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School of Dentistry

3223 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122

www.temple.edu/dentistry

Degree Programs: isc.temple.edu/grad/programs/
degrid.htm

Oral Biology
--General Statement
--Graduate Faculty
--Admission Requirements
--Course Description

 

 

Martin F. Tansy, Ph.D., Dean;

Thomas E. Rams, D.D.S., M.H.S., Associate Dean (Acting) for Research, Advanced Education and Continuing Education, 215-707-2941.

The oral biology graduate program at the School of Dentistry, Health Sciences Center Campus, awards a Master of Science degree in oral biology through the Graduate School. In addition, the School of Dentistry offers a joint D.M.D.-M.B.A. program with the Fox School of Business and Management, advanced education in general dentistry (AEGD) training of 1-2 years duration, a postgraduate fellowship in dental informatics in cooperation with the University of Pittsburgh Center for Biomedical Informatics, and postgraduate clinical specialty certificate programs in endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, and periodontology. The AEGD program and all postgraduate clinical specialty certificate programs at the School of Dentistry are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Additional information on these programs may be found in appropriate School of Dentistry catalogs.

ORAL BIOLOGY


Direct inquiries to: School of Dentistry,
Room 136, 215-707-2918.

Graduate Faculty

David Appleby, Professor, D.M.D., University of Pennsylvania, M.Sc.D., Boston University; Meredith C. Bogert, Assistant Professor, D.M.D., University of Pennsylvania; Daniel W. Boston, Associate Professor, D.M.D., University of Pennsylvania; Robert J. Braun, Professor, D.D.S., Marquette University, M.P.H., University of California, Los Angeles; Gary L. Conover, Professor, D.D.S., Temple University; Allen F. Fielding, Professor, D.M.D., Fairleigh Dickinson University; Maria Fornatora, Assistant Professor, D.M.D., University of Connecticut; Andrea Haber-Cohen, Associate Professor, D.M.D., M.D., Harvard University; Larry Koren, Associate Professor, D.M.D., Temple University; Thomas E. Rams, Professor, D.D.S., University of Maryland, M.H.S., Johns Hopkins University; Leslie M. Salkin, Professor, D.D.S., M.Ed., Temple University; Titus K.L. Schleyer, Associate Professor, D.M.D., Ph.D., University of Frankfurt (Germany), M.B.A., Temple University; Brian M. Smith, Associate Professor, D.M.D., University of Pennsylvania; Heiko Spallek, Assistant Professor, D.M.D., Ph.D., Humbolt University, Berlin (Charité) (Germany); Roy H. Stevens, Professor, D.D.S., Columbia University, M.S., Rutgers University; Orhan C. Tuncay, Professor, D.M.D., University of Ankara (Turkey), D.M.D., Temple University; Eugene J. Whitaker, Associate Professor, D.M.D., University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D., Villanova University; Ulf M.E. Wikesjö, Professor, D.D.S., Ph.D., Lund University (Sweden); Sheldon Winkler, Professor, D.D.S., New York University; Jie Yang, Assistant Professor, D.D.S., Shanghai Second Medical University (China), M.M.S., Beijing Medical University (China), M.S., University of Iowa; Kourosh Zarrinnia, Associate Professor, D.M.D., Temple University.

General Statement

Oral biology is an interdisciplinary area of scientific knowledge that deals with the structure, development, and function of oral tissues; their interrelationships; and their relation to other organ systems in both health and disease. The oral biology graduate program leads to a Master of Science (M.S.) degree awarded by the Graduate School. Emphasis in the program is placed on gaining advanced understanding of oral and craniofacial structure and function in health and disease, and application of modern biological principles and research techniques in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of oral and craniofacial diseases and anomalies.The goals of the M.S. in oral biology program are to:

  1. advance knowledge and understanding in the scientific field of oral and craniofacial biology;
  2. develop "clinical scholars" by allowing those in postgraduate clinical specialty programs the opportunity to gain graduate-level education in a biological basic biological science applicable to dentistry; and
  3. provide dentists with graduate-level training and experience in research methodology and technology to better qualify them for careers in academic dentistry and/or oral health care related industry activities.

The M.S. in oral biology degree program may be taken by itself, or concurrent with one of the postgraduate clinical specialty certificate programs or the D.M.D. degree program at the School of Dentistry.

Areas of Study

The curriculum of the oral biology graduate program is interdisciplinary and crosses traditional department boundaries. Areas of study include traditional science disciplines, such as anatomy, microbiology, and pharmacology, with emphasis on how these areas relate to oral tissues and diseases. Study in the emerging fields of oral molecular biology, dental informatics, oral implantology, pulp biology, and craniofacial growth and development is also offered, as is formal coursework in various clinical specialty areas.

Financial Aid

M.S. in oral biology students concurrently enrolled in School of Dentistry postgraduate clinical specialty certificate programs or the D.M.D. degree program will be charged the professional school tuition rate during the length of their School of Dentistry professional programs. If additional M.S. in oral biology coursework and/or degree requirements remain to be fulfilled after completion of the clinical specialty program or D.M.D. degree, then the Graduate School tuition rate becomes applicable for each semester of additional enrollment. Students not matriculated in professional school clinical specialty certificate or D.M.D. degree programs will be charged the Graduate School tuition rate.

The Office of Advanced Education at the School of Dentistry will work with the Universityís Department of Student Financial Services to assist students in securing various fellowships, grants, research assistantships, and scholarships. The Office of Advanced Education assumes no responsibility for the financial obligations of enrolled students.

