Dean's welcome

Robert Handysides, D.D.S.

If your eyes are the windows to your soul, it has been said that the mouth is a window to your health. As such, dentistry plays a strategic part in providing integrated patient care. Loma Linda University School of Dentistry is a vibrant center of education where you will acquire knowledge, technical skills, and management expertise to thrive in the new health-care model that is evolving. Our expectation is that our graduates will provide care that exceeds patients' expectations.

Our faculty is committed to providing an evidence-based education that incorporates the most advanced electronic education resources available. In our new Innovation Center, students now have the opportunity to gain experience with the most contemporary equipment and techniques that enhance the practice of dentistry and the care we provide our patients. Students also receive abundant experience in patient care—both in the School of Dentistry and at extramural clinics—that help meet the dental health needs of individuals with limited or no access to dental care.

We are proud of our history and contributions to research. Our ongoing commitment to clinical and foundational research provides students with rich opportunities to work with outstanding faculty members in a wide variety of investigative activities.

During your time at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, you will receive an excellent contemporary education filled with rich clinical experiences. However, it is the people who have been drawn to this unique environment of Christian education and mission who make Loma Linda University a special place. I invite you to learn more about our clinical services, programs, and exceptional dental school family of students, faculty, and staff.

Robert A. Handysides, D.D.S.
Dean, School of Dentistry


School foundations


A small but determined group of dentists met during the summer of 1943 in Grand Ledge, Michigan. Their purpose was to establish an organization that would serve as a catalyst, urging the Seventh-day Adventist Church to sponsor a dental school where young adults could learn the dental profession in an environment consistent with their religious beliefs. These men were the founders of the National Association of Seventh-day Adventist Dentists (NASDAD).

Under the leadership of Dr. J. Russell Mitchell, the organization's first president, the goal of a Christian dental school began taking conceptual form. NASDAD expanded in membership and objectives through men such as Dr. C. C. Ray, who toured the country on his own time in search of fellow Seventh-day Adventist dentists who were willing to pursue NASDAD's goals.

Dr. M. Webster Prince served as president of NASDAD in 1948 and 1949. At a meeting in San Francisco in 1949, NASDAD members voted unanimously to support the dental school project. Later that year at a NASDAD session in Hinsdale, Illinois, the members pledged a strong financial base in support of their goals.

The momentum of the effort became evident in the early 1950s. The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, under the guidance of President W. H. Branson, asked Dr. Prince to conduct a feasibility study. Subsequently, official action was taken in 1951 to authorize establishment of the School of Dentistry as a unit of Loma Linda University's School of Medicine. Dr. Prince was selected as the first dean of the School of Dentistry. His leadership in organizing and eventually leading the new School of Dentistry was facilitated by his prior experience as president of the Michigan Dental Association and as chair of the American Dental Association Council on Dental Education. Forty-two students comprised the inaugural class in the late fall of 1953.

A dental hygiene curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Science degree was developed in 1959 under the direction of Dr. Gerald A. Mitchell, chair of the Department of Periodontics. Violet Bates became chair of the new department, and the first class of ten dental hygienists graduated in 1961.

In 1960, Dr. Charles T. Smith became dean. During this period, the school experienced positive growth in many areas. A dental assisting curriculum was developed in 1968 under the leadership of Betty Zendner. The first class graduated in 1969, receiving the Associate in Science degree. A dental auxiliary utilization (DAU) program was initiated to provide enhanced learning for dental students. The Monument Valley Dental Clinic for Navajo Indians was started in 1966, and Dean Smith succeeded in finding, from public sources, fiscal support for the clinic building and for faculty housing. New advanced education (postdoctoral) programs were initiated in five clinical disciplines: orthodontics, oral surgery, periodontics, endodontics, and oral pathology.

During the 1970s, the School of Dentistry continued its evolution into one of the premier clinical programs in the United States. Dr. Judson Klooster became dean in 1971. One of his major contributions was the expansion of Prince Hall, which was completed in May 1976. The new building more than doubled the number of clinical units, provided facilities for specialized areas of clinical instruction, and included eight new research laboratories, new classrooms, seminar rooms, amphitheaters, urgently needed teacher office space, and a commensurate expansion of support facilities and services. The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic was remodeled, and an outpatient surgicenter was developed to meet the needs of patients requiring general anesthesia for dental treatment.

The School of Dentistry became an important regional resource for providing dental care for developmentally disabled children and adults, many of whom require such a treatment setting. The Biomaterials Research Laboratory was constructed and new advanced education programs were initiated in pediatric dentistry, implant dentistry, dental anesthesiology, and prosthodontics. A new program was established in 1985 to provide a U.S. dental education for internationally trained dentists. An increasing number of dental professionals from other countries were seeking an American education and the opportunity to practice dentistry in the United States or to gain advanced knowledge to share in their own countries. The International Dentist Program continues to offer an intensive, twenty-four-month course of study leading to a D.D.S. degree. The program has added a six-month certificate program limited to dental missionaries from other countries who sense the need for updated continuing education.

