School of Dentistry

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History | Vision | Mission | Core Values


The long-range plan for the development of the Medical Center included the creation of a dental school in the 1971-1979 period. In the regular session of 1973, the Mississippi Legislature authorized the Board of Trustees to establish a School of Dentistry at the Medical Center for the "encouragement of the study of dentistry toward the doctor of dental medicine degree (DMD) as well as the continued education of the state's dental health professionals, and the encouragement of dental research and the improvement of dental health."

The School of Dentistry enrolled its first students in 1975, and the first class graduated in May, 1979. The dental education building, which adjoins the main Medical Center complex by an enclosed walkway, was completed in 1977. The five-story structure was dedicated in public and scientific ceremonies in March 1978.

The first dental hygiene class graduated from the School of Health Related Professions (SHRP) in 1972.  At that time the program was one of two certificate programs offered in SHRP. Beginning with the class of 1987, graduates were awarded a Bachelor of Science degree. In 2011, the program added an advanced standing online program to allow licensed dental hygienists with a certificate or associate's degree the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science degree.  These programs moved to the School of Dentistry in 2017.


The UMMC School of Dentistry strives to be nationally recognized for excellence in patient care, dental education, research, and service in order to improve health outcomes and eliminate dental health care disparities for the citizens of Mississippi.


The mission of the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry is to foster an environment of lifelong learning, collaborative teaching, service, and research through partnerships within the University of Mississippi Medical Center and with community organizations and dental health practitioners throughout the State of Mississippi. The School of Dentistry is committed to acquiring and retaining a diverse community of students, residents, fellows, faculty and staff who exemplify qualities of leadership and dedication in preparing competent, ethical oral health professionals for the State of Mississippi and who work to improve health outcomes and eliminate health disparities.

Core Values


  • Honesty and fairness in our actions

  • Building trust within our relationships

  • Courage to do "what is right"


  • Realize and commit to our full potential

  • Achievement and performance set to the highest standards

  • Collaborative teaching within the Medical Center


  • Willingness to take responsibility

  • Creating a vision, setting goals to make a difference


  • Promotion of innovative research by faculty and students


  • Ethical conduct, character and spirit for the advancement of our professions

Continuous Improvement

  • Dedication to lifelong learning while recognizing the need to change for improvement

  • Establishing and monitoring goals to enhance our value to the profession and the citizens of Mississippi


  • Accepting our differences while working together as a cohesive group and recognizing the value and strength derived through diversity


  • Concern for and recognizing the needs of others

  • Kindness and compassion shown in all interactions