MS / Certificate Programs

The Ohio State University College of Dentistry offers MS degree and/or certificate programs in nine different fields, all located in the nation's most comprehensive health sciences center. Certificate programs combine clinical experience with didactic coursework and range from 12 to 48 months in duration. Upon completion of the program, you will receive a certificate of specialty training and be eligible to take specialty board examinations. Most of our certificate programs also require you to complete a Master of Science degree.

The program for the Master of Science in Dentistry is offered under the auspices of the Graduate School of The Ohio State University and the Dean of the Graduate School. The program may be completed as either Plan A (thesis option) or Plan B (without a thesis). Students may pursue either plan, subject to agreement of their advisor.

The Graduate School requires students in both plans to complete a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours to earn a master’s degree. Eighty percent of those required credit hours must be completed at The Ohio State University over a period of at least two semesters. Students must be registered for at least three graduate credit hours during the semester in which graduation is expected, and they must achieve a cumulative point-hour ratio (GPA) of at least 3.0. 

The Application to Graduate form must be submitted to the Graduate School not later than the third Friday of the semester in which graduation is expected. Students must successfully complete the master’s examination and submit the Master's Examination Report form to the Graduate School by the published deadline for the semester of graduation. For detailed program information, read the MS Program Handbook.

MS / Certificate Programs

Outcomes for Certificate Programs

*Academic year 2022-23

  • 37/37 (100%) of residents completed their residency program on time
  • 37/37 (100%) of graduates are on track for placement/employment within 3 month of graduation.  The breakdown was as follows:
    • 30/37 (81.1%) entered private practice
    • 2/37 (5.4%) entered private practice combined with an academic or hospital appointment
    • 2/37 (5.4%) accepted a full-time academic/hospital appointment
    • 1/37 (2.7%) accepted a military appointment
    • 1/37 (2.7%) started another training program (fellowship)
    • 1/37 (2.7%) accepted an administrative position with a dental support organization

Core Curriculum

In addition to the Graduate School requirements, the program requires all students to successfully complete two core courses: 

  • Dent 8009:  Research Design 1 (1 credit)
  • Dent 8010:  Research Design 2 (2 credits)

Students with exceptional backgrounds or equivalent coursework in these areas may petition the GSC for an exemption from these courses.

General Information

Students in this option are required to complete a research project under Graduate Faculty supervision. An original thesis based on the research project must be written and successfully defended. The master’s examination for students pursuing Plan A must include an oral portion, and need not be confined to the thesis topic. The thesis must be approved by the advisor and the Master's Examination Committee. Students must submit the Thesis Approval form to the Graduate School and submit the approved thesis to OhioLink by the published deadline for the semester of graduation. If the student or advisor would like to delay dissemination of the thesis, a form to petition to the Graduate School for a delay is available on the Graduate School website.     

The date, time and location of each thesis defense should be transmitted to all faculty and students no later than one week prior to the defense. The thesis defense will begin with an oral presentation of the research project by the graduate student. This presentation is typically 20 to 45 minutes long and will be open to all students and faculty of the College of Dentistry. The presentation will be followed by an open question session. Following its completion, the Master’s Examination Committee, chaired by the student’s advisor, will continue the examination in a closed session. The committee will comprehensively evaluate the thesis and the student’s understanding of the study and its implications. The closed portion of the exam typically extends for one to two hours. The graduate student will then be excused and the committee will decide whether the student’s performance on the examination was satisfactory and whether the thesis is acceptable. The advisor will then inform the graduate student of his/her decision. 

Students are strongly encouraged to prepare and submit at least one publication-ready manuscript based on their thesis research. Individual advanced clinical training programs may require their students to prepare one or more publishable manuscripts as a requirement for obtaining the MS degree or specialty certificate.

Suggested Timeline for Completion

First Year

Summer and Autumn Semesters

Graduate students should become familiar with the research interests and expertise of the graduate faculty and explore opportunities for research in their area of interest. Ideally, an Advisor and research topic should be selected by the end of autumn semester.

First Year

Spring Semester

A Master’s Examination Committee should be established as early as possible, and its membership approved by the GSC. The student should then develop a research protocol (including a comprehensive literature review) to submit for approval by the Master’s Examination Committee. The graduate student must work with their advisor to accomplish this goal. By the end of the first year, the student should have a completed an approved research protocol. If the research involves human subjects or laboratory animals, approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) must be obtained prior to starting data collection.

Second Year

Summer Semester

The student should initiate the research project and begin data collection. The student may consider registering for additional coursework if this would be helpful in expanding the depth of understanding of the research project.

Second Year

Autumn and Spring Semesters

Data collection continues for students in a three-year program.

Note: If the Graduate program is a 24-month program, then students in Plan A should defend their thesis during the first half of the spring semester. After any necessary revisions are completed, the thesis should be bound and copies provided to the advisor and committee members. Ideally, the student should convert the thesis into one or more manuscripts that can be submitted to an appropriate journal for publication. Students in Plan B should schedule their written comprehensive examination during the first half of the semester, if possible, and submit their manuscripts to an appropriate journal for publication.

Third Year

Summer Semester

Data collection and analysis should be completed, allowing the student to prepare and submit an abstract for presentation at the American Association for Dental Research meeting and/or the national meeting of their clinical specialty organization.
 

Third Year

Autumn Semester

Students in Plan A should complete their thesis in close collaboration with their advisor. Ideally, the student should meet with the Master’s Examination Committee to present a draft of their thesis for corrections and to organize the thesis defense.

Students in Plan B should collaborate with their advisor to prepare at least one publication-ready manuscript based on their research. The manuscript(s) should be submitted to the Master’s Examination Committee for approval.

Third Year

Spring Semester

Students in Plan A should defend their thesis during the first half of the semester. After any necessary revisions are completed, the thesis should be bound and copies provided to the advisor and Committee members. Ideally, the student should convert the thesis into one or more manuscripts that can be submitted to an appropriate journal for publication.

Students in Plan B should schedule their written comprehensive examination during the first half of the semester, if possible, and submit their manuscripts to an appropriate journal for publication.