Office of Student Affairs

Rutgers School of Dental Medicine
110 Bergen Street
Newark, NJ 07103-2400

Dr. Kim E. Fenesy, Vice Dean
Room B-825

Dr. Herminio Perez, Director of Student and Multicultural Affairs
Room B-828
Director of Student and Multicultural Affairs

LaToia Taylor, Director of Enrollment & Academic Support Services
Room B-826     

Pat Wagner, Executive Assistant
Room B-825

Ms. Onyx Newby, Administrative Assistant
Room B-825

Ms. Nicole Hague, Secretary III
Room B-830

Ms. Maribel Larracuentes, Secretary IV
Room B-830

The purpose of the Office of Student Affairs is to ensure that students at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine are provided with the necessary student services and counseling in an environment which produces academic excellence. It also monitors the academic programs of students to ensure that students and graduates are among the highest quality health care practitioners, sensitive to ethical issues, the community-at-large and professional responsibilities. The Office of Student Affairs receives, reviews and aids in satisfactory solutions to student problems and is a source of pertinent information. Students should feel free to contact this office for advice and, when necessary, referral to other appropriate offices.

Included in the Office of Student Affairs are the Office of Admissions and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. The Office of Admissions is responsible for all DMD and post-graduate acceptances to the dental school. The Office of Multicultural Affairs aids:

  • Students by providing support and retention of all students through the promotion of: (1) a positive education environment that promotes culturally sensitive interactions, (2) sponsoring programs that address the needs of students on a personal, academic, social and cultural level, and (3) providing oral health experiences in culturally diverse settings in the surrounding community.
  • Faculty by supporting underrepresented faculty/staff, providing training to assist in their roles as mentors and teachers and in particular students of an underrepresented background, and improving diversity relationships amongst the faculty
  • Community by initiating and executing community projects that allow members of the RSDM family to work with the surrounding community to alleviate unmet oral health needs as well as promote cultural sensitivity awareness.
  • Oversees the admissions and orientation of the the International Dentists Program

Handbook and Policies

The Office of Student Affairs is responsible for maintaining the Student Handbook.  The aim of the Handbook is to provide students with a clear statement of the policies that govern the academic programs and delineate student responsibilities. The Student Handbook may be viewed here.

All RSDM Student Policies are available in the student handbook. Excerpts of policies of frequent student interest are listed below.

Confidentiality of Student Records In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and its subsequent amendments, RSDM students have the right to review, inspect, and challenge the accuracy of certain information kept in a cumulative file by the schools in which they are enrolled, unless the student waives this right.  The entire policy may be reviewed at here

Convocation The weekend prior to the University-wide Commencement the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine hosts a formal Convocation for graduates and their families.  Graduates and faculty participate in an academic procession and recession; academic awards are distributed, and graduates are hooded.  University officials and representatives from various dental organizations are in attendance to honor the graduates. 

Dual Degree Programs Interested students are encouraged to apply for admission to any of the dual degree programs offered in conjunction with one of our sister schools.  These dual degrees include a DMD/MS or a DMD/PhD with the RSDM-Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, a DMD/MPH with the RSDM-School of Public Health and a DMD/MS with the School of Health Related Professions.

Authorization to pursue one of these dual degree programs MUST be obtained from both the RSDM Office of Student Affairs and the secondary school prior to enrollment.  Enrollment forms are available from each school's Registrar's office and MUST be on file in the appropriate offices prior to registration.

For further information on the dual degree programs, contact the Admissions Office at RSDM-Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, at RSDM-School of Public Health or RSDM-School of Health Related Professions for details.

Student Programs and Activities

The Externship Program. Students are eligible to participate in an optional externship program during the summer recess following their third year of dental school or during their fourth year winter break. Some exceptions are made for third year students who wish to participate during winter or spring break of their third year or in the summer recess following their second year. These students must have passed their National Boards Part I and be in good academic standing. These externship opportunities are OBSERVATION ONLY. The Externship Program is designed to develop and enhance the following characteristics of the students:

All externships are reviewed and must be approved by the Office of Student Affairs.

  1. Social awareness and skills needed in treating underserved populations;
  2. Knowledge and skills utilized in patient management and in certain aspects of practice management;
  3. Clinical efficiency; 
  4. Professional competence and self-confidence; 
  5. Knowledge and skills involving research, scientific inquiry and public policy relating to oral health.
The program can be reviewed here.