Beginning with the nineteen-year deanship of Dr. Charles Goodacre in 1994, the School of Dentistry focused particularly on research, service learning, and technology that included the development of electronic learning materials as well as the acquisition and utilization of 3-D computed tomography (3DCT) and computer-aided manufacture (CAD/CAM) technology.

In 2000, the first major expansion of the School of Dentistry in more than 20 years added 15,000 square feet to Prince Hall on the east side and provided two new patient entrances. The expanded Special Care Dentistry Clinic and the enlarged Pediatric Dentistry Clinic were relocated to the ground floor. An additional student laboratory was also included on that level. On the second floor, the new space allowed for expansion of the predoctoral clinic, with 36 additional operatories.

A preclinical laboratory was remodeled into a simulation laboratory in 2008. The laboratory included flat-panel monitors with access to faculty presentations and the clinical management system. 

In the autumn of 2010, the LLU Center for Dentistry and Orthodontics was opened in San Bernardino, three miles from the school. The three-story treatment, research, and teaching facility brought together the University's Advanced Education Program in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics and the School of Dentistry's faculty practices—creating the most comprehensive oral health care center in the Inland Empire.

A year later (August 2012), another opening featured the school's groundbreaking for the Hugh Love Center for Research and Education in Technology. Comprising six operatories and a three-chair open clinic, the 3,000-square-foot center enables qualified students—under faculty supervision—the opportunity to treat patients using the very latest in dental technology.

Dr. Ronald J. Dailey was named School of Dentistry dean in July of 2013. Having led the school through all of its academic challenges as an associate dean since 1993, Dr. Dailey was well prepared to pilot the school's programs through revisions that accommodated new accreditation standards, as well as the Joint Commission on National Dental Board Examination's integration of basic, clinical, and behavioral sciences into a single national board examination.

The School of Dentistry continues to regularly expand the opportunities for enhanced student learning by improving physical facilities, making regular curricular modifications, and reinforcing the excellence of its clinical practices in light of its motto, "Service Is Our Calling."

Our mission

Loma Linda University School of Dentistry seeks to further the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ as:

  • Students learn to provide high-quality oral health care based on sound biologic principles.
  • Patients receive competent care that is preventive in purpose, comprehensive in scope, and provided with compassion and respect.
  • Faculty, students, and staff value patient relationship, respect diversity, and share responsibility by working together toward academic, professional, spiritual, and personal growth.
  • Scholarly activity and research provide a foundation for evidence-based learning and enhance whole-person care.
  • The workplace environment attracts and retains a superior and diverse faculty and staff who motivate, educate, and serve.
  • Our communities (local, global, and professional) benefit from our service, stewardship, and commitment to lifelong learning.


Loma Linda University School of Dentistry is a preeminent health-care organization seeking to represent God in all we do. We are enthusiastically committed to excellent, innovative, comprehensive education of our students, and to whole-person care of our patients.

Our students, staff, and faculty are empowered through an enabling environment that honors the dignity, diversity, and worth of everyone.

Our graduates are exemplary professionals and progressive clinicians of integrity.

Our Lord's example inspires us to enrich our local and global communities through service. This is our calling.

Core values

  • Belief in God.
  • Respect for the individual.
  • Principled spirituality.
  • Focus on students.
  • Empathic care.
  • Commitment to service.
  • Pursuit of truth.
  • Progressive excellence.
  • Analytical thinking.
  • Effective communication.

University students are responsible for informing themselves of and satisfactorily meeting all regulations pertinent to registration, matriculation, and graduation. This section of the CATALOG provides the general setting for the programs of the School of Dentistry and outlines the subject and unit requirements for admission to individual professional programs. It is important to review specific program requirements in the context of the general requirements applicable to all programs.

Specific program requirements

Information on the preceding pages pertains to general requirements governing all students. The student is reminded of individual responsibility to be fully informed not only of these general requirements but also of the specific requirements in the following pages, which govern the curriculum of the chosen program.

Programs and degrees

The School of Dentistry offers a comprehensive range of programs. Each of the school's six programs draws on the curricula of the various departments.

  1. The undergraduate curriculum, the DENTAL HYGIENE program, leads to the Bachelor of Science degree and prepares the dental hygienist to enter a variety of careers. Dental hygiene is a four-year college curriculum; the junior and senior years are taken in the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry. 
  2. The four-year professional curriculum, the GENERAL DENTISTRY program, leads to the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree and equips the general dentist to meet the needs of a diverse patient population.
  3. The INTERNATIONAL DENTIST program, a two-academic-year curriculum, leads to a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Loma Linda University. The program is designed for the dentist who has previously earned a dental degree outside the United States.
  4. ADVANCED DENTAL EDUCATION programs lead to postdoctoral certificates in seven specialty and non-specialty areas of dentistry and, at the student's option, additionally to a Master of Science or a Master of Science in Dentistry degree.
  5. The COMBINED DEGREES program leads to the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree (through the School of Dentistry) earned concurrently with a Master of Arts degree in Bioethics (through the School of Religion)—D.D.S./M.A.

Combined degrees program

D.D.S. / M.A.

