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The University of Iowa College of Dentistry strives to provide a learning environment in which equal access to education is ensured through reasonable accommodations.  Students with disabilities must notify the Associate Dean for Student Affairs of their disability and provide documentation from a healthcare provide with a request for accommodation(s). After collegiate review of the request for reasonable accommodation(s), the Associate Dean will contact the student to outline approved accommodations.

Faculty in the College of Dentistry are required to comply with the University policies and procedures regarding the provisions of academic accommodations to students with disabilities if the accommodations requested are deemed reasonable.

Please contact the Associate Dean for Student Affairs at 319-335-7151 with any questions.


Minimum Technical Standards for Admission and Graduation

The College is committed to the principle of diversity in all areas.  In that spirit, admission to the College is open to all qualified individuals and complies with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The University of Iowa College of Dentistry recognizes the award of the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree that carries with it the full authority of the institution and communicates to those who might seek the services of the bearer that he or she is competent to practice dentistry.  The DDS degree is a broad degree unique in that the graduate is prepared, and upon licensure, is allowed to practice all disciplines of the dental profession.  This requires that the student in the curriculum acquire didactic knowledge as well as learning skills and attitudes essential to the profession and agreed upon by the faculty as requisite for the practice of dentistry.  The student requires sensory, cognitive, interpersonal and technical skills to negotiate this curriculum. 

The College is mindful of the unique nature of the dental curriculum.  Applicants must possess the skills, abilities and attributes that will allow them to successfully and professionally complete the course of study and receive the full benefit of the education.  In the process, the student is required to direct or perform treatment on the patients of the College.  The College has the responsibility of insuring the safety of the patients.  This includes the completion of quality treatment safely and within an acceptable amount of time.  With this in mind, the student must be able to meet the following technical standards with or without accommodation.

1.      Motor Skills
GENERAL:  Students ordinarily should have sufficient motor function such that they are able to execute movements reasonably required to provide general dental care and treatment to patients within an acceptable amount of time.

SPECIFIC:  It is required that a student possess the motor skills necessary to directly perform palpitation, percussion, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers, basic laboratory tests, and diagnostic procedures.  Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional uses of the senses of touch and vision.

 SPECIFIC:  A student must be able to perform basic life support (including CPR), transfer and position disabled patients, physically restrain adults who lack motor control, and to position and reposition one’s self around the patient.  The candidate must be able to operate controls utilizing fine movements, operate high or low speed dental instruments within less than one millimeter precision, and utilize hand instrumentation (including scalpels for surgical procedures).

2.      Sensory/Observation Skills
GENERAL:  A student must be able to acquire a defined level of required information as presented through lectures, seminars, self-study, demonstrations and experiences in the basic and dental sciences.

SPECIFIC:  This includes, but is not limited to: information conveyed through physiologic and pharmacological demonstrations; and to recognize oral and extraoral tissues in normal and pathologic states.  A student must be able to acquire information from written documents and to visualize information presented in images from paper, films, slides, or video.  A student must be able to interpret radiographs (x-rays) and other graphic images, with or without the use of assistive devices.  A student must have functional use of visual, auditory, and somatic sensation while being enhanced by the functional use of sensory modalities.

GENERAL:  A student must be able to observe a patient accurately, at a distance and close at hand, and observe and appreciate non-verbal communications when performing dental operations or administering medications.

SPECIFIC:  A student must be able to perform visual and tactile dental examinations and treatment including use of visual acuity, accommodation, and color vision to discern differences and variations in color, shape, and general appearance between normal and abnormal, soft and hard tissues.  Use of tactile senses may be either direct palpitation or indirect through instrumentation.  A student must also possess the visual acuity to read charts, records, small print and handwritten notation, and distinguish colors intra and extra orally.

3.      Communication Skills
GENERAL:  A student must be able to: communicate effectively and sensitively with patients: convey or exchange information at a level allowing development of a health history and of a treatment modality; identify problems presented; explain alternative solutions; and give directions during treatment and post-treatment.  Communication includes speech and writing.   The student must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with patients and all members of the health care team.

SPECIFIC:  A student must have sufficient facility with the English language to: retrieve information from texts and lectures and communicate concepts on written exams and patient charts; elicit patient backgrounds; describe patient changes in moods, activity, and posture; and coordinate patient care with all members of the health care team.

SPECIFIC:  In any case where a student’s ability to communicate through these sensory modalities is compromised, the student must demonstrate alternative means and/or ability to acquire and demonstrate the essential information conveyed in this fashion.

GENERAL:  A student must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, synthesize and apply knowledge and skills to patient care.

SPECIFIC:  In addition, a student must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.  Problem solving, a critical skill demanded of dentists, requires all of these intellectual abilities.  A student must be able to perform these problem-solving skills in a timely fashion.

4.      Behavioral Skills and Attributes
GENERAL:  A student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, maintenance of patient confidentiality, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients, faculty and staff. A student must adhere to the highest ethical and professional standards and be able to function in a disciplined, collegial and professional setting. A desire for life-long learning and self-improvement is necessary for students and graduates to provide quality patient care.

SPECIFIC:  A student must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress.  He/she must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients.  Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admissions and educational processes.   Further, a student must be able to manage apprehensive patients with a range of moods and behaviors in a tactful, congenial, personal manner so as not to alienate or antagonize them.  A student must reasonably be expected to accept criticism and respond by appropriate modification of behavior.   A student must be able to act professionally at all times.


University of Iowa
Office of Affirmative Action
Nondiscrimination Statement

The University of Iowa prohibits discrimination in employment and in its educational programs and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preference. The University also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to University facilities. For additional information on nondiscrimination policies, contact the Coordinator of Title IX, Section 504, and the ADA in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, (319) 335-0705 (voice) and (319) 335-0697 (text), 202 Jessup Hall, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1316.