Graduate Program in Operative Dentistry

operative dentistry logoThe Operative Dentistry Graduate Program has been designed to provide each post-doctoral student the opportunity and flexibility to achieve several professional goals.

The first of these is the development and refinement of skills in advanced operative dentistry techniques with special emphasis on the biological basis of caries and esthetic dentistry.  Graduate students will gain significant clinical experience in comprehensive restorative dentistry within the interdisciplinary environment of the College of Dentistry.  Students will have the opportunity to learn the latest materials and procedures in bonding technology and integrate them into a sound philosophy of esthetics through minimally-invasive direct restorative techniques.

Second, the program provides the opportunity to gain experience in teaching and research in preparation for an academic career in Operative Dentistry. Courses in education are available for the student as well as student teaching experience. All students will develop a research protocol, conduct research, and report and defend the findings in the form of a thesis.

Finally, the program provides the opportunity for clinical case development and preparation for the student interested in board certification in Operative Dentistry from the Academy of Operative Dentistry.

The Operative graduate program offers a combined MS in Oral Science and Certificate in Operative Dentistry.  The MS in Oral Science requires a minimum of 30 s.h. of graduate-level credit and 36 months of full-time study, including completion of required and elective courses, preparation and defense of an acceptable thesis based on original research, and satisfactory completion of comprehensive written and oral examinations. The successful completion of the written exam component of the ABOD, is required as evidence of comprehensive operative knowledge.  The Operative Dentistry certificate program is completed in conjunction with the Master of Science and provides a sound foundation for the clinical practice and teaching of operative dentistry. Students are required to complete all clinical and didactic courses in the discipline of Operative dentistry and teaching requirements. It also meets the educational requirements for application to take board certification examinations of the American Board of Operative Dentistry.

Both a Master of Oral Science degree and a certificate in Operative Dentistry are awarded upon completion of the course of study. Although certain courses are required for graduation, the students will have the opportunity to take elective course work directed towards their area of special interest. A list of department courses can be found here.

Application for the graduate program should be made to Graduate/International Admissions and will be processed through the Graduate College of the University of Iowa.

  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all international applicants who are non-native speakers of English. This requirement is waived for applicants who have completed a bachelor's degree or higher at an accredited university in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Canada (excluding French Quebec), Africa (English speaking), Australia, or New Zealand. A score of at least 577 paper-based (PBT) or 85 internet-based (IBT) is required. Applicants who present TOEFL scores below 600 on the PBT or below 100 on the IBT are required to complete an English Proficiency Evaluation on campus before their first registration for classes.
  • IELTS will also be accepted as an alternative to TOEFL. A minimum IELTS composite score of 7 and no single section score under 6 is required. Individuals taking the IELTS will be required to take the on-campus English Proficiency Evaluation.
  • DuoLingo (DET) will also be accepted as an alternative to TOEFL, with a minimum score requirement of 105.  
  • GRE is not required.
  • The National Board Dental Exam is not required but highly recommended.
  • An official copy of the applicant's dental diploma and dental license is required with the application.

Three students are accepted into the graduate program each year. Currently, no stipends are available for graduate students accepted into the program and all students must be able to financially support themselves. International students must also submit a financial statement upon acceptance to the University. The deadline for application is July 15 of the year prior to the anticipated date of starting the program. The program begins on or about July 1. Tuition and fees may be found on the Office of the Registrar Web pages. A more complete list of Operative Dentistry fees may be found here.