Doctoral (PhD) Orthodontics

The five-year PhD Orthodontics program provides the academic and clinical experience for a successful private practice or academic career. To support the development of an academic career, the final two years of the PhD program will include undergraduate and graduate teaching.

The PhD students are required to complete the same courses as the MSc students, but additional courses related to their specific area of research may be required.

  • Application Deadlines

    Deadline for online application for admission and all required admission documents:

    Applications accepted May 1 to September 1 the year preceding admission.

  • Clinical Outcome Assessment
    Outcome-based assessments are completed at the end of the first year and second year. Full-time academic staff will assess diagnosis and treatment planning skills. Feedback from this assessment will serve to identify weak areas in the student's progress that will permit the development of specific improvement objectives before the next annual assessment. Failure to overcome the limitations will require the student to extend their program to allow for remediation.
  • Curriculum

    Completion of the following courses is required:

    • OBIOL 500 (Oral Biology I)
      Functional anatomy of head and neck, development, structure, function, and biochemistry of connective tissues associated with the jaws and cell biology. Course offered in alternate years.
    • OBIOL 501 (Oral Biology II)
      A continuation of Oral Biology I. Craniofacial development and selected topics in physiology. Course offered in alternate years.
    • DENT 530 (Orthodontic Techniques & Biomechanics)
      A comprehensive overview of the fundamentals of biomechanics in orthodontic treatment. Involves both the theoretical and practical application of biomechanical principles to orthodontic problem resolution through classroom and laboratory instruction.
    • DENT 532 (Growth and Development)
      A detailed review of the postnatal growth and development of human craniofacial structures. Longitudinal and cross-sectional growth data are presented. Course offered in alternate years.
    • DENT 540 (Orthodontic Seminars)
      Selected orthodontically related theoretical and practical topics along with orthodontic case management presentations are discussed in both seminar and preclinical formats.
    • DENT 541 (Orthodontic Clinics)
      Applied clinical education and experience are obtained through supervised management of selected orthodontic cases.
    • DENT 551 (Introduction to Applied Statistics)
      Analysis of variance, multiple linear regressions, measures of association and agreement, logistic regression, and non-parametric methods. Topics will also include sample size calculation, power analysis, and a brief introduction to meta-analysis. The concepts will be illustrated by problems in the dental and medical sciences. Applications to real data will be emphasized through the use of SPSS and R.
    • DENT 552 (Applied Multivariate Statistical Analysis)
      Multivariate analysis of variance, repeated measures, multivariate linear regression, principal components, discriminate analysis, cluster analysis, and multidimensional scaling will be studied. Topics will also include shape analysis in three dimensions. The concepts will be illustrated by problems in dentistry and medical sciences. Each student will submit a written report and present a research project focusing on these statistical methods. Applications to real data will be emphasized through the use of SPSS and R. Prerequisite: DENT 551.
    • DENT 562 (TMD/Orofacial Pain Seminars)
      Seminars in the diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular joint problems. Includes a comprehensive literature review. Emphasis placed on orthodontic considerations in the prevention and management of mandibular dysfunction. Course offered in alternate years.
    • DENT 565 (Evidence-Based Dentistry)
      This course focuses on the general principles of evidence-based dentistry. It will cover some basic principles of epidemiology, formulation of the clinical question, search and acquisition of available scientific evidence, critical appraisal and application of evidence in a dentistry context. A final written assignment is a course requirement.
    • DENT 566 (Systematic Reviews in Dentistry)
      This course focuses on the general principles of Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis in Dentistry. It will cover principles, procedures problems and limitations in Systematic Reviews. Different types of Systematic Reviews would be analyzed. Use of Meta-Analysis as a statistical tool in Systematic Reviews will also be covered. Having a systematic review ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal is a course requirement. Prerequisite: DENT 565.
    • DENT 607 (Advanced Oral Radiology)
      This lecture and seminar course will review the application of the various imaging modalities, including advanced modalities, in oral and maxillofacial radiology. Emphasis will be placed on the interpretation of abnormalities of the oral and maxillofacial region that may be encountered in the dental specialties.
    • DENT 640 (Orthodontic Seminars)
      Second-year seminar and preclinical presentations. Requires successful completion of DENT 540.
    • DENT 641 (Orthodontic Clinics)
      Second-year applied clinical educational program. Requires successful completion of DENT 541.
    • DENT 740 (Orthodontic Seminars)
      Third-year seminar and preclinical presentations. Requires successful completion of DENT 640.
    • DENT 741 (Orthodontic Clinics)
      Third-year applied clinical educational program. There will be an opportunity for 3 one-week internships as part of this course. Requires successful completion of DENT 641.

    Any courses being taken over and above what is required for the program should be registered for with the assistance of the Graduate Program Administrator.

