Contact Us

Dr. Mary Walker
UMKC School of Dentistry
650 East 25th Street
Kansas City, MO 64108-2795
(816) 235-2825

Jania Billups
UMKC School of Dentistry
650 East 25th Street
Kansas City, MO 64108-2795
(816) 235-6342

Oral & Craniofacial PhD Admissions Process

All application materials should be submitted prior to March 1 for students wishing to begin their study in the fall semester. However, applications will be accepted throughout the year.

The application process is competitive. Evaluation criteria includes:

  • Transcripts. Analysis of transcripts from all prior institutions is required.
  • Letters of recommendation. Three letters of recommendation are required from current or former instructors and/or mentors who are familiar with the applicant’s past achievements and research ability.
  • Personal statement from applicant. The applicant must submit a letter describing why he or she is interested in pursuing an Interdisciplinary PhD study in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences, how the experience of the program may be used by the candidate in the future, and a list of potential research interests.
  • Interviews. Interviews are not required; however, interviews are preferred and will be arranged upon the candidate’s request. Successful interviews may enhance the candidate’s chance of acceptance.

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

Coursework Requirements

The Discipline Coordinator/Oral and Craniofacial Sciences Program Director serves as the academic advisor for oral & craniofacial sciences Interdisciplinary PhD students. In accordance with the general requirements for the Interdisciplinary PhD program, a PhD student must prepare a coursework plan of study in conjunction with the discipline coordinator/program director and co-discipline coordinator. A student’s plan of study must include coursework in oral and craniofacial sciences as well as in at least one other discipline.

Coursework must satisfy all discipline-specific requirements and may include additional courses as appropriate to the student’s research focus. Course selection will be made in conjunction with the Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences Director of Graduate Research Programs and the General requirements are listed below:

  • The Plan must include coursework from all of the student’s disciplines
  • No more than 60 percent of the total coursework taken at UMKC and included on the PhD Plan of Study, exclusive of dissertation hours, may be from any one discipline
  • Coursework from disciplines other than the ones to which the student has been admitted may be included on the Coursework Plan of Study and counted in the total percentage
  • No more than 25 percent of the total coursework may be from disciplines not formally participating in the Interdisciplinary PhD Program
  • The Plan must include at least 30 didactic hours beyond the baccalaureate degree, exclusive of dissertation research hours, in courses taken at UMKC or in courses taken at another institution
  • The Plan must include a minimum of 9 credit hours, exclusive of dissertation research hours, in a co-discipline area to which the student has been admitted
  • The Plan must include at least 12 hours of dissertation credits
Interdisciplinary PhD 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 PhD program. The student’s research advisor must be a regular doctoral faculty member from the student’s primary 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 PhD 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.

Student Learning Outcomes

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 a deeper understanding of the link between scientific research and clinical health care practice.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Develop the capability to produce written materials that are clear, well-organized, insightful, and drawn from evidence-based research.
  • Employ the communications skills needed to successfully convey important scientific and clinical concepts in oral presentations and communications.
  • Apply professional ethics with the highest standards of integrity in all facets of research.