DMD Curriculum

Curriculum Goals

The goal of the curriculum of the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine is to prepare competent general practitioners who are able to manage the oral health care of the public.

GOAL 1: Demonstrate an understanding of the structural and functional pathologies of cells, organs and systems, and their interrelationship to the oral-facial complex and oral health care.

GOAL 2: Demonstrate comprehension of dental anatomy and occlusion.

GOAL 3: Demonstrate knowledge of the etiology, diagnosis and prevention of dental diseases and orofacial pain.

GOAL 4: Demonstratethe abilityto conducta detailedhistory andexamination, and formulate a diagnosis and comprehensive treatment plan.

GOAL 5: Demonstrate the knowledge and ability to select and utilize appropriate pain management techniques and dental materials in clinical practice.

GOAL 5: Perform clinical procedures to a level necessary to begin the independent practice of general dentistry.

GOAL 6: Demonstrate an awareness of and sensitivity diversity, and the ability to treat patients with regard for their personal values.

GOAL 7: Demonstrate the abilities for critical thinking, to self-assess and to practice evidence-based dentistry.

GOAL 8: Demonstrate the ability to recognize when to seek consultation with other healthcare professionals and an understanding of their role in an interprofessional healthcare team.

GOAL 9: Model high ethical and professional standards, and demonstrate an understanding of principals of practice management as well as of legal and regulatory concepts related to professional practice.

GOAL 10: Develop interpersonal skills to effectively communicate with patients and other healthcare professionals.

GOAL 11: Demonstrate an understanding of professional responsibility, a commitment to service, and the ability to promote wellness through teaching prevention and oral health care.


Course syllabi which include information about the goals and requirements for each course, course content, topic outlines, methods of evaluation and specific departmental policies are 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. Within five (5) working days of the conclusion of a course or the date of the final examination, final letter grades are transmitted to the Registrar's Office for recording on the student's permanent academic record (transcript). Valid letter grades and their values are:

Letter Grade Description Grade Points Numerical Scores

A Excellent 4.00 90-100
B+ 3.50 85-89
B Average 3.00 80-84
C+ 2.50 75-79
C Fair 2.00 70-74
D Unacceptable 1.00 65-69
F Failure 0.00 60 - 64
FR Failure/Repeat 0.00 59 and below
DC, FC Grade on remediation

The DC or FC is awarded in a didactic or preclinical laboratory course after successful remediation or completion of deficient requirements in a clinical course. The new grade is recorded on the transcript in addition to the previous grade.

Grade point averages (GPA's) are calculated to determine the rank in class and eligibility for promotion for each student. It is dental school policy that, for the purposes of determining class rank, a grade point average will be computed using ONLY the FIRST grade obtained in each course. For the purpose of determining eligibility for promotion and Satisfactory Academic Progress, grades earned on REMEDIATION or REPETITION of a course will be used to calculate the grade point average.

Grades which are not included in the computation of the grade point averages are:

AU - Audit
EXT - Exempt
I - Incomplete
P - Pass
S - Satisfactory
U - Unsatisfactory
WP - Withdrawn-Passing
WF - Withdrawn-Failing
X - Suspension for Administrative Reasons

The AU (Audit) grade is noted on the transcript for a student who has successfully completed a course in a previous trimester, but is mandated by the SAPC or the course director to attend the course to maintain knowledge and/or skills. The auditing student must attend all classes and take all quizzes, examinations, practicals, etc., but will not receive a grade other than the "AU".

The EXT (Exempt) grade is noted on the transcript for a student who, upon application to the department chair involved, is not required to participate in a course (usually a basic science course) because of the student's documented previous knowledge of the subject matter.

The I (Incomplete) grade is an interim grade awarded to a student who has been unable to complete a course due to being on an approved leave of absence, service to the dental school, unscheduled curricular activity or as determined by an ad hoc Clinical Progress Committee.

The P (Pass) grade is awarded following successful completion of certain mandatory courses and fourth year Selective/Elective courses.

The S (Satisfactory) and U (Unsatisfactory) grades may be given as mid-course (for courses that continue into subsequent trimester[s]) and/or end-of-trimester evaluations. These evaluations are not included on the student's permanent academic record (transcript) but are noted on a "grade report" which is given to the student at mid-course and/or end-of-trimester.

The WP (Withdrawn-Passing) or WF (Withdrawn-Failing) grade is awarded when a student withdraws from a course before its conclusion. In both cases, the grade remains on the permanent academic record, and the student is required to repeat the course.

The X (Suspension) grade will be awarded to any course in progress when a student is removed from the school for non-academic reasons (cheating, theft, etc.). The suspension notation will remain on the student's permanent academic record.

The full grading policy may be reviewed in the DMD Student Handbook at


The National Board Dental Examinations provide standardized methods by which states assess whether students are competent to begin the independent practice of dentistry. All students are required to take and successfully complete both Part I and Part II of the National Dental Board Examinations, administered by the Council of the National Board of Dental Examiners of the ADA in order to successfully complete the RSDM curriculum.

The full policy regarding completion of the National Board Dental Examinations may be reviewed in the DMD Student Handbook at


The degree of Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) will be conferred upon the candidate who has met the following requirements:

1. Regular attendance for the prescribed period of four academic years of instruction;

2. Satisfactory completion of curricular requirements in the preclinical and clinical areas of each of the years of study;

3. Adherence to high standards of moral and professional conduct;

4. Payment of all financial obligations, including dental store debts; (After a specified date in April, only cashier's checks, certified checks or money orders will be accepted.)

5. Return of all loan equipment, patient charts, gold, etc. to the dental school;

6. Passage of both Part I and Part II of the National Board Dental Examination;

7. Completion of all course evaluations.

8. Completion of all requirements within five (5) academic years after first enrollment in the program. (Excluding the combined DMD/PhD program.)

9. Only those students who have completed all of the above requirements by September 1 will receive a diploma with the May commencement date. Those completing requirements after September 1, but before the next May commencement date, will receive a diploma with an alternate date.


Commencement is a University-wide function. All graduates are expected to attend unless excused for a legitimate reason


Hoods signifying degrees conferred by RBHS, as registered with the Intercollegiate Bureau of Academic Costume, are lined with golden yellow and have a chevron of garnet. The dental hood is faced with lilac velvet.


The study of dentistry requires the same high standards of personal integrity and ethical conduct as the practice of dentistry itself. Students at RBHS-Rutgers School of Dental Medicine are expected to demonstrate the self-discipline, honesty and respect for the rights of others which their future profession demands. This involves every aspect of student life whether observed or unobserved and whether relating to peers, to patients or to the faculty and staff.

A judicial committee of students and faculty meets to determine breaches of conduct. The functions of this body and the procedures for convening it are outlined in the "Student Rights and Responsibilities Document" found in the Student Handbook.