UNC Adams School of Dentistry
The UNC Adams School of Dentistry is proud to be one of few schools in the United States to offer curricula in dental hygiene, doctor of dental surgery (D.D.S.), post-D.D.S. advanced dental education, and Ph.D. programs all under one roof. The various programs span many disciplines and offer multiple career paths. Whatever program you select, you can feel confident you are receiving a top-tier education from some of the nation’s leading dental educators.
The school is committed to excellence in dental education at all levels. Whether applicants want to apply to the school’s dental hygiene program, pursue their D.D.S. degree, or enroll in the six-year oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program, the school actively invests in providing the best education possible to its students. The academic environment fosters the pursuit of knowledge in the basic, behavioral, and clinical sciences. Independent thinking and lifelong learning are encouraged through degree-granting and continuing education programs. A high standard of professional and personal ethics, as well as technical excellence, are integral to the learning experience.
The school thoroughly prepares each of its graduates for their career and sets them on a path to success. Whether students plan to enter the general practice of dentistry, the dental specialties, allied dental health fields, research, or teaching, the UNC Adams School of Dentistry prides itself in producing some of the country’s best clinicians, researchers, and academicians.
Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) Program
The UNC Adams School of Dentistry offers a four-year Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) program to produce practitioners who are qualified to enter general dental practice, dental research, teaching, public service or postdoctoral programs, including graduate programs in various dental specialties. The school is interested in recruiting students who are willing to accept professional responsibilities in their communities; to participate in professional activities; and to pursue a lifetime of learning to enhance their delivery of effective patient care and service to the profession and the public. There is not sufficient space in the dental school to admit all students who meet the quantitative and qualitative standards. For this reason, the quality of the student's undergraduate work is of great importance in selection for admissions, as well as motivation to pursue a career in dentistry.
Dental Hygiene Programs
The dental hygiene programs are designed to educate and prepare dental hygienists for careers in a diverse and changing health care environment. Being a part of the UNC Adams School of Dentistry enables students to have a variety of experiences in clinical patient care, community dental health, and dental specialties, including geriatric dentistry, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, and research. The emphasis is on creating well-rounded dental hygiene health care professionals who will treat a variety of patients and provide leadership in the profession.
The school offers both undergraduate and graduate level education for dental hygiene students. The undergraduate program prepares students to become registered dental hygienists, while the graduate program focuses on allowing already-registered dental hygienists to begin careers in academia.
Graduate and Advanced Dental Education
The UNC Adams School of Dentistry is proud to offer many advanced dental education and graduate programs for prospective students to consider, in addition to observer externship opportunities. These programs are designed to further the knowledge of students and to provide specialty training in various fields of dentistry.
The UNC Adams School of Dentistry is one of the largest dental school facilities in the nation. The school has grown to include several buildings, located within a dynamic health sciences campus. Among the school’s buildings are Tarrson Hall, a state-of-the-art clinical teaching facility, and Brauer Hall, which includes patient simulation laboratories and other facilities. The majority of the school’s research takes place in Koury Oral Health Sciences, completed in April 2012. This 216,000-square-foot facility houses a variety of classroom and lecture spaces, as well as cutting-edge research laboratories, all of which encourage collaborative research and learning experiences. The school is equipped with state-of-the-art classrooms, case study rooms, simulation laboratories, clinical facilities, and Kirkland Auditorium. The school also features an atrium with a media wall, social seating, and dining areas with a food court.
- M.S. in Dental Hygiene Education
- M.S. in Endodontics
- M.S. in Operative Dentistry
- M.S. and Ph.D. in Oral and Craniofacial Biomedicine
- M.S. in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
- M.S. in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
- M.S. in Orthodontics
- M.S. in Pediatric Dentistry
- M.S. in Periodontology
- M.S. in Prosthodontics
Information Relevant to the UNC Adams School of Dentistry Experience
The State of North Carolina immunization requirements and the UNC Adams School of Dentistry immunization requirements for dental hygiene and doctor of dental surgery students are listed below. Documentation of all is required with application.
- Three DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), Td (tetanus, diphtheria), or Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) doses. (This fulfills the primary series requirement.)
- One Tdap booster after completion of the primary series that did not include a Tdap, and then a Td vaccine every 10 years thereafter.
- Three polio (unless greater than 18 years of age).
