The BA/BS-DDS degree program at the University of Colorado Denver and CU School of Dental Medicine at Anschutz Medical Campus aims to promote the diversity of dental professionals practicing dentistry in Colorado and to better serve the health care needs of the State of Colorado by assembling and educating up to five students each year from broadly diverse backgrounds. Applicants must be Colorado residents who are interested in serving the health care needs of Colorado as dentists. Acceptance and participation in this program does not guarantee admission to the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine or any other dental school.
Students who successfully meet all program requirements including a successful interview with the School of Dental Medicine (SDM) Admission Committee, will be eligible for a “reserved” spot in the CU SDM matriculating class.
Admission of individuals will be conducted through a holistic review in a manner which treats each applicant fairly, on the basis of experience, attributes, and metrics.
*Note: It is important that you apply for undergraduate admission to the University of Colorado Denver by October 25, 2021. The admission process to the University can take up to 6 weeks. Please visit the following website for Admissions Information:
Pre-Application Information Session
The University of Colorado School of Medicine and University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will be hosting one Pre-Application Information Session for the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science-Doctor of Dental Surgery program. If you are interested in attending the Information Session, please RSVP by clicking on the link below. The information provided will be used for sending specific information regarding your attendance, specifically log-in information, and informing you about session changes if necessary. The date for the session is:
- Saturday, September 11, 2021
- The session will be held remotely via the Zoom Platform from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM.
- RSVP by clicking on the following link: https://ucdenver.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_etEwloc2oya2ydo
- The session will be held remotely via the Zoom Platform from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM.
What Students Are Saying
Alexa Powell, Colorado Springs
BA/BS-DDS Cohort 1
My name is Alexa Powell and I am a member of the first cohort of the BA/BS-DDS program. I originally was interested in the medical field because I knew I wanted to work in something health related. After shadowing several physicians, I found myself being intrigued, but not convinced that I could see myself doing it in the long run. A family friend suggested that I look into Pediatric Dentistry because I love working with children and because I used to babysit during high school. After shadowing my pediatric dentists, I found myself really loving the profession and was able to see myself doing it in the long run. I also became interested in the dental field because I remember my Dad telling me stories of how he was not able to afford dental care when he was younger and of how he used to go to school with bad headaches due to his untreated cavities. I know that my Dad isn’t the only one with this story of dental care not being easily accessible, so I want use dentistry not only as a profession, but as a way to serve my community and those who can’t easily access this care.
I am extremely happy to be in the BA/BS-DDS program because it is providing me the tools and resources necessary to become a dentist who can best serve her community. Through this program, I am able to work closely with the Dental School at Anschutz and to directly receive feedback from faculty regarding my performance and growth throughout the year. I also always have support in this program when struggling and am able to quickly get back on my feet to continue pursuing my passion of becoming a dentist to serve my community of Colorado.
Eligibility for Application to the BA/BS-DDS Degree Program
The BA/BS-DDS degree program at the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) and Anschutz Medical Campus aims to promote diversity and to better serve the health care needs of the State of Colorado. Students who have a strong interest and passion in becoming dentists, and practicing dental medicine in the State of Colorado, are encouraged to apply to the BA/BS-DDS Program.
We believe it is our responsibility to help meet the healthcare needs of the State of Colorado by selecting talented students that intend to practice dental medicine in Colorado. The BA/BS-DDS Program Admissions Committee will consider all aspects of an applicant's experiences, academic performance, and background including but not limited to:
Excellence of academic record
Array of community and/or volunteer service experiences
Characteristics and capabilities that would make you an excellent physician
Honors and Awards
Full or part-time jobs held during school or in summers
Students must meet the following minimum criteria to be eligible to apply to the BA/BS-DDS Program:
Applicants must apply to CU Denver by October 25, 2021 and be accepted for admission as a degree seeking student at the University of Colorado Denver Downtown campus by November 22, 2021. *This is a CU Denver Program only. Students wishing to attend the University of Colorado Boulder, or any other college/university are not eligible for this program; however, it is encouraged that you still apply to multiple universities and colleges, as there is no guarantee that you will be admitted to the CU Denver BA/BS-DDS Program.
Applicants must be current residents of the State of Colorado and a citizen of the United States or a U.S. permanent resident with a Form I-551, I-151, or I-551C.