  • English Language Proficiency
    All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission either by:
    1. Possession of a degree or its academic equivalent from an academic institution recognized by the University of Alberta, in which the language of instruction is English.
    2. A satisfactory score on an approved English language examination as described below.
    • TOEFL internet-based score equivalent of 95 (with at least 20 per section)
    • CAEL minimum score of 70 with at least 70 on each subtest
    • IELTS (Academic) minimum score of 7.5 with at least 7 on each band

    For ELP exempt countries and institutions click here.
  • Entrance Requirements

    Candidates are accepted under the general regulations of the Medical Sciences Graduate Program. Completion of a DDS or equivalent degree is required, with a grade point average of at least 3.4 (or equivalent qualification) in the last 60 units of course weight of their dental program. Admission to graduate programs is dependent upon the recommendation of the department's Graduate Committee.

    In addition to the general entrance requirements (Dentistry), a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or equivalent dental professional designation is required. Applicants to the Orthodontics program must:

    1. Provide an official letter from their dental school noting their class ranking upon graduation from dentistry.
    2. Have completed at least one year of experience as a licensed dentist prior to the start of the program. Letter(s) of good standing from current and previous licensing bodies must be provided. Proof of clinical involvement as a licensed dentist not later than two years prior to application is required. Letter(s) of good standing from current and previous licensing bodies must be provided.
    3. Complete a required personal interview if short-listed. Those applicants will be advised of the arranged interview date by e-mail.

    Admission is dependent upon the recommendation of the Division of Orthodontics Selection Committee, the Department of Dentistry's Graduate Committee and the Medical Sciences Graduate Program Committee.

    For applicants that are not licensed by Alberta Dental Association and College (ADA&C), a condition of admission is for candidates to obtain registration on the Education and Research Register from the ADA&C by August 1 prior to starting the program in the fall term. Candidates who already possess a full license from the ADA&C do not need to obtain additional licensure.

    Students enrolled in the PhD program will not have the option of transferring to the MSc in orthodontics program, but they could transfer to the MSc in Dentistry as an option without orthodontic clinical training. The program will be structured to meet the individual educational objectives of the student.

    For students conducting clinical research, the clinical training will be integrated through the program based on the individual student's research project. For students conducting basic science research, most of the research will be completed and the student will have passed the candidacy examination before starting clinical training. The thesis supervisory committee will determine what milestones will need to be met prior to beginning the clinical portion of the program.

    Note: Applicants to the program must identify a willing faculty supervisor, a potential thesis topic, and potential funding. This information will be attached to your application for further consideration by the admissions committee.

    While it is not a requirement to apply, preference may be given to candidates who have successfully completed the National Dental Examining Board of Canada's (NDEB) Certification Process.

  • Fees

    Candidates should be prepared to support themselves for the duration of their selected program, although funding from scholarships and studentships may be obtained on a competitive basis.

    A cost-recovery clinical operation fee of $9,767/year (every year that the student is registered in the program) and an equipment and instrument-rental fee of $12,023/year (only when registered in the clinical courses) are required in addition to regular instructional and non-instructional fees which can be accessed here.

    *Please note that all fees are subject to change.

  • Required Documentation

    Application documents required:

    • Official transcripts (or a certified true copy) from each university/institute attended
    • Original degree certificate (or a certified true copy) if your transcript does not indicate a degree earned
    • TOEFL or IELTS test score report (if your language of instruction in university was English this requirement may be waived)
    • Three letters of reference
    • Your curriculum vitae (resume), which includes education, qualifications, publications and previous professional and research experience
    • Letter of intent - (Describe why you wish to pursue graduate studies at the University of Alberta. For PhD - Indicate your potential supervisor, the sources of funding, and a potential research topic.)
    • Applicant/Supervisor Checklist

    Note: An academic record that satisfies the basic entrance requirements does not necessarily guarantee admission. Enrollment in our graduate programs is limited and the number of qualified applicants greatly exceeds the number of positions available. Admission will be based on demonstrated academic excellence, an MSc or equivalent degree or strong evidence of previous research experience, the candidate's CV, the candidate interview, and the quality of letters of recommendation.

    Official documents (transcripts, degree certificates, etc.) may be required upon receiving the conditional offer of admission letter. Documents must be sent directly from the post-secondary institution to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research office.

  • Student Research
    Students are required to complete research, usually within the established research focus of the program, and to complete a paper format thesis. Students should have their research results ready to submit to peer reviewed journals for publication. It is anticipated that all student research projects will result in publication. Students may also have an opportunity to present their research results at an international scientific meeting prior to completion of the program.
  • Student Selection

    Students will have completed a recognized undergraduate Dentistry program and meet the eligibility requirements established by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Studies Committee of the Department of Dentistry. Applications for the MSc and PhD in Medical Sciences (Orthodontics) will be received and reviewed by the Director of Orthodontics. Suitable candidates will be interviewed and rank ordered. The interview committee will include full-time Orthodontic Academic staff, an Orthodontic Graduate student, Affiliate Academic staff and a representative from the Orthodontic Alumni/Mentorship Association.

    Admission to the MSc and PhD programs will be dependent upon the recommendation of the Medical Sciences Graduate Program Committee.