The combined degrees program leading to the Doctor of Dental Surgery and the Master of Arts in bioethics is designed to fit the schedule of Doctor of Dental Surgery degree students. Ethics in dentistry is an emerging academic interest, and this program aims to evolve the dental school into one of a very select few in the nation known for their expertise in ethical issues. This program requires 48 units of credit. This degree is offered cooperatively by the School of Religion and the School of Dentistry.


All School of Dentistry students are eligible to receive awards of various kinds for demonstrated excellence, scholastic attainment, leadership ability, technical ability, professional proficiency, initiative, and other accomplishments or achievements, according to the bases established by the donors. Awards are given through various organizations, associations, and school and university departments. The names of all award recipients are printed in the University commencement program.

School of Dentistry inherent requirements

In harmony with its own didactic, clinical, research, and service objectives, and using the American Dental Education Association suggested guidelines, Loma Linda University School of Dentistry has identified the following inherent requirements for entry into all its programs.


Students must have the cognitive abilities that allow the accurate and effective ability to measure, verify, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, and critically problem solve. Effective dental education requires the capacity to gather, organize, and assess relevant information in order to arrive at integrated solutions. Students must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures in order to fully solve clinical problems.

Sensation and perception

For learning to occur, students must be able to visualize and comprehend physical demonstrations in the classroom, laboratory, and clinic. Such observation requires the functional use of vision, touch, hearing, smell, and somatic sensation.

Specifically, students must be able to acquire information from written documents and to visualize information presented in images from papers, videos, and digital media—including interpretation of radiographic and other graphic images, with or without the use of assistive devices. Sufficient visual acuity is required to read charts, records, small print, and handwritten notations.

Adequate visual and tactile skills are also necessary to perform dental examinations and provide treatment. Visual acuity, accommodation, and color vision are necessary to discern variations in color, shape, and general appearance between normal and abnormal hard and soft tissues.

Students must be able to observe and describe changes in mood, activity, and posture in their patients, possessing skills in effective perception and understanding of nonverbal communications. Accurately noting verbal and nonverbal communication is essential when performing dental operations or administering medications.

Communication skills

Students must be fluent in the use of standard written and spoken English. They must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, the faculty and staff, and other students. Specifically, students must be able to observe, hear, and speak to patients in order to elicit and provide information. In addition, they must have the ability to read and understand written communications and generate effective oral and written communications with all members of the health-care team. This includes the ability to discern when a matter is of a confidential nature in order to maintain confidentiality. Students may be required to remediate written and/or verbal language skills before admission or during their program. This remediation may include accent modification.

Fine and gross motor skills

Students need sufficient motor and sensory capability in both hands to provide general dental care; to perform palpation, percussion, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers; basic laboratory tests; and diagnostic procedures. These actions require fine and gross muscular movements, coordination, and equilibrium. Individuals must be able to operate foot controls utilizing fine movements, operating high- or low-speed dental instruments to achieve accurate movements of less than one-half millimeter.

Students must be able to perform basic life support (e.g., CPR), transfer and position disabled patients, assist patients who lack motor control, and position themselves around the patient and dental chair.

Behavioral and psychosocial attributes

Students must possess the emotional stability and demonstrate the resilience required by a challenging educational program. Success requires use of good judgment, insight, self-motivation, self-assessment and self-control, high achievement striving, and the development of a mature, sensitive, and effective personal relationship style.

It is imperative that students be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. Students must be able to adapt to changing environments, demonstrate flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical issues of many patients. Compassion, integrity, honesty, concern for others, and cultural sensitivity are required personal qualities.

Disabled applicants and students

The LLU School of Dentistry provides reasonable and appropriate accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act for individuals with documented disabilities who demonstrate a need for accommodation.

The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a person with a disability as an individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Problems such as English as a second language, test anxiety, or slow reading without an identified underlying physical or mental deficit, or failure to achieve a desired outcome are generally not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

To be considered for an accommodation based on a learning disability, a student must experience marked difficulty when compared with the average person in the general population, not just other dental school students, in one or more basic academic areas as a result of a significant information processing or attentional disorder.

Students requesting accommodations must provide supporting documentation for the disability requiring accommodation, including:

  • A report from a licensed professional approved by Loma Linda University School of Dentistry identifying the diagnosed disability and the recommended accommodations.
  • Record of any previous accommodations provided by educational institutions or other testing agencies.
  • If no prior accommodations were provided, the licensed professional should include a detailed explanation as to why no accommodations were given in the past and why they are needed now.

Documentation needs to be reviewed by the assistant dean for admissions and student affairs, before accommodation is formally implemented. While awaiting assessment and documentation, temporary accommodation may be granted. The temporary accommodation will not exceed 90 days.

Students requesting accommodation are responsible for:

  • Reporting their request for accommodation to the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs
  • Providing the supporting documentation

Policies for this school

The information on student life contained in this CATALOG is brief. The Student Handbook more comprehensively addresses University and school expectations, regulations, and policies; and is available to each registered student. Students need to familiarize themselves with the contents of the Student Handbook at

Professional ethics

Successful students should demonstrate behaviors and attributes in harmony with School of Dentistry's core values. The school seeks students who openly and enthusiastically align themselves with the following core values:

  • Belief in God
  • Spiritual maturity
  • Demonstrated compassion
  • Service to others
  • Commitment to excellence
  • Critical thinking
  • Respect for self and others
  • Ethical integrity
  • Principled care
  • Pursuit of knowledge
  • Conscientiousness and industry
  • Effective communication

The school code of ethics expands and elaborates Loma Linda University's standards of ethical conduct.

