Research-Oriented Academic Programs

Is research your passion? The School of Dentistry has several avenues for undergraduate and graduate students to engage in hands-on research.

Advanced Degree Programs

Our academic programs offer significant opportunities for students to delve into research and explore. Our three advanced degree programs – Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Education, Master of Science in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences and a Ph.D. in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences –place a strong emphasis on research-oriented academics. The master’s level programs allow students to focus on understanding the scientific method and applying it to specialized projects of interest. The doctoral program allows students to focus on didactic coursework and research in the discipline of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences (primary research areas: biomaterials, mineralized tissue, and translational/clinical research) and a co-discipline in another discipline of interest, such as engineering, chemistry, or pharmacology.

Summer Scholars

Summer Scholars is an elite program for dental students interested in research. The top one-third to one-half of the first-year dental class is invited to apply to participate in the program during the summer after their first year. Members receive a stipend and the opportunity to collaborate with faculty members on a research project. Students have access to the school’s state-of-the-art laboratories and clinics during the nine-week program. Students can expect hands-on duties including conducting literature searches, preparing specimens, gathering data and analyzing results. Students are expected to produce a research paper and submit a research abstract for a poster presentation at the American Association for Dental Research (AADR). Students earn 1 credit hour of independent study.

Student Research Group

Students can actively engage in research studies on campus by participating in the student chapter National Student Research Group, sponsored by the American Association for Dental Research. Students team up with faculty mentors to build and improve their research and leadership skills. The students actively assist in research and earn recognition by presenting papers about their work at regional and national conferences. Students will also be included as co-authors of journal articles. The most successful and active students in the research group are typically former participants of the Summer Scholars Program.