Academic Regulations

D.M.D. Program



The act of registration includes the payment of the first semester tuition and the completion of the simplified registration form provided by the School of Dental Medicine. First-year students who do not register on the opening day of school and who have failed to provide satisfactory reasons in advance for the delay forfeit their right to admission. Vacancies which arise from such circumstances are filled from the list of alternate candidates at the discretion of the Committee on Admissions.

Registration must be completed by all upper-level students within 10 days after the opening day of school. Under unusual circumstances, special arrangements may be made with permission of the dean. The Social Security numbers of students are used for all records and documents and must be provided at the time of registration. Foreign students will be issued a number for this purpose if they have not obtained a Social Security number prior to registration.

Terms and Course Length

The school year consists of 34 weeks of five days each, exclusive of vacations, and is divided into two semesters of two terms each. The final week of each semester is reserved for examinations. There are mandatory summer clinic and class sessions for all students at the end of the second and third years. A fee is charged for these summer sessions.


Students enrolled at the School of Dental Medicine are expected to pursue their course of study according to a systematic plan as determined by the Faculty. It is the policy of the school that student attendance for clinic and clinic duty assignments is mandatory. Attendance requirements for lectures, laboratories and seminars are at the discretion of the course director. The course director is free to determine the extent to which absences affect the final grade. The student should realize that lack of regular attendance is extremely disruptive of academic progress and every attempt to attend all classes is strongly encouraged. The student should also be aware that the Committee on Student Standing and Promotion will consider faculty notation of poor attendance in its deliberations.

The Office of Student Services serves as a clearinghouse to notify faculty and staff of a student’s absence. Students who are not able to attend classes, laboratories or clinic are to call 216-368-6136 and advise the office of the period and expected duration of an absence and the reason that you will not be able to attend classes. The office will notify appropriate faculty and staff.

Note that the above action does not represent an approved absence. The clearinghouse function provided by the Student Service Office is a notification service. Individual faculty may express their own policy concerning absence as stated in the course syllabus.

There are situations where an approved absence that excuses the individual from classes et. al. is appropriate. An approved absence requires the approval and signature of the director of student services.

Grading Policy

Beginning with the class entering in the fall of 2006, the grading system of the School of Dental Medicine will be Pass/NoPass for all course work. The faculty will specify the mastery level in each course or module that is equivalent with passing. Students must pass each course/educational module. In each course or educational module students will receive formative feedback from the instructor as well as summative assessments which will contribute to the determination of their academic status in each respective course. At the end of each semester in the first two years of the program, students will be required to complete the Comprehensive Assessment battery of examinations.


Ongoing review of student progress will be conducted by faculty mentors. Student progress will be formally reviewed at the end of each semester or sooner in each year of the program by the Committee on Student Standing and Promotion. Students will receive written notification of their status at the end of each semester or sooner. Students must pass each course or educational module and the Comprehensive Assessment battery of examinations. Passing of courses and educational modules involves satisfactory accomplishment in both course content and/or small group learning processes, for which students receive ongoing evaluation. Students may not be promoted with one or more failing or incomplete grades unless they have entered a remedial program to remove those grades by a deadline set by the course director or committee. In the usual case students will be provided 30 days after the end of the semester to complete all incomplete or failing course work unless an instructor or the committee specifies an alternative time for remediation and/or completion of course work.


Students must sit for the National Board Dental Examination Part I (NDBE I) by April 1 of the second year. Students who do not pass NDBE I prior to the beginning of the fall semester of the third year will not be permitted to begin the semester. Additionally, students must successfully complete all course work and pass the National Board Examination Parts I and II in order to be considered for graduation from the School of Dental Medicine.


Students entering the School of Dental Medicine as of fall 2006 are expected to pursue their course of study according to a systematic plan as determined by the faculty. All students are required to attend class, be prepared for small and large group learning sessions, and attend all laboratory and clinic sessions. Because students work in teams during components of the curriculum, absences negatively impact the functioning and learning within a group. Students are evaluated in an ongoing manner on knowledge of content as well as small group learning processes and by clinical competency examinations.

The Following Information Applies to All Pre-Doctoral Students of the School of Dental Medicine

Absence from Examinations

The student is expected to be present at all examinations or provide, when possible, advance notice to the Office of Student Services when absence from an examination is anticipated. If a student fails to provide advanced notice, the student must provide an appropriate excuse. Failing to provide an acceptable excuse, the student will meet with the director of student services and the course director to discuss the absence. Following such consultation, the student will be informed of the consequences. The course director may permit the student to be retested (with or without penalty), be assigned a grade of zero for the examination, or receive a failing grade for the course.

Leave of Absence

A student may request a Leave of Absence for personal reasons or reasons of health when anticipated or actual absence is in excess of three weeks. Such request must be submitted in writing to the director of student services who will forward the request to the Committee on Student Standing and Promotion. The request must be submitted by letter and state the reason for the request, the length of leave requested and the date of return. The committee will ordinarily grant such requests if the student is currently enrolled and has been in regular attendance prior to the time or circumstances that necessitated the request. The request may be submitted by a parent, spouse or authorized agent of the student if the student is unable to file the request. The maximum length of leave is one year. Students must resume registration at the expiration of the leave unless formally granted an extension. Reentry into the dental program is determined by the Committee on Student Standing and Promotion and may not necessarily be at the same level attained at the time the leave was granted. The committee also reserves the right to place a student on Leave of Absence when it has determined that the circumstances warrant that action, even in the absence of a formal request.

