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Masks continue to be required for everyone entering the School of Dentistry. Learn more about COVID-19 precautions …

Doctor of Dental Surgery

Students heading to white coat ceremony

UTHealth School of Dentistry is located in the Texas Medical Center (TMC), the world's largest medical complex with 48 member institutions dedicated to the highest quality in patient care, research and education.

The most advanced equipment and educational technology are available at UTSD. For example, our Clinical Simulation and Learning Center was the first in the world to incorporate electronic patient records, multi-media and mannequins in an actual clinic setting. Before treating real patients, our students train with virtual patients complete with demographics, medical histories, diagnostic images, photographs and even digital models.

The School of Dentistry admits 105 predoctoral dental students each year. The school year consists of two 18-week semesters and one eight-week summer session. A new dual-degree option is available for students interested in earning an MPH concurrently with the DDS degree.


For a detailed breakdown of tuition and fees, please visit the Office of the Registrar.

For estimated Cost of Attendance (educational AND living expenses) and information on how this may affect the amount of financial aid you can receive, please visit Student Financial Services.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) reserves the right to make revisions in curriculum and requirements of all programs. Tuition and fees are subject to change according to the Texas Legislature, UT System Board of Regents, and/or the University.



DDS student study group

We offer a program that provides our students with the opportunity to qualify for the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree and for eligibility for licensure in the 50 states and Puerto Rico.

The curriculum includes basic sciences, behavioral sciences, preclinical sciences, and clinical sciences. The instruction in basic and preclinical sciences, along with initial clinical experiences, are the primary focus in the first two years of study, with more emphasis placed on clinical sciences during the final two years.

Accepted Students

  • General Information
    Letter of Intent

    First, reply to the email that you received notifying you of your conditional acceptance. This way, the Office of Student Affairs is aware of your intentions as soon as possible. Then print the Letter of Intent, sign it, and return it to:

    UTHealth School of Dentistry
    Office of Student and Academic Affairs 
    Crystal Zarate
    7500 Cambridge St, Suite 4120
    Houston, TX 77054


    Keep an eye out for an email from Griselda Avila for your invitation to the Open House and White Coat ceremony, which will take place the Saturday after orientation. You’ll need to RSVP for yourself and your guests (5 maximum).

    Official Transcripts

    The Office of the Registrar needs official transcripts of ALL college coursework. Even if nothing has changed since you sent transcripts during the application process, you still need to have final official transcripts sent to:

    Office of the Registrar
    P.O. Box 20036
    Houston, TX 77225-0036

    Submit: May 1 through June 1

    Student Identification Badges

    To better assist our incoming classes, we ask that you send a recent passport-type photo(white background) to be used on your student ID badges. These should be sent electronically to beginning April 1 of the year of entry, but no later than June 1.

    Core Residency Questionnaire

    All residency decisions are determined by TMDSAS and our Registrar’s Office will accept these decisions as final and official. The only time a “Core Residency Form” will need to be submitted to our Registrar’s Office is when it is determined that a DDS student is a non-resident by TMDSAS. ALWAYS PROMPTLY CHECK YOUR TUITION BILL FOR ACCURACY.

    DDS Entering Guide 2020-2021

    Please read through the entire DDS Entering Guide 2020-2021 guide as it offers very important information to our entering class.

    If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail

  • Criminal Background Check
    Information for New Students
    Please read through ALL the information. The answers to frequently asked questions are provided below, as well as information that you will need to know.

    • Once you have completed your application, please review the information you provided before submitting to avoid a delay in your background check.
    • If you have your phone or computer set to Auto fill, then you absolutely need to double check the information you entered.
    • If there is a problem with your application or additional information is needed, we will contact you using the email address that you provided. Please double check that you provided a valid email address. You are responsible for replying to our email when information is updated, as we will not be notified otherwise and your background check will not be started.
    • You will receive an email when your background check has been accepted. Your background check will usually begin processing within 1-3 business days; however, we cannot guarantee this time. Please complete the process as soon as possible to avoid exceeding the deadline.
    • Please do NOT contact The Pre-Check Company for the status of your background check. The completed background check will be sent directly to the school. You will not receive notification when it is completed.
    • Students with criminal activity or that have lived outside of Texas may take longer to process. Additional fees may apply for certain counties. We will contact you if an additional fee is required.
    • International students will take longer to process. The processing time varies per country. There will be an additional fee for all International background checks. This fee also varies per country. After reviewing your completed application, we will contact you with the fee amount and if any additional information is required.
    • If you have any questions, please e-mail Shannan Tighe.
    • Please do NOT call The Pre-Check Company.

    Step by Step Instructions for New Students

    • Go to Pre-Check and click on "Apply Here." Once you enter the application, please complete the following steps:
    • Fill in your contact information. The application is based on your e-mail address so if you need to apply again for another background check, you will need to use a different e-mail address.
    • Pay the $44 fee via credit card using the Submit Payment button.  
    • Click “yes” if you have paid and then Submit Now.
      • Your background check will not be started until payment is received.
    • Read through the Acknowledgements.  
      • Click Submit Now.
    • Provide your Identity Information.
      • If you do not have a middle initial, fill the space with a period.
        • Please do not put n/a, no middle name, etc. in the middle initial field.
      • If you do not have a former name, you can leave this section blank.
        • Please do not provide your current name again in this section.
      • If you do not have a Social Security Number, fill in 000-00-0000.
    • Click Next Section.
    • Complete the Current Residence Section.
      • Click Next Section.
    • Complete the Previous Residence Section.
      • If you do not have a prior address, you can leave this section blank.
      • Click Next Section.
    • Complete ALL of the Criminal Record Information.
      • Click Next Section.
    • Electronically sign the Student Release for Background Investigation.
      • Click Next Section.
    • Complete the Non-United States Residency form.
      • Please note: It is not assumed that you are, and have been, a resident of the U.S. for at least 6 months. All applicants are required to complete this form before your background check can be accepted.
  • Immunizations

    Beginning late March our Registrar's Office will begin emailing your User ID and Password to access MyUTH (Student System). You will need this User ID and Password for the link below.

