First-Year Curriculum

The first-year curriculum focuses on the theme of “Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.” Foundational knowledge presented during the first year includes courses in molecular and cell biology, systemic and oral histology, embryology and developmental biology, systemic and head and neck gross anatomy, systemic physiology, microbiology and immunology, and general and systemic pathology. Basic biological principles, including the structure, function, and interrelationships of the body systems as they pertain to systemic medicine, oral health, and oral disease are taught by dedicated faculty in the Department of Oral Biology. Clinical correlates and small group learning contribute to the integration of the basic and clinical sciences as they relate to oral disease prevention and maintenance of health. Preclinical experiences in dental anatomy and operative dentistry provide the foundation for general restorative dentistry procedures. Students practice obtaining a health history using standardized patients and learn to perform an oral exam on each other before being assigned to their own patient during the summer of the first year. Students apply knowledge gained in order to assess the health status and risk for oral disease of the patient and implement an individualized, evidence-based plan of treatment. By assisting upperclassmen, students gain experiences in each of the clinical areas. Students work in groups to present a year-end simulated case to a faculty panel that allows them to demonstrate their knowledge of health promotion and disease prevention concepts.


First Year Course Schedule

Fall Term Courses Credits
Qualities of a General Dentist 1 1.0
Foundations of Person-Centered Care 3.0
Principles of Professional Practice 2.0
Microbial Physiology and Immunology 3.0
Molecular and Cell Biology 1 2.0
Molecular and Cell Biology 2 2.0
Embryology and Oral Tissues 4.0
Body Tissues 2.0
Dental Anatomy and Morphology 2.0
Dental Anatomy and Morphology Lab 2.0


 Spring Term Courses Credits
Qualities of a General Dentist 2 1.0
Introduction to Radiology 1 0.5
Cariology and Caries Management 1 3.0
Cariology and Caries Management 1 Lab 2.0
Foundations of Person-Centered Care 2 2.0
Principles of Professional Practice 2 2.0
Systemic Gross Anatomy 4.0
Systemic Human Physiology 1 3.0
Systemic Human Physiology 2 3.0
Head and Neck Soft Tissue Anatomy 4.0
Periodontology 1 1.0
Dental Materials 2.0


Fall Term Courses Credits
Qualities of a General Dentist 3 1.0
Introduction to Radiology 2 0.5
Cariology and Caries Management 2 2.0
Cariology and Caries Management 2 Lab 1.5
General and Systemic Pathology 5.0
Immunology and Infectious Diseases 2.0
Periodontal Instrumentation 1 1.0
Principles of Dental Occlusion 3.0