Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences

Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences - Master of Science in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences

Program Overview

The overall goals of the Oral & Craniofacial Sciences (OCS) MS program are: 1) to produce graduates knowledgeable in advanced concepts and principles of biomaterials and oral & craniofacial biology; 2) train students to critically evaluate and apply scientific literature; 3) provide students basic research skills; and 4) produce graduates who will advance scientific knowledge in oral and craniofacial health sciences.

This program includes advanced work in basic, behavioral and clinical sciences relating to dentistry. The OCS MS program is designed for students who are concurrently enrolled in advanced dental specialty certificate programs. Those interested in applying for a specialty program (Orthodontics, Periodontics, Endodontics) and also interested in a Master of Science degree should note that an application to the OCS MS program would be subsequent to their acceptance into the specialty program.

The coursework and thesis present an opportunity for the student to cross traditional departmental lines and undertake an interdisciplinary approach to the study of problems related to oral and craniofacial sciences. On successful completion of all necessary coursework and thesis requirements, the student is awarded a Master of Science degree in Oral & Craniofacial Sciences.

Program Requirements

To successfully graduate from the Oral & Craniofacial Sciences MS program, students must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate coursework as outlined on their program of study while maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA. In addition to coursework, there are four major stages of the Oral & Craniofacial Sciences (OCS) MS program that students must successfully complete:

1. Qualifying Exam: Written Component-Research Proposal and Oral Component-Presentation/Exam
2. Research Project
3. Thesis
4. Thesis Defense

The OCS Graduate Program Director will serve as the student’s academic advisor throughout the program and will assist with the selection of a thesis committee chair. The selection process will be based on the student’s research interests, the various research opportunities, and meetings with potential MS degree advisors. Once the committee chair is selected, the chair and the OCS Graduate Program Director will assist the student with selecting two or three additional faculty members to serve on the thesis committee.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the OCS MS program requirements, the student will be able to do the following:
1. Demonstrate a deeper understanding of the link between scientific research and clinical health care practice.
2. Conduct thorough literature reviews based on an understanding of periodical databases and scholarly journals in the health sciences; have the aptitude to assess the validity of literature and determine how it may be applied in both research and clinical settings.
3. Demonstrate the ability to prepare and conduct original research projects, drawing on an understanding of the current literature, appropriate study design, methodologies, and data analysis.
4. Develop the capability to produce written materials that are clear, well-organized, insightful, and drawn from evidence-based research.
5. Employ the communications skills needed to successfully convey important scientific and clinical concepts in oral presentations and communications.
6. Apply and practice professional ethics with the highest standards of integrity in all facets of research and clinical practice.

Specialty Certificate Programs
If you are interested in applying for a specialty program (Orthodontics, Periodontics, Endodontics) and are also interested in a Master of Science, please note that separate applications are required for each program. To learn more about the certificate programs, click here.

Master of Science Admissions Requirements

  • A DDS/DMD or equivalent degree.
  • A minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 for all undergraduate work, including dental school if applicable.
  • The TOEFL is required for all international applicants, who must have a score of at least 80. An IELTS 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


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

Application Procedures

The OCS MS program is designed for applicants, who will be concurrently enrolled in a dental specialty program.  To be eligible for a dental specialty program, you must be a US citizen or permanent resident with a DDS or DMD degree from an institution accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation or the Canadian Dental Accrediting Commission. 

Application to the OCS MS program should occur after you have been accepted into the dental specialty program (Endodontics, Orthodontics, Periodontics).  After you have been accepted, if you are interested in applying, please contact Dr. Mary Walker ( regarding your interest.  From there, you will receive specific guidance on the application process.  Items for the OCS MS application will include:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Official GRE scores
  • Two letters of recommendation *
  • Personal Statement: indicating your past research experience, your reason for pursuing the Oral and Craniofacial Sciences MS degree and your possible research interests.
  • Resume/CV

* Note on Recommendation Letters

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

Information Resources

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

Domestic applicants can view tuition/fee information here:
International applicants can consult additional tuition/fee information here:

Master’s Degree Program Overview

Program Timeline

Program of Study Course Lists

Additional Information
Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences Faculty
Check out our Master’s Students

UMKC is An Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer

Contact Info

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

Please contact us at for information and further assistance.

Important Dates