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.

Walk through the Joplin campus with Dr. Linda Niessen, founding dean of the College of Dental Medicine.

Career Opportunities



Join KCU to become part of a progressive, diverse and inclusive community of which you can be proud, and leave a mark by making possible the education of future leaders in the health sciences.

KCU Vaccination Policy: All new part-time and full-time employees who begin employment after Nov. 29, 2021, must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

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 comes from the generosity of Mr. Harry M. Cornell, the Sunderland Foundation, Dr. Larry McIntire, Mr. Rudy Farber and the Farber Foundation, and the Patterson Family Foundation. If you are interested in supporting KCU's College of Dental Medicine, please click this link or the buttons below to donate or contact the Office of Philanthropy and Alumni Relations at

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.