    You must document your immunizations through myUTH and upload supporting proof of all immunization requirements. To submit your immunization you will need to log into myUTH and select the Immunizations links under the “Holds and To Dos” sections. Once you list required dates and submit your records you will be asked to upload your immunization documentation. You will be able to upload multiple documents.

    After you have logged and submitted all required information and it has been verified by our office we will release your immunization hold. We recommend that you submit this information immediately to avoid any delays in your registration process.

    View Immunization Requirements.

    Please note:

    • You must submit a copy of the laboratory report on all titers.
    • Please submit your immunization record only when you have uploaded ALL of the required documents.
    • Your uploaded documentation must be legible.
    • We recommend that students keep a personal copy of their immunizations and titers for future needs.

    If there are any questions regarding immunization requirements please contact Student Health Services at 713-500-5171.

  • Insurance

    Beginning late March our Registrar's Office will begin emailing out your User ID and Password to access MyUTH (Student System). You will need this User ID and Password to either submit proof of your health insurance or confirm your participation in academic health plans.

    Health Insurance Requirements for All Students:

    The Board of Regents of The University of Texas System mandates health insurance (Texas Education Code Section 51.961) for all students enrolled in the UT System health components. As such, each UTHealth student who cannot provide evidence of continuing coverage under another approved plan will be enrolled in the student insurance plan with Academic HealthPlans and assessed a health insurance fee.

    Before being able to register for classes each semester, every student must complete the health insurance certification process through his/her MyUTH account. Through this process, students either provide proof of their own coverage or confirm their participation in Academic HealthPlans. To waive this fee you are required to show proof of current health insurance coverage through another provider by completing the information below before the twelfth day of class for the Fall/Spring semester and the fourth day of class for the Summer semester of every academic year. Failure to provide this information before the deadline will result in forfeiting your option to waive the health insurance coverage and associated fee. Please note that it is not necessary to submit the waiver every semester, as after submitting the waiver in the fall and/or spring semester, the insurance fee will be removed from your bill for the remaining academic year.

    Please visit UTHealth Auxiliary Enterprises - Student Insurance for more information.

  • Collect Teeth

    Procedures For Handling Extracted Teeth:

    Collection, storage, sterilization and handling of extracted teeth to be used for educational purposes at the School of Dentistry follows Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations and guidelines.

    Before being used in an educational setting, extracted teeth that do not contain amalgam can be steam heat sterilized to allow for safe handling. Microbial growth can be eliminated by using an autoclave cycle for 40 minutes.

    Extracted teeth containing amalgam restorations should not be heat-sterilized because of the potential health hazard from mercury vaporization and exposure. If extracted teeth containing amalgam restorations are to be used, immersion in 10% formalin, solution for 2 weeks is recommended for disinfecting both the internal and external structures of the teeth. The School of Dentistry uses disinfection in formalin to eliminate microbial growth on all teeth.

    • Sources of extracted teeth:
      • Oral Diagnosis Department – Pathology Laboratory, Room SOD 6110. You must wear gown, gloves, mask and protective eyewear when selecting teeth from this source.
      • Private Practice – Teeth acquired by students from private practitioners must be placed in a holding solution as described below. Teeth must also be submitted for sterilization or disinfection as described below.
    • Holding Solution - Use 0.5% sodium hypochlorite (1:10 dilution of commercial chlorine bleach) in wide-mouthed plastic jars for initial collection and storage medium. This solution is available in the laboratory, DBB 3130.
    • Sterilization and Disinfection of Extracted Teeth:
        • Steam Sterilization - The teeth must be cleaned of visible blood and gross debris and maintained in a hydrated state in a well constructed closed container filled with 0.5% sodium hypochlorite (1:10 dilution of commercial chlorine bleach) until ready for sterilization.
        • Formalin - Teeth with amalgam cannot be steam sterilized and must be disinfected in a solution of 10% Formalin for a period of two weeks.
    • All teeth are to be submitted to Educational Support Services (SOD 3450) for disinfection.
    • Use of Extracted Teeth for Laboratory/Mock Board/Western Regional Examining Board:
      • Disinfection - Before use in the laboratory or in preparation for mock board and the Western Regional Examining board, all extracted teeth must be sterilized or disinfected as described above.
      • Approval for Use of Teeth – After the extracted teeth have been disinfected as described above, they should be submitted to the Educational Support Staff overseeing the preclinical lab prior to using the teeth in lab. Prior to using teeth for Mock Board or Western Regional Examining Board, submit the previously formalin disinfected teeth to the appropriate faculty members for approval.
      • Personal Protective Attire – Wear gowns, gloves, masks and protective eyewear any time that you handle extracted teeth.
      • Holding Solution and Collection Jars – Sodium hypochlorite holding solution is to be poured down the drain followed by generous amount water. Discard the collection jars and their lids in biohazard waste receptacles.
      • Surface Disinfection – Countertops and desktops must be disinfected using Sani Cloth Plus wipes.