Orthodontics, Certificate

The postgraduate program in Orthodontics integrates basic science and clinical Orthodontics in a comprehensive curriculum, designed to develop clinically proficient specialists who possess a scholarly insight into Orthodontic theory as it relates to patient care. While the basic science courses build upon residents’ predoctoral knowledge of oral biology and related areas, the major part of the program consists of clinical education and training.

Several popular corrective orthodontic regimens are taught, giving residents a thorough understanding of the respective merits of each treatment philosophy and the ability to apply them clinically. Since many corrective orthodontic problems involve adolescents, there is a strong emphasis on growth and development. Residents also gain experience in preventive and interceptive orthodontic care with preadolescents. The management of adult patients is also emphasized through courses such as TMJ therapy and orthognathic surgery. Other highlights of the program include:

  • Experience in interdisciplinary care of patients requiring complex restorative dentistry or advanced periodontal therapy. A combined faculty from fixed prosthetics and orthodontics presents a one-year course in occlusion.
  • Participation in monthly rotations at the Craniofacial Clinic at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, exposing residents to craniofacial anomalies and treatment and the team approach involved in treating such conditions.
  • Instruction in computer applications for diagnosis, treatment planning, and practice management.
  • Presentation of a course in gross anatomy of the head and neck.

The highly respected research environment at Penn Dental Medicine and throughout the University of Pennsylvania provides a valuable opportunity for students applying to residency programs to combine their specialty training with advanced research and academic opportunities.

Additional Program Options

Penn Dental Medicine also offers a Master of Science in Oral Biology (MSOB) and a Doctor of Science in Dentistry (DScD) that can be earned concurrent with a specialty certificate, preparing students to successfully enter the field of academic dentistry while also becoming skilled clinicians in specialty care. Through the MSOB and DScD programs, students are encouraged to pursue their individual research interests with projects that can span the diverse disciplines and research labs within Penn Dental Medicine’s basic and clinical sciences and across the University.

This degree requires a minimum of 180 Credit Hours.

Program Timeline

  • Academic Track
    • MSOB and Certificate: 3 years
    • DScD and Certificate: 5 years
  • Clinical Certificate Track
    • Certificate only: 26 months

All Dental Medicine certificate students share a common core of required courses throughout the first year. In addition, students complete additional courses specific to their particular program. 

Program Requirements (Certificate Only)

  • Core Graduate Dental Education Courses (Year 1 only)
  • Program Specific Courses (Years 1 and 2 Didactic & Clinical)
  • Literature Review (Years 1 and 2)
  • Case Presentations (Years 1 and 2)
  • Program Seminars (Years 1 and 2)
  • Clinical Rotations (Years 1 and 2)

Core Graduate Dental Education Courses

Year 1
Clinical Microbiology
Genetics, Embryology
Maxillofacial Radiology
Nitrous Oxide Analgesia
Practice Management
Pulp/Dentin Biology
Head and Neck Anatomy
Advance Library
Head and Neck Anatomy
Advance Library
Cultural Competency
Oral Medicine
Nutrition & Oral Health
Wound Healing
DADE 9270
Pulp/Dentin Biology
Maxillofacial Trauma

Master of Science in Oral Biology

The School of Dental Medicine also offers a Master of Science in Oral Biology (MSOB). Enrollment in the MSOB program is limited to individuals concurrently registered in one of the postgraduate specialty training (certificate) programs. Candidates receive the MSOB degree after completion of both their specialty training and the Master’s curriculum, which consists of didactic, seminar, and research practicum courses. The MSOB program is comprised of two tracks designed for outstanding students who are interested in either integrating research or structured evidence-based learning into their post-graduate education.

Depending on the track selected, research activities or a systematic literature review form the core of the MSOB program. Students are expected to participate in a clinical or basic science research project of sufficient scope and intensity or a formally structured and critically evaluated literature review focused on an important oral health-related research or clinical question. A thesis composed of an in-depth review of the relevant literature along with a manuscript reporting the results of the research or a systematic review is required for graduation for the research and evidence-based learning tracks respectively.

Additional MSOB Course Requirements
Intro To Statistics
Systematic Reviews

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.