Our 2017 students performance on the Commission on Dental Competency clinical licensing exam was 96 percent, the top score in the U.S. In 2016, 90 percent of students seeking placement through a match were placed, compared to 67 percent nationally.
RSDM is highly selective, admitting only 89 students from a pool of 1,898 applicants for the Class of 2019. Our holistic admissions process values life experience, compassion and well-roundedness in addition to test scores and GPA. We seek non-traditional students from all walks of life, including older students and those who are pursuing dentistry after succeeding in a previous career. We are also proud of our reputation as a place where LGBTQ students thrive in a safe and welcoming atmosphere.
Our student mix is truly global. The Class of 2021 includes members from 20 countries, speaking a total of 30 languages. Nearly 47 percent of our students are from minority groups, including underrepresented minorities, reflecting Rutgers University’s status as one of the most diverse academic institutions in the nation. In his 2016 commencement speech at Rutgers, President Obama observed, “America converges here.”
Within the past year, we created new educational programs and further developed others. RSDM instituted a pilot program that enables two students to participate in an honors curriculum for special needs dentistry, which helps patients with disabilities. We have one of the only clinics in the region that focuses on patients who need special care and all students are required to complete a rotation there.
Our flourishing two-year International Dentistry program, founded in 2007, enables qualified dentists educated outside the U.S. or Canada to earn a DMD degree.
We also expanded our interdisciplinary curriculum, providing more opportunities for our students to work with students from other healthcare disciplines, including medical students, pharmacy students and nutrition students, among others.
Last year, with help from a $2 million federal grant, our students completed interdisciplinary work at the Rutgers Community Health Center, helping patients in our hometown of Newark. RSDM students screened patients for dental and oral healthcare problems and provided education about healthy teeth and gums while working with nursing students and others.
Our predental programs, Decision fpr Dentistry, for high schoolers, and Gateway to Dentistry, for college students, were some of the first programs of their kind when they were established more than a decade ago and continue to successfully prepare future dental students.