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Dental Medicine Doctor (DMD)​

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Request Information

Request information

"*" indicates required fields

By submitting this form, you are giving your express written consent for Ponce Health Sciences University to contact you regarding our educational programs and services using email, telephone, or text - including our use of automated technology for calls or texts to the number you provided here. This consent is not required to purchase goods or services. You may opt-out at any time.

Program Description

This is a 4-year program with a comprehensive competency-based curriculum. Students will be immersed in a biomedical, behavioral, and preclinical sciences didactic education curriculum during the first year. The second year will provide preclinical dentistry experiences supported by simulation facilities. In addition, years three and four of the DMD program will provide additional clinical instruction, assessments, and the opportunity to develop and demonstrate competencies necessary to perform as a general dentist.

The School of Dental Medicine (SDM) offers the Predoctoral Dental (DMD) Education Program conducive to a Doctorate in Dental Medicine.


The Mission of the PHSU-SDM will be to prepare culturally competent, excellence driven, ethical dental practitioners with the empathy and academic preparation to provide dental care to underserved populations.

To accomplish this, the School is committed to a curriculum design of four interrelated activities: teaching, research, patient care, and service. Development and discovery, dissemination, and use of knowledge toward enhancing oral health and overall health is a major component of our mission.


Shaping oral health education to improve people’s lives, both at an individual and community level in collaboration with other health professionals. 

Class of 50 students per year

For Puerto Rico Residents and non-residents

Continuing education center

We are part of a brilliant dental and dental allied educational community.

Full time in person program

The Dental Medicine Doctor (DMD) program goals are:
  • Provide dental students with a high-quality educational curriculum that integrates evidence-based knowledge in biomedical and behavioral sciences, as well clinical skills necessary to become competent and ethical professionals.
  • Deliver patient-centered comprehensive oral care to underserved population within our community.
  • Enhance recognition of the institution’s commitment to excellence in basic and clinical research, scholarship, and creative pursuits, supporting existing investigators and recruiting new highly qualified researchers.
  • Promote and support continued education to faculty and staff to achieve excellence in education and service.


What is the CLEP exam equivalent to, and how many credits can it validate?

The CLEP exam is equivalent to the College Board Advanced Placement. It is a standardized test administered by the College Board that allows students to demonstrate proficiency in various subjects. Successful completion of the CLEP exam can validate up to 6 college Spanish or English credits at PHSU. However, to fulfill the minimum requirement of 12 credits in Spanish and English, only 6 credits from the CLEP exam will be accepted, while the remaining 6 credits must be earned from courses taken at an accredited university. 

 Candidates must present transcripts from all academic institutions they have attended, including community colleges, universities, and any other post-secondary educational institutions. The GPA calculation must include all coursework completed at the undergraduate level.

Candidates who have taken Spanish courses at a second university must obtain an official transcript that includes their grades for those courses. This transcript is necessary for evaluating and transferring the credits earned in Spanish coursework.

Dentists who graduated abroad from schools not accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) can apply for admission to the PHSU dental program starting in August 2024. However, as PHSU does not have an advanced placement program, they must complete the four years of the program for their accredited Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree, which is valid for practice in Puerto Rico and the United States. The admission requirements for these candidates are the same as those for regular students, and their program of study will be the same as that for other students. PHSU is considering establishing an advanced placement program in the future, but such programs would require CODA approval, and there is no set date for their implementation at this time.

Candidates who are completing requirements after the admission offer, must submit the official transcript with the approval of required courses before May 31 of the year. If the student does not approve or provide evidence, the admission offer is revoked.

International students must meet all standard admission requirements applicable to resident students.

The university currently does not have a policy regarding the admission of transfer students.

Canadian students must take the USA Dental Admission Test (DAT) as part of their application for admission to the university. The Canadian DAT is not accepted for admission purposes.

Degree information

A Doctor in Dental Medicine degree is required to practice Dentistry in most parts of the United States and Canada, including Puerto Rico and other parts of the World. Candidates are encouraged to search for specific requirements in the country where they plan to practice as dentists.

The Doctor in Dental Medicine (DMD) is equivalent to the Doctor in Dental Surgery that other institutions grant (DDS).

