Periodontics Graduate Program


Program Director:  Dr. Steven Blanchard
Department of Periodontics
Indiana University School of Dentistry
1121 W Michigan Street
Indianapolis, IN  46202

Program Description

The periodontics graduate program at Indiana University School of Dentistry has been developed so that upon completion the student will have attained the following:

  • Competence in all diagnostic, preventive and treatment procedures currently employed in periodontics.
  • The didactic knowledge, as well as the diagnostic, treatment, and maintenance skills necessary for successful completion of the American Board of Periodontology examination.
  • Successful completion of all requirements for the Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD) and the Clinical Certificate in Periodontics.
  • The knowledge and skills necessary for successful clinical practice, or a position in academics or research.

This 36-month program consists of 3 nine-month academic years, 1 two-month summer session and 3 three-month summer sessions. The two-month summer session begins the program in early July and consists of core courses taken by all graduate students regardless of specialty which lead up to the Fall Semester of the first year.

During the first year, students receive the major part of the didactic training, and learn to employ all of the diagnostic and therapeutic techniques employed in clinical periodontics on the patients assigned to them at the beginning of the program. They are encouraged to utilize a variety of techniques rather than to follow a single method of treatment. In consultation with faculty advisors, the first year student also selects a research project for the thesis, chooses his/her thesis committee and develops the review of literature section and the research protocol for approval by the research committee. Both research and clinical experience are enhanced by in-depth review of both current and topical periodontal literature.

The first 3-month summer session between the first and second year is primarily spent in conducting the planned research and in clinical practice. Didactic courses in IV conscious sedation and surgical treating in implants are given during this time.

The second year is devoted to comprehensive treatment of complex cases, further acquisition of an in-depth knowledge of the periodontal literature, and refinement of skills in the more sophisticated treatment techniques. Course work in the second year can vary with the individual’s choice of electives. In addition, research projects continue and data collection and analysis begin. Oral and written examinations for the MSD degree are usually taken at the end of the second year.

The second 3-month summer session is primarily spent in progress on the thesis research and in clinical practice.

During the third year, students conduct in-depth reviews of current technologies and topics of current interest in periodontics. Clinical skills in periodontics and IV sedation are refined and results of therapy are carefully analyzed. In addition, the Master’s Thesis is written and defended during this time.

The third 3-month summer session is primarily spent completing research and clinical requirements.

In addition to clinical experience in the dental school, each Periodontics Graduate Student assists in hospital surgical procedures and is also given the opportunity to perform the procedures.

Admissions Criteria:

Individuals must be graduates of accredited U.S. or Canadian dental schools in order to be considered for admission to the Advanced Education Program in Periodontics.  Graduates of foreign dental schools that provide an equivalent educational background are also eligible for admission. Admissions criteria that are evaluated  for admission include: pre-dental and dental grade point average, class rank, National Dental Board Examination (NDBE) scores (Part I is required for all applicants, part II is required for applicants who have graduated from a US or Canadian dental school), letters of recommendation, professional experience, clinical and research experience and personal interview. 

As guidelines, students should possess a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0, be in the top half of their class and have a passing score in the NDBE.  Students graduating from U.S and Canadian dental schools must have a passing score for both part I and II of the NDBE.  Graduates from foreign dental schools must have a passing score for Part I of the NDBE and, although not required, are strongly encouraged to successfully complete Part II for their application to receive the most serious consideration. 

Students whose first language is not English must possess a TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper-based) or 79 (internet-based).  International students will be required to complete the English for Academic Purposes Placement Test (EAP) upon arrival on campus. 

A personal interview is required for the most qualified applicants (by invitation).

Individuals will be selected for acceptance offers by a committee decision after appropriate invited candidates have completed the interview process.  Acceptance offers will be made by the program director (or his appointed designee) via telephone or email on the Friday immediately preceding the Labor Day weekend.  Candidates have until the Tuesday immediately following Labor Day to notify the program director of their decision to either accept or reject the acceptance offer.  Any unfilled positions will be made to candidates selected as “Alternates” until the class has been filled.  Candidates verbally accepting positions will be mailed an official letter of acceptance from the Office of Graduate Dental Education and Global Engagement along with a contract to be signed by the candidate.  These signed contracts and a $1000 non-refundable tuition deposit must be made within 30 days.

Application Information

Application Deadline:  August 1 

Our application deadline is 1 August, 2014 but we encourage applicants to apply early as we expect to make acceptance offers by 1 September

Application Process:   

All applicants must fill out a university online application.     

Please send all supplemental materials to:

Indiana University School of Dentistry
Office of Graduate Education and Global Engagement
1121 W Michigan Street, Room 280B
Indianapolis, IN  46202

US Applicants:   A US citizen whose secondary education was in the US

International Applicants:  A US citizen, permanent resident (green card), refugee, political asylee whose secondary education was outside of the US or a non-US citizen whose secondary education was outside and/or in the US.

Status of Application

Applicants will receive notification of receipt of their application.  The Committee will not review incomplete files; therefore, it is up to the applicant to verify status of his/her file.  Completed applications are reviewed and interviews will be conducted.  Acceptance letters and contracts will be sent to each accepted applicant.  

Starting Date

International students must arrive on campus in May in order to complete the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) placement examination.  If it is determined that an English course is required as a result of the placement examination, the English course will be completed the month of June.  The MSD curriculum will begin the first week of July each year.  We do not accept students spring semester (January).

Rules Determining Resident and Nonresident Student Status for Indiana University Fee Purposes

With very few exceptions, if you enter Indiana University School of Dentistry as a non-resident, you will remain a non-resident (for fee-paying purposes) throughout your postgraduate education.  Attending Indiana University School of Dentistry for one year does not entitle you to resident tuition if you are not from Indiana.

If you have any questions regarding the periodontics graduate program, please email the Office of Graduate Education and Global Engagement at:  ds-grad@iupui.edu