The integrated D.M.D./Ph.D. program is designed to minimize redundant basic science and research coursework in order to reduce the time needed to obtain both degrees by 1-2 years, with a typical program taking approximately 7-8 years. Integration of these two programs will provide a comprehensive D.M.D. and Ph.D. level biomedical research education that draws upon the exceptional clinical training of the UFCD faculty and the excellent and diverse research faculty within the IDP. The program will allow students to simultaneously establish both research and clinical identities that will enhance their focus and talents to start an academic career in applying modern research methods to clinical problems.
Students will undertake coursework in the D.M.D. curriculum for the first three years to provide a foundation in the basic sciences with exposure to the clinical setting and current dental treatment strategies. It is expected that during this period students will pass the National Board Dental Examinations (NBDE) part I. In the subsequent four to five years, students are expected to complete their clinical training for the D.M.D. degree and to pass the NBDE part II. By the end of the 20th consecutive semester (7 years), students are expected to complete all DEN coursework, clinical competencies, and clinical relative value units required for the D.M.D. degree, as well as pass the NBDE part I and II.
Students will begin their formal Ph.D. training in year four with increasing emphasis over time. They will maintain a foothold in the clinical arena by working for two half-days each week in the TEAM dental clinic. Continued efforts in the clinic will serve to assist students in preparation for the Florida State Dental Licensure Examination to be taken within 180 days of their Ph.D. thesis defense. Furthermore, by maintaining their clinical skills students will learn to balance their research with their clinical duties.
A student must satisfy all curriculum requirements for both degrees before either degree will be awarded, or until she/he has satisfied the requirements of the D.M.D. degree as if s/he had not been a joint degree candidate, after which only the D.M.D. degree will be awarded.
The graduate program of the COM IDP will allow 12 credits of appropriate COD basic science courses to be credited toward the Ph.D.. The 12 credits selected from the D.M.D. curriculum must be approved by those department(s) associated with the COM IDP that are responsible for teaching the selected basic science courses in the D.M.D. program. COD courses which are to be credited toward the Ph.D. degree must carry a grade of “B” or higher and will not be counted in the grade point average at the COM IDP.
Reciprocally, 12 credits of coursework in COM IDP are to be credited toward the D.M.D. degree. A student’s efforts in independent research GMS7979 (Advanced Research) or GMS7980 (Dissertation Research) during the six semesters of years 6 and 7 will account for 12 credits of DEN8290R (Research in Oral Biology, Level I and II) satisfying the elective requirements in the D.M.D. curriculum. Students must carry a grade of “S” for these courses to be credited toward the D.M.D. degree.
To help ensure students continually progress in their professional development while pursuing the Ph.D. degree, specific benchmarks are to be obtained by the end of year 5 that are approximately equivalent to requirements met by the end of the Fall semester of the Senior year of the normal D.M.D. curriculum. By the end of year 7, students are to have completed all clinical and didactic requirements for the D.M.D. degree.
Application Process and Admission Requirements
A maximum of three students can matriculate in the D.M.D./Ph.D. program at any one time. There are two separate application processes. One is for prospective D.M.D. students and the other is for students already accepted into the D.M.D. program.
The D.M.D./Ph.D. Admissions committee is an ad hoc committee with at least two members from the IDP Admission Committee and two members from the D.M.D. Admission Committee. The committee is assembled to help determine acceptance of candidates to the IDP graduate program, the Ph.D. component of the dual degree program. Formation of the committee and processing of applications is by the D.M.D./Ph.D. Coordinator of the College of Dentistry in consultation with the Associate Dean for Graduate Education in the College of Medicine. All candidates must meet entrance criteria for the IDP program, except that GRE scores are not required.The dual degree program is not open to students who have already earned one degree.
Prospective D.M.D. students apply to the D.M.D. program through the AADSAS application process and separately submit D.M.D./Ph.D. pre-application materials, with a deadline of September 1st. Applicants invited to submit a supplemental application to the D.M.D. program who are competitive for the both programs will be invited for interviews over a 1-2 day period. Dual degree candidates accepted into the D.M.D. program may be offered acceptance into the D.M.D./Ph.D. program, based upon their ranking by the D.M.D./Ph.D. Admissions committee. Candidates accepting an offer to both programs will be required to supply official transcripts to the D.M.D./Ph.D. Program Coordinator. Candidates must be accepted into the DMD program in order to receive an offer for the IDP Ph.D. program.
Accepted DMD Students
Students may also apply for the dual degree program at any time prior to their 8th consecutive semester after beginning the D.M.D. degree program. The summer term is counted as a single semester. Students are to submit a D.M.D./Ph.D. application packet for current or entering DMD students for initial review by the D.M.D./Ph.D. Admissions committee.The D.M.D./Ph.D. Admissions committee will then interview competitive applicants before a determination is made to make an offer. Candidates accepting an offer to the D.M.D./Ph.D. Program will be required to supply official transcripts to the D.M.D./Ph.D. Program Coordinator.
Tuition and Stipends
Once a student is accepted and enters the dual degree program at any point during their first 3 years of the D.M.D. program they will receive a stipend (currently $22,032 per year) and additional funds towards their block D.M.D. tuition (currently $21,000 per year). These funds are available to U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents through a training grant sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. Once starting the IDP program in the fall of their fourth year, the D.M.D. tuition is waived and tuition for the IDP program is paid by the Ph.D. mentor. At the same time, as a student in the IDP program, a dual degree student receives a graduate research assistantship stipend (currently $25,750) and health insurance.
Advanced Specialty Training Post Graduation
Upon successful completion of the D.M.D./Ph.D. program students may pursue specialty training in the School of Advanced Dental Sciences of the UF College of Dentistry. Application to a specialty program is made in year 5 after entering the D.M.D. program. A student’s clinical skills must meet the standards of the specialty program. The exact start date for the student in the program will be made in consultation with the specific program director and the Associate Dean for Advanced and Graduate Education. Length of the program is dependent on accreditation standards of the Commission of Dental Accreditation. Students will be responsible for any tuition required by these programs during the years of enrollment. A certificate for the advanced education specialty program will be awarded after the successful completion of the program.
More information on the IDP program is available here.
If you have additional questions, please contact
David J. Culp, Ph.D.
Professor of Oral Biology