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240 South 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Rating: 4.4/5 (5 votes)

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The University of Pennsylvania was established in 1740 as a private institution. The University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine was created in 1878. Originally known as the Thomas W. Evans Museum and Dental Institute, it became the School of Dental Medicine in 1964. It is located on the west end of the 250-acre university campus in central Philadelphia, making it accessible to the many educational and cultural facilities in this city.


The basic science courses are taught in the first and second years through lectures, seminars, and laboratory experiences. Clinical experience begins with dental health education in the first year. The third and fourth years emphasize the general practice of dentistry. Much effort is made to integrate basic and clinical sciences throughout the 4-year program. A highlight of the program is an offering of more than 50 selective courses in a variety of areas. Fourth-year students spend 6 weeks gaining additional clinical skills in a hospital setting. Grading Policy The University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine operates on an A, B, C, F evaluation system. Student performance in lecture and basic science labs is measured by a written objective examination, usually of the multiple-choice and slide identification variety. Achievement in preclinical dental labs is determined by practical exams. Evaluation of clinical performance is based on a composite of daily grades, faculty comments, and competency evaluations. Students who fail a course(s) are reviewed individually by the school’s Committee of Student Advancement, which prescribes the course of action to be followed by the student.

Unique Programs

Opportunities for separate admission to programs in education, biomedical engineering, and business are available.


The basic predental science courses plus 1 semester of mathematics (calculus preferred) and 2 semesters of English are required. Courses in biochemistry, physiology, genetics, and microbiology are recommended. Transfer and advanced standing: Students from other U.S. dental schools may be admitted with advanced standing into the second and third years only.


The Robert Schattner Center provides facilities for clinical education, patient care, and research. The facility also serves as the school’s main entrance, creating a unified Penn Dental campus by linking the Thomas W. Evans Building and the Leon Levy Center for Oral Health Research. The Schattner Center’s clinical resources include an emergency/admission clinic, a clinic for medically complex patients, and an oral and maxillofacial surgery facility. The school’s varied clinic settings enable student participation in all aspects of oral health education and research. At the center of the school’s clinical operations and instruction is the main clinic; located in the Evans Building, it provides facilities for complete oral diagnosis and treatment. Specialty clinics within the Evans Building include a pediatric and special needs clinic, as well as the orthodontic, endodontic, and periodontic clinics.

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