Graduate Programs

Ph.D. Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree in Dental Science

The objective of the Ph.D. in Dental Science program is to provide a core curriculum that offers a solid scientific base for a career in research and/or teaching in the dental sciences of today and the future. Ph.D. Dental Science graduates should be ideal candidates for positions not only in any school of dentistry, but should also qualify for positions in laboratories of government and private institutions. The program will be open to dental school graduates with a minimum dental school GPA of 3.0/4.0 (as well as individuals with a B.S. degree) and a minimum GRE percentile score of 160 on the verbal or 148 on the quantitative reason section. In addition, a TOEFL score of no lower than 80 must be obtained for applicants from non-English speaking countries. Ninety credit hours are required for the degree with 32-40 required course credits and 12 credits in a minor. Disciplines included in the program are anatomy, biochemistry, biomedical engineering, biostatistics, cell biology, chemistry, immunology, materials science engineering, mechanical engineering, microbiology, molecular biology, pathology, physics and physiology. In addition, a combined Ph.D./D.D.S. program has been established incorporating aspects of both programs.

For more information, please contact the Program Director:

Richard L. Gregory, Ph.D.

Professor of Biomedical and Applied Sciences and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Schools of Dentistry and Medicine

Associate Dean for Graduate Education

Director, Ph.D. Dental Science Program

Indiana University

1121 W. Michigan St.

Indianapolis, IN 46202

317/274-9949 FAX 317/278-1411

Short Description of Program: Currently, the Indiana University School of Dentistry offers two terminal degrees, a D.D.S. degree and a Ph.D. in Dental Science. Both degrees are the only similar ones offered at any school in Indiana. The Ph.D. in Dental Science (Preventive Dentistry, Oral Biology, Dental Materials or Dental Biomaterials tracks) is focused on basic and clinical science areas as they relate to the human organism and on the effect of dental materials on cariology, molecular biology and etiology, and pathogenesis. Individuals with this type of training can be expected to pursue academic teaching and/or research positions in dental schools, medical schools and other basic science departments in addition to training that will be suitable for industrial research positions. Individuals with combined Ph.D./D.D.S. training would be highly recruited to academic positions at Dental Schools. Our Ph.D. tracks contain courses in biostatistics, research ethics, research communications and effective teaching methods. The course in biostatistics emphasizes the important role of appropriate statistical methods used in biological research. The research ethics course addresses the importance of a strong ethical approach to the scientific method and human and animal research. The research communication course is a multidisciplinary course that will increase the ability of the student to write and review scientific papers. The teaching methods course requirement recognizes that most of our students will ultimately teach in an academic environment and may have no previous coursework in education. In addition, students will be required to complete the Preparing Future Faculty and Professionals (PFFP) program (  

The Indiana University School of Dentistry, Division of Dental Biomaterials, in conjunction with the Purdue University School of Materials Science and Engineering and the Indiana University Department of Biomedical Engineering, offers a graduate program leading to a Ph.D. in Dental Sciences with specialization in Dental Biomaterials. Coursework will be taken through the Indiana University School of Dentistry, Purdue University School of Materials Science and Engineering, and Purdue University Department of Biomedical Engineering. Dissertation research is conducted within the departments mentioned above based on the students area of research interest. Subspecialty areas within dental biomaterials include ceramics, polymers, metals, biomechanics and tissue engineering. However, students are encouraged to combine their specialties with other scientific disciplines, (i.e., biomimetics). This program is designed for individuals who have a background in either engineering or dentistry. Candidates who have backgrounds in both fields, i.e., Bachelors in Materials or Mechanical Engineering and a DMD or a D.D.S. degree, are strongly encouraged to apply. Graduates of this program will be equipped with expertise to pursue an academic career in the fields of dentistry, materials engineering and biomedical engineering. Additional opportunities are available to graduates who are planning to pursue a career in the Dental Materials industry. Students who do not have Material Science Engineering Background must take Introduction to Materials Engineering (MSE 530 or MSE 230) as a graduate student.

Research Capabilities: The Indiana University School of Dentistry has significantly increased its commitment to research (for more information please go to and over the past five years has averaged over $6.0 million in external grant and contract support. In addition, several of our faculty have established jointly funded projects with faculty in the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering along with joint academic appointments for teaching purposes. Multidisciplinary approaches are highly valued at the School of Dentistry. This heavy research emphasis from our faculty has recently led to significant increases in faculty commitment to research, released time for research and recruitment of primarily research-oriented faculty. Since 1993, the School of Dentistry has completely renovated seven research laboratories into state-of-the-art facilities that are occupied by funded investigators in addition to at least 11 others. For specific faculty research interests, please go to:

While every attempt is made to provide accurate and current information in this bulletin, Indiana University reserves the right to change without notice statements in the bulletin series concerning rules, policies, fees, curricula, courses, or other matters.

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

Click here for the PDF version.