Fraternities Four dental fraternities, Alpha Omega, Gamma Pi Delta, Psi Omega and Xi Psi Phi have large and active chapters at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine.  The fraternities and Society offer social as well as tutorial, clinical and other educational services to their members.

Foresight Program The goal of the Foresight program is to offer guidance to entering freshman students prior, during, and after their Orientation week at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. The Foresight Leaders are chosen from the prior freshmen class. They are selected by the Office of Student Affairs to be positive role models for incoming students. They are a diverse group representing different ethnicities, ages, and genders. They are obligated to attend an Orientation to learn about the program, what their roles are, and how they are to present information to the incoming class.

Each Foresight Leader is given the name, phone number, and email of a group of incoming students to contact. The goal is to give the incoming students information and answer questions to help them get familiar with their new environment. The Foresight Leaders participate in specifically designated Orientation week functions. They also plan evening social activities and run the interim-elections for the new class. After Orientation, the mentors are asked to meet informally with their group for lunch once a month for two months, and to stay available to offer information and support throughout the new students' first year in dental school.

Gateway to Dentistry This unique program was designed to introduce undergraduate students to the wide range of career options associated with the dental profession.  This intensive internship program based at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine offers to all prospective applicants a challenging and informative hands-on dental experience. The program brochure can be reviewed here.

The Honor Council and The Hearing Body The Honor Council serves to promote, protect and preserve the highest professional standards and ethical conduct among students. The Hearing Body reviews and adjudicates all allegations and infractions of professional standards and ethical conduct. The membership of these bodies and their charges are described at here:

Housing The new graduate student and resident housing on the Newark campus of RSDM (180 West Market Street) will open its doors to students this fall. Consisting of 233 fully furnished studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, the building will house RSDM students, residents and post docs from the University's medical, dental, nursing and other schools. For further details, see our web site at:

Leaves of Absence Students who need to interrupt their studies temporarily must apply in writing for a leave of absence and meet with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Forms are available to assist in putting your request in writing to assure all required information is included. Registration is not required during a leave of absence nor will the period of the leave of absence be included in established time limits for the degree. A leave of absence can be no longer than one academic year. In extreme circumstances and upon the student's written request, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs may extend the leave of absence for an additional academic year. Any student request for an additional extension of the leave of absence must be presented to and granted by the Executive council. No leave of absence will be extended beyond three consecutive academic years. The full policy on leaves of absence is at:

Student Handbook


Regular Medical-Leave-Requests

Registration Unless granted a formal leave of absence, students enrolled in the D.M.D. program are required to register each academic year until the degree is awarded.  Registration for any academic year is not completed until tuition and all required fees have been paid and all requirements for immunizations have been met.  All students must comply with University bylaws, policies and procedures while enrolled in the School.  Policies can be reviewed at

The Student Academic Advisor Program The RSDM advising program was established to increase student retention and performance. RSDM offers advising to students through trained faculty advisors who serve as resources to students experiencing academic or adjustment difficulties and complement the overall academic advising process. A student who has been identified as having difficulty or who would like this type of support may be assigned to a trained faculty advisor with whom he or she will meet regularly to discuss the ways and means to alleviate academic difficulties. More Info >>

The Student Handbook The Office of Student Affairs is responsible for maintaining the integrity and correctness of all information in the Student Handbook.  The aim of the Handbook is to provide students with a clear statement of the policies that govern the academic programs and delineate student responsibilities.  The Student Handbook may be viewed here.


Under the University's policy (Student/Housestaff Ombudspersons Policy), each Dean has appointed an ombudsperson as a designated, confidential resource for students and housestaff ("visitors") seeking information or solutions to problems.

The unique nature of the ombudsperson is one of neutrality, impartiality and independence from the School's and University's established administrative structures. Thus, the ombudsperson is not a student/house officer advocate and does not represent the student's or house officer's interests.

The ombudsperson is also not an agent of the institution, is not responsible for academic or disciplinary decisions concerning students or housestaff, and is independent of all administrators who are, such as deans or program directors. Instead, the ombudsperson aims for fairness, and impartially considers the interests of all parties. The ombudsperson does not make decisions, render judgments or administer sanctions. Instead, she or he identifies options, provides information, refers visitors to other resources if appropriate, facilitates communication between people, may mediate disputes or negotiate resolutions between parties, and recommends changes in policy or procedure to School/University administrators.

