Columbia University College of Dental Medicine was originally founded in 1852 as the New York college of Dentistry by the New York Legislator, and later on renamed the New York college of Dental and Oral Surgery. In 1923, the school merged with Columbia to give it a stronger dental presence, and in 20016 was renamed once again to become the present day Columbia University College of Dental Medicine (CDM).
The school has, in addition to the D.D.S. program, postdoctoral and continuing education programs and it’s very competitive in its admissions; only 80 students a year enter the dental program here. Since the school is under the Columbia umbrella, research is heavily emphasized and students are expected to participate in projects in conjunction with the Columbia University Medical Center.
The dental graduate program here is a bit unique and veers away from the traditional four-year program offered by most dental schools. The first year and a half are spent with fellow students from the College of Physicians and Surgeons learning the fundamentals of biomedicine. Medical studies are very heavily stressed at this school. Students then begin their clinical clerkships where they will learn patient interaction skills, be able to diagnose issues, and provide dental care under the guidance of a faculty member. Finally, students participate in four rotations in local hospitals to reach their degree.
Sstudents who already have a dental degree can enroll in one of the school’s postdoctoral programs. Each one has its own admission policies, so be sure to contact the school and obtain the relevant information for the program being pursued. These programs are very specialized and offer advanced training in a wide variety of dental programs such as Endodontics,
Periodontics, and Maxillofacial Pathology.
The school has a very active research center and students in the graduate and postdoctoral programs are encouraged to participate. Currently, topics include: Health Policy and Services; Epidemiology of Oral Diseases; Systematic and Oral Disease Interactions; Connective Tissue Bone; Stem Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering; and Clinical Research.
Students can pursue dual degrees here and with partnering schools:
- DDS/MPH with Mailman School of Public Health
- DDS/MBA with Columbia Business School
- DDS/MA in Science and Dental Education with Teacher’s College
Admission to the DDS program is very competitive and the requirements are extensive. Only students with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited US or Canadian college or university will be considered with specific classes taken, with a strong science background.
Potential students need to submit one application via the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) between June 1 and December 31. A non-refundable fee is also required at this time. The Dental Admission Test is also mandatory along with three confidential letters of recommendation OR one letter from a pre-health committee. Be sure to also submit all academic transcripts as well.
The school is very helpful in figuring out financial aid for its students. Walk-ins for short visits and appointments for longer visits are always welcome at the Office of Student Financial Planning. Here, advisors will guide you in making wise financial decisions to fund your graduate education. The school does not provide scholarships, but they do encourage researching outside funding to help decrease the amount of loans, which will need to be paid back.
Students here can take part in the CDM Club, which brings together all the school’s club presidents. There is also the Student Government Association and the American Student Dental Association – Columbia Chapter for students to get involved in.
Since the school is housed in the heart of Manhattan, one of the world’s greatest cities, students here take advantage of the culture, museums, nightlife, and world famous restaurants New York City has to offer. This is definitely a city school with a city feel and for those missing some greenery, Central Park is nearby with it’s zoo, fields, forest, and play areas.
There is a very active Alumni association complete with a Facebook page plus meetings, lunches, dinners, and all kinds of social events to keep graduates connected with each other and with important networking connections. As an added bonus, all alumni receive a 10% discount on future continuing education courses.
Justine Ventimiglia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Currently residing in a 1950’s modest ranch in Metro Detroit, she enjoys researching and writing about Mid Century Modern furniture and decor as she works on restoring her home and documenting the process.