PhD in Oral Sciences

Program Description

The College of Dentistry offers a program of study leading to the Doctor of Philosophy in Oral Sciences to train the next generation's cadre of oral health scientists. Oral Sciences utilizes cutting edge biomedical technology and knowledge to address basic and clinical research questions of importance for promoting and maintaining oral health. The program also offers an opportunity to integrate the PhD training with a DMD or dental specialty training. The curriculum consists of a core based on the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Graduate Education in Medical Sciences (GEMS) Program coupled with an option to select one of three curricular tracks: Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology; Biomaterials Science; or, Microbiology/Immunology. Students participate in an oral science topics series throughout the program. Students who are candidates for the PhD will usually complete the program within 4-5 years. Students who are candidates in the combined program will usually earn both the DMS and PhD degrees within 7 years. A preliminary (candidacy) exam and a final thesis defense are required. More information on degree requirements (including curriculum and research thesis) is available on our graduate education website.


Research and Training

Research has demonstrated the definitive associations between oral and systemic diseases such as periodontitis, cardiovascular disease and preterm birth. Students and faculty in the PhD in Oral Sciences program focus on one of three areas of oral health research, all of which integrate the oral cavity with systemic and whole body health: Wound Healing, Cancer Biology and Tissue Engineering. The program prepares students for faculty and research positions in interdisciplinary oral health research. Training emphasizes bench research and the evaluation of scientific data in addition to didactic course work.  In addition, training will include presentation and writing skills, as well as other activities essential for developing an independent researcher.

Admissions Requirements

Candidates with an undergraduate degree in a relevant field from an accredited institution are eligible to apply for the PhD in Oral Sciences. Additional requirements include GRE scores above the 50th percentile and, for international candidates, minimum levels of English proficiency as set by the University's Office of Admissions.

How to Apply

All applicants must complete an online application. All materials requested during the online application (official transcripts, application fee and GRE scores) must be uploaded directly to the University's Office of Admissions' online application. All applicants should carefully read the directions available on the Office of Admissions website.

Applicants will also be required to upload the following:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement
  • 3 letters of recommendation

Dates and deadlines for the application are available on the Graduate College website.

An interview is not required, though some applicants may be asked to interview after their applications have been filed. We encourage you to contact us at any time before or during the application process to discuss the program and your goals.

Once your application is complete, it will be reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee. The committee will either make a determination immediately or ask you to come in for an interview. Once a decision has been made, you will be notified by letter.

Tuition & Fees

Please visit UIC's tuition and fees page for current tuition rates for the PhD program. Please note that annual increases in tuition should be expected.

Please visit the UIC Office of Financial Aid for information about how to fund your education.


If after viewing this website, all your questions are not answered, you are welcome to contact Dr. Herve Sroussi (