A Supportive Environment: Caring about Success
At the UB School of Dental Medicine, we are keenly aware and appreciative of the substantial investment of time, effort, intellectual energy, and financial resources required to pursue a DDS degree. When we accept a student into the dental school, it is with the intention that he or she will graduate.
We believe that the motivation to provide quality care comes from within the student; we expect our students to be committed, and we are committed to them. Students pursue a rigorous, challenging dental program (taking 22-27 credit hours each semester) in an environment that fosters collaboration, prizes professional and personal ethics, and supports academic and professional excellence. We support our students in every way we can, from helping them adjust to dental school, to providing financial guidance and individualized tutoring, to setting up mock board examinations, to helping them find the best possible placements at graduation.
Our faculty are available-we keep no posted office hours because we believe that
students should get help when they need it. Academic advisement, tutoring services, personal counseling, and workshops on study skills and time and stress management are available to all dental students through the school's Office of Student Affairs. In addition, students experiencing academic difficulty receive assistance through retention programs at the department level.
Support from Your Classmates
Each class of approximately eighty-five students progresses through the DDS program as a unit, with the same classes and schedule for the first three years. While students entering the program are usually highly competitive, once they are here, we want our students to support one another. We have structured our academic environment to encourage collaboration. Reviewing challenging course material with classmates, working in study groups, discussing what's happening in the clinics, and simply having a fellow classmate to talk with helps students excel.
In addition to support from fellow classmates, we coordinate a big brother/big sister program to help first-year students make a smooth transition into the program. Mentoring students are members of the second-year class, and they are full of information, guidance, and advice. This volunteer program, which is popular with our students, has resulted in many long-lasting friendships over the years.
Collaboration and Communication
We are committed to working with all of our student body to create an environment that fosters collaboration and communication. Our Office of Student Affairs, Faculty-Student Committee, Dental Student Association, and two Student-Administration Communications Committees hold meetings throughout the year for students, faculty members, and administration to share information and discuss issues of concern. We have established these various organizations and committees to involve students in the school-wide decision-making and to provide a forum for students to discuss issues affecting the school and their lives within it.
Your Financial Future
As a public university, UB offers an excellent dental education that is substantially less expensive than most of our peer institutions, especially when you factor in Buffalo's relatively low cost of living. As part of our commitment to our students, we strive to keep our program affordable and to help our students obtain financial aid and plan wisely for their financial future.
The Office of Student Affairs maintains a current file of financial aid information and forms for dental students and helps students find additional sources of scholarship support whenever possible. The office also monitors the amount borrowed by each student and offers financial guidance; we don't want our students graduating with such heavy debt that they have to spend more than half of their professional careers paying back student loans.
In addition to financial support services, the school offers performance-based scholarships to second-, third-, and fourth-year students. (First-year students are not eligible for these scholarships; we don't want to entice them to choose the School of Dental Medicine because of scholarship support that might not be granted for their remaining years in the program.)