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High Point University’s new dental school will welcome its first cohort of students in the fall

High Point University officials participate in the dental school groundbreaking.
Alex Abrams
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High Point University officials participate in the dental school groundbreaking.

High Point University's new dental school is expecting to welcome its first cohort of 60 students in August. Officials say the Workman School of Dental Medicine will be North Carolina's first private dental school, and the state's third.

The university received a $32 million donation to fund the school from the Rick and Angie Workman Foundation, an organization that supports thousands of dental offices nationwide.

Ali Shazib — the dean of HPU’s new dental school — said while recruiting students, they looked for a way to give more people access to apply to the program.

“We know that a lot of students are unable to pursue their dreams because of the barrier of finance,” Shazib said. “So, we are among the very few, or if the only school that does not charge [an] application fee.”

Shazib said the Workman School of Dental Medicine has two pathways for students.

“So, there is a four-year program called the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), which is the program that most applicants or students apply after they've completed a Bachelor's of Science or a Bachelor's of Arts,” he said. “And then in their final year, they apply for dental school.”

The other program is called the “Dental Medicine Scholars Program,” which is an accelerated track.

“Those students can apply during their senior year of high school and finish dental school in six years, instead of [the standard] eight years,” Shazib said.

Shazib added that the dental school is currently housed at an off-campus facility, which was formally the Chamber of Commerce Building in High Point. The Workman School of Dental Medicine’s new building is expected to be completed on campus in the fall of 2025.

Sharryse Piggott is WUNC’s PM Reporter.