Summer Health Professions Education Program: Dentistry

 Program Dates: May 13, 2019 – June 21, 2019

College of Dentistry | College of Medicine | College of Nursing | College of Pharmacy | School of Physician Assistant Studies | College of Public Health and Health Professions | College of Veterinary Medicine

Florida Health Science Center | SHPEP at UF Health

The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) is a FREE summer enrichment program focused on improving access to information and resources for college students interested in the health professions.

SHPEP’s goal is to strengthen the academic proficiency and career development of students underrepresented in the health professions and prepare them for a successful application and matriculation to health professions schools

The six-week program takes place on the University of Florida campus, with on-campus room and board. We are very excited about this opportunity and are confident this will be an informative experience for students interested in the health science field.

Example of Academic Enrichment Curriculum: UF SHPEP Sample Curriculum and Calendar

UF SHPEP Contact:

Sharpshair- Photo

Program Coordinator: Jordan Sharpshair, MS


Phone: 352-294-8628

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Application Deadlines

Application Requirements

  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or above
  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or an individual granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • New participant to SHPEP (not have previously participated in the program)
  • Be a college freshman or sophomore at the time of application
  • SHPEP is geared toward students that identify with a group that is racially/ethnically underrepresented in the health professions
  • SHPEP targets students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, however all applications are considered

Others factors that are considered include that a student:

  • Identifies with a group that is racially/ethnically underrepresented in the health professions
  • Comes from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, however all applications are considered


Students accepted into the Dental Career Pathway will:

  • Produce hands-on projects in a dental simulation lab
  • Shadow dental students in general and specialty dental clinics
  • Explore dentistry and its specialties with dental faculty, residents, and students
  • Participate in a variety of workshops on topics that might include DAT prep, interviewing, professionalism, financial aid, and research
  • Attend the 2019 Impressions Program, hosted by the College of Dentistry Chapter of the Student National Dental Association
  • Make connections, bond, and network with students who have similar goals


With 12 SHPEP program sites across the nation, what makes UF exceptional?

UF SHPEP Mass Casualty/Disaster Drill Simulation through UF Health

We stress the importance of interprofessional training in a unique way specific to the UF SHPEP site. Scholars are given the opportunity to participate in a Disaster Drill/Mass Casualty Simulation with the participation of all six health colleges. Health professionals ranging from emergency medicine, pharmacy, county first-responders, and various faculty members and students within these six colleges come together to give our scholars a hands-on learning experience with emergency situations.

 *WARNING* Fake but realistic wounds and make-up used during this simulation.

The UF Health Science Center is the country’s only academic health center with six health-related colleges located on a single, contiguous campus.

SHPEP Dental Career Pathway Photo Gallery

What to expect at SHPEP?

Students selected to attend UF SHPEP get an opportunity to gain academic enrichment while also immersing into Gator culture through:


Can I participate in SHPEP if I am a junior or senior in college, or if I have already graduated from college? No. SHPEP is exclusively for current freshman and sophomore college students.

I am a freshman and have not received my grades yet. Can I submit my high school transcript? High school transcripts are not accepted. If you are a freshman and you have not received your first semester grades, please allow them to be finalized before you submit your transcripts.

Can the recommendation be submitted by a previous employer or high school teacher? If a recommendation cannot be submitted by a pre-health advisor or college professor within your major, the SHPEP National Program Office will accept one from an employer that is within a health professions field or from a science high school teacher.

I’m applying online and I see medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and public health as my career path choice – I’m interested in another career in health, what do I do? While students select from four main concentrations – Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Public Health – selected students will be given the opportunity to learn hands on about veterinary medicine, nursing, physician assistant, and a number of public health professions such as clinical and health psychology, speech, language & hearing sciences, health administration, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. It is at the student’s discretion which concentration they should choose when they apply.

Am I able to participate in SHPEP and attend classes over the summer? SHPEP is a full-time commitment with pre-planned days of curriculum, activities, and rotations. Students’ full participation is required during the course of the program dates. Should summer courses be offered following the program, the student is free to enroll and attend, however attending summer courses during the program may not be an option.

Will meals be provided during my time at UF SHPEP? Dining debit cards are provided to all scholars to use at University of Florida’s dining locations on campus. All dining locations are open seven days a week.

I don’t have health insurance. Is there a UF Health insurance option for successful applicants? If a scholar does not have insurance, a limited insurance plan will be purchased by the UF SHPEP program for that scholar.

Will I have free time to explore Gainesville? Scholars have a full menu of extracurricular activities to enjoy. Possible adventures include: touring UF museums, talent show, kayaking, disc golf, volleyball, swimming, tubing, social gatherings with professional students, bowling, movies, and summer concerts on the plaza.

Is housing provided? Where will I live during UF SHPEP? Scholars stay in dormitories located in the center of campus free of cost.

Should I bring a car? How will I get around? Dorms are a ten-minute walk from the Academic Health Center. Scholars also have free access to the campus and city buses.

Will I receive aid with traveling to Gainesville? Travel expenses will be compensated.

How does the stipend work? Scholars receive a $600 stipend.

Is there a cost to attending UF SHPEP? No. Students will be provided with housing, meals and a stipend that will cover through the six weeks.

Who should I pick to write reference letters for me? This should be someone who knows your academic and personal character. Ideally this should be a pre-health advisor and/or a college professor. If none of these persons know you well enough, a high school science teacher or a local dentist or physician who knows you well is acceptable.

For more answers concerning admissions and all things SHPEP, go to