Master of Science in Dental Research
Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM) offers a program of study and research leading to the degree of Master of Science to all scholars qualified to proceed into graduate study. Applicants must hold an approved bachelor’s degree, may or may not hold a dental degree, 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.
The Master of Science program has a minimum duration of two years combining a rigorous academic curriculum comprised of at least 22 credits of didactic study with 18 credits of thesis scholarship and research, leading to the degree of Master of Science in Dental Research.
There are three routes of entry to the TUSDM Master of Science program:
- Candidates who are applying to the Master of Science program only
- Candidates who apply to a joint Master of Science/Advanced Education program in Orthodontics, Periodontics, Prosthodontics, Endodontics or Pediatric Dentistry
- Internal candidates, already enrolled in an Advanced Education program at TUSDM, who choose to pursue the Master of Science degree concurrently with their specialty certificate program
Master of Science Candidates Only
Candidates can pursue the Master 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 Master 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
Those candidates interested in jointly pursuing a Master 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 Master 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. Assuming satisfactory academic progress, candidates will receive the Master of Science after two years of full time study and specific program certificate after three or four years, depending on the length of certificate program.
Internal Candidates – Joint MS Program
Students who are enrolled in a two- or three-year Advanced Education program at TUSDM (other than Orthodontics) can apply to the Master of Science program during the first year of their certificate program. The deadline for application is April 30, for matriculation on July 1 of the same year and the application material should be submitted to the Office of Advanced and Graduate Education.
Course Requirements and Credits
The Master of Science program offers a rigorous curriculum, requiring a minimum of 22 didactic credits and 18 research credits, for a total of 40 credits. Individual programs of graduate study and research should be developed by the student in close collaboration with his or her advisor.
The following 7 core courses (a total of 12 credits), are required for all Masters students:
- Biostatistics IA 1.0 credit
- Biostatistics IB 1.5 credits
- Biostatistics & Epidemiology II 2.5 credits
- Epidemiology & Critical Thinking in the Practice of Dentistry 1.5 credits
- Scientific & Technical Writing 1.5 credits
- Critical Evaluation of Scientific Literature 2.0 credits
- Successful Research Strategies 1.0 credits
- Research Methodology 1.0 credits
The remaining ten didactic credits may be taken as electives. Graduate level courses are available at the School of Dental Medicine, the School of Medicine, the Tufts Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Nutrition Institute and Tufts University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Students should be guided by their research interests and thesis topic when designing an elective curriculum. It is also possible to undertake a program of independent study, for up to three credits. Contracts for independent study must be approved by the Director of Advanced and Graduate Education and filed in the Office of Advanced and Graduate Education.
In addition, Master of Science candidates are required to design and execute an original research project under the guidance of graduate faculty. The thesis is a culmination of an original investigation leading to new information. The thesis should characterize, in a scholarly manner, the importance of this information as it applies to the field of study. The thesis should reflect the methodology, techniques, statistics and literature background used, as well as scientific logic necessary for acceptance of the results and conclusion. A total of 18 credits will be awarded for research, participation in research events, and the thesis proposal, document, and defense.
Students enrolled in the Master of Science program only are charged at the customary post-graduate tuition rate for two years. Students matriculating in the Master of Science program while enrolled in a certificate program are charged an additional 25% of the customary tuition for each semester they are concurrently enrolled in both programs. Students enrolled in a joint Master of Science and Specialty/Certificate program will also be charged an additional 25% of the customary tuition for each semester they are concurrently enrolled in both programs.