International dentist program increases enrollment

A globe of the Earth sits on an open textbook.


The School of Dentistry’s International Dentist Education Program (IDEP) has nearly doubled its enrollment from 11 to 20 seats, for the spring 2023 entry cycle.

Stefanie Seitz, DDS, MS, assistant dean for students and interim IDEP director, said that the decision to open more seats in the program was heavily supported by the school’s faculty and students.

“Our international students bring their rich cultures and a valuable diversity, though just as important, they bring their clinical experience and a new perspective to our student body,” she said.

The program, established in 2006, offers qualified graduates of foreign dental schools the opportunity to earn a doctor of dental surgery degree, which permits them to sit for any state licensing exam in the United States.

Enrollees start with a six-week didactic curriculum online before transitioning to campus for the remainder of their pre-matriculation coursework. They then move to the UT Dentistry clinic, integrating into the third-year dental class to begin patient care.

Since the IDEP students have previously practiced dentistry in their respective countries, dental students find learning alongside them extremely beneficial, Seitz said.

“These students have experience performing many of the same procedures our third-years are being exposed to for the first time,” she said. “Their mentorship is in such high demand by our pre-doctoral students that we make sure to assign at least one IDEP student to each clinical practice group.”

The program is among the most competitive in the school, consistently receiving 20 times more applications than seats available for enrollment, most of which come from India, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, and Iraq.

For more information on the International Dentist Education Program, visit the School of Dentistry’s website.

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