Dental Early Admission Program (DEAP)

Dentist looking at the teeth of a patient from inside patients mouth

Dental Early Acceptance Program (3+4)

The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio & Sam Houston State University Dental Early Acceptance Program (DEAP) allows SHSU students to apply credits earned during the first years of dental school toward their SHSU baccalaureate degree requirements. Participation in DEAP conserves a year’s work at SHSU while earning both a Bachelor’s degree (BS) at SHSU and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree (DDS) at UTHSCSA by combining the student’s senior year of undergraduate work and the freshman year of Dental school into a single year. DEAP is focused primarily on students who would experience difficulty financing a fourth year of undergraduate studies as well as the four years of dental school. By participating in the program, students can reduce the costs of their education by eliminating a year's worth of tuition and living expenses at the undergraduate institution.

To apply to DEAP, students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and Texas residents, and they must attend SHSU for all three years of the undergraduate program of study. There is no minimum ACT or SAT score required. However, the student must score sufficiently well to be exempt from remedial math and remedial English courses. (Students may also be eligible for exemption from the remedial math and English courses through other means.) Students must enroll in a specific course of study, and it is strongly encouraged for students to enroll in General Chemistry I (CHEM 1411) in their first semester at SHSU to allow for timely progression. Students are eligible to apply during their freshman year when they have between 12 and 30 hours of college credit completed. The DEAP application must be submitted by March 1st.

After applying to DEAP, the UTHSCSA Director of Admissions and a member of the Admissions Selection Subcommittee interview invited students. The interviews assess a student's motivation for the dental profession, knowledge of the field, communication skills, and maturity to evaluate their potential for success in dentistry. The interviews are typically conducted in April or May. An acceptable interview makes the student eligible for participation in the program and for admission to the dental school upon the successful completion of the three-year undergraduate portion of the DEAP program.

Once accepted to DEAP, undergraduate students must:

  • Earn a grade of "C" or better in dental school prerequisite courses.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA and a Science (BCPM) GPA of 3.4 in all undergraduate work, totaling 90 semester credit hours.
  • Submit a formal application to the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service before October 1 of the student’s third year.
  • Take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) and score at least 19 on the Academic Average by November 1 of the third year.
  • Receive a letter of recommendation from the SHSU DEAP Advisor.
  • Have a record of ethical behavior during college years.

Students interested in DEAP may contact Dr. Jim Harper (, SHSU DEAP Advisor, for more information. Students can also reach out to UT Health San Antonio's dental admissions office ( or 210-567-3180).