Program Overview

The 4-year DMD curriculum represents a philosophy that dentists are primary care clinicians capable of caring for underserved and/or vulnerable populations. The integrated curriculum is layered to enable continuous reinforcement of clinical and non-clinical skills throughout the program as described below by year.

Making Your Dream A Reality

Whether your ultimate goal is to practice in private dental practice, a community health center, in the military or U.S. Public Health Service, KCU’s College of Dental Medicine will prepare you to become a competent general dentist with a cutting-edge education and applied experiences.

Dental professionals needed in Missouri: KCU says "Help is on the way"

Jul 28, 2023

The entire Show-Me State is in a dental health care shortage. KCU's new College of Dental Medicine hopes to provide more dentists to the area in the coming years.

Career Opportunities


Answering the Call

College of Dental Medicine's Regional ImpactKCU’s College of Dental Medicine will address the significant and growing oral health needs of the four-state region. With only three dental schools in the entire area, there is a challenge in training an adequate number of dentists to help meet these needs. Nearly all counties within a 125-mile radius of Joplin qualify as Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (DHPSAs) by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Economic Impact

Economic Impact of the College of Dental Medicine

Significant funding for the project came from the generosity of Mr. Harry M. Cornell, the Sunderland Foundation, Dr. Larry McIntire, Mr. Rudy Farber, the Farber Foundation and the Patterson Family Foundation. 

National Oral Health Need Facts

The national demand for dentists will outpace growth in the supply of dentists in 2025.

More than 46 million people in the US live in Dental Health Professions Shortage Areas (DHPSA) and lack basic access to dental care.

7,000 dentists are needed to eliminate these shortages and another 8,600 to have adequate care in 2025.

* Tripp Umbach Market Assessment for the Development of a Dental School on the KCU-Joplin Campus, April 2018.

KCU has received institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).  New programs, like the dental program, require pre-approval from the HLC. KCU’s application for the new dental program has been submitted for review. Additional details will be posted here as the review progresses. 

The program in dental education is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “initial accreditation.” The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United Stated Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312)440-4653 or at 211 E. Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission’s web address is: