Navigating Your Dental Career with the Navy HPSP Dental School

Scholarship Snapshot
Scope (full or partial):
Full scholarship
Target Country: United States of America
Target Audience: Students pursuing a career in the medical field
Deadline: Rolling

The Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) offers a comprehensive package to help students finance dental school in exchange for military service. Run by the Army, Navy, and Air Force, HPSP covers 100% of tuition, fees, dental equipment, and other costs. Students also receive a monthly stipend of over $2,200 for living expenses. 

In return, HPSP recipients commit to serving at least 4 years on active duty after graduation as dental corps officers. While in school, they must complete 45 days of active service each year. This program aims to incentivize students to complete their dental degrees and receive a commission in the Dental Corps. 

Compared to the Health Services Collegiate Program, HPSP is more broad and open to dental, medical, and other graduate health professions. HPSP also provides a bonus of up to $10,000 upon acceptance to dental and medical school candidates specifically.

Beyond financial assistance, many HPSP alumni report enriching experiences and opportunities not typically available in civilian careers. Students interested in military and dental service should strongly consider applying to this comprehensive scholarship program.

Benefits of the Navy HPSP

Embarking on a Navy Corps officer path opens the door to a multitude of prospects, allowing you to excel as a dental professional and a leader.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Four-year scholarships
  • A generous $20,000 signing bonus
  • Full coverage of your tuition costs
  • A monthly stipend of $2178.90 for your personal use
  • Payment of all education-related fees (excluding housing and meals)
  • Complete reimbursement for necessary books, supplies, and equipment
  • Active Duty compensation and benefits for 45 days annually.
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Eligibility Criteria

  • Citizenship – U.S. citizenship is a requirement.
  • Age – You must have completed your degree by the age of 42.
  • Health – Meeting the Navy’s physical standards is mandatory.
  • Education – You should be enrolled in, or accepted for transfer to, a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA). A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is necessary to apply. Additionally, you must be a full-time student attending all regular school sessions (2 semesters or 3 quarters) and maintain a GPA above 3.0 after selection.
  • Degree requirements must be met within a 48-month timeframe.

Service Commitment:

The minimum service obligation for the Dental Corps (DC) is three years, which extends to four years if the signing bonus is chosen.

How to Initiate the Application Process

To initiate the process of applying to the Health Professions Scholarship Program, you should proceed with the following steps:

Step 1: Connect with a Recruiter

Your initial step is to connect with a military recruiter. This individual serves as your primary point of contact for your chosen branch of the military. It’s crucial to establish a trusting and transparent relationship with your recruiter.

Contact:

HM2 (FMF) Edward Lopez USN

Medical Officer Recruiter

Navy Recruiting District, New York

NORS North Bergen

7216 Bergenline Ave.

North Bergen, NJ 07047

Cell: (973)558-0133

Email: edward.lopez2@navy.mil

Step 2: Paperwork and DAT Score

Once you’ve found a recruiter, they will guide you through the paperwork and preparation process for your military entrance. During this phase, it’s essential to have your DAT (Dental Admission Test) score readily available.

Step 3: Military Entrance Processing (MEPS)

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MEPS, short for Military Entrance Processing, is a pivotal component of your application process. It typically begins early in the morning, often as early as 4 AM, and involves joining local enlistees and fellow officer candidates from various branches of the military. Throughout the day, you’ll undergo vision and hearing tests, drug screening, a physical examination, and a series of assessments. MEPS offers your first tangible experience within the military.

Note: The MEPS experience may vary for different candidates. In many cases, recruiting office personnel tend to be more accommodating when they recognize you as an officer candidate, making the process less stringent.

Step 4: Statement of Motivation

Each branch may have a distinct prompt, but for the US Navy Dental Corps, you’ll typically be asked to articulate why you aspire to become a dentist and why you wish to serve in the Navy.

Step 5: Interviews

Prepare for a series of interviews, which may involve face-to-face, Skype, or phone interactions with senior military officials. These interviews provide an opportunity for them to evaluate your application and get to know you better, typically lasting around thirty minutes. Expect questions akin to those in dental school interviews. This is also an ideal time to seek insights into their personal experiences, including topics like navigating the military as a woman, ethical dilemmas they’ve encountered in service, and how they’ve managed a work-life balance.

Step 6: Commissioning Ceremony

This is a significant event where you’ll take an oath, typically in front of loved ones, reaffirming your commitment to the military service you’re about to embark on.

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Step 7: Office Development School (ODS)

Office Development School is a five-week program that you can undertake either after your first year of dental school or upon graduation. More details on this program will be provided in subsequent updates.

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