Prospective Students

Suggested Timeline for Completion

It is important for students to adhere to an appropriate schedule for completion of the research requirement.  The following is a proposed timeline for the research activities in a three-year program. 

First Year, Summer and Autumn Semesters: Graduate students should become familiar with the research interests and expertise of the graduate faculty and explore opportunities for research in their area of interest. Ideally, an Advisor and research topic should be selected by the end of autumn semester.

First Year, Spring Semester: A Master’s Examination Committee should be established as early as possible, and its membership approved by the GSC. The student should then develop a research protocol (including a comprehensive literature review) to submit for approval by the Master’s Examination Committee. The graduate student must work with their advisor to accomplish this goal. By the end of the first year, the student should have a completed an approved research protocol. If the research involves human subjects or laboratory animals, approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) must be obtained prior to starting data collection.

Second Year, Summer Semester: The student should initiate the research project and begin data collection. The student may consider registering for additional coursework if this would be helpful in expanding the depth of understanding of the research project.

Second Year, Autumn and Spring Semesters: Data collection continues for students in a three-year program. 

Note: If the Graduate program is a 24-month program, then students in Plan A should defend their thesis during the first half of the spring semester. After any necessary revisions are completed, the thesis should be bound and copies provided to the advisor and committee members. Ideally, the student should convert the thesis into one or more manuscripts that can be submitted to an appropriate journal for publication. Students in Plan B should schedule their written comprehensive examination during the first half of the semester, if possible, and submit their manuscripts to an appropriate journal for publication.

Third Year, Summer Semester: Data collection and analysis should be completed, allowing the student to prepare and submit an abstract for presentation at the American Association for Dental Research meeting and/or the national meeting of their clinical specialty organization.

Third Year, Autumn Semester: Students in Plan A should complete their thesis in close collaboration with their advisor. Ideally, the student should meet with the Master’s Examination Committee to present a draft of their thesis for corrections and to organize the thesis defense. 

Students in Plan B should collaborate with their advisor to prepare at least one publication-ready manuscript based on their research. The manuscript(s) should be submitted to the Master’s Examination Committee for approval. 

Third Year, Spring Semester:  Students in Plan A should defend their thesis during the first half of the semester. After any necessary revisions are completed, the thesis should be bound and copies provided to the advisor and Committee members. Ideally, the student should convert the thesis into one or more manuscripts that can be submitted to an appropriate journal for publication.

Students in Plan B should schedule their written comprehensive examination during the first half of the semester, if possible, and submit their manuscripts to an appropriate journal for publication.

Time Limit

There is a six-year time limit for completion of the Master of Science program in the College of Dentistry. Under extenuating circumstances, an extension of this time limit may be approved by the GSC. The student must submit a written petition to the GSC requesting an extension prior to the final month of eligibility.