The School of Dental Medicine sponsors a program leading to joint D.M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. It is designed for a small number of outstanding students who are interested in research and have the motivation and the ability to pursue a rigorous training program in this area. The program is designed to train individuals who are interested in pursuing research related to Oral and Craniofacial Sciences and Health and interested in careers in academic dentistry and beyond.
The program provides a comprehensive D.M.D. and Ph.D. education and training that draws upon the strong curriculum of the School of Dental Medicine and excellent and diverse research faculty in Biomedical Science in the Graduate School. Completion of the D.M.D./Ph.D. program positions the individual for subsequent training in postdoctoral research programs or combined postdoctoral research/clinical certificate training. This training provides a natural transition for the D.M.D./Ph.D. graduate to move into more advanced clinical and research training.
All trainees must be U.S. Citizens or permanent U.S. residents. Trainees receive a stipend and financial support covering the cost of tuition, health insurance, and limited research related expenses and travel.
Applicants interested in the D.M.D./Ph.D. program must apply for the D.M.D. program at UConn Health and therefore should follow the requirements listed for Admissions to the School of Dental Medicine. Applicants should indicate their interest in the combined program in their personal statement. In addition, they should submit a separate letter of interest in the combined training addressed to Dr. Mina as early as possible.
Mina Mina, D.M.D., M.S.D., Ph.D.
Director, D.M.D./Ph.D. Program
Department of Craniofacial Sciences
263 Farmington Avenue, MC 1610
Farmington, CT 06030-1610
Qualified applicants will be interviewed by the D.M.D./Ph.D. admission committee during their visit for the interview for dental school. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Mina before making travel arrangement for their visit to UConn Health.
Applicants can also apply to the D.M.D./Ph.D. program during the first two years of the D.M.D. program. Interested students should contact Dr. Mina.
The D.M.D./Ph.D. trainees normally complete both programs, including the Ph.D. dissertation, in a period of approximately 7-8 academic years, including summers. The program integrates both D.M.D. and Ph.D. programs in three phases.
Phase One (Two Years)
In phase one, students pursue the first two years of the traditional D.M.D. curriculum. All dental students participate with the medical students in the Basic Medical Science (BMS) program as provided by the faculties of the Medical, Dental and Graduate Schools. Laboratory-based preclinical activities, such as operative dentistry and prosthodontics, are not taken in the second year but are taken in the year preceding re-entry into the third year of the D.M.D. curriculum before entering the patient care phase of the dental curriculum.
D.M.D./Ph.D. trainees will also complete one or two research laboratory rotations in the summers between Y01-02 and Y02-03. In the summer between Y02-03, in addition to working in the lab, students prepare for and take the National Board Dental Examination. By the end of the summer of the second year, each trainee selects their major advisor, from the program’s faculty, and the area of concentration, for their Ph.D. studies.
Phase Two (3-4 Years)
In phase two, the trainees enter the Graduate School as full time students to fulfill the Ph.D. requirements of the Biomedical Science Ph.D. Program and of the specific area of concentration. During this phase, students follow the milestones/timeline in the Ph.D. in Biomedical Science program. Late in phase two, the trainee will defend their thesis and take the necessary preclinical courses and laboratory work to bring their clinical skills to the level necessary for patient care at the start of Y03 of the D.M.D. curriculum.
Phase Three (Two Years)
In phase three, the trainee completes the D.M.D. requirements. The third and fourth year of clinical training is a comprehensive-care continuum for which competencies have been established to monitor progress toward and suitability for graduation. The trainee, while engaged in the D.M.D. clinical practicum, continues to participate in research activities in their mentor’s laboratory.
To provide a solid, common foundation, all trainees in each of the three tracks of the T90 training program participate in core activities. In addition to providing important training elements, the core activities provide opportunities for both formal and informal interaction between trainees in various disciplines, in the three training tracks, and at various stages in their training. Please see our core activities for more information.