Applicants must be current high school seniors planning on graduating from high school in the fall of 2021 or spring of 2022.
Possess a personal commitment to a career in dental medicine.
Colorado public colleges and universities consider the following in making admissions decisions:
High School GPA
Academic course mix and rigor
Extracurricular activities and other considerations
***A successful BA/BS-DDS applicant should have:
- A minimum high school grade point average of 3.5 (weighted or unweighted; whichever is higher).
- A composite ACT Score of 27 or higher and or an Evidenced Based Reading & Writing +Math SAT Score of 1185 or higher.
***Please Note: For this year's application cycle you are not required to submit ACT or SAT scores, but you may submit these scores as supplementary material for your application if you choose.
This program is designed for Colorado high school seniors who meet one or more of the following criteria:
From educationally disadvantaged backgrounds
From financially disadvantaged backgrounds
From federally designated rural/frontier communities in Colorado
From ethnic groups who are currently under-represented in the medical community in Colorado including:
Black or African American
Native American/Alaska Native
First generation college students-someone whose parents did not attend or graduate from college or did not complete a baccalaureate degree.
Desire to practice dental medicine in Colorado after the completion of dental school and residency in some cases
*NOTE: Students wishing to attend the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, or any other college/university are not eligible for this program if admitted.
Interviews will be offered to a select group of applicants by the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine Admissions Committee. Factors that will be considered in choosing interviewees include activities that indicate a strong desire to participate in a career in dentistry, leadership, academic achievement and potential, and one's diverse background. Interviews will be conducted by members of the CU School of Dental Medicine's Admissions Committee on the Anschutz Medical Campus. Each interviewee will be interviewed separately by two committee members, and each interview is 30 minutes in length. Students must be available for a virtual interview on the date scheduled to be considered for this program. We will not be able to accommodate any alternative dates for interviews. Interviews will be held virtually on Saturday, December 4, 2021. Students can expect the interview process to last all day; 8:00AM to 4:00PM.
How to Apply
IMPORTANT: Applying to the BA/BS-DDS Program requires the completion of two separate applications. Students must first apply for admission to the University of Colorado Denver Downtown Denver Campus before applying for admission to the BA/BS-DDS Program (Fall 2022 Admission). Admission to the University of Colorado Denver can take up to six weeks.
***Please read through this entire page before requesting a supplemental application. The request link for the application can be found at the bottom of the page.
Applicants must apply to CU Denver by October 25, 2021 and be accepted for admission as a degree seeking student at the University of Colorado Denver Downtown campus by November 22, 2021. Completed applications for the BA/BS-DDS Program and all required materials must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 29, 2021. No exceptions to the deadline will be made.
The CU Denver Undergraduate Application for Fall 2022 is now available. The BA/BS-DDS Supplemental Application is also now available. Please follow the instructions below to complete both applications.
1. CU Denver Undergraduate Application
Before accessing the BA/BS-DDS Supplemental Application, you must first complete an online application for undergraduate admission to the University of Colorado Denver.
***Please note, if you have completed CU Succeed, concurrent registration, or Pre-Collegiate courses at any CU Institution, you need to complete the undergraduate application for first-time students. Instructions for completing the CU Denver Undergraduate Application are available on the CU Denver Undergraduate Admissions Web page at:
To schedule an informational appointment with a CU Denver Admissions representative and a tour of the downtown campus, please viist the following site to select an available date from the calendar:
*Note: A completed undergraduate application consists of the following:
- $50 non-refundable application processing fee
- An official high school transcript
- Applicants who have earned a GED should also submit a copy of their certificate of high school equivalency, GED test scores, and an official transcript of all high school work completed
***ACT or SAT scores are not required for this year only. If you have scores and would like to submit them, you can choose to do so as supplementary material (scores reported on high school transcripts are acceptable).
2. Supplemental BA/BS-DDS Application
Please read all of the instructions before accessing and completing the Supplemental Application via Qualtrics. Paper applications will not be accepted.
Before you begin the application, please click through the entire application to review the contents of the application. Plan on spending at least 3 hours to complete the application thoroughly.
The application does not require you to complete it in one sitting; however, once you add content to the application, you will have to go back and review your selections and content added from the beginning before you can advance to the next section.
As part of the supplemental application, you are required to submit the following items directly to the BA/BS-DDS Program via Email.
- Please submit a minimum of two letters of recommendation (no more than three):
- One from a science and/or math teacher.