Ponce Health Sciences University strongly suggests that applicants apply with a BA / BS. Pre-dental coursework must be completed at a college-level institution accredited by the Council of Higher Education of PR or by a US accrediting organization or complete a minimum of 90 college credits. Candidates that have completed the degree (BA/BS) will be given preference. However, a BS or BA degree is not a requirement for admission. Independent of the degree an applicant is pursuing or pursued, completion of the following courses is required:


Courses                                                                                                                                                                                                   Credits





Organic Chemistry




Behavioral and Social Sciences*








*Any two of the following: Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Ethics, Political Sciences, and/or Economics.

In addition to the above requirements, we strongly recommend coursework in Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Genetics, and Microbiology.

Additional requirements considered for admission

  • Bilingual in English and Spanish (read, write, speak, and understand).
  • Minimum GPA of 2.7 (on a four-point scale) is required for applying.
  • Minimum SGPA of 2.7 (on a four-point scale) is required for application.
  • Minimum DAT score of 15 (average of “Academic Average” and “Perceptual Ability”). The scores must be no more than three years old.
  • Minumum of 3 letters of recommendation and a maximum of five (one letter will be from volunteering at a community activity).
  • 24 hours of shadowing at a dental office.
  • Community service and extracurricular activities

Admissions are competitive in nature.  There are some requirements to be considered for admission. Candidates that do not fulfill the minimum requirements can submit their credentials and applications, but there is no guarantee that they will be considered for admission. In addition, candidates are encouraged to prepare beyond the minimum requirements by enhancing their preparation in basic and behavioral sciences.

Accepted applicants still completing the degree must successfully complete all courses in progress at the academic level they had been performing at the time of application.

Selection Criteria

The SDM Admission Committee will evaluate and weight applications considering several factors, which include:

  • Academic performance (20%)
  • DAT scores (20%)
  • Essay (10%)
  • Extracurricular activities (10%)
  • Experience in the health field (research, community service, shadowing, and others; 10%)
  • Letters of Recommendation (a minimum of three; 10%)
  • Interview (20%)

PHSU has a history of excellence in education and diversity.  Our strong position as a health sciences campus provided the framework to be supported by faculty and resources with experience in health/sciences education.  Dental students will share the campus with students from the Schools of Medicine, Behavior and Brain Sciences, Public Health, and Nursing.

The dental profession brings great opportunities for personal and professional growth.  To become more familiar with Dentistry as a profession, we invite you to visit the webpage of the American Dental Education Association, in particular, the following link:


1.     Evaluate and integrate biomedical, epidemiological, and research outcomes using critical thinking for evidence-based clinical practice.

2.     Recognition of ethical principles and legal issues and applying them accordingly in decision- making while providing dental care.

3.     Demonstrate effective management of a general dental practice, including technology resources, interpersonal skills, and communicate effectively with individuals from a diverse population.

4.     Develop and participate in prevention and educational health promotion strategies based on the fundamental principles of behavioral sciences and risk assessments for individuals of all ages, including oral cancer screenings.

5.     Manage oral health care, including assessment, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment planning with informed consent for patients of all ages and those with special needs.

6.     Prevent, identify and manage dental emergencies.

7.     Manage pain and anxiety in patients of all ages.

8.     Diagnose and assess temporomandibular disorders.

9.     Diagnose and manage periodontal diseases.

10.  Perform and complete restorative procedures that preserve tooth structure, replace missing or defective tooth structure, maintain function, aesthetic, and promote soft and hard tissue health.

11.  Diagnose and treat malocclusion and space management.   

12.  Manage teeth replacement for partially and completely edentulous patients with a fixed prosthesis, removable prosthesis, and dental implants.

13.  Diagnose and manage pulpal diseases.

14.  Diagnose and manage surgical treatment needs.

15.  Diagnose and manage oral mucosa and osseous diseases.

16.  Demonstrate self-assessment and professional lifelong learning skills.

How to apply?

Candidates must submit the primary application through ADEA AADSAS. Visit  for more information. Application cycles open in summer. Our institution will be found as Ponce Health Sciences University School of Dental Medicine.


The deadline for AADSAS and PHSU’s secondary application is January 15th before the requested admission date. Visit for more information regarding requirements, school policies, cost of attendance and other important details related to the program. Additional documentation will be requested upon receipt of the AADSAS application.



The program in dental education received initial accreditation from the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at:

(312) 440-4653


211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

The Commission’s web address is

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Thank you for inquiring into
 Ponce Health Sciences University 
for your education

We are working on providing you with an improved and updated application experience. You will soon receive information about the launch of our new application portal for the 2023-24 academic year

For MD Secondary Application click HERE

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