Student Organizations At Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, students are involved in the many social, professional and educational activities which exist outside of the normal dental academics.  All students are members of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA), a national organization of dental students which is associated with the American Dental Association (ADA).  In addition, some students elect to join other organizations such as the Student National Dental Association (SNDA), a national organization of minority dental students or the American Association of Dental Schools (AADS).  There are many social and athletic activities throughout the year, the most notable being the annual winter dance.  Students are involved in much of the decision-making at RSDM with voting representatives on certain faculty and administrative committees.

  1. Student Government Association (SGA) The SGA is the main governing body of the students.  The charge of this organization is to uphold the general well-being of the student body, provide proper management of student affairs and maintain the obligations and responsibilities of dental students.  The representation on the SGA consists of (1) an elected Board of Officers which includes the President, Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer; (2) a Representative Council which includes the President and four representatives from each class; and (3) other specifically elective representatives.
  2. The fraternity, Alpha Omega has an active chapter at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, which offers social as well as tutorial, clinical and other educational services to members.
  3. American Student Dental Association (ASDA) The ASDA is an association which constantly addresses itself to the needs and interests of its members and the public whom they serve.  The ASDA helps in facilitating the process by which students can become active participants in professional affairs and to activate constructive and progressive change where necessary.
  4. The Student National Dental Association (SNDA) The SNDA was founded as an organization of minority dental students to speak to such present issues as recruitment/retention of minorities and future issues confronting minorities in organized dentistry.  The local chapter of SNDA at RSDM sponsors community-oriented activities as well as social, tutorial and other educational services to its members.
  5. The Hispanic Student Dental Association (HSDA) The HSDA meets regularly to conduct business and address issues relating to all students, but particularly Hispanic students, through a peer initiative program.  The HSDA celebrates November as Hispanic Heritage Month by a mid-day event with ethnic food and music and other activities.
  6. The Indian Student Dental Association (ISDA) The ISDA is a student organization that seeks to promote health care in the under served, minority and immigrant communities through health fairs, free screenings, and community service events. It provides a forum for members to interact socially and with other organizations, while promoting cultural diversity throughout the school.
  7. American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD) AAWD dedicates itself to enhancing and promoting unique participation and leadership for women in organized dentistry. The student chapter at RSDM seeks to mentor and support women students professionally, academically and personally.
  8. American Academy of General Dentistry (AAGD) The purpose of the student chapter is to introduce junior and senior class students to organized dentistry, continuing dental education and instill the concept of life-long learning.
  9. American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) The AADMD is a student organization focused on increasing students' awareness of and skills in caring for the special needs population.
  10. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) To serve as a link for the RSDM community to the underserved pediatric population of the Newark and surrounding areas by providing dental health information to children in local schools and other organizations within the community.
  11. American Dental Education Association (ADEA) ADEA is committed to being the voice of the divers and dynamic process that is dental education, helping foster a healthier community and advocate for better access to dental care

The Tutorial Assistance Program Tutorial assistance is the interception component of our academic support systems. Tutorial assistance is offered to all students who have been identified as being in need of additional assistance.  Tutorials are provided by upperclassmen who have been selected by the course director as qualified to tutor in a specific discipline.  There is no charge to the student for this service.

More Info >>

Transcripts All Currently enrolled students and alumni can submit a transcript request online at under Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (Formerly RBHS) Students.  All financial obligations must be met before any transcript is released.

Only RSDM transcripts may be released to outside institutions or individuals.  Non-RSDM transcripts received as part of the application process remain the property of RSDM and are never released to the student or other outside institutions or individuals.  Those seeking to send non-RSDM transcripts to a third party must send their request for a transcript to the original institution.  However, students do retain the right to view these records.

White Coat Ceremony Shortly after matriculation, the incoming class is honored at a reception which welcomes them to the profession of dentistry. The formal part of the ceremony includes the distribution to each student of their personal white coats.


The amount of tuition and fees as well as the type of fees are subject to change without notice.  A deferred payment plan may be arranged with the Office of Administration and Finance.  Although the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine is on an academic trimester calendar, tuition and fees are assessed on a semester (twice a year) basis.

The University's policy on "Student Residence and In-State Tuition" is at


A full breakdown of student fees and other financial expenses are available here.