USC University of Southern California

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC


California Endowment – Pipeline, Profession and Practice Grant

In 2003, The California Endowment provided funding for the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC to join the four other California dental schools in participating in the Pipeline, Profession and Practice: Community-Based Dental Education, a national program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program aims to partner dental schools with community-based health care organizations; revise the traditional public health and behavioral science didactic curriculum to raise students’ awareness of sociocultural and health care delivery system issues in dentistry, which will prepare them for community-based experiences during and after dental school; initiate programs to recruit, enroll, and graduate numbers of underserved minority/low income students; and identify and advocate for public policy changes at the national, state, and local levels to advance the objectives of the Dental Pipeline program.

Since starting in the program, the Ostrow School of Dentistry has dramatically increased its enrollment of underserved minority/low income students and developed a more culturally sensitive curriculum and training for staff, faculty and students. The Pipeline has also allowed the School to participate in a regional Post-Bac program and provide Dental Admissions Test prep courses for minority students seeking admission to dental school.

Please contact Marina Sahakian at for more information or about contributing volunteer hours.

More on the Web:
Pipeline, Profession & Practice
California Endowment
Robert Wood Johnson

Dental Explorers

Established in 2003, this program recruits several undergraduate students for a one-week dental camp at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. In conjunction with the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs, the students attend workshops that incorporate lecture and hands-on learning. The workshops range from faculty presentations regarding dentistry and advanced specialties in dentistry to dental school admissions. The camp culminates with student presentations regarding their dental camp experience.

To apply or for more information, please contact the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs at (213) 740-2841 or click here.

Medical Magnet High Schools

The Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC has developed strategic partnerships with three Medical Magnet High Schools (MMHS) in Los Angeles—Bravo, Orthopedic and King-Drew. Traditionally affiliated with hospitals, these schools predominantly offer medical-related career exposure, overlooking dentistry as a possible career path.

Under the partnership, our students, staff and faculty to work with MMHS administrators, counselors and teachers to:

  1. Familiarize students with dental career opportunities and educational requirements
  2. Provide didactic topic presentations and interactive lab/clinic experiences
  3. Expose students to the School, faculty/staff, and dental/hygiene students
  4. Motivate and support minority students and parents towards dental career pathways
  5. Promote USC students to meaningfully participate in community outreach activities

Please contact Marina Sahakian at for more information or about contributing volunteer hours.

More on the Web:
Bravo Medical Magnet High School
King/Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science
Orthopaedic Hospital Medical Magnet High School

Scholarships for Under-Represented Minority Students

We recognize that we must work to increase access to our school for under-represented students by presenting the Ostrow School of Dentistry as a viable choice. Through activities of the Pipeline, Profession and Practice program, we have been able to substantially increase these numbers by providing scholarship opportunities specifically for these applicants.

Funds from the Kellogg and California Wellness Foundations have been coupled with an internal USC source – the Mexican American Alumni Association (MAAA) – that has matched funds, dollar for dollar, toward tuition assistance for Hispanic students. We are also collaborating with Latinos for Dental Careers—a volunteer group of dentists supporting Hispanic students and participating in community outreach activities—to raise scholarship money for disadvantaged students.

This project has awarded over $170,000 to newly enrolled dental students. In return, these students agree to perform community service that involves participation in the Dental Explorers program or outreach to the Medical Magnet High Schools and local colleges, in order to further recruit and support increased enrollment of other under represented minority students.

Please contact Sergio Estavillo at for more information.

More on the Web:
Mexican American Alumni Association