Retention through Early Acceptance of Dental Students in the Eastern Panhandle (REAP DentSTEP)

Along with having an impact on the health of a region, a career in dentistry offers
a variety of challenges and rewards.

Today’s dental professionals focus not only on the diagnosis and detection of oral
health problems, and educate patients on how to prevent oral disease, but also on
cosmetic treatments that improve a patient’s appearance. Dentists in private
practice serve as their own boss, allowing them flexibility to balance their
professional and personal lives. In 2001, the average income of a dentist was in
the highest 5% of U.S. family income, a trend that is expected to continue as the
demand for care grows.

Retention through Early Acceptance of Dental Students in the Eastern Panhandle,
REAP DentSTEP is a joint program of Shepherd University and the West Virginia
University School of Dentistry that helps simplify the process of dental school
admission while easing the financial burden of the application process. The
program gives motivated Shepherd students early access to the School of
Dentistry and unique opportunities to better prepare them for WVU’s
challenging program.

REAP DentSTEP allows qualified students applying for admission to Shepherd to
also apply for early admission to the WVU School of Dentistry at the same time.
After graduation from Shepherd, students will attend WVU’s Morgantown
campus to complete four years of dental education. Students have the unique
opportunity to work in rural healthcare facilities in the latter part of the dental
curriculum and may be assigned to a facility in the Eastern Panhandle region.
Admission to REAP DentSTEP is open to a select number of top high school
seniors and – for a limited time – to established Shepherd freshmen. Students are
selected in a competitive process, which includes an application and interview.
Because the WVU School of Dentistry values diversity, students from groups that
are under-represented in dental school programs are encouraged to apply.
WVU and Shepherd University are both aware of the great need for dentists in
the Eastern Panhandle and see this program as a part of their missions to serve
the community.

Admission Reqiurements for High School Seniors

  • Written letters of recommendation (three) from a science teacher,a principal or guidance counselor, and a community leader
  • Demonstrated maturity, citizenship, leadership, service, and scholarship
  • Minimum 3.25 high school GPA and a minimum ACT of 22 or SAT of 1000

Students accepted into the program will be guaranteed admission to the WVU School of Dentistry if they:

• Successfully attain the required courses for admission
• Maintain overall and science GPAs of 3.25 at Shepherd
• Take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) and score at or above the average score
• Fulfill preparatory, citizenship, and service requirements 
• Successfully complete an application and interview

Ongoing Requirements

To remain in the program while enrolled at Shepherd,students must:

• Maintain 3.25 overall and science GPAs.
• Participate in the Retention through Early Acceptance Program (REAP),community service and shadowing programs
• Maintain standards ofhonesty,integrity,and citizenship

Required Shepherd University coursework:

• Biology/Zoology- Introductory class plus 2-4 upper division classes• Chemistry- General Chemistry and OrganicChemistry with labs 
• Biochemistry- 1 year with labs
• Physics - 1 year with labs
• Mathematics- Statistics/epidemiology
• Psychology- Normal and abnormal,1-2 classes
• Philosophy/Ethics- 1-2 classes
• General Studies- U.S.History,World History,etc.
• One year each- English,computer literacy,sociology
• One semester- Art or music appreciation

For More Information Contact:

Dean of the School of Natural 
Sciences and Mathematics
Shepherd University
P.O. Box 5000
Shepherdstown, WV 
Phone: (304) 876-5227 or 
(800) 344-5231, ext. 5227
Fax: (304) 876-5028

Web site:

WVU Health Sciences Center, 
Eastern Division Office of Student Services
2500 Foundation Way
Martinsburg, WV 25401
Phone: (304) 264-9202 ext. 6316
Fax: (304) 596-6330