Organized dentistry is proud of its reputation for honesty and integrity. These virtues are essential if dentistry is to continue to maintain its position of trust in society. The establishment of peer review committees, ethics committees, codes of ethics, and other regulatory and/or advisory processes and standards within the profession indicate a vital and continuing concern for maintaining high standards of integrity.

The School of Dentistry is a partner in this process where future professionals are selected and trained in the development of professional and ethical attitudes consistent with the highest goals of the profession.

The school seeks to broaden students' ethical perceptions by including a religious perspective not always found in ethical codes. By adding a spiritual foundation to the professions' ethical frameworks, it is anticipated that the dental professionals' ethic will be more completely informed and not only will reflect concern for their fellows, but also will reflect an intimate relationship with the Creator God.

The code contains specific admonitions that are limited in number but comprehensive in nature. It is anticipated that the values of honesty, integrity, and altruism will be enhanced during professional training so that, following graduation, these virtues will be second nature in the service provided to patients. Thus, the relationship of trust between dental professional and patient can develop to benefit both the profession and the public. This is a goal the school feels it must meet as it seeks to train dental professionals to become competent in all aspects of patient care.

The School of Dentistry code of ethics applies to all students (baccalaureate dental hygiene; predoctoral, including international dentist students; graduate, certificate, residents, fellows, preceptors, research scholars; and exchange students).

The School of Dentistry code of professional ethics with its specific guidelines is available for review in Section VII of the LLU Student Handbook.

Student leadership

Student Government

Loma Linda University American Student Dental Association (LLU ASDA) is composed of peer voted student officials who are charged by administration to carry out the actions necessary for a successful student government, as well as serving as a representation for he ASDA chapter at regional and national meetings and events. LLU ASDA's central body if the Executive Council (EC) compromised of the First Delegate/President, Second Delegate/President-elect, two class representatives, secretary, and treasurer.

The EC has the authority to appoint members to other designated offices to fulfill the work of the local chapter as needed and delegate duties to subcommittees as needed in governing the student body, including representation for other state and national professional organizations (CDA, ADEA, AGD) and class leadership. The EC oversees the utilization of all funds paid by student dues and obtained through fundraising.

Elections for all positions of LLU ASDA occur in the Spring Quarter.

Class leadership

Class leaders are elected annually during the Autumn term for the first year and Spring term thereafter. Leaders are elected by confidential peer vote to work as a team to coordinate class events—including academic, spiritual, and social experiences. Class leadership consists of:

DDS - President and four vice presidents serving in various capacities.
IDP - Two class representatives
DH BS - President and three vice presidents.

Committee representation

Students are invited to serve on school standing committees. The Office of Admissions and Student Affairs consults with LLU ASDA and class leadership to select students to serve on committees, including the Admissions Committees, Academic Review Committees, Curriculum Committee, and Professional Standards Committee.

To maintain a leadership position, a minimum 2.7 G.P.A. must be maintained by the president, vice presidents and professional organization representatives.

Special opportunities

Alumni-Student Convention

The annual Alumni-Student Convention, now part of the One Loma Linda Homecoming, sponsored since 1960 by the Alumni Association, gives opportunity for students to meet alumni and listen to presentations by prominent guest lecturers in the dental profession.

Research presentation

Students have the opportunity to give research presentations in the form of table clinics. The winners are invited to present their table clinics at state and national conventions.

Dedication service

A dedication service is held during the Alumni-Student Convention, giving students an opportunity to dedicate their professional lives to Christ. Incoming students are presented with personalized Bibles and graduating students are given personalized white coats embroidered with the School logo.

General policies


The student must register on or before the dates designated by the Office of University Records. Early registration is encouraged. Registration is completed online at the myLLU registration portal Once at the portal, a student must clear registration holds—student health, transcript, housing and finance. At the beginning of the first year of attendance, a student is required to have a picture taken for the student identification badge. International students must also register with the International Student Affairs office as required by law.

Late registration is permissible only in case of a compelling reason. A charge is applied if registration is not completed by the designated dates. The student may not attend class without being registered. A change in registration after the second week affects the grade record. A student may not concurrently register for courses in another school of the University without permission from the associate dean for academic affairs.


Regular attendance at lectures, clinics, and other assemblies is required of all students. All lectures and laboratories provide information essential for successful completion of the program. Each student is responsible for all material covered and assignments made. Absences in excess of 15 percent may be sufficient cause for a failing or unsatisfactory grade to be recorded. Clinics and individual courses/instructors may have more stringent requirements.

Length of academic residence

To fulfill the requirement pertaining to length of academic residence, the student must be registered for a full course load at the University for the entire senior year for the Bachelor of Science degree; and the entire third (D3) and fourth (D4) years for the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree.

