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Doctor of Science in Dental Research

TUSDM student presenting research at Bates-Andrews Research Day.

Application Procedures

There are two routes of entry to the TUSDM Doctor of Science program:

  • Candidates who are applying to the Doctor of Science program only
  • Candidates who apply to a joint Doctor of Science/Advanced Education program in Orthodontics, Periodontics, Prosthodontics, Endodontics or Pediatric Dentistry

Applicants must hold an approved bachelor’s degree, a dental degree (DDS, DMD, or BDS), and may or may not be interested in dental specialization. Evidence must be shown of excellent scholarship, research potential, and a career interest in academic dentistry.

Doctor of Science Candidate Only

Candidates can pursue the Doctorate of Science degree without taking part in an Advanced Education specialty certificate program. These applicants should submit a complete application to the TUSDM Office of Admissions along with a brief essay. The essay should be 300-500 words in length to describe your experiences with research, the reasons for wanting to pursue the Doctor of Science in Dental Research and ideas for a research topic. TOEFL scores, when appropriate, are also required. Candidates should apply by March 1, to matriculate on July 1 of the same year. 

Joint Program Candidates

Candidates interested in jointly pursuing a Doctor of Science and Specialty certificate program should indicate their interest in their application and letter of intent. An essay of 300-500 words in length that describes the applicant’s research experiences, their reasons for wanting to pursue the Doctor of Science in Dental Research and ideas for a research topic is required to be submitted at the time of application. Applications are evaluated on a case by case basis. Students matriculate in both programs on July 1. The deadline for joint programs varies depending on the particular specialty program for matriculation on July 1 of the year prior to matriculation. A separate application must be submitted to the specialty program the applicant is interested in pursuing. Depending on admission decisions, the applicant may be admitted to the DSc-only or Specialty-only program. 

Tuition

Students enrolled in the Doctor of Science program only are charged at the customary post-graduate tuition rate for three years. Students enrolled in a joint Doctor of Science and Specialty/Certificate program are charged at the customary post-graduate tuition rate for the first two years. They will also be charged an additional 25% of the customary tuition for each semester they are concurrently enrolled in both programs.

The proposed DSc curriculum and program delivery are designed to include two tracks.

Track 1: DSc only – three years to completion (starting date: July 2021)

Track 2: DSc + Dental Specialty – five years to completion (starting date: July 2022)

  • Year 1 and 2 – Courses and development of research proposal and execution of research project
  • Year 3, 4, and 5 – Students are in their specialty programs and department specific courses (i.e. courses in Periodontology, etc.)

For both tracks, the first two years are identical. Students are required to complete the core courses, an oral qualifying exam, a research proposal and electives guided by their research interests and thesis topic. The students will engage in independent research and study, presenting their culminating work in a thesis defense.

The DSc program is developed as a 70 credit program (34 didactic credits and 36 research credits).  

**The remaining 14 elective didactic courses should be taken as graduate-level courses available at the School of Dental Medicine, the Tufts Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Nutrition School as well as select departments at the Tufts University – Medford Campus.

Core Research Credits  
Intensive Research Rotation* 4 credits - structured research experiences and rotations to assist the student in selecting thesis topic and advisor
DEGR MS100: PG Research I 2 credits
DEGR MS200: PG Research II 4 credits
DEGR MS300: PG Research III 4 credits
DEGR MS400: Research IV 4 credits
DEGR MS401: Thesis Proposal 4 credits
DEGR MS402: Thesis Defense 4 credits

*New course. Other courses are currently offered as part of the MS program.

Program Structure

YEAR 1

July-August

  • July 1 – Post Graduate Orientation
  • Courses (credits) – core and elective
    • DEGR 201 Oral Microbiology (1.0)
    • DEGR 102 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology (1.0)
    • DEGR 203 Applied Nutrition in Dentistry (1.0)
    • DEGR 202 Immunology (1.0)
    • DEGR 101 Introduction to Biostatistics (0.5)

September-December

  • Courses (credits) – core and elective
    • DEGR 407 Complex Case Management Seminars (1.0)
    • DEGR 402 Management of Medically Compromised Patients (1.0)
    • DEGR 403 Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (1.0)
    • DEGR 204 Bone Biology (0.5)
    • DEGR 401 Clinico-Pathologic Conferences in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (1.0)
    • DEGR 104 Basic Biostatistics (1.0)
    • MS102 Critical Evaluation of Scientific Literature (1.0)
  • Research timeline
    • DEGR MS100: PG Research I (2.0)
      • Select principal advisor and thesis committee
      • Submit advisor/thesis form
    • Intensive Research Rotation (4 credits)
      • Four labs, one week in each location
      • Submit summary of rotations/experiences

January-June Courses

  • Courses (credits) – core and elective
    • DEGR 407 Complex Case Management Seminars (1.0)
    • DEGR 406 Review of Orofacial Pain (1.0)
    • DEGR 103 Research Methodology (1.0)
    • DEGR MS110 Biostatistics II (2.0)
    • DEGR 210 Biology of Saliva and Salivary Glands (1.0)
    • DEGR 209 Dental Pharmacology (1.0)
    • DEGR 207 Head and Neck Anatomy (1.0)
    • DEGR 206 Topics in Molecular and Cell Biology (1.0)
  • Research timeline
    • MS200: PG Research II (4 credits)
      • Meet with thesis committee every two months and submit progress report after each meeting
      • Develop research protocol and IRB submission with the TUSDM Department of Research Administration
      • Submit IRB approved research protocol and budget justification
    • Submit year-end research report summarizing first year of research and didactic activities
    • Student’s Thesis Committee/DSc Promotions Committee reviews course work performance and recommendation for promotion to the next year

YEAR 2

Fall

  • Research Timeline
    • DEGR MS300: PG Research III (4 credits)
    • Elective and additional self-study/research credits
    • Conduct research. TUSDM Department of Research Administration will track work and provide guidance
    • Submit progress report after each committee meeting
  • September 1 – Final draft of research proposal due to the thesis committee
  • Participate in Graduate Research

Spring

  • Research Timeline
    • DEGR MS400: PG Research IV (4 credits)
    • Elective and additional self-study/research credits
    • Conduct research
    • Submit progress report after each committee meeting
  • Elective courses depending on the research interest
  • Submit request for Oral Qualifying Committee to DSc Promotions Committee
  • Oral Qualifying Exam (2 credits)
  • Student’s Thesis Committee/DSc Promotions Committee reviews course work performance and recommendation for promotion to the next year

YEAR 3

  • Presentation of research at a national meeting
  • Elective and additional self-study/research credits (if needed)
  • Submission of thesis (2.0 credits)
  • Defend thesis at the end of Year 3 (4.0 credits)
  • Student’s Thesis Committee and DSc Promotions Committee reviews course work performance and recommendation for graduation

YEARS 3-5 – DSc and Specialty/Certificate Program

  • Start clinical specialty specific course if doing combined program