Part of the UT Health San Antonio.

HCOE Learning Enhancement for Achievement in Dentistry (LEAD)

  • dental student in lab with teaching assistant Labs with dental student teaching assistants
  • dental student in handskill competition Fun handskill competition
  • dental students participating in virtual learning Virtual learning
  • dental students wearing face masks Making connections
  • dental students in group photo socializing outside Socials
  • dental students in lab meeting faculty member Meet our amazing faculty
  • dental students in lab group photo Make lifelong friends
  • dental students in lab practicing on mannequin Clinical experiences
  • dental student participating in sim lab Waxing in sim lab
  • dental students in lecture hall Hands-on learning
  • dental students in group photo outside building Off-campus clinic experiences
  • 3-Week Summer Pre-Dental Enrichment Program for students in college
  • 7-year pathway of experiences for academic success which includes continued academic success support during 3-week summer LEAD 4-7 programs, while in dental school at UT Health San Antonio
  • Includes:
    • DAT preparation
    • mini-courses in dental school courses
    • admissions process counseling
    • application workshops
    • preceptorships (shadowing)
    • cultural awareness sessions
    • leadership development
    • clinic introduction sessions
    • hands-on activities
    • mentoring to become competitive dental school applicants
    • tutoring to enhance academic performance while attending dental school
    • up to $1,200 stipend for those who are selected

Program requirements

To be eligible for consideration, you must:

  • have completed at least Freshmen year by the time LEAD starts in July
  • have selected Dentistry as your career choice
  • be a member of an underrepresented minority in the health professions (Black, Hispanic, American Indian or Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander)
  • demonstrate a strong interest in working with underserved populations
  • be a Texas resident/US citizen or permanent resident
  • have a Science GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • submit completed online application by deadline
  • include personal statement in application, stating how participation in LEAD will benefit your pursuit of dentistry as a career and what your plans are for your dental career
  • provide recent headshot photo
  • provide official transcripts
  • submit two (2) names of faculty or health advisors (we will forward a recommendation form to two names via email; please note your application will not be considered complete without this information)
  • 'sign' online application documentation agreeing to participate in all of the required program activities
  • have immunizations up-to-date
  • additional consideration is given to those who meet the above criteria, and are a resident of a dentally-underserved area, rural area, or have a history of overcoming adverse circumstances


The objective of LEAD 1-3 is to provide opportunities for college students to strengthen their academic science background, prepare for and successfully take the DAT, improve leadership qualities, and increase the knowledge of a career in dentistry. Program participants who engage, acquire knowledge, and actively participate in the program activities will be more competitive applicants for admission to dental school.


The curriculum for the summer Learning Enhance for Achievement in Dentistry (LEAD 1-3) programs will include:

  • DAT preparation course
  • study skill /leadership/communication skills/time management skills development
  • cultural awareness sessions
  • participation in clinical preceptorships at UT Health San Antonio, community clinics, and private practice clinics
  • outreach activities in community
  • group projects and presentations
  • hands-on workshops
  • ethics, dental professionalism, culture of dentistry sessions
  • TMDSAS application workshops
  • oral health disparities sessions
  • self-awareness and wellness sessions
  • information technology sessions (related to dental school software used in clinic)
  • student life, counseling, and financial aid sessions
  • interaction with UT Health San Antonio dental students and faculty
  • 8-12 hours of some of the following courses (courses vary for each LEAD group):
    • Anatomy
    • Biochemistry
    • Dental Anatomy
    • Genetics or Cell Biology
    • Gross Anatomy
    • Histology
    • Microbiology
    • Organic Chemistry
    • Physiology

Selection process

A selection committee composed of the Program Director and Program Faculty will review all applications and may interview up to 50 applicants by phone to determine applicant motivation.  Preference will be given to applicants who are currently enrolled in a four-year college/university or who have earned a Bachelor’s degree.


See sidebox for LEAD application, important dates, contact information, FAQ, and important links!

Program Dates

  • *LEAD 1-3
  • July 11-29, 2022

Please read these tips before submitting your application!

Application Deadline *March 31

  • LEAD 1-3 – *March 31

Notification Date
  • LEAD 1-3 – *mid April

*all dates subject to change

Get to Know Us - UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry!

Important Links

San Antonio Points of Interest

For more information contact:

  • UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry Hispanic Center of Excellence (HCOE)
  • Dr. Juanita Lozano Pineda
    Dr. Juanita Lozano Pineda
    UT Health San Antonio
    School of Dentistry
    7703 Floyd Curl Drive - MC 7914
    San Antonio, TX 78229
  • Dr. Vidal Balderas
    Dr. Vidal Balderas
    Outreach and Recruitment
    UT Health San Antonio
    School of Dentistry
    7703 Floyd Curl Drive - MC 7914
    San Antonio, TX 78229
  • Temo Garcia
    Temo Garcia, MBA
    Program Coordinator
  • Melissa R. Martinez
    Melissa R. Martinez
    Program Coordinator Senior
  • Nora Olivo
    Nora Olivo
    Academic Program Coordinator