- A second from someone who has supervised you in a community volunteer experience working with a disadvantaged or underserved population in Colorado; i.e. working with the homeless; working in a nursing home or assisted living center; working in some capacity in a low income urban community; working in a neighborhood clinic that serves the indigent; working for an after school program in neighborhoods with lower socioeconomic status, etc.
Please Note: All letters must be sent in PDF format, and they must be signed and dated. Additionally, for security purposes, we cannot accept letters emailed by you or anyone other than the letter writer. Letters of recommendation must be sent directly from the letter writer, and they must use a .org, .edu, or .gov email address to send their letter. You will receive a "receipt of letter" email as we receive your letters of recommendation.
- Please submit all official high school and/or college transcripts as well. You must have every high school and/or college you have attended send us official transcripts. These transcripts can be sent via Parchment or by your school's Registrar or a School Administrator, i.e., Principal, HS Counselor, etc. Also, if you have coursework from the University of Colorado Denver, we will not automatically include your CU Denver transcript in the BA/BS-DDS supplemental application. You must also include your CU Denver transcript for submission with the supplemental application.
Please Note: For security purposes, we cannot accept tanscripts emailed by you or anyone other than the Parchmnet Program or by your school's Registrar or a School Administrator. If transcripts are being sent by the Registrar or School Administrator, they must be sent via a .org, .edu, or .gov email address. You will receive a "receipt of transcript" email as we receive your transcripts.
Letters of Recommendation and Official Transcripts should be emailed to the following email address: email@example.com
The Supplemental Application is now available via Qualtrics for you to complete (following completion of your application to CU Denver). Please click on the following web address to request the link to the Supplemental Application:
How it works
The BA/BS-DDS Program is a partnership between the University of Colorado Denver's (CU Denver) College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine located on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. The purpose of the program is to admit outstanding students from broadly diverse backgrounds who have the desire to serve the health care needs of Colorado as dental professionals. Provided that program participants meet specific academic, non-academic, and professional requirements, being accepted into the BA/BS-DDS program enables students to earn a “reserved” seat at the CU School of Dental Medicine and will allow them the freedom to explore other interests during their undergraduate college years at CU Denver.
Program Process & Details
- The BA/BS-DDS combined program will take a minimum of eight years to complete; four years of undergraduate studies and four years to complete Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree (DDS). Students will not be able to graduate early from their undergraduate program.
- Students must attend the CU Denver Downtown campus and complete a Bachelor's degree of their choice. A list of all undergraduate programs is available here.
- Students will be guided in applying for scholarships to help cover their educational costs.
- Students will be required to complete a sequence of required pre-dental coursework while pursuing their Bachelor's degree.
- As a participant in the BA/BS-DDS Program, students are expected to live in City Heights Residence Hall for their freshman year and participate in the Pre-Health Learning Community (Pre-Health LC). Students will live with other students who are also in the BA/BS-DDS Program and with students who have similar academic interests in the Health Sciences. Program participants have the option of living off campus their sophomore, junior, and senior year.
- Students will be required to participate in, and attend co-curricular seminars on the Anschutz Medical Campus, and participate in full time summer programs each summer of their undergraduate education. This includes participation in a four day Summer Bridge program that occurs in June prior to the start of the students’ academic career at CU Denver as well as a week-long academic boot camp starting the week before classes begin in August. Participation in both of these summer programs is required.The goal of the seminars and the summer programs is to enrich a student's education and introduce them to some of the School of Dental Medicine faculty and staff, and to introduce them to some of the various dental school instructional methods.
- Upon successful completion of a Bachelor's degree, all academic, non-academic, and professional program requirements, the DAT, and all CU School of Dental Medicine admission requirements, including a successful SDM Interview, students can enter the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine (SDM) to complete their DDS degree.
All BA/BS-DDS students are expected to aggressively apply for all scholarships for which they are qualified; the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office on the downtown campus will work closely with successful applicants to the program
Summer Programs and Living On Campus
An important component of the BA/BS-DDS Program are summer programs designed to help students successfully make the transition to college as well as enrich their educational experiences and prepare them for medical school. Student participation in each of these summer programs is mandatory. With the exception of the Summer Bridge Program, Academic Boot camp, and DAT preparation and Dental School Application processes, students will be paid for the time spent in the summer programs.
