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 program is 36 months in length.

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 between the second and third year 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 after the third year 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 and Part II are required for all applicants), 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 Part I and II.  

Students whose first language is not English must possess a TOEFL score of at least 79.   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).

The ADAT exam is not required; however, scores submitted via PASS will be reviewed.

Application Deadline:  August 1 

PASS Application:  All applicants must apply complete the Postdoctoral Appication Support Service (PASS) application.  

Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program:    The periodontics program participates in the MATCH.  The Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program (the "Match") provides an orderly process to help applicants obtain positions in postdoctoral dental education programs of their choice, and to help programs obtain applicants of their choice.  Registration for the Dental Match takes place inside the ADEA PASS application site.   Results of MATCH will be released to applicants and program directors on November 29, 2018.

The following supplemental items need to be submitted directly to:

Indiana University School of Dentistry
Office of Graduate Education
1121 W Michgain Street, Room 280B
Indianapolis, IN   46202

US Applicants:

Certfication of Disciplinary History Form

Official NBDE scores.   Applicants must complete an online request, which requries our email address (, institutional name (Indiana University School of Dentistry) and contact name (Barbara Lerner).  An electronic copy of NBDE scores will then be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Education.


 International Applicants:

Certification of Disciplinary History Form

All international applicants must be proficient in the English language.  Applicants must submit an original score report of the TOEFL examination (IBT format) earned within the past two (2) years. This report should be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to the Program (institution code 1325). A score of 79 or above on the internet-based format of the TOEFL examination is required.   A grade of 6.5 or higher on the Cambridge International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is also acceptable. 

Official NBDE scores.  Applicants must complete an online request, which requries our email address (, institutional name (Indiana University School of Dentistry) and contact name (Barbara Lerner).  An electronic copy of NBDE scores will then be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Education.


If accepted into the program, submission of original diploma(s) and transcript(s), translated by an accredited US translator, is required.   The diploma(s) and transcript(s) must be in a sealed envelope(s).   Finanial support will also need to be sent to the IUPUI international affiars office upon acceptance to the program.

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

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 at: