Program Phases


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  • Undergraduate Program Phase

    College sophomores who are interested in practicing general or pediatric dentistry in a rural area can apply to take part in the two-year pre-matriculation (undergraduate) phase of the MRDSP. Students in this program are given academic enrichment as well as well as DAT preparation materials to assist them in their quest to becoming practicing dentists.

    College juniors can apply for the one-year program that will also provide academic enrichment for students selected.

    Undergraduate requirements

    • Applicants must complete the sophomore year in college and acquire college grades (Advanced Placement credit unacceptable) for the following prerequisite course work (semester credit hours):
      • 8 credits biology (with lab)
      • 8 credits freshman/general chemistry (with lab)
      • 8 credits of either physics or organic chemistry (both with lab)
      • 6 credits college math (usually 3 credits each of algebra and trigonometry (3 credits of calculus satisfies the math requirement)
    • Additionally, applicants must:
      • Present academic credentials and standardized test-taking skills indicative of a successful applicant to dental school
      • Overall grade point average (GPA) = 3.0 for a minimum of 60 credits
      • ACT composite score = 21 or SAT verbal plus math score = 990
      • Biology, chemistry, physics, and math (BCPM) GPA = 3.0 for a minimum 30 credits (27 credits if math requirement satisfied by 3 credits of calculus)
    • Be a legal resident of Mississippi.
    • Plan to practice general dentistry or pediatric dentistry.
    • Show evidence that an applicant is likely to practice in a rural or medically underserved community in Mississippi based on residence in such an area or experiences (exposure to the dental profession, volunteer/community service and leadership) in rural or medically underserved areas.
    • A strong work ethic, determination to succeed, ability to overcome setbacks and age-appropriate professional behavior based on faculty evaluation letters, personal recommendation letters and personal circumstances (employment during school, family responsibilities).
    • Intent to participate in all academic enrichment programs offered by the MRDSP by signing the Integrity Agreement.

    Benefits

    • DAT preparation
    • Rural practicing dentist mentoring
    • Two-day biannual Dental Encounters experiences at UMMC
    • Preferred candidate for $35,000-per-year dental school scholarship

    MRDSP enrichment activities

    Each student must:

    • Attend Dental Encounters twice yearly.
    • Complete a Community Needs Assessment (CNA) of his or her hometown.
    • Prepare poster presentation of his or her Community Needs Assessment for display at the Mississippi Rural Health Association conference.
    • Spend a minimum of 40 hours each calendar year with an approved rural dentist mentor in the student's college town or hometown. These hours will be accumulated during the summer and school year. Each dentist must complete an evaluation form and submit it to the MRDSP executive director. Lab coats with the MRDSP logo are provided to each participant for use during shadowing experiences.

    Integrity clause

    "As a member of the Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program, I aspire to earn my place in the dental community of Mississippi. I accept responsibility for my conduct and expect the highest standards of myself. I understand and pledge my commitment to fulfilling the requirements of the Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program. I recognize it is an honor and a privilege to be the recipient of the State's financial investment in me. I pledge to uphold my agreement to practice general or pediatric dentistry in rural Mississippi."