Professional dentistry training in South Korea has long been offered as a six-year program of study for secondary school graduates. The six-year curriculum is divided into a two-year pre-dentistry stage and a four-year dentistry stage, resulting in the award of either a Bachelor of Dentistry or a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. As of 2003, efforts have been made to introduce a new model of dental education, the four-year graduate-entry Master of Dentistry program. The new program provides entry to college graduates with various majors.
Currently, there are 11 institutions of higher learning offering dentistry programs in South Korea. Eight of these dental schools have started offering the new four-year Master of Dentistry degree program while the remaining institutions continue to train according to the traditional six-year curriculum. Upon completion of either program of study, students are required to take the Korean National Dentist Examination (KNDE) in order to graduate. Both qualifications are of equal professional value.