The doctor of philosophy degree in Oral Health Sciences is a program of the Rackham Graduate School, offered at the School of Dentistry. The primary objective of this program is to train outstanding students to become leaders in academic research in oral health science.

Major areas of study include: developmental craniofacial biology; mineralized tissue biology and musculoskeletal disorders; oral and pharyngeal cancer; oral health disparities; oral infectious and immunologic diseases; oral sensory systems and central circuits; and tissue engineering and regeneration.

Admitted students engage in at least 3 research rotations in faculty labs, a foundation biostatistics course as well the following courses: cell and molecular biology, tissue engineering and regeneration and oral health science journal club and seminar series. Admitted students are able to select advanced courses in basic science, oral health and the area of their research specialization. By the end of the second year, PhD students will engage in a preliminary oral exam advancing them to candidate level PhD training.

Please, take the time to review the information on our webpages to learn more about the OHS PhD program, the requirements and the process of application. Note different deadlines for different tracks. Questions about application procedures and forms may be sent to [email protected].



OHS PhD snapshot:

  • 5-6 year research training program
  • Application to Rackham Graduate School
  • Application Deadline December 5
  • Admit for Summer Term (June or July 1)
  • Academic Plan


The DDS/PhD program at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry provides training in dentistry and research through a series of clinical and research experiences and course work. Students are admitted to both the DDS program and the Oral Health Sciences PhD program.

  • 7-8 year research and clinical training program
  • Only open to US Citizens or permanent residents
  • Application for DDS through AADSAS
  • Application for OHS PhD to Rackham Graduate School
  • Please Note: The DDS/PhD is a student-initiated Dual Degree not a Rackham Dual Degree (do not check the Rackham box for dual degree)
  • PhD Application Deadline is October 15, please check here for DDS application due date.
  • Email letter of intent to apply to the dual degree DDS/PhD program, addressed to Dr. Yuji Mishina, Program Director. Send to [email protected]
  • Academic Plan


The University of Michigan School of Dentistry DDS/PhD program is accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry DDS/PhD program was designed to satisfy educational prerequisites to licensure for dentistry only in the state of Michigan. It has not been determined whether educational prerequisites to licensure would be satisfied in other states.

Students should consult the dental board in their state to confirm if the degree from University of Michigan School of Dentistry meets the criteria for professional licensure in their state. Contact information for the state dental boards can be found at the American Dental Association.


The program, which requires a minimum of six years, is designed to build advanced knowledge and skillsets in scholars who aspire to become clinician-scientists to advance our understanding of craniofacial diseases and disorders. Integrated into the program are biomedical graduate and advance science courses, research training, specialty residency education, interactive instructions in Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship, leadership and professional development. With the full commitment of the faculty team, the OHS program, the specialty programs, the School of Dentistry, and Rackham School of Graduate Studies, our ultimate goal is to prepare the scholars to become leaders, educators and researchers in the field of craniofacial diseases and disorders to advance academic dentistry and public health.

  • 2025 Admissions Cycle Update. Unfortunately, the DSPP program will not be accepting applications for the next admission cycle, but will be interested in applicants for the 2026 admissions cycle. That application will open in June 2025.
  • 6-7 year combined research PhD with dental specialty masters
  • Only open to US Citizens or permanent residents
  • Application for Specialty Program by the deadlines provided:
  • Academic Plan
  • Application for OHS PhD to Rackham Graduate School - due October 15
    Please Note: The MS/PhD is a student-initiated Dual Degree not a Rackham Dual Degree (do not check the Rackham box for dual degree)
  • Email letter of intent to apply to the dual degree MS/PhD program, addressed to 'Dr. Yuji Mishina, Program Director. Send to [email protected]
  • NIDCR Dental Specialty and PhD Programs Funding Opportunity


Each PhD track is intended to be fully funded for admitted students. In most cases, funding is provided by both the program/the trainee's faculty mentor.


View the comprehensive list of faculty available to OHS PhD students.





The program is most appropriate for advanced students who hope to eventually join the faculty of a dental or medical school. Entering students should have a strong background in basic science at the undergrad university level.

Application to the Oral Health Science Programs is through Rackham Graduate School’s application portal. Please select Admissions from the menu and the Ann Arbor Campus. Oral Health Sciences is found under the Dentistry heading. The application system is called CollegeNet/Apply Web.

If you or your recommender need technical assistance regarding the application or recommendation systems please email ApplyWeb at [email protected]. Include the following information: user name, full name, email address, and phone number. Please allow 24 hours for a response.

Oral Health Sciences PhD Program Application Code: 00360


  • GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • 3 for PhD and FFT
    • 2 for DDS/PhD and MS/PhD
  • Transcripts
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)- Should be concise, well written statement about your academic and research background that also describes your future career goals. In this statement, answer the question: How can the OHS Program help meet your career and educational goals? Length 1-2 pages.
  • Personal Statement (PS) - Describes your journey that led you to the pursuit of a graduate degree. Length 1 page
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume - This should be 1-4 pages and include education, work and/or research experience, publications, lectures and seminars, poster presentations, awards/scholarships, volunteer opportunities.
  • For International students: English Proficiency Requirements
  • Note: GRE - The University of Michigan’s Rackham Graduate School will discontinue the use of the Graduate Record Examination general test in Rackham Ph.D. admissions decisions, beginning with the 2022-2023 admissions cycle.

Application Fee

Applicant Type Fee
United States citizen or applicant with permanent resident visa status $75
Non-US citizen $90
Current Rackham student, regardless of citizenship $10

The application fee is due when you submit your application. The fee is non-refundable and subject to change. Applications submitted without the fee will be withdrawn from the review process.

Rackham Application Fee and Waivers Information


If you need an F-1 or J-1 visa, the University of Michigan is required by the U.S. government to obtain documentation proving that international applicants (non-U.S. Citizens) have adequate financial resources to provide for their expenses while in the United States. Rackham Admissions is the U-M office that will prepare your I-20 or DS-2019 after you have provided the required documents through Wolverine Access.

For instructions and information, please review the Immigration documents.


Date Event
June 1 Admission Cycle Opens for OHS PhD through Rackham
October 25 Applicants for Dual Degree DDS/PhD and MS/PhD Closes
October – November DDS/PhD Interviews
December 5 OHS PhD Application Cycle Closes (PhD and FFT)
December - January DDS/PhD Admission Offers sent
May be sent with DDS offers or after DDS offers
January – February PhD, FFT and MS/PhD Interviews
February – April PhD, FFT and MS/PhD Admission Offers sent


School of Dentistry, Office of Research and Research Training
1011 N. University G306, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
734-763-3388 | [email protected]


William R Mann Professor of Dentistry and Professor of Dentistry, Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, School of Dentistry,
Director of the OHS/PhD program


OHS Ph.D. Program Coordinator

Apply Curriculum OHS Alumni Return to Oral Health Sciences