2020-2021 Application Cycle information for prospective applicants in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 global pandemic of 2020 has presented institutions of higher education across the country with challenges in teaching and learning, as well as in the assessment of academic performance. As a consequence of these challenges, The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine is committed to adapting and adjusting in response to the new challenges we now face.
Pitt Dental Medicine will take into account the important disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak when reviewing student transcripts and other admissions materials as part of their screening practice to ensure holistic reviews of individual applications and supporting materials. Specifically, we will respect decisions made by institutions or individuals regarding the adoption of Pass/Fail or similar grading options during the period in question.
This response by Pitt Dental Medicine is to ensure that no applicants are disadvantaged by the overarching decisions made by their colleges/universities as a result of this unprecedented public health event.
In the best interest and safety of our prospective applicants, faculty, residents, students and staff, all interviews for the 2020-2021 application cycle will be held in a virtual format. More information regarding the details of the virtual interview format will be provided to students selected to interview for a seat in the class of 2020.
Pitt Dental Medicine will accept applications from applicants who were unable to take the DAT due to COVID-19 related test cancellations. At Pitt Dental Medicine, a holistic review of applications has always been our practice in the admissions process and we will continue to do so. For those affected, we will base decisions on the information that is available to us at the time of the application. Assuming that DAT testing resumes in the fall, Pitt Dental Medicine will require applicants to have taken the DAT before they are considered for admission to the Class of 2025. If DAT testing does not resume by October 1, 2020, Pitt Dental Medicine will reevaluate this requirement at that time. Applicants should not delay submitting their applications simply because a DAT score is not yet available.
Pitt Dental Medicine will be flexible in the grading requirement for pre-requisite coursework if an applicant attended a university that made system-wide grading changes due to COVID-19. We will accept Pass/Fail grades for Spring 2020 coursework taken due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Competency-Based Educational Program
The four-year predoctoral program prepares students to provide basic health promotion and disease prevention, diagnose and develop treatment plans, analyze complex medical and dental cases, and achieve competency in all areas defined for general practitioners. The competency-based curriculum also reflects the school’s commitment to supporting the development of professionalism, life-long learning, and synthesis of clinical and biomedical science concepts.
An essential part of the training of students at Pitt Dental is to learn and practice clinical concepts that involve administering anesthesia, dental hygiene and cleaning as well as other facets of dental examination and care. In order to facilitate this training, part of the educational experience at Pitt Dental requires students to serve as patients for other students.
Beyond the Classroom
Student learning continues far beyond the classroom. Community service is encouraged through the Student Community Outreach Program and Education (SCOPE) and the Univeristy of Pittsburgh WISER Center offers dental students hands-on medical experience in a world-class multidisciplinary simulation-based training facility. The Simulation Clinic gives students life-like experience with simulated patients in a classroom, clinical learning environment and the Fassinger Learning Resource Center lets students continue learning past the traditional hours and space of the classroom meetings.
Students are encouraged to participate in any of a number of the school's active student organizations to connect with others sharing and investigating the same interests. Student organizations focus on advancing knowledge and extend the frontiers of a particular segment of oral health. Personal, academic and career counseling are available through the school's Office of Student Affairs for all students. An extensive library system, learning skills center, housing resource center, student health care and recreational and fitness facilities are available through the University.
Research opportunities abound for students in good academic standing to study many different aspects of dental research, including craniofacial genetics, tissue regeneration, informatics, public health and other fields. With an extended history of profound dental research, the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine also fosters interactions between dental students and researchers in other disciplines. Academic rewards and contributions to the dental profession are just two reasons many students conduct research at the school. Students have opportunities to share their projects and results at national meetings and conferences and provide excellent learning and networking opportunities with colleagues. Student researchers also may compete for awards, scholarships, and other opportunities at the University.
Meet Us in Person
We are always interested in meeting students who are serious about their pursuit of a career in dental medicine. If you share a meaningful interest in learning more about what we have to offer you as you begin your dental career, you may be interested in joining us for one of our visit dates. Visits include time for discussion about opportunities that can be found at Pitt Dental Medicine, meeting faculty, staff and students, and a tour of the school. Contact Pitt Dental Admissions to find out the dates and times we have available for this year.