Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine

Is ranking calculated? No
Is honors status awarded? No

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 personal values,
  • Scientific knowledge and problem-solving,
  • Assessment and diagnosis,
  • Dental therapeutics and oral rehabilitation,
  • Social and community contexts of health care,
  • Practice management and informatics, and
  • Self-assessment and lifelong learning.

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 missions.  

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 contact:

David W. Paquette, D.M.D., M.P.H., D.M.Sc.
Associate Dean, Education