Master of Science

Admission Requirements

Individuals holding the D.D.S., D.M.D., B.D.S., or M.D. degrees (or equivalent) from an accredited college or university, or its international equivalent, may apply for admission to the oral biology graduate program, and should have at least a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a four (4) point scale in their academic studies. Applicants who are not native speakers of English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination and achieve a minimum score of 250 computer-based version (CBT) or 600 on the paper-based version. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores are not required for application for the oral biology graduate program but may be required by individual departments for joint admission into post-graduate clinical specialty certificate programs. Applications are strongly encouraged to be submitted to the Office of Advanced Education at the School of Dentistry by October 1, but will be considered throughout the year. All application materials must include a completed application form, the requisite application fee, three letters of recommendation, official academic transcripts from all schools attended after high school (including Temple University), and TOEFL and GRE examination scores
(if required). It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all required application materials are received. Acceptance into the M.S. in oral biology degree program does not imply acceptance into any of the postgraduate clinical specialty certificate programs at the School of Dentistry, nor does admission into postgraduate clinical specialty certificate programs imply acceptance into the M.S. in oral biology program.

In selected cases, pre-doctoral dental students enrolled in the D.M.D. program at Temple University School of Dentistry may apply for the M.S. in oral biology degree program after completion of the fall semester of the freshman year. Such applicants must have: 1) completed an undergraduate degree in a basic science field, 2) attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or greater in both their undergraduate degree studies and dental school coursework up to the time of application, and 3) received written approval for participation in the joint D.M.D.-M.S. program from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the School of Dentistry, based upon the students having acceptable academic standing and progress in the D.M.D. program. No coursework completed for the D.M.D. degree will be applicable to requirements for the M.S. in oral biology degree. Enrollment of D.M.D. students into oral biology graduate courses each semester will be subject to approval by both the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the School of Dentistry and the Associate Dean for Advanced Education at the School of Dentistry, who serves as the oral biology graduate program director. These approvals will be contingent upon the students maintaining acceptable academic standing and progress in both programs. Completion of the M.S. in oral biology degree requirements is expected to exceed the normal length of time needed for completion of the D.M.D. program.

Degree Requirements

Students must earn a minimum of 30 credits, of which no more than 12 may be for thesis preparation and research. All credits applied toward the degree must be from courses accepted by the Graduate School. Various departments in the School of Dentistry and other Temple University schools provide graduate level courses which may be applied to the required
30 credits, including oral biology CORE courses and certain postgraduate coursework from clinical specialty programs as listed below. A thesis based upon original investigation must be submitted and orally defended. The thesis is intended to demonstrate the studentís ability to design and carry out original research, and to analyze, present, and interpret the resulting data. The M.S. in oral biology degree requirements must be completed within four calendar years from matriculation into the degree program.

All M.S. degree students must take the oral biology CORE curriculum comprised of approximately 8 hours of coursework, unless exempted in writing from specific courses by the oral biology graduate program director. These courses include, but are not limited to, clinical head and neck anatomy, advanced oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral microbiology and immunology, research methodology and study design, biostatistics, molecular oral and craniofacial biology, advanced dental pharmacology and therapeutics, and advanced oral pathology. Additional courses specific to the scientific interest of the student may include certain postgraduate courses from clinical specialty programs as listed below and graduate-level courses from other Temple University schools as approved by the oral biology graduate program director.

During the first year, students are expected to take the oral biology CORE courses, choose their research project, select their research preceptor and thesis advisory committee, and develop a written protocol for their proposed thesis research. Students are encouraged to begin their research experience as early in their program as possible. The research project to be undertaken must be agreed upon between the student and the research preceptor, who must be a member of the oral biology graduate faculty and approved by the Chair of the graduate studentís home academic department at the School of Dentistry. The thesis advisory committee is selected in conjunction with the approved research preceptor, who serves as the committee chair. The thesis advisory committee must include at least one member (including the research preceptor) of the graduate studentís home academic department at the School of Dentistry, plus at least one outside member. The one outside member may include Temple University faculty from other departments, and/or doctorally prepared experts from outside the University. In addition, the oral biology graduate program director serves as an ex-officio member of the thesis advisory committee. The majority of the members of the thesis advisory committee must be members of the oral biology graduate faculty. The thesis advisory committee membership must be approved by both the Chair of the graduate studentís home academic department at the School of Dentistry, and the oral biology graduate program director. A current curriculum vitae must accompany committee membership requests for experts outside the University. The thesis advisory committee must approve a written research protocol prior to the studentís conducting thesis research. Such research protocols should pose a well-focused, scientifically meaningful question and a hypothesis that is of adequate scope and significance to qualify for an M.S. degree, and aims to result in a thesis based

on original investigation and research which conforms to Graduate School format specifications (references formatted as specified by Journal of Clinical Periodontology manuscript instructions). The written protocol should address the issues of experimental design, time, space, equipment, supplies, funding, and institutional review requirements. After review and approval of a written research protocol, the thesis advisory committee will meet as needed thereafter to assist in guiding and monitoring the studentís progress on the proposed thesis research. A copy of the approved written protocol indicating the names of the thesis advisory committee must be submitted to the oral biology graduate program director. The thesis advisory committee is responsible for the final evaluation of the thesis and conducting the graduate studentís final oral defense of the thesis. A written report from students on protocol development and/or thesis research progress to date, problems encountered, and alternative approaches needed, may be requested each semester for review by the research preceptor, the thesis advisory committee, and the oral biology graduate program director.

All students must register each fall and spring semester until the program is completed or obtain an approved leave of absence from the oral biology graduate program director to remain in good standing. Students who have completed all degree coursework and requirements except for the thesis are required to maintain continuous enrollment by registering each fall and spring semester in Oral Biology 950. Masterís Thesis in Oral Biology for at least 3 semester hours of credit until satisfactory completion of the thesis is attained, except for semesters for which the student holds an approved leave of absence from the oral biology graduate program director. Student cannot defend while on a leave of absence.

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