Dean's list

Outstanding academic performance will be rewarded by publication of the Dean's List each review period. The eligibility requirements are:

  • Complete at least 12 units of graded coursework during the term.
  • Achieve a term grade point average of at least 3.50 with no grade lower than a B-.
  • Receive no incomplete (I) or in-progress (IP) grades on the grade report.

Course waiver

A course requirement may be waived if the applicant has previously taken the course and earned a grade of B or above, but no credit results. Evaluation for waiver of courses will be completed only after an applicant has been accepted to the program, and must be approved by the course director at this University and the school's associate dean for academic affairs. Tuition is not reduced if courses are waived or if a student takes less than a full load.


It is the policy of the school that all students are expected to take examinations at the scheduled time. The only acceptable excuse for not taking an examination on time is major illness (documented by the Student Health Service and conveyed to the course director). The consequences of missing an examination under the circumstances of documented illness are determined by the course director. If a student appears late for an examination, they may be denied admission to the examination site. If a student arrives late for an examination and is allowed to take it, they will be required to finish the examination at the same time as students who arrive on time.

Repeating/remediating a course (predoctoral, IDP, and dental hygiene programs)

If a student receives an unsatisfactory or failing grade in a required course, it will be necessary for them to do additional work. Based on the original grade earned by the student, and upon the recommendation of the Academic Review Committee, one of the following plans will be pursued:

  1. For courses with unsatisfactory performance (D+/D/U grades), the student must reregister for the course, review the coursework independently, repeat required assignments or quizzes, and take any or all course examinations as required by the course director. The highest grade allowed for a remediated course is C. At the discretion of the Academic Review Committee and course director, the student may be required to repeat the course at the next course offering.
  2. For courses with failing performance (F grades), the student must reregister for the course, attend the class and/or laboratory, and take all course examinations at the next regular course offering.
  3. Both the original and repeat grades are entered into the student's permanent academic record, but only the repeat grade units are computed in the grade point average.
  4. Under certain circumstances and upon recommendation of the Academic Review Committee, a student may remediate/repeat a maximum of 12 units during the current and subsequent academic year. Upon such recommendation, the student will be permitted to move forward as a member of the cohort with which they enrolled.

Academic criteria for promotion (predoctoral, IDP, and dental hygiene programs)

Academic criteria for academic advancement and program completion

Level D1 to Level D2
  • Cumulative didactic and preclinical laboratory G.P.A. at or above 2.0.
  • Successful completion of all courses in the D1 curriculum.
Level D2 to Level D3
  • Cumulative didactic and preclinical laboratory G.P.A. at or above 2.0.
  • Successful completion of all courses in the D2 curriculum.
Level D3 to Level D4
  • Cumulative didactic and preclinical laboratory G.P.A. at or above 2.0.
  • Successful completion of all courses in the D3 curriculum.
  • Cumulative didactic and clinical course G.P.A. at or above 2.0.
  • Successful completion of all courses in the IDP2 curriculum.
Level IDP3 to Level IDP4
  • Cumulative didactic and clinical course G.P.A. at or above 2.0.
  • Successful completion of all courses in the IDP3 curriculum.
Dental hygiene (B.S. degree)
Junior to senior
  • Cumulative didactic and preclinical G.P.A. at or above 2.0.
  • Successful completion of junior clinic promotion OSCE.
  • Successful completion of all courses in the junior curriculum.
Graduate students/residents
  • Cumulative didactic and laboratory G.P.A. at or above 3.0 (B).
  • Successful completion of all evaluations.
  • Successful completion of annual student evaluation (includes a review of entire academic record).
  • Selection for advancement to Master of Science degree candidacy (for those on M.S. degree track only).

School of Dentistry academic requirements for graduation


A candidate for the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree must be at least twenty-one years of age and must have:

  1. Satisfactorily completed all the requirements of the curriculum—including specified attendance, level of scholarship, length of academic residence, number of credit units, and service-learning requirements.
  2. Completed special examinations, as required by the faculty.
  3. Attempt the Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE).
  4. Demonstrated evidence of satisfactory moral and professional conduct, of due regard for Christian citizenship, and of consistent responsiveness to the established aims of the University.
  5. Discharged financial obligations to the University.
  6. Been certified by the faculty as approved for graduation.

Dental hygiene (B.S. degree)

In order to be eligible for graduation, the student must have:

  1. Completed the Undergraduate Intent to Graduate form.
  2. Completed all the requirements for admission to the chosen curriculum.
  3. Satisfactorily completed all chosen requirements of the curriculum—including specified attendance, level of scholarship, length of academic residence, and number of credit units.
  4. Attended an accredited college for the first two years, and Loma Linda University School of Dentistry for the junior and senior years.
  5. Achieved no lower than a C- grade in all core courses and a minimum grade point average of 2.0.
  6. Completed special examinations as required by faculty.
  7. Attempt the Dental Hygiene National Board Examination.
  8. Demonstrated evidence of satisfactory moral and professional conduct, of due regard for Christian citizenship, and of consistent responsiveness to the established aims of the University.
  9. Discharged financial obligations to the University.
  10. Been certified by the faculty as approved for graduation.

