Office for Academic Affairs

About Us

The mission of the Office for Academic Affairs is to plan, support and evaluate all aspects of the predoctoral, postdoctoral and continuing dental education curriculum at RSDM.  Areas of activity include ongoing curriculum review, curriculum design and modification, curriculum administration, and academic scheduling, as well as maintaining the individual course grades and syllabi for all predoctoral and postgraduate programs.  The Office for Academic Affairs has the principal responsibility for administering the predoctoral dental curriculum as developed by the RSDM Curriculum Committee, as well as the Postgraduate Core Curriculum.  Curricula matters with affiliate dental auxiliary programs, other schools and the organization and preparation of reports relating to accreditation are also the responsibility of this office.

Dr. Kim E. Fenesy, Vice Dean

Dr. Emily Sabato, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs

Dr. Valerie Rico, Director for Academic Affairs

Dr. Janine Fredericks-Younger, Director of Educational Programs

Ms. Kathy Ryan, Program Administrator

Ms. Irma Fernandes, Program Support Specialist

Ms. Yahsmine Brookins, Program Assistant

Ms. Colleen Koty, Staff Assistant

Contact Information:
Office of Academic Affairs
Rutgers School of Dental Medicine
110 Bergen Street, Suite B812
Newark, NJ 07103
973-972-5040 (fax)
973-972-4440 (phone)

The following falls under the purview of Academic Affairs:


Pre-Doctoral DMD Curriculum

Clinical Dentistry Courses
The Office for Academic Affairs is responsible for the Clinical Dentistry courses, which are designed to allow early patient contact.  Students become familiar with the policies and procedures of the clinics through numerous rotations in most phases of clinical dentistry.
The Introduction to Clinical Dentistry course is designed to provide freshman dental students with an introduction to clinical dentistry.  In five clinical locations, students will be exposed to aspects of clinical practice including: Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, Oral Medicine, Oral Surgery, Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry.  During their rotations students will have the opportunity to assist and/or observe postdoctoral specialty students and pre-doctoral dental students performing dental care.  The goal is to familiarize beginning students with clinical procedures in dentistry such as infection control, dental assisting, and management of patient care.
The Clinical Dentistry course taught in the sophomore year prepares the dental student for the full time care of patients that begins in the junior academic year.  Students are rotated to most clinical areas of the dental school, including Diagnostic Science, Endodontics, Oral Surgery, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics, Prevention, Prosthodontics, Radiology, and Restorative Dentistry.
During their rotations students have an opportunity to assist with and perform basic clinical procedures.

The Office for Academic Affairs manages all selective-elective course offerings.  These courses are designed to provide the senior dental student with a variety of choices to expand their knowledge base in particular subjects.  Selective courses are offered to senior students during regular lecture hours.  Elective courses are offered during regular clinic hours.  Students registering for electives which require clinic time must obtain a release from clinic from the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs.  Since the students taking these courses are exempt from required clinic time, these courses are limited to students in good standing, (good standing is defined as maintaining a 2.0 grade point average with no failures or unsatisfactory performance reports.) Students are required to complete sixty hours of selective courses by the end of the fourth-year spring trimester. Additional hours may be taken if the student's schedule permits.  The aim of this program is to allow the student the opportunity to structure and enhance a segment of the fourth-year curriculum.The Office for Academic Affairs

The Five Year Program
Recognizing that students learn and assimilate information at varying rates a Five Year Program was developed which allows a student the opportunity to successfully complete the four year degree program in five calendar years.  The program is designed so that the schedule of the first two academic years is expanded into three calendar years; the last two years are identical to those of the third and fourth year schedule. This program can be entered no later than the end of the winter trimester of the freshman year.

Internationally Trained DMD Faculty Program
This program is intended for exceptional individuals who have a foreign DMD (or its equivalent) and have been recommended by a RSDM Faculty Search Committee and approved by the RSDM Appointments and Promotions Committee for a faculty appointment.  Only then will a candidate be considered eligible for matriculation in the Internationally Trained DMD Faculty Program.  A recommendation from the Appointments and Promotions Committee must be submitted to the Chairperson of the department in which the candidate will have his/her academic appointment.

International Dentist Program
The International Dentist Program at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine is designed to enable qualified dentists educated outside the United States or Canada to earn a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) degree following a special twenty-seven month didactic and clinical program. 

