The dress and appearance for all students enrolled at the School of Dentistry is expected to project a professional image that enhances the faculty, patients, staff and visitors’ confidence that students are highly competent members of a health care team committed to education, service and compliant with OSHA regulations and CDC guidelines.

  1. Between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (except holidays/break periods) or whenever engaging in any type of patient or public contact representing the school, students and faculty must abide by the dress and appearance standards.
  2. The dress and appearance standards established will be universal standards that apply to all classrooms, lecture halls, clinics and laboratories. Exceptions can only be authorized at the discretion of the Director of Clinics.
  3. All clothing must be clean, pressed and appropriately fitting. Exposure of undergarments or see-through garments is not acceptable.
  4. Clinic/Laboratory: A clean clinic/laboratory gown with the appropriate name tag must be worn for all laboratory and clinic sessions. Clinic/laboratory gowns are not to be worn outside the building.
  5. Hair: Hair must be clean and neatly groomed. Hair must not obstruct the field of vision or come into contact with equipment or supplies used in patient care. Hair must not intrude into the face of the patient or the field of operation. In the laboratory hair must be pulled back for safety reasons. Means of securing the hair (such as pony-tail holders, hair clips, bobby pins or surgical caps) must be worn when necessary.
  6. Hosiery/Socks are to be worn at all times.
  7. Shoes: Ergonomic foot wear is recommended. Work boots, open-toe, athletic and/or canvas shoes are not acceptable. Open heel shoes that cover the entire instep are acceptable.
  8. Jewelry: Jewelry must not be distracting or interfere with gloves or the field of operation.
  9. Head Coverings: Only head coverings relate to specific religious beliefs are permitted. Surgical caps are permitted during patient treatment.
  10. Hands/Nails: Fingernails are to be kept short with smooth, filed edges to allow thorough cleaning and prevent glove tears.
  11. Unsightly, excessive or demeaning tattoos and body piercing that are exposed or excessive perfume/colognes are unacceptable.
  12. Facial Hair: All facial hair must be neatly trimmed. Closely cropped beards must exhibit clearly trimmed neck border.
  13. Men – dress slacks with collared dress shirts and neckties. Jeans are not acceptable.
  14. Women – dress in professional attire. Dress slacks are acceptable; jeans and shorts are not. Open mid-riffs, plunging necklines, tank tops, spaghetti straps, and skirt/dress lengths which do not maintain modesty in the seated position are not appropriate.

Compliance – compliance with the dress and appearance standards will be monitored by the faculty. Students who do not exhibit proper professional appearance will be privately informed by the faculty member why their appearance is inappropriate. Students who have been informed repeatedly of inappropriate dress or appearance will be referred to the appropriate administrator (Dean for Clinics or Student Affairs).

If there is a difference in opinion between a faculty member and a student whether the student is in compliance with the dress and appearance standards, the matter will be referred to a panel consisting of the Assistant/Associate Dean for Clinics, the President of the Faculty Council and a designated faculty person chosen by the Faculty Council President (at least one of the above should be a female). A majority vote of the panel will decide the matter.

Dress Code: Formal Events

The School of Dentistry’s semi-formal dress code will be enforced at formal events such as the White Coat Ceremony and the Hooding Ceremony.  Semi-formal lies somewhere between business professional and business casual. 

For men, the shirt should be a simple button down accompanied by a tie, either bow or straight.  Khaki or dress pants with dress shoes make up the semi-formal dress outfit.  Men may also elect to wear a full suit, with vest optional.  The requirement for shirt and tie remain the same.

For women, a wide variety of clothing may be considered as semi-formal attire, including dresses and pant suits.  As with men’s clothing, women’s outfits should be relatively conservative.  Pant suits are acceptable semi-formal attire if they are made of silk, polyester, cashmere, or a similar fabric and accessorized appropriately.  Appropriate dress shoes or boots should accompany the selected dress or pant suit.

Exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis provided the attire is culturally authentic and does not create a distraction to the central theme of the event.