General Policies

Tuition and Fees

Students enrolled in the Master of Dental Science Program in Orthodontics, Periodontology, Prosthodontics, and the three-year Pediatric Dentistry programs, receive a waiver of tuition from the College of Graduate Health Sciences (CGHS) in exchange for creditable services in teaching and research to their respective Departments. Students enrolled in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and the two-year Pediatric Dentistry certificate programs do not pay tuition or fees, except for selected courses.


Students enrolled in postgraduate dental programs are not required to be licensed to practice dentistry while in school; licensure, however, is desirable.

Professional Liability Insurance

Students enrolled in postgraduate dental programs are paid teaching assistants. As a result, students in postgraduate dental programs are employees of the University of Tennessee and are therefore covered by the state administered professional liability plan. A student enrolled in a postgraduate dental education program is not required to obtain personal professional liability insurance to cover them while performing supervised patient care under the auspices of the University.

Maintenance of Good Standing

Students in postgraduate programs offered by the UTHSC College of Dentistry are expected to perform at a level consistent with graduate education. Students are expected to receive grades of "A" or "B" in every course in which they are enrolled. A student who receives a minimally satisfactory grade (i.e., "C") may be required to remedy deficits in knowledge. If a student receives a "C" grade the program director will determine whether the performance is acceptable and, if not, will determine the remedy in consultation with the course director, the department chair, and the Associate Dean of Postgraduate Affairs. The remedial plan may involve repeating the course or successfully completing work deemed appropriate to the deficit. A student who receives an unsatisfactory or failing grade (i.e., "D" or "F") in any course work is placed on academic probation. This probationary standing must be removed within one year in order for the student to continue studies in the postgraduate dental education program. Failure to do so will result in separation from the University of Tennessee. Ordinarily, students who are on probation will be required to repeat the course with an acceptable grade or successfully complete work deemed equivalent by the program director, department chairperson, and the Associate Dean of Postgraduate Affairs. When academic offerings are not available that would enable the student to satisfy the academic deficiency in a timely fashion, exceptions to the one semester restriction may be granted by the program director with the approval of the department chairperson and the Associate Dean of Postgraduate Affairs.

A student who accumulates an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) below 3.00 is placed on academic probation. Probationary standing must be removed within one semester in order for the student to continue studies in the postgraduate dental education program. Failure to do so will result in separation from the University of Tennessee. In calculating GPA, all courses shall be considered, including failed and repeated courses. A final GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation. Students who earn multiple unsatisfactory or failing grades across the curriculum in which they are enrolled (i.e., multiple poor grades in one semester or accumulated over multiple semesters) will have their academic record scrutinized by the Graduate Committee which may make recommendations to the Dean regarding separation of the student from the University, continuation of studies, or other appropriate action. Students may appeal the decision of the Dean regarding such matters. The appeal must be submitted to the Dean in writing and the process followed will be consistent with standing College policy (Student Appeals Process, 5/24/2000). As needed, the Dean will form an ad hoc committee to hear the appeal.

A student will be separated from the University for any of the following reasons:

  1. Failure to achieve full standing at the end of the first year of study.
  2. Failure to correct probationary status within one semester.
  3. Concurrent or consecutive instances of poor performance.
  4. Willful failure to comply with program, departmental, College, Campus, or University policies and procedures.

Failure to maintain appropriate standards of conduct or integrity in discharging responsibilities to the University can lead to suspension or dismissal from the University. In addition, a student may be separated from a postgraduate dental education program for violation of UTHSC Policies and Procedures or violation of pertinent policies outlined in the Student Handbook.

Further, failure to comply with the American Dental Association’s Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct, or ethical codes established by the appropriate dental specialty, or the commission of an illegal act concerning the practice of dentistry according to the Dental Practice Act of the State of Tennessee will constitute grounds for dismissal from the postgraduate programs. Similarly, conviction of a violation of State or Federal law may result in suspension and/or dismissal.

Honor Code

A cooperative effort of students, faculty and staff has resulted in the development of an Honor Code that is applicable to all students enrolled at UTHSC. The Honor Code was promulgated in order that student academic affairs will be conducted under the highest standards of individual responsibility, thereby promoting personal honor and integrity in the best traditions of the health science professions. Major responsibility for protection of the educational process is assumed by UTHSC students, who are directly responsible for the effective operation of the Honor Code through their college or school honor council. Students will receive a copy of the Honor Code from the Dean of Postgraduate Affairs of the College of Dentistry at the time of enrollment, and will be required to sign the pledge contained therein before formal matriculation is acknowledged. It is thereby necessary that each student has knowledge and understanding of the Honor Code and will strictly adhere to its terms while a student.

Withdrawal from a Program

If a student finds it necessary to withdraw prior to completion of their postgraduate program of study, a formal withdrawal is prerequisite to future consideration for re-entry into the institution. A student intending to withdraw from a postgraduate program in the College of Dentistry should notify the chairperson in their department or their program director in writing of his/her intentions.

Students who have withdrawn from a postgraduate dental education program are not permitted to utilize the teaching or research resources of the University.

Former students will be considered for re-entry if they have withdrawn properly and if they submit a written request to the Dean of the College of Dentistry. The Graduate Committee will consider applications for re-entry. In addition to the applicant's prior record, circumstances of withdrawal and reasons for requesting re-entry, consideration will be given to the impact upon the program in terms of space, facilities, class size, stipend availability, and other factors which might preclude or modify the conditions of re-entry. If re-entry is granted and the student has been absent from the program for no longer than one year, the student will be returned to the program without loss of standing. However, if the readmitted student has been absent from the program for more than one year and is granted re-entry, some repetition of course work may be required as determined by the program director, chairperson, and Associate Dean of Postgraduate Affairs.

Time Limitation

For the programs in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontology and Prosthodontics, all requirements must be completed within a total period of five (5) consecutive calendar years after matriculation as a student, including periods of withdrawal from the program. A student who fails to complete the requirements within the five-year period must be formally readmitted as a full-time, full-standing student in order to continue studies toward the certificate or degree. The readmitted student is then subject to the current terms of admission, time limitations, and any revised requirements for the awarding of the certificate or degree. No consideration should be assumed on the part of the student with regard to credit for previous work.

Completion of a certificate program

Before a certificate is awarded the following are required with no exception:

  1. The academic, clinical, and residency requirements established by the College of Dentistry and the student's program must be satisfied.
  2. All responsibility for patient care must be discharged according to departmental and College of Dentistry policy.
  3. The student must be enrolled during the semester in which the certificate is awarded.
  4. Delinquent financial accounts, including tuition payments, fees, library fines, parking tickets, etc., which are due the University must be paid.
  5. Keys and identification cards must be turned in according to University rules.
  6. A formal exit process must be followed.

Dunn Dental building photo

Contact Us

UTHSC College of Dentistry
Office of Postgraduate Affairs

875 Union Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38163

Office: 901-448-6930
Fax: 901-448-1294

Associate Dean
Postgraduate Affairs

David R. Cagna, D.M.D., M.S.

Administrative Coordinator

Nancy Wilson