MS Program

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The Master of Science in Oral Biology is intended for students who are engaged in research and academic careers and would like additional training to support their career, those seeking an introduction to basic science research and dental professionals who are looking for a reintroduction to basic science research.

The MS in Oral Biology emphasizes basic science research and encourages students to focus in one of five areas: biomaterials and biomechanics, epithelial biology and carcinogenesis, microbiology and immunology, sensory neuroscience or bone biology, craniofacial development and tissue engineering. 

The MS is intended for: 

  • dentists and hygienists seeking to strengthen their background knowledge,
  • scientists desiring additional credentials, and
  • prospective professional students seeking to enter the field with a strong foundation in the basic science behind clinical presentation.

If you are interested in pursuing a career as an independent investigator or professor, you should consider the PhD program. You do not need to have an MS degree to begin the PhD program.

Program at a Glance

Degree Offered

Joining the Program

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We welcome a diverse pool of applicants, including international students. 

Applications are submitted online through the University’s Graduate School. Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree or a DDS/DMD or equivalent. 

Applicants should submit an essay of two pages describing their specific research aspirations, as well as a personal statement and a diversity statement. PhD applications are due December 1 for the program beginning the following fall. 

Applications must be completed online and should include a personal statement, a research essay, a diversity statement, CV or resume, proof of English language proficiency, letters of recommendation and transcripts. 

Application Instructions

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Program Requirements

Subject Description
Test scores GRE is not required.
Transcripts Unofficial transcripts required.
CV/Resume Applicants must submit their resume or CV.
Supplemental application No supplemental application is required.
Dental licensing N/A
Degree Must hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent, or a DDS/DMD degree or equivalent.
Additional requirements Applicants must submit a personal statement, research essay, diversity statement and three letters of recommendation. Application Instructions
International applicants We welcome international applicants. Please see our website for resources on studying at the University of Minnesota as an international student. International students may need to submit TOEFL or IELTS. Strong applicants will have TOEFL scores well above 90.


The Oral Biology MS requires a minimum of two years and all MS students follow Plan A (thesis).  The MS in Oral Biology requires 20 graduate-level course credits, which must include 4 credits of oral biology topics courses (OBIO 5010-50, 8012,8018, 8021-8029, 8371), participation in the Oral Biology seminar (OBIO 8030) each semester (1 credit per semester), 6 credits in a nonclinical graduate minor, and 6 credits of electives. Students are strongly encouraged to use electives to take a statistics course (STAT 5021, PUBH 6450, PUBH 7446, or equivalent). The remaining elective credits should be taken as courses relevant to the thesis project and/or credits that will expand the student’s ability to conduct craniofacial research in the future.

Students must complete a basic science research project under the supervision of the advisor and enroll for a minimum of 10 master’s thesis credits (OBIO 8777), as well as write and successfully defend a thesis.

The Graduate School Catalog and Oral Biology Handbook contains detailed information concerning registration, degree requirements, program and thesis registration, and other procedures and deadlines. The Director of Graduate Studies and the student’s advisor will assist the student in complying with policy requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to meet all degree requirements and deadlines as outlined in the Catalog and Handbook.