Oral Biology, Boston University Henry M Goldman School of Dental Medicine
Last updated on April 22, 2024.

Boston University Henry M Goldman School of Dental Medicine

Program Size
3 (estimate)
Program Length
24-36 months
Application Deadline
December 15
Program Start
July 1

Program Contact

Dr. Paola Divieti Pajevic

Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine
Postdoctoral Admissions
635 Albany Street, G-146
Boston, Massachusetts, 02118

Apply Now

Program questions should be directed to: pdivieti@bu.edu.
Questions on the application process should be directed to: postadm@bu.edu.
Please visit our program website:

Topics of investigation in oral biology include:

  • Head and neck cancer - stem cells, new druggable targets, small molecule inhibitors
  • Bone and cartilage biology - effects of gravity, stress fractures, osteoarthritis, bone metastases
  • Oral tissue development - cell fate specialization, tissue patterning and repair
  • Oral microbiome - characterization of bacterial communities for targeted therapies
  • Extracellular matrix abnormalities - gene editing, modulation in health and disease
  • Immune landscape - oral microbial communities, immune evasion

In addition, research projects may include clinical components focusing on inflammation, periodontal disease, tissue fibrosis, aging, developmental defects, and oral cancer. These studies will be carried out in collaboration with the clinical faculty at Clinical Research Center, located at the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.

MSD (Master of Science in Dentistry) in Oral Biology
The MSD in Oral Biology is a minimum two year program comprised of selected didactic courses and basic science laboratory research.

DSc (Doctor of Science) in Oral Biology

Attainment of the DSc requires a minimum of three years. The program is designed for individuals with strong interests in a basic science education who wish to pursue an academic or research-oriented career. It is an advanced science degree program focusing on basic physical, biological, and clinical sciences relevant to the advancement of oral medicine. The student is able to select areas of research interest from a number of research programs ongoing in the various departments of the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. 

While similar to a PhD program, the doctor of science program is especially suited for dentists by taking into account their previous educational experience in biological sciences. The doctor of science is offered singularly or combined with a specialty. Candidates with non-clinical degrees (BS or MS) may also be accepted into the Doctor of Science (DSc) in Oral Biology program. Admission into the program is based on academic record and professional experience.

The student is required to fully participate in the research activities of the advisor’s laboratory, learning experimental approaches by carrying out specific research protocols related to a dissertation project. In addition to learning appropriate techniques, students are taught how to devise research strategies to answer specific questions, relate the strategy to previous studies and analyze the resulting data, and develop a protocol to test it. Furthermore, he/she should be capable of writing a well-developed manuscript and grant application. Upon completion of the doctor of science, it is anticipated that the student will have acquired the essential skills to pursue an academic career and is qualified for a junior faculty position.

DSc (Doctor of Science) combined with CAGS (Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study)
Students enrolled in the combined doctor of science/CAGS program have a time commitment of at least three years in the research program portion and two or three years in the clinical program depending on the specialty. The entire program will take five or six years and may follow a sequential or integrated pattern depending on the area of specialization and background of the candidate.

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Orofacial & Skeletal Biology 

A PhD in Orofacial & Skeletal Biology Biology is offered by the Department of Translational Dental Medicine at Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.

Applications are handled by the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences at the School of Medicine, http://www.bumc.bu.edu/gms/

The program in Orofacial & Skeletal Biology recruits students with backgrounds in the life and basic sciences who are interested in additional advanced training in dental and medical sciences. The aim of this program is to educate students in modern scientific approaches to orofacial and skeletal biology and diseases. The program is designed for the student whose primary goal is to pursue a career in orofacial and skeletal biology research. The oral cavity is unique regarding its microbiology, connective tissue structures, and host responses. Craniofacial and skeletal disorders present unsolved scientific challenges and novel biological phenomena. The importance of understanding the biology of craniofacial, oral, and skeletal diseases whose incidence and severity increase with age is clearly understood within the context of current demographic trends. The PhD program in Orofacial & Skeletal Biology requires a minimum of five years of study.

Program Information

Program Type Oral Biology
Program Code OB1030
Degrees Offered Masters, Other
Program Size 3 (estimate)
Program Length 24-36 months
Application Deadline December 15
Program Start Date July 1
Supplemental Application No
Supplemental Fee Yes
Stipend Offered No
Match Participating No
Program Website bu.edu

Application Requirements

Required Standardized Tests


Supplemental Requirements

  • Requires supplemental fee

Transcript Evaluation and Instructions

U.S./Canadian applicants must provide their undergraduate transcript(s) within the PASS application. Unofficial copies of undergrad transcripts uploaded by the applicant may be used for application purposes, but official transcripts are required for matriculation. 

International applicants must submit either the ECE or WES dental school transcript course-by-course translation and evaluation directly through PASS. 

TOEFL Requirement Instructions

TOEFL is required for all applicants who are not US citizens or US Lawful Permanent Residents, and whose first language is not English. Request official TOEFL scores from ETS in the ADEA PASS application. Only official scores are considered.  

  • Minimum score is 90 iBT.
  • TOEFL iBT Home Edition is accepted.
  • TOEFL Essentials is NOT accepted. 
  • IELTS is NOT accepted.

International applicants who have earned a degree from an accredited United States or Canadian English-speaking institution may be exempted from the TOEFL requirement.

International Student Eligibility

This program will consider applicants who graduated, or plan to graduate, from a non-CODA accredited dental school: Yes

Applicants are eligible to enroll if they are:

  • US Citizen
  • US Permanent Resident
  • Canadian Citizen
  • Canadian Permanent Resident
  • Non-US Citizen/Resident (program offers sponsorship)
  • Non-US Citizen/Resident (applicant must obtain their own sponsorship)

Additional Information

D.Sc. applicants – GRE scores are not required, but will be accepted.

MSD or MSD & CAGS Specialty applicants – GRE scores are not required, but will be accepted.