School of Dentistry

Dental Explorers

SOD White Coat

Learn what a career in dentistry has to offer

OHSU Dental Student 4

OHSU’s Dental Explorers program provides participants with a general understanding of what a career in dentistry is all about. Participating high school and college students have been very enthusiastic about their experience, and many of them have successfully matriculated to dental school.

Monthly two-hour sessions are held at the School of Dentistry, with an emphasis on hands-on activities. The first hour is comprised of a lecture from dental school faculty from a variety of disciplines, while the second hour is a laboratory experience. Current dental students organize the monthly meetings and act as mentors.

Space is limited to sixty participants and is reserved on a first-come first-served basis. Applications are available online. A complete application including consent forms, a confidentiality statement and a $70 fee must be received to reserve a space. A waiting list will be maintained for students with complete applications received after the first sixty spaces have been reserved. Students will be notified as space becomes available.


Dental Explorers 2023–2024 is currently in progress and registration is closed. Registration for Dental Explorers 2024–2025 is expected to open in early October 2024.

The following documents will be required during the registration process:

  • A participant consent form 
  • A medical consent form 
  • A confidentiality statement
  • A $70 participation fee, payable online

Receiving academic credit

In some cases, completion of the Dental Explorers class may be used towards high school course requirements, but this should be prearranged with the participant’s high school. OHSU and the School of Dentistry do not issue academic credit towards high school diplomas. Students seeking academic credit towards high school coursework or a letter of completion are allowed no more than one absence over the duration of the course before any form verifying completion is signed or a letter of completion is composed.

Masking advisory

A disposable mask

Please note that masks are required at all times in clinical spaces at OHSU. In non-clinical environments, masks are recommended but not required.

Although full vaccination against COVID-19 is no longer required, it is highly recommended.

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