Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Outreach Initiatives and Programs

Hands-on career exploration

The CU School of Dental Medicine is committed to diversifying the dental workforce of Colorado, and our Office of Diversity and Inclusion has created a pipeline to dentistry programs to expand the recruitment of underrepresented minority students and students from medically underserved communities. By preparing dentists who represent the state’s changing demographics and arming all our students with the cultural competency training necessary to care for an increasingly diverse population, we hope to enhance the oral health outcomes in Colorado and beyond.

BA/BS - DDS Degree Program

In collaboration with the University of Colorado Denver, the CU School of Dental Medicine is proud to offer a BA/BS - DDS degree program to promote the diversity of dental professionals practicing in Colorado and to better serve the health care needs of the State of Colorado. The BA/BS - DDS Program selects five academically qualified individuals from a broad range of backgrounds who show a strong commitment to a career in dental medicine and to serving the people of Colorado. Students who successfully meet all program requirements, including a successful interview with the School of Dental Medicine Admission Committee, will be eligible for a “reserved” spot in an upcoming matriculating class.

MHA Pathway to Dentistry

The MHA Pathway to Dentistry program provides academic and professional preparation and a pathway to the CU School of Dental Medicine’s (SDM) Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program through the M.S. in Modern Human Anatomy (MHA). Students admitted to the MHA Pathway to Dentistry program will receive a reserved seat in the DDS program, in addition to scholarship support. Students will complete the first-year curriculum of the MHA program, begin work on the MHA Capstone Project, then transition into the DDS curriculum in the Fall of their 2nd year. While completing the 4-year DDS requirements, students will complete the MHA Capstone Project and Teaching Practicum to graduate with both the MS and the DDS degrees. The goal of the MHA Pathway to Dentistry program is to increase workforce diversity in dental medicine and provide clarity and support in the pathway to pursuing dental medicine as a career. The program will provide academic and clinical preparation, mentorship, and a pathway for success for traditionally underrepresented students in dental school through the MHA curriculum.

Anschutz Medical Campus Collaborations

Diversity, equity and inclusion are a strategic priority for our entire campus which is why we have partnered with the Anschutz Medical Campus Office of Inclusion and Outreach to create a seamless pipeline to foster the engagement and retention of individuals who have traditionally been underrepresented in higher education. Some of these programs include:

  • Undergraduate Pre-Health Program (UPP) partners with Kaiser Permanente Health Plan of Colorado for the 13-month program to help increase the number of historically underrepresented individuals within the health care professions to reduce health disparities among underserved communities in Colorado. Students learn about health disparities, health policy, and social justice issues that impact equity in healthcare. Topics consist of lectures, demonstrations, interactive presentations, and personal and professional development, including partnering with a dental student to assist in the clinic. UPP students also receive a guaranteed interview the first time they apply.
  • Pre-Health Scholars Program (CUPS) is an academic enrichment and support program designed to motivate first-generation college-bound students and focuses on academic preparation for students considering future careers in the health fields through rich mentoring, focused lessons, and field trips. Through a combination of teaching and mentoring, students are a part of an engaging, hands-on academic experience that will develop confidence and a support system for their journey into higher education and beyond.
  • CU Pre-Health Day is an exciting day of exploration and discovery of pre-health careers and opportunities on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. Through a diverse array of information and activities, participants learn more about what happens on campus and the programs offered.
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