Undergraduate Dental Education

The Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.)

The Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree is a program four years in length which consists of nine months for the first two years and eleven months for the last two clinical years.

Much of the first two years is devoted to the biomedical sciences of anatomy, biochemistry, histology, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, and physiology. Pre-clinical technical courses are also taught to achieve a close correlation of the basic sciences with the clinical disciplines.

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Information for Prospective Students!

If you are interested in seeing the UTHSC campus and would like to have some of your questions answered about the Dental Program please visit the Office of Enrollment Services website to schedule a guided tour.

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We look forward to hearing from you soon!

About The College of Dentistry


The College of Dentistry was founded in Nashville in 1878. It is the oldest dental college in the South, and the third oldest public college of dentistry in the United States. The College was located in Nashville until 1911, when the Board of Trustees of The University of Tennessee moved it to Memphis, in order to secure larger facilities.

In that year, authorities of the University of Memphis transferred all of its equipment and the good will of its Dental Department to the Board of Trustees of The University of Tennessee. Through this union, the facilities and equipment of the two institutions were merged into one college.

National Standing

The programs in dentistry are accredited by the Commission of Dental Accreditation, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on the Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation and by the United States Department of Education. This accreditation is the direct result of extensive periodic evaluation by the commission every seven years. Accreditation permits qualified graduates of the college to make application for all states and regional board examinations in the United States.

As an institution of higher education, the College of Dentistry is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as part of the regular accreditation process of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center at Memphis. In addition, the college is a member of the American Association of Dental Schools and the American Association of Dental Research.

Philosophy of Education

The faculty of the College of Dentistry is committed to the education of a health professional whose primary responsibility will be the prevention of oral disease and maintenance of the oral health of the public. This encompasses the recruitment of well-qualified and motivated students who understand the need for a commitment to improving the welfare of those they serve, as well as the personal obligation of continuous development.

Because of the changing patterns of dental disease and the rapidly changing demographics reflected in the populations of the nation, the dentist of the future must be better prepared to change with the times. Students must develop a background that equips them to understand basic scientific principles and concepts, as well as an understanding of how these principles and concepts can change. The student must be able to apply scientific principles to the practice of dentistry and possess the inquiry that will promote advancement of this knowledge. The practitioner of the future must appreciate the value of research as an innovator of change, as well as the need to be a continuing student in order to remain current in scientific knowledge.

The educational program provides opportunities to gain the basic knowledge and skills essential to the effective delivery of dental care. It also strives to prepare the student to apply this information in creative ways when dealing with unique clinical problems that do not have typical solutions.

A part of professional growth includes the recognition that the support of others within the profession is important to the welfare of the profession and that of the patient.

Finally, the student must recognize that, by becoming a member of a profession, one assumes responsibilities which extend beyond one's self to include profession, patients, family, community, nation, and alma mater.


The faculty is organized by departments to constitute functional units in the major disciplines of the dental curriculum. In addition to the full-time and part-time faculty members in the College of Dentistry, the teaching personnel includes faculty of the Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy and Graduate Health Sciences. A complete listing of faculty, by department, is available in the UT Quarterly Directory, which may be consulted for office number and telephone extension. A listing of faculty, by department, is also available from the College of Dentistry main web page.

Educational Support Programs

The process of dental education is vigorous and demanding. The College of Dentistry is committed to assisting students in achieving their educational goals and in adjusting to the special demands of being successful students.

A number of support services and programs are available to enrolled dental students. The College of Dentistry offers the following:

  • Faculty Advisory System
  • Career Development Counseling
  • Learning Skills Laboratory providing:
    • academic counseling
    • skills development
    • tutorial development
Dunn building

Contact Us

College of Dentistry
Office of Admissions & Student Affairs

875 Union Avenue
S-102 Dunn Bldg.
Memphis, Tennessee 38163
Phone: 901-448-6268
Fax: 901-448-1625