Master of Science in Dentistry

The MS in Dentistry program is designed to prepare dentists and dental hygienists for leadership positions in education, research, and program administration that will complement their areas of clinical expertise.

Currently the MS in Dentistry Program only accepts applications from those who are now or will be enrolled in one of our participating clinical residency programs. For more information on those programs and their application procedures, please visit Specialty and Advanced Education Programs.

East Bank campus aerialThe program is housed in the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry and taught by Dentistry’s multidisciplinary graduate faculty of dental educators, researchers, and clinicians. Core elements of the program include required courses in teaching and evaluation, research methods and biostatistics, and program administration.

Additional advanced coursework may be taken in these focus areas, as well as selected areas of clinical and oral science that that are of multidisciplinary concern, including anatomy, conscious sedation, craniofacial pain, geriatrics, oral biology, oral medicine and radiology, oral pathology, physical diagnosis, practice administration, and psychology.

Flexibility is encouraged in planning individualized programs that will accommodate students’ specific areas of interest, and courses from other disciplines may be included for credit in the major area.


The specific objectives of the MS in Dentistry program are to develop skills in:

  • Designing and conducting research
  • Teaching
  • Administration of clinical and educational programs
  • Advanced multidisciplinary clinical care

Students are responsible for developing their program of education and professional growth in conjunction with the Dentistry graduate faculty. Selection of an advisor is of critical importance, since the student and advisor will jointly plan the student’s curriculum and thesis or other projects. New students will be under the general supervision of the Director of Graduate Studies or assigned a temporary advisor by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Students will be expected to choose an advisor by the end of their first year in the graduate program and will be encouraged to familiarize themselves with the graduate faculty as soon as possible via seminars, tutorials, and informal contacts. Students may change advisors subsequently with the advice and consent of the Director of Graduate Studies.

Admission requirements

The MS in Dentistry Program only accepts applications from those who are now or will be enrolled in one of the School of Dentistry’s participating clinical residency programs.

Applicants must have received a DDS or DMD degree from an accredited U.S. institution. Students with comparable foreign degrees from recognized colleges or universities may also apply for admission.

As per Graduate School Requirements, an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 is the preferred performance level for admission. Applicants for whom English is a second language must also take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The preferred performance levels on the TOEFL are as follows:

  • Paper-Based Total Score: 600
  • Computer Based Total Score: 250
  • Internet Based Total Score: 80

Resume/CV and Personal Statement

Applicants should submit their resume/CV and a personal statement. The personal statement should be a brief essay (under 500 words) which relates the applicant’s career goals to the goals of the program. Applications are received and reviewed throughout the year. Students may enter the program in any semester at the discretion of program faculty.

Minimum GPA

Students in the Dentistry Graduate Program must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and no more than 6 incomplete credits in order to remain in good standing within the program. This standard is higher then the minimum Graduate School requirements for MS candidates. A student who does not obtain a GPA of 3.0 in any one semester will be placed on academic probation for the following semester. Students who, for two consecutive semesters, have a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0 will be terminated from the program.

Concurrent Residency and MS Studies

Students who are enrolled in an advanced clinical dental training program (general dentistry or specialty residency) may be admitted to the Dentistry graduate program for concurrent study. However, students must carefully plan their studies with their faculty advisor and the Director or Graduate Studies so that their residency and the M.S. programs can be integrated while accommodating University policies prohibiting simultaneous registration in two colleges.

Up to 40 percent of the credits required for the M.S. degree program that are taken outside of the Graduate School from a recognized source may be transferred for credit at the discretion of the student’s advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies in accordance with Graduate School policies.

Use of 4xxx courses

Inclusion of 4xxx courses on degree program forms is subject to adviser and director of graduate studies approval. Under NO circumstances are courses below 4000 level allowed for graduate degree credit by the Graduate School.

Diversity commitment

The MS in Dentistry Program and the Graduate School embrace the University of Minnesota’s position that promoting and supporting diversity among the student body is central to the academic mission of the University. A diverse student body enriches graduate education by providing a multiplicity of views and perspectives that enhance research, teaching, and the development of new knowledge.

A diverse mix of students promotes respect for, and opportunities to learn from other with the broad range of backgrounds and experiences that constituent modern society. Higher education trains the next generation of leaders of academia and society in general, and such opportunities for leadership should be accessible to all members of society.

The MS in Dentistry Program and the Graduate School are therefore committed to providing equal access to educational opportunities through recruitment, admission, and support programs that promote diversity, foster successful academic experiences, and cultivate the leaders of the next generation.

Program at a glance

Length: 18 months (minimum)
Degree: MS
Program Director: Brent E. Larson, DDS, MS
Program Coordinator: Josette Fontana

Mailing address:

MS in Dentistry Program
15-136 Moos Tower

515 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

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