Dentistry, Graduate & Professional Studies

School of Dentistry celebrates nation’s first graduating class to receive diploma privilege

New program aims to keep Marquette dentists practicing in state of Wisconsin

Marquette University School of Dentistry celebrated its first recipients of diploma privilege to practice in the State of Wisconsin with a lunchtime reception on Friday, May 10.

Twenty-four members of the School of Dentistry’s Class of 2024 will take advantage of the diploma privilege and will be eligible to apply for a license to begin practicing in the State of Wisconsin after graduation, which will take place Saturday, May 18.

“I am grateful that these 24 outstanding students are remaining in Wisconsin to practice in both rural and urban areas of the state,” said Dr. Elsbeth Kalenderian, dean of the School of Dentistry. “I must also thank the Department of Safety and Professional Services, under the leadership of Secretary Dan Hereth, the Wisconsin Dentistry Examining Board and the Wisconsin Dental Association for the integral roles they had in enabling our students to satisfy this credentialing requirement.”

Diploma privilege speeds up the licensing process for young dentists hoping to join Wisconsin’s workforce by eliminating the need to pass a regional practical examination. Last July, the Wisconsin Dentistry Examining Board voted unanimously that Marquette’s dental school already included assessments of the same practical competencies that meet the requirements of the regional exam. Therefore, students are eligible to apply for licensure immediately after graduation.

At the ceremony, Hereth noted that the Class of 2024 is the first in the nation to receive diploma privilege in the field of dentistry.

“Better than a one-day, high stakes practical examination really is the body of work that they’ve performed as part of their core curriculum,” Hereth said, referring to the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments that dentists must pass to receive licensure.

Holly Hogan, who will graduate this weekend, is a native of Spring Green, Wisconsin. She said that after four challenging years in the School of Dentistry, she’s thankful that the expedited process will allow her to give back to her community right away.

“Going to school at Marquette, we get so much hands-on work,” Hogan said.” I feel very confident leaving here knowing without taking the CDCA examination. I feel just as confident going out and practicing.”

Like others in her class, Hogan plans to practice in a more rural area of the state that will help fill a shortage in access to dental professionals.