senior electivesPredoctoral Electives – Special Topics Courses

Third- and fourth-year dental students are provided the opportunity to register for elective courses which cover a wide range of topics. Electives are offered during the fall and spring terms. Courses are held on Mondays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Each elective course consists of an 8-hour commitment for 0.50 credits or a 15-hour commitment for 1.00 credit. Please read the course descriptions below which include the time commitment and number of credits.

Policies & Eligibility

Third-year dental students may register for no more than one (1) elective per term. This limitation is inclusive of the third-year Pediatric Dentistry elective course (PEDS 539) and the third-year Research with Mentor course (ODSC 599).

Fourth-year dental students may register for no more than two (2) electives per term, which is exclusive of any clerkship course or the Research with Mentor course (ODSC 599).

Any student wishing to enroll in an elective course must be in good academic standing.


All elective courses are graded as pass/fail. Instructors may assign exercises and assessments at their discretion; however, at minimum, attendance is required at all course meetings dates in order to achieve a passing grade. Please see course descriptions for additional grading criteria.

Students who do not request to have an elective course dropped from their schedule prior to the first meeting date will receive a “W” on their transcript to indicate withdrawal from the course.

Upon successful completion of the elective course(s), credit will be given under the special topics course, DNTS 548, and it will appear on your official transcript.


When choosing your elective(s), please carefully check your schedule to ensure you are available to attend all sessions, and also make certain that multiple elective courses do not overlap.

Please use this link to register for the electives: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NVTBZSX


Questions may be directed to:

Mrs. Ellen Seed



Fall 2019 Offerings

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­DNTS 548: The Power of Communication


Instructor(s): Dr. Deborah Rodriguez

Credits: 0.5

Capacity:  15 students


Dates:             Monday, 10/21, 4:30-6:30 pm in room G313

                        Wednesday, 10/23, 4:00-6:00 pm in room G313

                        Monday, 10/28, 4:30-6:30 pm in room G313

                        Wednesday, 10/30, 4:00-6:00 pm in room G313


Course Description:   This course will consist of participatory lecture, group discussions, video-taping of student’s presentations with a standardized patient. Feedback on dealing with difficult patients. The goal is for this interactive technology to assist students with the comfort level in presentations and interactions to patients in the future. This course will assist students to feel comfortable in the shared decision -making process between a health care provider and the patient. Research has suggested that involving patients in health care decisions has a positive effect on the dental health and dental care outcomes.


Grading Requirements:  Attendance to all lectures and small groups is required to pass this course.  Repeated tardiness without prior approval from the course director will also result in failure of the course.  The student may participate in a video for assessment and feedback of educational presentation.


DNTS 548: A Mindfulness Approach to Clinical Excellence


Instructor(s): Dr. Douglas Drewyer

Credits: 0.5

Capacity:  16 students


Dates:             Mondays – 9/9, 9/23, 9/30 and 10/14 from 4:30-6:30 pm in room 9105


Course Description:  As you read the course description, keep in mind that this is a conversational class.  Through your participation we will uncover, unravel and consider the power behind what we do, how we do it, and who we might be in service with most effectively from here on out.  Those who have come before you in this time together continue to reflect on the impact, the resources and the empowerment they took away as the reward for their participation.  I look forward to providing the space to discover just what it means to you to be a dentist in the 21st century.  During our conversations, we will explore practices for dealing with the daily rigors of professional life.  Students will be introduced to useful, relevant concepts for improving their understanding, communication, planning and partnership services.  Rooted in ancient wisdom traditions, philosophical distinctions will be offered to the student/practitioner for immediate incorporation into their daily lives.  Lecture topics include: developing awareness of self and surroundings; the practices of dentistry are the practices of life; staff relations and training; entering private practice; conflict resolution and team development; business practices and ethics; personal values and consolidation.


Grading Requirements: Grading is pass/fail, based on attendance (100% is expected).  Specific Criteria: each session will include a one page written assignment exploring the distinctions shared during that class.  Credit will only be complete when a course evaluation is submitted to Dr. Drewyer.