Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences - Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program

Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences - Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program


Program Description

The Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program is composed of a significant supervised research effort along with courses in areas such as dental biomaterials, research design, clinical research methodology, statistics, grant writing, biochemistry, proteomics, genomics, histology, and pathology. The primary didactic effort will be in oral biology (biomaterials/bioengineering of biological tissues and replacements, mineralized tissue biology, or translational/clinical research) and the student will select a secondary area of concentration from other Interdisciplinary Ph.D. discipline(s).

Program Objectives:

The course requirements for the IPhD are not predetermined, but rather are formulated by the student in consultation with the Director of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences Graduate Programs and the doctoral faculty who will serve on their supervisory committee. The developed program of study will meet the student's individual needs and research interests, satisfy discipline-specific requirements, and assure upon graduation that students are able to:

  • Demonstrate appropriate depth and breadth of knowledge in their disciplines
  • Use skills of interdisciplinary scholarship and research to integrate multiple perspectives
  • Work effectively in a collaborative environment
  • Effectively communicate results of their research to diverse audiences
  • Use objective assessment for personal and professional improvement and development
  • Apply ethical principles to all aspects of their professional life
  • Think critically and creatively as a self-directed interdisciplinary researcher
  • Develop skills to become good mentors and communicators
  • Successfully complete the CITI Research Ethics Tutorial at: Upon completion they will print the Certificate of Successful Completion, and turn it in to the Oral and Craniofacial Sciences Administrative Office to be placed in their file


The program consists of a minimum of 42 total credit hours, 30 of which are didactic hours and at least 12 of which are dissertation credit. Of the 30 didactic hours, between 9 and 12 credit hours will be required, depending on the selected co-discipline.

IPhD students can choose from a variety of co-disciplines, including:
Cell biology and biophysics, entrepreneurship and innovation, molecular biology and biochemistry, pharmacology, chemistry, physics, engineering, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, telecommunication and computer networking, curriculum and instruction, public affairs and administration (public health emphasis) , and mathematics.

Admissions Requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree or a D.D.S. or equivalent degree.
  • A minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 for all undergraduate work, including dental school if applicable.
  • National Boards Examination Scores, if available.
  • The TOEFL is required for all international applicants, who must have a score of at least 80 on the Internet based test. An EILTS score of 6.0 or above may be accepted in place of the TOEFL.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE), with the following minimum scores:


Score Scale





Analytical Writing



  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended.
  • Three letters of recommendation speaking to the applicant’s ability to complete doctoral-level work.

Note on Recommendation Letters
Recommendation letters may be addressed to:
Dr. M.P. Walker, Director of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences Graduate Programs
UMKC School of Dentistry
650 East 25th Street
Kansas City, MO 64108-2795


Application Deadlines
The Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences has a rolling deadline and accepts Interdisciplinary PhD applications year round.

Application Procedures
To learn more about the application process, click here.

Information Resources

Financial Aid
International Student Admissions
Residency Status
School of Graduate Studies
Student Housing
Dental School Housing Resources Link

Cost of the Program

To get a rough estimate of what the total program would cost, consult the School of Dentistry Tuition/Fee Schedule to the see the cost per credit hour plus fees and multiply that amount by 42. Please be advised that prices for tuition and fees are subject to change.

Domestic applicants can also view tuition/fee information here:

International applicants can consult additional tuition/fee information here:

Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program Overview
Program Guidelines

Flowchart Through the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program
Entrance through Plan of Study
Plan of Study through Comprehensive Exams
Comprehensive Exams through Graduation

Additional Information
Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences Faculty
Check out what our Ph.D. Students are doing!

Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Research Advisor and Supervisory Committee
The student's dissertation advisor will be the chair of the dissertation committee and should be an Oral and Craniofacial Sciences faculty member. A majority of the members of a student's supervisory committee must be from disciplines certified as eligible to participate in the Ph.D. program. The student's research advisor must be a regular doctoral faculty member from the student's coordinating unit discipline.

The advisor assists the student in identifying other members of the doctoral faculty to form a supervisory committee appropriate to the student's research goals. A request for appointment of supervisory committee is included as part of the written proposal for the student's Ph.D. plan of study.

The supervisory committee shall consist of at least five members of the doctoral faculty, with a maximum of three from any one discipline and at least one from each chosen discipline. An outside reader may also be included on the supervisory committee as a non-voting member.

Contact Info

Dr. M. P. Walker
Director of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences Graduate Programs

Please contact us at for information and further assistance.

Important Dates