New Mexico and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Since New Mexico does not have a dental school, all students from New Mexico must attend out of state programs to get their dental education.  The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) is a 15 member regional compact creating a non-profit agency to share higher education resources throughout the Western U.S.  New Mexico has been a member since 1952.  

WICHE is a loan for service program allows students to pay reduced tuition (basically a blended average of out of state and in state tuitions) to an out of state dental school.  In return for the reduced tuition, students must return to New Mexico to practice and repay their loan.  92% of dentistry graduates return to serve in New Mexico.  Graduates who do not return must repay their support fees, plus interest.

More information on New Mexico and WICHE can be found here.

New Mexico Health Service Corps

The New Mexico Health Service Corps (NMHSC) is a state supported program administered by the Office of Primary Care and Rural Health which recruits, places and offers financial assistance to designated health professionals in rural and medically underserved areas of the state. The program is divided into two parts, the Stipend Program and the Community Practice Site Support Program.

Stipend Program

The NMHSC Stipend Program offers primary care medical and dental students stipends to support their education in exchange for two years of full time service at approved rural, medically underserved clinics upon completion of training. Applicants may apply two consecutive years.

Community Practice Site Support Program

Through the Community Practice Site Support Program (also referred to as the Community Contract Program) the New Mexico Health Service Corps provides recruitment and/or retention support to NMHSC-eligible healthcare providers by awarding community/practice sites grants and mid-level provider grants when funding is available.

Pre-dental Societies

Pre-dental students at New Mexico institutions are encouraged to participate in pre-dental societies.  These groups provide pre-dental students with guidance, support and information that will ease the transition into a professional school environment.  They allow students to support each other and receive guidance and mentoring as they prepare for a career in dentistry.  Students engage in activities that prepare them for entrance examinations, interviews, and skills development to help them succeed in dental school.

Click on a link below for more information on the societies at UNM and New Mexico State.