National Dental Board Examinations

Attempting the Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE) is a requirement for graduation. The INBDE is designed to assess cognitive knowledge of the basic, behavioral, and clinical sciences. Eligibility to sit for the INBDE is determined by successful completion of the curriculum leading up to the examination. In addition, students are required to pass a comprehensive examination that assesses mastery of the test specifications prior to the INBDE. The eligibility requirements and timetable for passing the INBDE is as follows:

INBDE examination is scheduled after the third year. A candidate for the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree must have attempted the INBDE at least once before being awarded the D.D.S. degree.

Procedures for academic review (predoctoral, IDP, and dental hygiene programs)

There are six academic review committees: D1, D2, D3, D4, IDP, and Dental Hygiene. Membership of each committee consists of the associate dean, academic affairs; the assistant dean, admissions and student affairs; and the department representative/course directors of all courses required of the respective class in the academic year. The associate dean, clinic administration, the clinic director, and primary attending faculty are members of the D3/D4 academic review committees. In addition, each committee has two student members appointed by the dean in consultation with the assistant dean, admissions and student affairs and DSA officers. Student committee members will be in the class one year ahead of the class being reviewed.

The academic review committees meet a minimum of two times annually to evaluate student academic and clinical performance and progress records. Students whose performance does not meet the stated academic standards and students who are being considered for academic sanctions may be scheduled for a hearing with the committee.

The committee also recommends to the dean all appropriate candidates for promotion, academic probation, repeat, or other appropriate actions; as well as students who should receive special recognition for academic excellence.

The process for evaluation of academic performance is as follow:

  1. The academic review committee—by reviewing grades, reports, and other pertinent information—identifies students whose academic and/or clinical performance is below acceptable levels.
  2. The associate dean for academic affairs notifies a student facing possible academic sanctions regarding the time and place for a hearing called for the purpose of allowing the student to appear before the committee to present reasons why action should not be taken. The academic review committee considers the student's presentation and all available information before making a recommendation.
  3. The dean may enforce one or more of four academic sanction options:
    • Academic probation
    • Remedial action
    • Academic leave of absence
    • Academic discontinuation
      Please refer to the academic disciplinary policy for more specific descriptions regarding each academic sanction.
  4. A student may appeal the recommendation of the academic review committee to the dean. Such appeals are not expected to be routine and should be considered only in circumstances where new and relevant information exists that was not available for consideration by the academic review committee. The dean will decide if the appealing student will be permitted to continue participating in classes and/or clinical assignments during the appeal proceedings.

The dean will review the matter and either render a decision or appoint a three-member ad hoc committee. Members of this committee will not have been involved in the academic review committee decision process. The ad hoc committee will determine whether the process was appropriately followed, review new information, and judge whether the record supports the recommendation. They will report their findings and recommendation to the dean, who will decide if the appeal is warranted or not.

Academic disciplinary policy (predoctoral, IDP, and dental hygiene programs)

Academic probation

Academic probation is a specified period of time during which the student is given an opportunity to comply with specific academic standards. Such action must be confirmed by letter to the student.

Criteria for placement on academic probation

A student will be placed on academic probation if they meet one or more of the following conditions:

  1. Term or cumulative grade point average (G.P.A.) below 2.0.
  2. Failing or unsatisfactory (U/F/D+/D) grades in any course required for the degree.
  3. Social/behavioral/ethical problems that significantly impact academic and/or clinical performance.
Level of academic probation

The level of academic probation indicates the seriousness of the cumulative academic deficiency. However, depending on the seriousness or nature of the academic deficiency, a student may be considered for academic leave of absence or discontinuation at any level of probation.

Level I First term on academic probation
Level II Second term on academic probation, consecutive or nonconsecutive.
EXCEPTION: Continued academic probation due to failing grade in a course that cannot be repeated until a later term or failure to reregister in the succeeding year.
Level III Third term on academic probation, consecutive or nonconsecutive. If a student is unable to remove academic probationary status within the following term, they will be considered for academic discontinuation.
EXCEPTION: Continued academic probation due to failing grade in a course that cannot be repeated until a later term or failure to reregister in the succeeding year.
Level IV If a student meets the criteria for academic probation for a fourth term, consecutive or nonconsecutive, they will be considered for academic discontinuation.

Restrictions for a student on academic probation

A student on academic probation:

  1. May not serve as an officer for any class, school, or extracurricular organization.
  2. May not take any elective courses.
  3. May not participate in any elective off-campus, service-learning, or mission activities.
  4. Remains on academic probation until all the terms of the probation sanctions have been fulfilled, unless the student is discontinued.

Remedial action or remediation

As a condition for continued enrollment, remedial action for the student may consist of:

  1. Counseling, tutoring, and/or repeating assignments or coursework; or completing additional assignments or course work, possibly including repeating an academic year or portion thereof.
  2. Other specified requirements.

Academic leave of absence

Academic leave of absence is a specified period of time during which the student is withdrawn from the academic program. Upon request to and approval by the academic review committee, the student may return to the program at a year/term level specified by the committee. The student may be requested to fulfill specific requirements prior to re-entering the academic program.

