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As the importance of evidenced-based dentistry grows, the need for dental students to think critically and use scientific support for decision-making also increases. The combined Doctor of Dental Medicine and Master of Science in Dental Research (DMD/MS) will allow a select group of DMD candidates the opportunity to enroll in TUSDM’s Master of Science in Dental Research program, earning both degrees in five years. Aspiring dentists will be prepared to be better clinicians by taking part in the scientific process and bringing an evidence-based perspective to clinical practice, as well as improving their ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary research team addressing issues of behavioral, environmental, socioeconomic and genetic factors in human disease in general, and specifically in dental, oral and craniofacial diseases.
Dentists with advanced degrees are in great demand to serve as faculty at dental schools where, in addition to clinical responsibilities and teaching, they will have the ability to conduct research and mentor students.
Program and Courses
For the combined DMD/MS program, students must successfully complete all of the requirements for each degree.
In addition to the DMD didactic and clinical requirements, students in the combined program will need to earn an additional 40 credits. Of those, 18 will be earned by participating in research, 11 will be earned from the 7 core MS courses (listed below). The remaining 11 credits will be earned by either elective courses in the Advanced and Graduate Education curriculum, some of which are available online via TUSK, or certain DMD courses.
Introduction to Research
Scientific and Technical Writing
Critical Evaluation of Scientific Literature
Introduction of Biostatistics
Principles of Biostatistics
Epidemiology & Critical Thinking in the Practice of Dentistry
First year students in good standing at TUSDM with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (or 85%) are welcome to apply. A mentor and a research project must be identified before applying. Two letters of recommendation, one from the student’s mentor, as well as a personal statement, are also required. The application deadline is April 15.
With an increased awareness of the need for the prevention and control of oral disease, especially in vulnerable populations, dental public health is playing an increasingly visible role in good overall health. The DMD/MPH program gives oral health professionals the skills to assess, develop and implement innovative programs in community settings as well as across diverse populations.
What is dental public health?
As defined by the American Board of Dental Public Health, it is the science and art of preventing and controlling dental diseases and promoting dental health through organized community efforts.
What would my course of study look like if I pursue a combined DMD/MPH degree?
DMD/MPH students must complete 13 credits in the MPH program in addition to their DMD courses. The program can be completed in four and one-half or five years. Students begin taking MPH courses in their third year and take at least one course each semester.
What are the career opportunities available with a DMD/MPH?
Public health dentists work in three major areas: government (local, state and federal levels), education, and in the workforce. Possible career settings include dental education, public and private research entities, philanthropies, community-based practice, government agencies, and insurance companies.
What courses will I need to take?
As for all MPH students, those pursuing the DMD/MPH must complete MPH core course requirements: one course each in of the five core knowledge areas, a methods course, a health care budgeting and management course, and the Applied Learning Experience (ALE). The ALE requires students to synthesize knowledge acquired in coursework and apply it to a public health project of their own design involving at least 160 hours of practicum work. In addition, students also take Integration of Dental Public Health, a monthly seminar held throughout the program to help integrate public health work and dental studies. As the MPH in this program is a generalist degree, the remaining courses are taken as electives to complete the necessary credits for the public health degree.
Students can apply to the program during their second year of dental education. Admission to the DMD/MPH Program is a two-step process:
1. Students must submit a personal narrative to firstname.lastname@example.org. The prompt of the personal narrative is as follows: Describe your career objectives and why you are interested in dental public health training. The DMD/MPH Combined Program Admissions Committee will review the application. The Committee looks for academic achievement and demonstrated interest and activities in dental public health. Applicants with an interest in becoming board certified in dental public health will be given preference for admission.
2. If recommended by the Committee for admissions to the DMD/MPH Program, students must then complete a separate application to the MPH Program and be accepted by the Admissions Committee of the MPH Program.
For more details, visit: DMD/MPH program admissions
Tufts University and Tufts Dental School have also established a program that allows students to complete their Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in eight years. Students apply to the program after during the spring of their Sophomore year. Conditional acceptance is granted after an interview at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Final acceptance is granted after students complete four years of undergraduate study and maintain minimum academic standards. Students will also be required to attend a final interview during the fall of their senior year.