Dual Degree Programs
The Office for Academic Affairs administers the Dual Degree Programs which are listed below.  Interested students are encouraged to apply for admission to any of the dual degree programs offered in conjunction with one of our sister schools.
Authorization to pursue one of these dual degree programs MUST be obtained from both the RSDM Office for Academic Affairs and the secondary school prior to enrollment.  Enrollment forms are available from the Office for Academic Affairs and MUST be on file in the appropriate offices prior to registration.  Enrolled students are subject to all the rules, regulations and policies of each school and will be charged full tuition and fees currently in effect at each school.  The dental school reserves the right to monitor the student's performance in the dual degree program and may deny continued enrollment if warranted by unsatisfactory academic or disciplinary status.
These dual degrees include:





Graduate School of Graduate Studies


School of Public Health


Rutgers Business School

Postdoctoral Curriculum
Advanced Dental Education training is offered at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine in the areas of Endodontics, General Practice, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Oral Medicine, Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics and Prosthodontics. Once enrolled students participate in a two year core curriculum managed by the Office for Academic Affairs.

CORE Curriculum
The Core Curriculum is designed to provide a broad foundation in the Biomedical Sciences upon which training in postgraduate specialized dental disciplines is based. The Biomedical Science Core Curriculum meets the requirements set forth by the American Dental Association for all advanced dental specialty education. Didactic instruction occurs in a weekly two-hour seminar during both academic years of the postgraduate programs.

Diagnostic Sciences (Oral Medicine Fellowships and General Practice Residency)
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program
Pediatric Dentistry

Master of Dental Science Degree (MDS)
The MDS degree when combined with a two or three year postgraduate certificate program, residency program or clinical post-doctorate program can be completed within the time constraints of the individual program.  This degree program is designed for postgraduate students, residents or clinical post-doctorate students interested in pursuing a clinical career from the various Commissions on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredited specialty and residency programs at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine (see above).
This program is also designed for clinical post-doctorate students interested in pursuing a clinical career in non-CODA accredited programs including:

  • Orofacial pain
  • Oral Radiology
  • Implantology
  • Oral Medicine

This program is designed for non-certificate specialty training students desiring a MDS degree.

Master of Science in Dentistry Degree (MSD)
The MSD degree program is designed for postgraduate students and residents interested in pursuing an academic career with a scholarly and research focus from the various CODA accredited specialty and residency programs at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine.
The MSD degree when combined with a two or three year postgraduate certificate program, residency program or clinical post-doctorate program will require 1 additional year after completion of the certificate program.
The program is designed for clinical post-doctorate students interested in pursuing an academic career with a scholarly and research focus in non-CODA accredited programs including:

  • Orofacial pain
  • Oral Radiology
  • Implantology
  • Oral Medicine

This program is designed for non-certificate specialty training students desiring a MSD degree.

From Practice to Preceptor (FP2P)
Rutgers School of Dental Medicine is addressing the shortage of dental school faculty by recruiting and extensively training a diverse group of dentists to teach and fulfill all roles of effective dental faculty members through its From Practice to Preceptor (FP2P) program.  Over the course of two years, aspiring dental educators will be equipped with a broad skill set enabling them to teach and serve as mentors to the next generation of dentists.

Special Populations Interprofessional Care Experiences (S.P.I.C.E.)
The S.P.I.C.E. program places dental students at community-based health clinics in Newark to work with patients and students from other healthcare fields.  RSDM students collaborate in on-site teams with students from the Rutgers schools of nursing, medicine, social work, pharmacy and health-related professions.  The program aims to increase oral healthcare for thousands of underserved residents, who have little to no access to treatment and preventive care.

(View policy)
Students who seek accommodations from RBHS-Rutgers School of Dental Medicine on the basis of a disability are required to submit a written request for accommodation Office of Disability Services (; Cindy Poore-Pariseau, Ph.D.; Director, Disability Services; Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences; (V) 973 972 5396).  Students may request accommodations at any time during enrollment should the need for accommodations develop, but must provide sufficient time for the evaluation of such requests as outlined in this policy.  Such requests should be submitted by July, prior to an academic year, or at such time as a disability develops.  Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and eligibility will be determined based on the documentation provided. Accommodations may not be arranged directly with course directors.

