The University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine is one of the top dentistry programs in the nation and draws students from all over the world through it’s Advanced Standing International Student Program. The focus on community, innovation and diversity are what draw most applicants and are what graduates rave about.
“The University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine is purpose driven,” Dean Denise Kassebaum, DDS, M.S. said. “We look at what kind of graduates our state and the country need. So we are intentional about creating an educational program that provides a background in the sciences, high technology and the opportunities for our students to learn more about special populations and how to really provide that person centered care.”
“I got a good vibe when I visited campus for the first time,” fourth year dental student Kacey Jones said. “I just felt like this was where I really belonged and where I would become a good clinician. I’m on my way. I have had so much personal growth. I’ve really been challenged in what I think is important, and not just me as a person , but in all areas of my life. Being here at school has really changed me for the better.”
As the only dental school in the state, it’s not surprising that 56% of students pursuing the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree are from Colorado, like 2019 graduate, Maggie Chavez, DDS.
However, according to the Admissions Department, there are dental students from 22 other states represented on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.
“I chose CU for many reasons,” Dr. Chavez said. “I wanted to be somewhere that I would love for the next four years because it is four years of your life. Also, I did a lot of my research and I learned about how much clinical experience you get in the Advanced Clinical and Training Program (ACTS). That turned out to be my favorite part of my four years. I think CU creates a very well rounded dentist who is very proficient and has a lot of experience clinically and with patient communication.”
CU Dental students spend nearly half of their fourth year in rotations within underserved communities in Colorado. The University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine is embedded in 40 rural and urban clinics and the students provide a huge servicing, caring for up to 8 patients during a shift. That clinical experience gives CU Dental graduates a competitive edge and the opportunity to build relationships within communities.
Before fourth year rotations, students spend time in classes, many of which are interprofessional courses which include collaborations with medical students, physical therapy students, pharmacy students and those pursuing degrees in behavior health on the Anschutz campus.
“I love the support, especially from my classmates,” second year dental student Hamilton Pennywell said. “I feel like especially within my class, we do a really good job of lifting up one another and advocating for one another.”
CU Dental is also making large investments to provide innovative learning tools. The Haptics and Virtual Reality labs are very popular and appreciated among students since the technology offers a different lens into the mouth and oral health.
36% of CU Dental graduates choose to pursue post-graduate education in specific areas of dentistry. CU Dental offers both the Graduate Orthodontics program and the Graduate Periodontics program.
The faculty at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine and the staff that leads research projects are also unmatched.
“My instructors were so helpful in my four year journey at CU,” Libby Paulsen, DDS said. “I really feel like I transformed from a different person from when I first stepped foot into the dental school to graduation.”
“What do I I love most about CU Dental School? The whole thing,” current fourth year student Kacey Jones said. “I just love being at school here, even on the most challenging days, I love it. I love my faculty, I love the experiences that I’ve had and the opportunity to grow. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to pursue a career in dentistry.”