MS Program

The MS degree program is intended for students who are currently engaged in research and academic careers and seeking additional training to support their career or for students seeking an introduction to basic science research. Dental professsionals (DDS/DMD, DH, DT, etc.) who are looking for a re-introduction to basic science research are very welcome in the program. Every student will conduct a basic science research project which will be described in the master's thesis. 



The Oral Biology MS requires a minimum of two years and all MS students follow Plan A (thesis).  The MS in Oral Biology requires 20 graduate-level course credits, which must include 4 credits of oral biology topics courses (OBIO 5010-50, 8012,8018, 8021-8029, 8371), participation in the Oral Biology seminar (OBIO 8030) each semester (1 credit per semester), 6 credits in a nonclinical graduate minor, and 6 credits of electives. Students are strongly encouraged to use electives to take a statistics course (STAT 5021, PUBH 6450, PUBH 7446, or equivalent). The remaining elective credits should be taken as courses relevant to the thesis project and/or credits that will expand the student’s ability to conduct craniofacial research in the future.

Students must complete a basic science research project under the supervision of the advisor and enroll for a minimum of 10 master’s thesis credits (OBIO 8777), as well as write and successfully defend a thesis.

The Graduate School Catalog and Oral Biology Handbook contains detailed information concerning registration, degree requirements, program and thesis registration, and other procedures and deadlines. The Director of Graduate Studies and the student’s advisor will assist the student in complying with policy requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to meet all degree requirements and deadlines as outlined in the Catalog and Handbook. 

Students are encouraged to focus in one of our five areas of special emphasis. The calendars in these documents are merely suggestions. Each student will receive customized training.

  • Biomaterials and Biomechanics 
  • Epithelial Biology and Carcinogenesis 
  • Bone Biology, Craniofacial Development, and Tissue Engineering 
  • Microbiology and Immunology 
  • Sensory Neuroscience 


The Graduate Program in Oral Biology is not able to provide funding support for MS students. Students are welcome to find their own support through scholarships, educational support programs or loans, or private sources.

Selecting an advisor

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 should familiarize themselves as rapidly as possible with faculty members in the Graduate Program in Oral Biology through tutorials, seminars, and informal contacts. Students must choose an advisor by the end of the first semester in residence. Students may change advisors in some circumstances, with the advice and consent of the Director of Graduate Studies. Selection of an advisor is critically important, since the student and advisor together plan the student’s program of coursework and the thesis research project. Research rotations are possible in the first semester.