The following guidelines pertain to when an academic leave of absence may be considered for a student who is in one or more of the following situations:

  • Student has a serious academic deficit that cannot be removed while continuing with current coursework.
  • At the end of the academic year, student does not meet the criteria for promotion to the next academic year.
  • Student has three consecutive reviews or terms on academic probation.
  • Student fulfills criteria for academic discontinuation, yet shows promise for future success despite current deficiencies.

Return from an academic leave of absence requires that the student reapply for admission by written request to the assistant dean for admissions and student affairs. The student must meet the requirements for readmission specified by the academic review committee at the time the leave of absence was granted. The requirements for readmission may also be reviewed by the academic review committee.

Academic discontinuation

Guidelines for academic discontinuation are indicated below for predoctoral, IDP, and dental hygiene students:

D1 Year
  • Any term with one or more failing grades, regardless of term or cumulative G.P.A.
  • Three or more unsatisfactory or failing grades within the academic year, regardless of term or cumulative G.P.A.
  • Three consecutive reviews or terms on academic probation.
  • Failure to fulfill terms of academic probation within the specified time period.
  • Failure to meet criteria for promotion to D2 year by the end of the D1 year.
D2 Year
  • Any term with one or more failing grades, regardless of term or cumulative G.P.A.
  • Four or more unsatisfactory or failing grades since enrollment in the program, regardless of term or cumulative G.P.A.
  • Failure to fulfill terms of academic probation within the specified time period.
  • Level IV academic probation.
  • Failure to meet criteria for promotion to D3 year by the end of the D2 year.
D3 Year
  • Any term with one or more failing grades, regardless of term or cumulative G.P.A.
  • Five or more unsatisfactory or failing grades since enrollment in the program, regardless of term or cumulative G.P.A.
  • Failure to fulfill terms of academic probation within the specified time period.
  • Level IV academic probation.
  • Failure to meet criteria for promotion to D4 year by the end of the D3 year.
D4 Year
  • Failure to achieve eligibility for graduation within five full academic years of enrollment in the dental program. Exception: Students who are required to repeat an academic year or who are on a revised program. These students must achieve eligibility for graduation within one year of the new graduation date assigned at the time of change to an alternate program.
Dental hygiene B.S. degree juniors
  • Any term with one or more failing grades, regardless of term or cumulative G.P.A.
  • Three or more unsatisfactory or failing grades within the academic year, regardless of term or cumulative G.P.A.
  • Failure to fulfill terms of academic probation within the specified time period.
  • Failure to meet criteria for promotion to dental hygiene B.S. senior year by the end of the dental hygiene B.S. junior year.
Dental hygiene B.S. degree seniors
  • Any term with one or more failing grades, regardless of term or cumulative G.P.A.
  • Three or more unsatisfactory or failing grades within the academic year, regardless of term or cumulative G.P.A.
  • Failure to fulfill terms of academic probation within the specified time period.
  • Failure to pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination within three attempts.
  • Failure to achieve eligibility for graduation within three full academic years of enrollment in the dental hygiene program.

In some situations, the academic review committee may recommend that a student repeat an academic year (or portion thereof) as an alternative to discontinuation.

Scholastic standing

Grades and grade points for the predoctoral, IDP, and dental hygiene programs may be found in Section II of this catalog, with the following exceptions:

  • Satisfactory (S)—grade if the student exceeded the minimum requirements for overall performance.
  • Marginal Satisfactory (MS)—grade if the student met but did not exceed the minimum requirements for overall performance.
  • Unsatisfactory (U)—grade if the student did not meet the minimum requirements for overall performance.

Student-initiated academic grievance procedure

If a student wishes to contest a grade, they should discuss the grade first with the instructor, where appropriate; then with the course director, if applicable; and finally with the department chair. If the student is not satisfied, they may then appeal to the associate dean for academic affairs (for further discussion of the academic grievance process, see Loma Linda University Student Handbook, Section V—University Policies).


Service-learning at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry continues the original purpose of the school—to train dental health professionals to provide service to underserved populations, both locally and abroad.

Field experience for students of dentistry and dental hygiene includes extramural opportunities within the U.S. and in foreign countries. In addition to providing clinical treatment, service-learning experiences include local health fairs and elementary school dental health presentations. Service experiences may last from one day to several weeks.

All students are required to complete assigned service-learning rotations and minimum clock hours, as described in each program. Predoctoral dental students are required to complete a minimum of 120 service-learning hours. Forty hours must be completed doing local community service dentistry. Up to 30 of the remaining 80 hours may be completed doing non-dental service. Dental hygiene students must complete 60 service-learning hours. Thirty-five hours of local service are required, and up to 15 non-dental service hours may be credited. International Dentist Program students must complete 60 hours of service. Of the 60 hours, 40 will be assigned by the program. Up to 15 hours of non-dental service may be completed as part of the 60 hours total requirement. In addition, a didactic component is included within the service-learning program. Lectures are embedded within existing courses and occur throughout the curricula.

Students are required to be in good and regular standing to be eligible to participate in elective international service-learning experiences.

Learning environment

Because the study of dental sciences and arts is based on a foundation in essentially the same science subjects as are studied in medicine and allied health curricula, the School of Dentistry shares with the School of Medicine the facilities for teaching basic sciences.

