Prospective Students

Thesis Options

Thesis Option (Plan A)

Students in this option are required to complete a research project under Graduate Faculty supervision. An original thesis based on the research project must be written and successfully defended. The master’s examination for students pursuing Plan A must include an oral portion, and need not be confined to the thesis topic. The thesis must be approved by the advisor and the Master's Examination Committee. Students must submit the Thesis Approval form to the Graduate School and submit the approved thesis to OhioLink by the published deadline for the semester of graduation. If the student or advisor would like to delay dissemination of the thesis, a form to petition to the Graduate School for a delay is available on the Graduate School website.     

The date, time and location of each thesis defense should be transmitted to all faculty and students no later than one week prior to the defense. The thesis defense will begin with an oral presentation of the research project by the graduate student. This presentation is typically 20 to 45 minutes long and will be open to all students and faculty of the College of Dentistry. The presentation will be followed by an open question session. Following its completion, the Master’s Examination Committee, chaired by the student’s advisor, will continue the examination in a closed session. The committee will comprehensively evaluate the thesis and the student’s understanding of the study and its implications. The closed portion of the exam typically extends for one to two hours. The graduate student will then be excused and the committee will decide whether the student’s performance on the examination was satisfactory and whether the thesis is acceptable. The advisor will then inform the graduate student of his/her decision. 

Students are strongly encouraged to prepare and submit at least one publication-ready manuscript based on their thesis research. Individual advanced clinical training programs may require their students to prepare one or more publishable manuscripts as a requirement for obtaining the MS degree or specialty certificate.

Non-Thesis Option (Plan B)

Students in this option are expected to complete an original research project of scope and standard identical to those carried out under Plan A, but are not required to present their findings in a thesis format. Instead, they must successfully complete a written examination that is administered and graded by the student’s Master’s Examination Committee. During the terminal year of their program, the student (in consultation with the advisor and Master’s Examination Committee) will develop a list of essential literature pertaining to the student’s area of research.  A four-hour comprehensive written examination will test the student’s mastery of this body of literature and need not be confined to the research topic. Individual advanced clinical training programs retain the option to include an oral component in the master’s examination.

Students are required to prepare at least one publication-ready manuscript based on their research findings. The Master’s Examination Committee acts as a special reading committee for the research component of the program and must approve the resulting manuscript(s).