Program description 

The Department of Orthodontics offers a 24-month advanced education Master of Science in Dentistry program. The program teaches the latest in clinical care in an environment modeled after private orthodontic practice. The curriculum is composed of seminars and small-group instruction with emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving. Contemporary concepts of orthodontic treatment are reviewed for substantive and scientific content. Also included are regularly scheduled orthognathic surgery conferences and seminars with other dental and medical specialists.

The postgraduate program is designed to develop skilled practitioners who are prepared to grow with the future and manage busy orthodontic practices. Our goal is not only to familiarize future orthodontists with contemporary techniques but also to teach them how to interpret cutting-edge scientific information and use it to approach clinical challenges logically and practically.

The program's clinical experience consists of a wide variety of orthodontic patients, including complex cases requiring orthognathic surgery and patients with facial clefts and other craniofacial abnormalities. 

An original research experience is an integral part of our program with each project intended to produce results suitable for publication in a nationally circulated orthodontic journal. The successful completion of a research project is required. All senior residents present their research at the Virginia Association of Orthodontists' meeting. 

The program makes students educationally qualified to take the written portion of the American Board of Orthodontics in the senior year. Residents are required to pass the written portion of the American Board of Orthodontics examination prior to graduation, and are encouraged to continue and complete the board certification process. This exam is given prior to the American Association of Orthodontists' meeting.

Students completing the program earn a certificate in Orthodontics and a Master of Science in Dentistry degree. Students must complete the requirements for the master’s degree prior to being awarded the certificate.

The program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.