Health Science Center launches early admission dental program with TAMIU

Francisco Cigarroa, M.D., Health Science Center president, joins Dr. Ray Keck, Texas A&M International University president, for the signing of a historic Early Admission Dentistry Program between the two universities Monday. Looking on are members of both universities faculty and administration. (From Left) Kenneth Kalkwarf, D.D.S., Dental School dean; Denee Thomas, Ph.D, associate dean for student affairs in the Dental School; Dr. Daniel Mott, Associate Dean, TAMIU College of Arts and Sciences; Richard A. Garcia, assistant vice president for South Texas Programs and Dr. Dan Jones, TAMIU Provost.

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) students considering a career in dentistry will soon benefit from the launching of a 3+4 dual degree and Dental Early Admission Program (DEAP) between The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and TAMIU.

The joint agreement was signed Feb. 2 in Laredo by representatives of the Health Science Center and TAMIU.

Dr. Dan Jones, TAMIU provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the innovative agreement will provide TAMIU students with an opportunity to receive both a bachelor’s degree in biology from TAMIU and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Health Science Center within seven years.

“This is a remarkable opportunity for our students and one we feel will generate great interest for students in our region,” Dr. Jones said.

Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., Health Science Center president, said the program is an example of outstanding collaboration that will benefit students. “We are excited about this partnership with TAMIU and are looking forward to expanding the opportunities available to South Texas students,” Dr. Cigarroa said.

Briefly, accepted students complete a curriculum of 103 hours at TAMIU and summer research opportunities in San Antonio between the second and third undergraduate years. The student must take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) before the third undergraduate year and enroll at the Health Science Center contingent upon a variety of criteria related to GPA, DAT score, and positive recommendations.

Following successful completion of the freshman academic year at the Dental School, the students will be granted a B.S. degree in biology from TAMIU. Following completion of the four-year curriculum of the Dental School, the students will be granted a D.D.S. degree by the Dental School.
This is the first Dual Degree-DEAP dental program to be offered at TAMIU.

The Dental School’s mission and goals (education, research, patient care and service) have traditionally focused on South Texas. The school’s provision of dental education programs in the region includes community-based clinical training at affiliated sites that are located in Dental Health Profession Shortage Areas (Dental HPSAs).

lnformation on the Dental School is available at

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