Classrooms, laboratories, student lounges, teachers' offices, and clinical facilities related solely to dentistry occupy the School of Dentistry building, named in honor of M. Webster Prince, the first dean. Prince Hall is on the University mall facing the University Church and adjacent to the Medical Center. The facilities effectively accommodate collaboration with the Medical Center in ongoing research and service programs.

The total resources of the University constitute a wealth of opportunity for the student with initiative and willingness to develop individual capacity to the fullest extent. Students find varied opportunities for serving and learning in the immediate University community, in school-sponsored service-learning clinics, clinical and research electives, and diverse volunteer programs.

Basic sciences

The Loma Linda University departments of basic sciences include anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, and physiology and pharmacology. The basic sciences serve as the foundation for the dental sciences by leading toward an understanding of normal structure and function, as well as introducing the basis for pathology in the practice of dentistry.

Subjects are taught in the first year of the dental hygiene and the first two years of the general dentistry curricula as part of three conceptually integrated sequences of courses—sequences in physiology, in anatomy, and in applied science. Throughout the basic sciences, an appreciation of God's creation and His wisdom is reinforced through the study of human biology. Students are encouraged to extend their knowledge and apply it for their own well-being and for the well-being of their patients.

The purpose of the basic science curriculum is to provide a foundation of knowledge that is essential for the practice of dentistry and dental hygiene. The faculty is dedicated to providing students with tools that expand their thinking and challenge them to ask probing questions and to earnestly search for answers. Its aim is to prepare students to excel scientifically. The higher aim is, through the Christian atmosphere of this University, to prepare students to become truly compassionate dentists.

Financial policies

The Office of the Dean is the final authority in all financial matters and is charged with the interpretation of all financial policies. Any exceptions to published policy in regard to reduction or reimbursement of tuition must be approved by the dean. Any statement by individual faculty members, program directors, or department chairs in regard to these matters is not binding on the school or the University unless approved by the dean.

Registration is not complete until tuition and fees on the required installment are paid; therefore, the student should be prepared to make these payments during scheduled registration for each academic year. There may be adjustments in tuition and fees as economic conditions warrant.

General financial practices

The student is expected to arrange for financial resources to cover all expenses before the beginning of each school year. Previous accounts with other schools or this University must be settled.

Satisfactory academic progress policy (all programs)

To be eligible for federal, state, and University financial aid, students are required by the U.S. Department of Education and the state of California to maintain satisfactory progress toward their degree objectives. In compliance with prescribed regulations, the University and School of Dentistry have established guidelines that are designed to ensure that students successfully complete courses to promote timely advancement toward a specific degree objective.

Definition of satisfactory academic progress

The School of Dentistry defines satisfactory academic progress by the following three criteria:

  1. Meeting a minimum grade point average requirement
  2. Making yearly progress by completing the academic requirements defined for a program
  3. Completing the degree objective within the maximum time allowed
Grade point average requirement

To maintain satisfactory academic progress, students in the predoctoral, IDP, and dental hygiene programs must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0. In addition, dental hygiene students must achieve no grade lower than a C- in all core courses.

Yearly progress requirement

Each student's academic progress is evaluated by the Academic Review Committee throughout each academic term, and a cumulative review is conducted to determine eligibility for promotion at the end of each academic year. The Office of Academic Affairs monitors the minimum grade point average requirement. The Office of Financial Aid, along with the School of Dentistry Office of Academic Affairs, monitors yearly progress and the maximum time allowance.

Students whose academic standing or degree progress falls below the standard receive a financial aid warning during the next term of registration. If their academic standing or degree progress is not raised to the standard by the end of the term in which the financial aid warning was issued, their financial aid will be terminated until the requirements have been met.

Reasonable degree progress

It is expected that students will complete the requirements for a degree within the scheduled curriculum time. The Doctor of Dental Surgery degree is scheduled to be completed in four years for the traditional program and 27 months for the international program and may not exceed six for the traditional program and three for the international program. The Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene is scheduled to be completed in two years and may not exceed three years. 

Certification of status

The Office of Academic Affairs will certify the official status of each enrolled student at the end of each academic year to the Office of University Records and to the Office of Financial Aid.

Student financial aid

Federal loans are available only to United States citizens, green card holders, or those with permanent resident status. With good credit or a creditworthy cosigner, federal loans may be used to cover the entire academic budget. For more information, contact the Office of Financial Aid or 909/558-4509.

Schedule of charges

Tuition, fees, and other cost-of-attendance items are located on the Find a Program webpage.


All tuition, enrollment fees and technology fees are set for one academic year.

International Dentist Program

All tuition, enrollment fees and technology fees are set fees for one academic year. The following amounts are based on the 27-month program.  

Dental Hygiene—B.S.

All tuition, enrollment fees and technology fees are set for one academic year and are divided equally per term.

On- and off-campus student housing

Students may go to for housing information and a housing application form.


  • Dental Hygiene —  B.S. 


  • Dentistry — D.D.S.
  • International Dentist Program (IDP) — D.D.S.

Advanced Education