faculty show documentation of immunization requirements in accordance with CDC guidelines for healthcare personnel and as outlined by the Health Sciences Immunization Program. Exemptions are granted rarely and only in alignment with CDC recommendations.

Graduate Programs

Through their respective departments, the graduate faculty members of the School offer programs leading to the degrees of Master of Science in Dentistry, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy, as well as postgraduate certificate programs. For information about these programs, refer to the UW degree program catalog.

Master of Science in Dentistry/Postgraduate Certificates

Fields of study for the MSD programs include endodontics, oral pathology, oral medicine, oral and maxillofacial radiology, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, and prosthodontics. Although students may enroll in a graduate certificate program only, they may elect to pursue an MSD.

Postgraduate certificate programs are not administered by the Graduate School, and no thesis is required. The course content may vary somewhat from the MSD program, although the same academic standards are applied in both programs. Tuition and fees are assessed at the graduate level for both programs.

Residency Training

The School of Dentistry sponsors accredited Advanced Dental Education Training Programs in General Practice Residency (GPR), Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, and Pediatric Dentistry through GME Residency positions. Prospective trainees should review the individual training programs' website for admissions and eligibility information, and the GME Prospective Resident/Fellow website for information regarding terms and conditions of employment, including but not limited to salary and fringe benefits.

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Postdoctoral training fellowships are available in behavioral or public health research in dentistry in addition to those in oral biology. Programs vary in duration, and many accommodate degree-seeking or research fellows pursuing an academic career. NIH-sponsored partial tuition and a stipend for up to three years are provided for U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, and those foreign nationals with permanent-residency status in the United States. Members of ethnic minorities and women are especially invited to apply. Application, selection, and administration of the program are provided through the Department of Oral Health Sciences.