Part of the UT Health San Antonio.

Learning Enhancement for Achievement in Dentistry (LEAD)

  • amazing faculty Meet amazing faculty
  • dental student group session Group sessions
  • hands on lab Hands-on labs
  • learn a prep Learn a Prep sessions
  • dental students life long friends Lifelong friends
  • dental students making connections Make connections
  • dental students sim lab experience Sim lab experience
  • dental students helping students Students helping students
  • dental student suturing fun Suturing fun
  • 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 summer LEAD 4-7 programs, while in dental school at UT Health San Antonio
  • Includes some of the following:
    • 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
    • $900 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)
  • be a Texas resident and US citizen or permanent resident
  • demonstrate a strong interest in working with underserved populations
  • 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 Enhancement for Achievement in Dentistry (LEAD 1-3) programs may 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 2024 - July 8-26 (hybrid)

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!

  • SA School of Dentistry 2nd year students' Perspective

  • UT Health SA School of Dentistry Tours-Main Campus and COHCR (Center for Oral Health Care & Research)

  • Check out construction of the COHCR (Center for Oral Health Care & Research)

  • Why SA School of Dentistry is Awesome

  • Join SA School of Dentistry as we reach out to South Texas Communities!

Important Links

San Antonio Points of Interest

For more information contact:

  • UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry
  • 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. Christina Meiners
    Dr. Christina Meiners
    Director of Community Educational Programs
    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