- Two measles (rubeola), two mumps, one rubella (two MMR doses meet this requirement) or positive titers.
- COVID-19 vaccination series, including prior boosters, or intent to request a medical or religious exemption.
- Hepatitis B series (not required for individuals born before July 1, 1994). See school requirements below.
UNC Adams School of Dentistry Requirements
- Varicella vaccination series (two shots) or a positive titer.
- Hepatitis B vaccination series (three shots) and a positive hepatitis B antibody (HBsAb) quantitative titer. (Please make sure your physician does not order a qualitative titer.) Ideally, a titer is recommended one to two months after completion of the series for proof of immunity to hepatitis B but can be checked at a later date.
- Two-step tuberculosis skin test (TST) or a TB blood test (IGRA). DDS and DH students report to Campus Health and follow the testing procedures required. Advanced Dental Education students report to Employee Health and follow the testing procedures required.
The matriculating student is required to submit an official certificate of immunizations that is signed by an authorized healthcare provider. Immunization documentation is to be submitted to both UNC Campus Health Services (CHS) and to the UNC Adams School of Dentistry through eMedley and Connect Carolina by a published and specified date. CHS will notify students who are not in compliance with the state immunization requirements noted above. Individuals who have not met the state immunization requirements after 30 calendar days from the first date of attendance will be administratively withdrawn from the University by the University Registrar. See the UNC Campus Health website.
Students with deficiencies in the additional immunization requirements of the school will be notified of the deficiencies by the UNC school's director of clinical compliance. The school will work with students to meet these additional requirements. The failure to comply with the school’s requirements after consultation with the director of clinical compliance and the agreed-upon resolution schedule will result in administrative withdrawal from the school.
- Influenza vaccine not earlier than September 1.
- Tuberculosis screening.
- Verification of health insurance. UNC–Chapel Hill requires all eligible students to have health insurance (see the UNC Campus Health Student Health Insurance website.) Students are required to waive with existing creditable insurance each semester or they will automatically be enrolled in the UNC System Student Health Insurance Plan, which is administered by Student Blue/BCBS of NC. To waive or enroll/renew, visit the Student Blue website.
- American Heart Association certified CPR for Healthcare Providers training. Documentation of current certification is required of the matriculating student and is to be submitted through eKeeper. (Note that the school requires in-person CPR skills assessment.)
Infection Control: One of the consequences of the delivery of health care is the possibility of contracting an infectious disease such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, HIV, or herpes. To minimize this risk, the school has adopted an Infection Control Policy that requires the wearing of a clinical overgarment, disposable gloves, a mask, and protective eye covering when oral examinations and dental procedures are being performed. NOTE: COVID-19 has adjusted these requirements and additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may be required.
Infectious Disease Status
Students engaged in patient care activities are required to know their tuberculosis and hepatitis B (HBV) status, and are encouraged to learn their hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV status. State regulations require health care workers, including students, who perform surgical or dental procedures or who assist in such procedures in a way that may result in an exposure of patients to their blood, and who know themselves to be infected with HIV or HBV, to report their status to the state health director. See UNC's policy.
University regulations require students who do not register before the first day of classes in any semester or summer session to pay an additional fee of $20 for delayed registration. Any student who believes that she/he can show sufficient justification for the delay may petition for a refund by completing a form, which can be found online, and outlining the reason for delay. This form must bear the approval of the dean of the UNC Adams School of Dentistry.
Awarding of Degrees and Certificates
To be awarded a degree or certificate, students must satisfactorily complete all requirements of their respective program.
Class and Clinic Attendance
Regular class and clinic attendance is a student obligation. No right or privilege exists that permits a student to be absent from any given number of sessions.
Patient Care Responsibilities
Students are granted the privilege of participating in the patient care system of the UNC Adams School of Dentistry and are expected to provide care consistent with our person-centered philosophy. Patients are a central part of the health care team and are involved in the planning of their care. It is the responsibility of the dental student to provide patients with the information needed so they make informed decisions about their treatment. The dental student has the responsibility to provide high-quality, evidence-based care to all their assigned patients in a timely manner and to uphold the ethical responsibilities as outlined in the school's Code of Professional Conduct and its Technical Standards.
Current academic policies and procedures can be found online. However, policies are subject to change at any time. The manual provides guidelines for governing the School of Dentistry educational programs and advises students, faculty, and staff of academic policies and procedures related to the respective programs.