Interprofessional Health Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Dentistry

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Degree Offered: Certificate
Program Leadership:
Brennan Crilly, Assistant Director, Office of Admissions and Outreach
Julia Hwang, Director, Learner Success Center 
Admissions Inquiries:
Brennan Crilly, Assistant Director, Office of Admissions and Outreach

Program Description

The Interprofessional Health Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program represents a comprehensive educational opportunity designed for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, underserved communities, or from groups traditionally underrepresented in the health professions. Through a combination of advanced science coursework, test preparation, collaborative study, and personalized support in preparing for the professional school application process, participants are able to distinguish themselves as competitive candidates for health professional schools.

Since 1999, post-baccalaureate students in the UCSF schools of dentistry and medicine have been successful in gaining admission to health professions schools throughout the United States. Both programs have consistently seen high acceptance rates: the medical program has an established acceptance rate of 93% and the dental program has a similarly successful acceptance rate of over 90%. In 2010, the School of Pharmacy launched a program modeled after those in the schools of dentistry and medicine, and in 2011 all three programs were united under the UCSF Interprofessional Health Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program.

Post-baccalaureate students complete coursework through UC Berkeley Extension and participate in seminars at UCSF to enrich their knowledge of the health professions and prepare them for the professional school application process. Students in all three programs benefit from personalized advising; students in medicine and dentistry also benefit from focused entrance exam preparation. As members of a formal university graduate certificate program, students participate in campus life and take advantage of student resources in areas of financial aid, health insurance, library services, learning assistance and more.

The Interprofessional Health Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program is offered by the UCSF Graduate Division and administered by the UCSF schools of dentistry, medicine, and pharmacy.

The dental program is an intensive, one-year academic experience intended to help individuals with bachelor’s degrees become competitive applicants to dental and other professional education programs. The program is highly selective, and consists of rigorous academic and co-curricular requirements:

  • Students take full-time coursework at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) Extension. This includes two semesters of at least 18 units of upper division sciences courses. It is important to understand that the Extension courses offered are academically equivalent to the courses offered on the Berkeley campus at UCB and approved by the academic senate.
  • Students receive mentoring by UCSF faculty and UCSF dental students, as well as previous Post-Bac students.
  • In the seminar portion of the program, a variety of workshops are presented that focus on study techniques and test-taking skills. There is also emphasis placed on communication and interviewing skills as well as essay preparation. The students are also exposed to a variety of topics meant to enhance their overall knowledge of the dental profession.
  • Students are provided DAT home-study material.
  • Students participate in on-campus events meant to provide additional knowledge of dentistry, such as Clinical Research and Excellence Day, Impressions, Building Bridges and Day in Dentistry.
  • Students are required to participate in an interprofessional Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) project. Totaling eight months, students work with peers from the schools of medicine and pharmacy, as well as faculty preceptors, to investigate ways to improve patient care and systems flow within various departments on campus.

Admission Requirements

  • U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident of any race or ethnicity who has demonstrated a commitment to UCSF School of Dentistry's mission of enhancing diversity and inclusion in dentistry or a commitment to helping reduce the serious underrepresentation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in both the dental field and our campus community.
  • You must have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Be considered disadvantaged, or be from/committed to helping underserved communities.1
  • Completion of all of the prerequisites for dental school as found on the DDS website.
  • Have previously engaged in around 100 dental shadowing hours.
  • Have previously taken the DAT (not required but preferred).

A disadvantaged individual is one who, from an early age, resided in a low-income community or experienced enduring family, societal, or other hardship that significantly compromised educational opportunities. An underserved community is a geographic location or an identified population that is determined medically underserved based upon the U.S. Census data.

Learning Outcomes

The content of the course has been developed to facilitate the success of the course’s three learning objectives: Application Preparation (AP), Skill Development (SD), and Interprofessional Education (IE). By the end of the course students will:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of strategic Application Preparation (AP) through:

    The ability to prepare written statements acceptable for submission to professional schools.

    Knowledge of best practices for identifying letter of evaluation/recommendation writers, soliciting writers, and providing appropriate information to the writers.

    Dental students will create appropriate list of schools to apply to through the use of research, oral presentation and sharing resources. Pharmacy students will create appropriate list of professional organizations through the use of research, oral presentation and sharing resources.

    Knowledge of how to prepare for an applicant interview and practice interviewing.
  2. Demonstrate Skill Development (SD) in areas critical for success in professional school such as:

    Improved time management skills and academic strategies as demonstrated by an improvement in academic performance.

    Improved written and oral communication skills as assessed through course assignments.

    Demonstrated evidence of professionalism through their interactions with others in the course, the program, and the campus community.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of and ability to apply the tenets of Interprofessional Education (IE)

    Through increased knowledge of their intended profession as well as other health professions as evidenced through discussions, blog entries, and the ability to substantively participate in group activities.

    Through successfully contributing to collaborative projects such as the Interprofessional Research Symposium project to which they are assigned.

    Through increased awareness and knowledge of critical topics in health care as evidenced by their ability to fully participate in group discussions and activities.

Additional Information

Program Core Faculty