Degrees Conferred

The degree Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) is awarded to students successfully completing the four-year professional program offered by the school. The Master of Science in Dentistry (M.S.D.) degree is awarded to graduate students who successfully complete a graduate program of advanced study. Degrees are granted by the university on the recommendation of the faculty subject to the satisfactory completion of all curricular requirements and the discharge of all financial obligations to the university. The recommendation for a degree is discretionary with the faculty, and there is no contract stated or implied, between the university and the student that a degree will be conferred at any stated time, or at all.

Withdrawals and Refunds

To officially withdraw from the School of Dental Medicine, a written notice must be submitted to the dean for approval. Failure to attend class or merely giving notice to an instructor will not be regarded as an official notice of withdrawal. A student who withdraws after the start of a semester must pay a portion of the usual tuition. The student is charged in accordance with the university policy on withdrawals. If the withdrawal occurs during the time that the student is enrolled in summer clinic, the student is charged at a rate of 12.5 percent per week of usual fee for summer clinic.

The university will refund any tuition paid for a semester by any student in good standing who is inducted, or called to active duty, by the Armed Forces of the United States prior to completing that semester, and who does not receive credit for the work completed during that semester.

Appropriate Attire

All students are expected to dress appropriately. The dental student is obliged to follow the dress code developed by the Dental Student Council and approved by the faculty. Graduate students and residents are expected to dress in a manner acceptable to their department.

Personal Property Insurance

Students are responsible for their personal property while on campus. The university assumes no responsibility for loss of or damage to a student’s personal property and the university insurance program does not cover such losses. Many families have homeowner or renter insurance policies which provide coverage for such perils as fire, water and theft. If this coverage does not exist, the student may wish to consider a separate renters insurance policy.

Student Services

The School of Dental Medicine’s Office of Student Services acts as a resource for individual dental students and for classes as a whole, providing services and administering programs that supplement the regular curriculum and enrich the quality of student life. Programs under the direction of this office include:

Student Activities

The School of Dental Medicine encourages its students to avail themselves of cultural opportunities within the university and the community.

Each class has its own student organization, which is governed by the students, with advice from the school’s Office of Student Services and other teaching staff, when such advice is requested.

The Student Council is an organization representing the entire student body whose purpose is to advance the interests of the students of the School of Dental Medicine and the university. Students of the School of Dental Medicine share in university athletics, participating in interclass, interdepartmental, and intercollegiate contests in various activities.

The School of Dental Medicine has chapters of two of the national dental student fraternities: Delta Sigma Delta and Psi Omega. Students of all classes are eligible for student membership in the American Dental Association, and the American Dental Education Association.

American Student Dental Association

The American Student Dental Association (ASDA) is a student organization of approximately 20,000 individual predoctoral and postdoctoral members organized into chapters, one at each of the U.S. dental schools. The ASDA is committed to the following:

  1. Developing and training future leaders of the dental profession
  2. Improving the quality of dental education
  3. Disseminating information of value to dental students
  4. Promoting the social, moral, and ethical obligations of the profession
  5. Ensuring due process for all dental students
  6. Representing dental students before legislative bodies and organizations
  7. Providing opportunities for students and recent graduates to deliver health care to people in areas of need

The local chapter at Case Western Reserve University, representing all of the dental students, provides benefits that include:

  1. Five professional publications
  2. Reprints of released national dental board examinations
  3. Insurance at low group rates (disability/major medical, equipment, professional liability, term life insurance)
  4. Reduced ADA dues upon graduation.

The American Dental Education Association (ADEA); The Voice of Dental Education

ADEA is the premier association serving the allied, predoctoral, and postdoctoral dental education community. ADEA provides advocacy, professional development, and a wealth of expert information and resources. We address contemporary issues influencing education, research, and the delivery of oral health care for the improvement of public health.

First-Year Orientation

Incoming students are introduced to the school, the university, and the Cleveland area in a four-day program presented by the Office of Student Services, faculty members, and upper-class students.

Faculty Mentors

All students are assigned to faculty mentors during freshman orientation. The advisors are volunteers from the faculty who offer the students guidance and fellowship during their educational program.

Student Monitoring

The director of student services monitors student grades on a regular basis and works individually with students. Students are assisted in defining problems, identifying available resources, and choosing specific steps to be taken toward improvement.


The Office of Student Services provides tutoring for students who need to improve their academic performance. The tutors are usually upperclassmen or graduate students. Students may seek tutoring on their own or be recommended for tutoring by course instructors. Tutors emphasize study techniques, time allotment, problem solving, and communication in addition to comprehension of content.

Honors, Prizes and Awards

Recognition, both honorary and monetary, is given to students who achieve excellence in different facets of their dental education. A complete description of each award is available in the Office of the Dean.

Scholastic Achievement

General Dentistry

Community Dentistry


Operative Dentistry

Oral Diagnosis, Radiology, and Treatment Planning

Oral Pathology

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery




Practice Management

Research and Scientific Papers

Student Affairs

The University Office of Student Affairs serves as an ombudsman focusing attention on the rights and responsibilities of students within the university community. In addition, it serves as a central source of information about university policies and procedures that affect student life and extracurricular programs and services. Students may contact the University Office of Student Affairs for resolution of specific problems and for referral to other university offices or campus agencies.