Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Close up of students in graduation caps and gowns
Man and woman in surgical garb performing dental work together
Student outreach
Students together
Students together
Students meeting
Student fashion show

Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry assures that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, or sexual orientation. The commitment to diversity is expressed in the School's mission to “provide oral health care to a diverse patient population in a variety of settings.” To fulfill this mission, the School of Dentistry has made a commitment to recruit, retain and graduate students from underrepresented communities to ensure adequate representation in the dental profession. The School of Dentistry aims to create a diverse student body that mirrors Minnesota’s diverse population, including its ethnic/racial communities, rural populations, and low-income populations. The vision is to educate future dentists who will return to their communities to provide care and increase access to oral health care in these vulnerable populations.

The School of Dentistry Diversity Policy for Admissions states that diversity enhances the educational experience of all students and better prepares graduates to practice dentistry in today's world. The DDS Admissions Committee ensures that all qualified applicants receive individualized consideration within the admissions process. 

Many factors are utilized in evaluating an applicant's potential contribution to diversity at the School of Dentistry:

  • geographic diversity
  • first-generation college student
  • financial need
  • disadvantaged educational background
  • racial and ethnic diversity
  • evidence of outstanding leadership
  • special talents
  • unique work or service experience
  • community involvement
  • experience and/or interest in research or teaching
  • interest in providing dental services to underserved areas

Equity and Diversity Award

Equity and diversity award

“In a year of outstanding accomplishments, it’s awfully hard to single out one unit for this award. But what sets the School of Dentistry apart this year is the breadth of their engagement with the University’s vision for reimagining equity and diversity.

Their integrative approach is based on the inclusive model of shared responsibility that is the hallmark of diversity work. They have set a new benchmark for collaboration and civic engagement. And as they translate their commitment into action, nothing and no one is untouched: their impact reaches into diverse communities throughout Minnesota, most recently in Willmar, where a new community dental clinic is serving the needs of diverse underserved populations.”

Dr. Rusty Barcelo
Associate Vice-President and Associate Vice-Provost, 2009