Prospective Students

Director’s Message 

The doctor of philosophy degree in Oral Health Sciences is a program of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, offered through the School of Dentistry. The primary objective of this program is to train outstanding students to become leaders in academic research in oral health science. Major areas of study include: developmental craniofacial biology, mineralized tissue biology and musculoskeletal disorders, oral and pharyngeal cancer, oral health disparities, oral infectious and immunologic diseases, oral sensory systems and central circuits, and tissue engineering and regeneration.

The Oral Health Sciences PhD program is primarily for outstanding students who have completed or will soon complete clinical dental training (DDS and/or specialty), those students who wish to combine a DDS with a PhD, or, clinical specialty and doctoral training. A strong background in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics at the university level is required. The Program is especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the academic community. Foreign students must demonstrate proficiency in English. Applicants must fulfill all requirements of the Rackham School of Graduate Studies, take the Graduate Record Examination General Test, and submit three letters of recommendation, a curriculum vitae, and a statement of research interests and goals.

The curriculum includes oral health science core courses, an ongoing seminar series, basic science courses, and advanced courses in the student’s area of specialization. Students must also complete a preliminary examination and original research that leads to production and defense of a dissertation. In addition, options for pursuit of a dual degree program leading to the DDS and PhD in Oral Health Sciences are available. Programs for exceptional students who are interested in pursuing a combined clinical specialty and the PhD are available on an individual basis, pending admission to both programs.

Student support is available on a competitive basis from school and department resources, and from individual faculty research grants. A limited number of fellowships are available to exceptional entering students. Students are also encouraged to apply for individual fellowships and traineeships from federal agencies and private foundations. Support is also available through a training program sponsored by the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, NIDCR, for study of the microbiology of oral soft tissue diseases. Traineeships are available to citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or to non-citizens lawfully admitted for permanent residence. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.

Applications are accepted for admission to the doctoral program in Oral Health Sciences by January 5. Questions about application procedures and forms may be sent to  

     Jan Hu, BDS, PhD
     Professor and Director,
     PhD in Oral Health Sciences