Advanced Dental Education Applications
The Office for Academic Affairs supervises the student application procedure to advanced dental education programs and residency programs of various kinds offered by educational institutions, hospitals, state agencies, etc.  The Office for Academic Affairs assists students and graduates in applying to these programs by preparing "Dean's Letters of Recommendation" as well as any other information requested by the students/graduates.  The Office for Academic Affairs also hosts a "Match Day Reception" each year to celebrate the success of our students' placement in their desired advanced dental education programs.

Course Syllabi
The Office for Academic Affairs manages the collection and distribution of all pre-doctoral course syllabi to students.  The course syllabus includes information about the goals and requirements for each course, schedule of lectures/laboratory, competencies taught and tested, course content, topic outlines, methods of evaluation and specific departmental policies distributed by course directors at the beginning of each course. Each department determines the manner in which students are examined and the criteria for evaluating performance.

Course Evaluations
The Office for Academic Affairs administers the course evaluations for all undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Course evaluations provide an anonymous online survey mechanism for students.  Information gathered helps maintain the quality of our curriculum.  Course directors use the feedback to continually update their courses.

Examination Archive
The Office for Academic Affairs manages the Examination Archive Site located in Moodle. Examinations in this archive are for informational purposes only and are intended solely as study aids for students.

The Student Academic Performance Committee (SAPC)
The Student Academic Performance Committee is responsible for recommending policy to the Executive Council relating to the academic and professional performance and progress of students.  It meets regularly to review student's performance and make recommendations for academic action.  The committee develops, maintains and upholds the academic regulations for the school.  The SAPC will determine whether any academic action is necessary, and the student will be informed of such, in writing, by the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, or their designee.

The Curriculum Committee
The management of the pre-doctoral dental curriculum is under the direction of the Curriculum Committee in collaboration with the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs.  The evolving nature of health sciences, of dental practice and of our understanding of the adult learning process dictates that the school must have a responsive process that continually stimulates curricular improvement. Charged with the oversight of the pre-doctoral curriculum, the membership of the committee is designed to assure that all constituencies (faculty, students, and administration) have an appropriate voice in the planning, administration and evaluation of the curriculum.

The Master Educator Review Committee
The purpose of the Master Educators' Guild is to recognize and promote excellence in the University's educational mission and to contribute to educational scholarship, research and innovation.  The goals are to facilitate and support the improvement of educational effectiveness and innovation and conduct scholarly activity. Master educators are chosen by their deans from nominations by their peers, students, other faculty, administrators, and department chairs.  University-wide, school based committees annually review and approve nominees, who are inducted as Guild members, (for a renewable term of five years), each fall at the University Day ceremonies.  The Office for Academic Affairs staffs the annual review committee for Rutgers School of Dental Medicine and manages the overall selection process.  Final selection however is made by the Dean of the dental school. Additional information:

The Code Selection Committee
Following an orientation to the Community Oriented Dental Education (CODE) program, review of student academic progress and performance, the Office for Academic Affairs convenes a selection committee that makes the final decision on the list of students that will participate in the CODE program.  *Please refer to the CODE program under the Special Program section below for more information about this program.

The CODE (Community Oriented Dental Education) Program
The Community Oriented Dental Education program is the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine's (RSDM) plan to expand its curriculum beyond dental school walls, thus creating an opportunity for senior dental students to treat patients outside of the school and within the community.
Information page

Michael Balbo Dental Expo and Research Day
The Expo is named in honor of Dr. Michael Balbo a faculty member and student advocate who started the Dental Exposition Program to expose students to the many facets of the dental profession.  It is a school wide event devoted to research, continuing education, mini-lectures and poster presentations about the most recent technological advances in dentistry.  In collaboration with the American Dental Association, the Office for Academic Affairs provides lecture series specifically geared toward the dental student.

The Office for Academic Affairs assembles and distributes the Academic Calendar and Academic Schedule for each year.  The Academic Calendar includes trimester dates, summer clinic, remediation period, student holidays and vacations and the dates of student activities.  The Academic Schedule provides the daily timing of courses for each dental school class.
Academic Calendar
Academic Schedule


Academic Technology and Faculty Development

National Board Dental Examinations Information