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School’s new OHS MS program approved for launch3 min read

June 16, 2020

School’s new OHS MS program approved for launch3 min read

Ann Arbor, Mich., June 16, 2020 – The School of Dentistry has received university and state approval for the development of a new Master of Science (MS) degree in Oral Health Sciences (OHS). U-M will be the only dental school in the country to offer the degree.

The one-year program will prepare students to apply to Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) and Craniofacial/Oral Health Sciences Ph.D. programs. It also will appeal to students interested in oral health sciences and craniofacial laboratory research. The impetus for the new program relates to the competitive nature of the dental school application process as well as the shortage of a research workforce that engages in dental, oral and craniofacial health sciences.

Vesa Kaartinen

Working with the school’s Office of Research, Vesa Kaartinen, Associate Dean for Research, developed the proposal and details for the new program. It was reviewed and approved by the U-M Rackham Graduate School earlier this year and more recently by the Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU).

“The recent approval by MASU was needed to help us take the next steps in the development of the OHS MS program,” said Kaartinen. “We are pleased to move forward with the application process and the first class of students. This program is exceptionally relevant for students pursuing either DDS or PhD programs. We are not aware of similar programs at peer institutions in the U.S.”

The application process will open this fall with a plan for a pilot class of approximately four students who will start in summer term 2021. The 30-credit-hour program will have two sub-plans – a research-intensive track that requires an MS thesis and a course-intensive track that requires an MS capstone project.

In development over the past two years, the OHS MS program provides an academic focus on dental, oral and craniofacial biology that can be a bridge in the pursuit of additional training and education. Graduates of the OHS MS will have the skills and knowledge to become qualified and competitive professional staff members in a research laboratory in the field of oral/craniofacial sciences.

The application deadlines and details will be shared on the school’s website in the coming months.


The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care and community service.  General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan.  Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia and public agencies.  Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide.  For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at:  Contact: Lynn Monson, associate director of communications, at, or (734) 615-1971.