- The summer before matriculating to the University of Colorado Denver, students will be expected to participate in a mandatory Summer Bridge Program and an Academic Boot camp.
- Summer Bridge will take place over a four day period of time in early summer after acceptance into the BA/BS-DDS Program. If held in-person, overnight housing for students and scheduled meals are provided.
- The goal of the Summer Bridge Program is to help students with the transition to college by developing key skills that will set up a lifelong pattern of success.
- Examples of the areas for skill development included in the program are:
- Identifying and Understanding Your Learning Style
- Time Management Skills
- Note Taking Skills
- Enhancing Your Communication Skills
- Understanding and Valuing Diversity
- Mental and Physical Wellness
- Students will also participate in subject assessments; Biology, Math, and Chemistry. The assessments will test the student’s readiness for honors courses and their performance on each assessment will help identify any knowledge gaps they may have.
- Academic Boot camp starts one week before the start of the academic year; Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
- Students will be participating in intense academic and non-academic activities on the Downtown Denver Campus and at the Anschutz Medical Campus.
- BA/BS-DDS Longitudinal Experiential Curriculum (LEC)-Students are required to engage in the LEC throughout their BA/BS-DDS undergraduate experiences with planned periods of intensification of their activities during six-week dedicated periods during the summers between freshman / sophomore and sophomore / junior years. Periodic LEC meetings with BA/BS-DDS program leadership will provide continuity and guidance to the LEC experiences. Students will receive stipends during the summers in which they participate in the LEC program. The LEC supports activities in three main areas:
- Community engagement
- Research (basic, translational, or population-based), and
- Clinical experiences
- DAT Preparation The Summer between a student's junior and senior years, students will participate in intensive Medical School Application processes. This includes, DAT exam prep, the DAT exam itself, the ADEA AADSAS application, and transition activities related to the School of Dental Medicine.
- Course Work - Course list and schedule pre-requisites
In order to remain in good academic standing in the Program, students must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours during their first two academic years and must maintain an overall college grade point average of 3.50. In addition, students in the program cannot receive a grade lower than a B (3.0) in any of the required dental school pre-requisite courses. Finally, to be fully considered for admission to the CU School of Dental Medicine students must take the Dental Admission Test (DAT). The expected minimum score for qualifying with the CU School of Dental Medicine will be provided prior to the beginning semester of their junior year.
Students can major in any undergraduate discipline, with the exception of Bioengineering, at the University of Colorado Denver that leads to a B.A. or B.S. degree. However, all students must complete the dental school pre-requisites in accordance with the course list, while pursuing their undergraduate degrees.
All students will be required to enroll in Honors General Biology I and II as well as Honors General Chemistry I and II unless they have completed these courses through a recognized IB program and received a score of 5 or better on the IB exam for each subject. Students who completed AP Biology and Chemistry courses will be asked to repeat those courses at the University. Students who have taken courses at local community colleges or are transferring a large number of credits to the University need to be aware that this will not reduce the amount of time they will be required to spend in this program. Early graduation is not on option through this program.
At the end of every academic semester, the BA/BS-DDS Promotions Committee will review the progress of each student. If concerns are raised about academic performance and or professional development of the student, they- concerns will be shared with the student, and the student will be counseled and given an opportunity to address deficiencies. If problems are not adequately addressed by the student, the Promotions Committee can recommend dismissal from the program. Any recommendation made by the Committee must be affirmed by a majority of the BA/BS-DDS Promotions Committee and approved by the Program Administrators and Directors.
It should be noted that dismissal from the program does not preclude a student from applying to the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine as a regular applicant.
Upon successful completion of the bachelor's degree, all program requirements as described above, and a successful School of Dental Medicine Interview, students will be deemed to have met the academic, non-academic, and professional qualifications for admission to the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. While completion of the BA/BS-DDS program will academically qualify the student for admission to the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, final admission as a student to the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine is conditional on meeting all non-academic qualifications of School of Dental Medicine applicants, including but not limited to the completion of a background check.
Ms. Trishia Vasquez (Director, University of Colorado Denver Health Professions Program)
Mr. Kenneth English, M.Ed. (Program Coordinator, University of Colorado Denver, Downtown Campus)
Amisha Singh, DDS (Acting Director of Diversity Programming at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine)
Crystal Ridgley (Associate Director of Admissions and Student Engagement at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine)