Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine
|Is ranking calculated?
| Is honors status awarded?
How is competency in
a course determined?
To reach our educational goals for the Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.)
degree program, Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine has adopted
eight competency statements:
- Effective communication,
- Professionalism, ethics and
- Scientific knowledge and
- Assessment and diagnosis,
- Dental therapeutics and
- Social and community
contexts of health care,
- Practice management and
- Self-assessment and
In addition, there are 32 sub-competencies, or institutional
learning objectives. These competency statements and institutional learning
objectives are mapped to 48 summative competency assessments within courses or
clinics in years 2, 3 and 4 of the predoctoral program. While the vast majority
of these competency assessments are patient-based examinations, some involve
standardized patients or cases, simulations or portfolio submissions. Students
must independently demonstrate the knowledge, values and skills expected of an
entry-level dentist as outlined in each of the competency assessments. To
ensure that all students have the same foundation, depth and breadth of
clinical experiences, clinical accomplishments in each of the disciplines are
closely tracked throughout the dental program.
How is the language
in Deans’ letters crafted?
Consistently over the last four decades, nearly 100% of Stony Brook
University dental students (approximately 40 students per graduating class)
have pursued advanced dental education, postdoctoral or residency programs
following graduation. The Associate Dean for Education writes a customized
letter for each D.D.S. student or alumnus/alumna applying to postdoctoral or
residency programs. The Associate Dean for Education draws on detailed feedback
from faculty, discussions from quarterly Academic Standing Committee meetings,
personal observations and candidate interviews to draft the Institution
Evaluation. Characteristics such as personal growth, challenges, level of
independence, research, service and/or leadership are highlighted in the
evaluation. While the School’s academic policies and procedures do not allow
for the calculation of grade point averages or rankings of students or alumni,
high student performance within the program is evidenced in the letter by reference
to faculty commendations, awards, scholarships and selections for outreach
What else should
program directors know?
According to the grading policies of the School of Dental
Medicine, students receive letter grades (A, B, C or F) for didactic courses.
Student performance in clinical courses (clinics) is graded as either Honors, Satisfactory
or Unsatisfactory. “A” grades or Honors grades indicate overt excellence in
knowledge (depth, breadth and application) and/or skill (independent
competency) for that particular course or clinic. A majority of “A,” “B” or Honors
grades on the student transcript indicates exceptional performance
(consistently above the benchmark) within the predoctoral program. Program
directors should be aware that most of the biomedical science courses within
the predoctoral program are integrated with the School of Medicine and jointly
taught to both dental and medical students. In addition, dental students at
Stony Brook University on average have consistently scored one standard
deviation above the national mean scores for both Part I and Part II of the National
Dental Board Examination.
For questions, please
David W. Paquette, D.M.D.,
Associate Dean, Education