Oral Sciences, MS

This unique program caters to individuals interested in various scientific and research aspects of oral and craniofacial biology.   Students in the program may be traditional bachelor’s graduates, dentists enrolled in clinical specialties, or individuals interested in enhancing their application to professional school.

Fall 2021 Enrollment

Applications will be accepted July 1, 2020 - April 1, 2021

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Are you unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL because of a testing site closure?

The university has updated its policy on English language proficiency requirements for students affected by the closure of testing sites for TOEFL, IELTS and PTE.  The University at Buffalo will accept the Duolingo English Test (DET) for proof of English proficiency. This test can be taken online, in your own home. More information can be found on the Graduate School’s website.

About the Program

The Oral Sciences graduate program is an academic, research-oriented program that leads to the Master of Science (MS) degree.  Its overall goal is to provide background, expertise and current concepts of basic sciences as related to dental research in oral and craniofacial biology. Students in the program may also be independently enrolled in a clinical specialty and complete the program in conjunction with such specialty.

An enhanced pre-professional curriculum is also available to students who wish to apply to  professional school (e.g. Dental School) after completion of the program. Such enhanced curriculum allows students in good standing to enroll in a limited number of basic science dental school courses.

Although the Oral Sciences program is full-time by design, students may be allowed to complete the program on a part-time basis under certain circumstances.

Length of Study

The program typically takes about two years to complete, but additional time must be allocated if the degree is pursued in conjunction with a clinical specialty program.


The Oral Sciences Program involves a group of faculty from several depart­ments of the School of Dental Medicine, all of whom are members of the faculty of the Graduate School. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the faculty, a wide range of research interests are represented which affords students the opportunity to engage in research that is especially suited to their individual interests, abilities, and career goals. Students may choose to pursue research from many different areas, including biological, clinical, and behavioral studies. The research opportunities are numerous and roughly represented by the faculty interests described in the Faculty Interests document.

Sebastiano Andreana

Associate Professor

Department of Restorative Dentistry

235 E Squire Hall

Phone: (716) 829-6645

Email: andrean@buffalo.edu

Sebastian Ciancio

Distinguished Service Professor

Department of Periodontics and Endodontics

250E Squire Hall

Phone: (716) 829-3848

Email: ciancio@buffalo.edu

Robert Cohen


Department of Periodontics and Endodontics

250F Squire Hall

Phone: (716) 829-6183

Email: rcohen@buffalo.edu

Heidi Crow

Associate Professor & Department Chair

Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences

355 Squire Hall

Phone: (716) 829-3555

Email: hccrow@buffalo.edu

Elaine Davis


Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences

355 Squire Hall

Phone: (716) 829-3726

Email: eldavis@buffalo.edu

Rosemary Dziak, PhD


Department of Oral Biology

Foster Hall Room 320 3435 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14214

Phone: (716)829-3827; Fax: (716) 829-3942

Email: rdziak@acsu.buffalo.edu

Mira Edgerton, DDS, PhD

Research Professor

Oral Biology; Prosthodontics

310 Foster Hall Buffalo, NY 14214

Phone: (716) 829-3067; Fax: (716) 829-3942

Email: edgerto@buffalo.edu

Yoly Gonzalez-Stucker

Associate Professor

Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences

355 Squire Hall

Phone: (716) 829-3551

Email: ymg@buffalo.edu

Violet I. Haraszthy

Chair, Professor

Department of Restorative Dentistry

215 L Squire Hall

Phone: (716) 829-3940

Email: vh1@buffalo.edu

Jason Kay, PhD

Associate Professor

Department of Oral Biology

B10A Foster Hall 3435 Main Street

Phone: (716) 829-2073; Fax: (716) 829-2387

Email: jasonkay@buffalo.edu

Hyeongil Kim

Associate Professor/Director PG Pros Program

Department of Restorative Dentistry

222C Squire Hall

Phone: (716) 829-6342

Email: hik@buffalo.edu

Jill Kramer, DDS, PhD

Associate Professor

Department of Oral Biology

3435 Main Street 211 Foster Hall

Phone: 716-829-2551; Fax: 716-829-3842

Email: jkramer@buffalo.edu

Chunhao (Chris) Li


Department of Oral Biology

304B Foster Hall Oral Biology 3435 Main St. Buffalo, NY 14214-8031

Phone: 716-829-6014; Fax: 716-829-6014

Email: cli9@buffalo.edu

Abhiram Maddi, DDS, PhD

Associate Professor

Department of Periodontics and Endodontics

250B Squire Hall, Buffalo, NY 14214

Phone: (716) 829-6182; Fax: (716) 829-6840

Email: amaddi@buffalo.edu

W.D. (Scott) McCall Jr.


Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences

355 Squire Hall

Phone: (716) 829-3559

Email: wdmccall@buffalo.edu

Anne Meyer

Research Associate Professor; Associate Dean For Research, Office of the Dean

Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences

355 Squire Hall, 110 Parker Hall

Phone: (716) 829-6244

Email: aemeyer@buffalo.edu

Richard Ohrbach


Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences

355 Squire Hall School of Dental Medicine University at Buffalo Buffalo, NY 14214

Phone: (716) 829-3590

Email: ohrbach@buffalo.edu

Dana Keblawi

Asst. Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Clinical Assistant Professor

Department of Restorative Dentistry

225E Squire Hall

Phone: (716) 829-6367

Email: dqeblawi@buffalo.edu

Rose-Anne Romano, PhD

Associate Professor

Department of Oral Biology

210 Foster Hall Buffalo, NY 14214

Phone: (716) 829-3665

Email: rromano2@buffalo.edu

Stefan Ruhl, DDS, PhD

Professor and Associate Chair

Department of Oral Biology

213A Foster Hall Buffalo, NY 14214

Phone: (716) 829-6073; Fax: (716) 829-3942

Email: shruhl@buffalo.edu

Camila Sabatini

Associate Professor

Department of Restorative Dentistry

215H Squire Hall

Phone: (716) 829-6343

Email: cs252@buffalo.edu

Frank Scannapieco, DMD, PhD

Associate Dean of Faculty and Professional Development, School of Dental Medicine; Professor and Chair

Department of Oral Biology

116 & 109 Foster Hall Buffalo, NY 14214

Phone: (716) 829-2854; Fax: (716) 829-3373

Email: fas1@buffalo.edu

Ashu Sharma, PhD


Department of Oral Biology

Foster Hall Room 311 3435 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14214

Phone: (716) 829-2759; Fax: (716) 829-3942

Email: sharmaa@buffalo.edu

Clinical Professor

Department of Periodontics and Endodontics

250C Squire Hall

Phone: (716) 829-3850

Email: shibly@buffalo.edu

Meg Vickerman, DDS, PhD


Department of Oral Biology

223A Foster Hall Buffalo, NY 14214

Phone: (716) 829-2195; Fax: (716) 837-7623

Email: mmv4@buffalo.edu

Michelle Visser, PhD

Associate Professor

Department of Oral Biology

3435 Main Street Foster Hall 320A Buffalo, NY 14214

Phone: (716) 829-3943

Email: mbvisser@buffalo.edu

Ding Xu, PhD

Associate Professor

Department of Oral Biology

109 Foster Hall Buffalo, NY 14214

Phone: (716) 829-3509

Email: dingxu@buffalo.edu

Course Listing

Students are required to enroll in required core courses as well as elective ones, to complete an original research project, and to write and orally defend a master’s thesis.

A minimum of 30 credit hours of course work, including the satisfactory completion of a written thesis based on independent research, are required for the MS degree.

All students must take the program’s required courses. Exemptions or substitutions may be granted by the program director only upon written request from the student based upon valid academic justification. The program director will inform the Graduate School of these substitutions. Each student may take credit hours of elective course work, usually related to the student’s area of research. Elective courses must be chosen after consultation with the student’s major professor and graduate committee.

This is a research-oriented degree program and does not include clinical training.  As such, the didactic curriculum of the Master’s program in Oral Sciences may not necessarily be directly related to a clinical setting.  The overall design of the program is to provide background, expertise and current concepts of basic sciences related to dental research and oral biology.

Due to the nature of the topics covered by the curriculum, students are often simultaneously enrolled in an advanced dental education clinical certificate program which complements their knowledge base.  In addition, the enhanced curriculum allows students to take some courses alongside first year students in our DDS program. The scope of the enhanced curriculum is to prepare prospective dental school applicants in strengthening their application.  

Cost of Attendance

The program does not have any resources to support students. However, some participating faculty have research grants and may be interested in supporting students. Interested students should contact the faculty directly.

Students in the MS program pay tuition and fees applicable to Graduate (not dental) students.

Program Policies and Guidelines

The University’s Graduate Education Policies apply to all students enrolled in the Oral Sciences Program. They are compatible with those of the University at Buffalo’s Graduate School.

A complete description of Graduate School policies may be obtained from the Graduate School:

549 Capen Hall, Amherst Campus / (716) 645- 2939

All prospective and enrolled Oral Sciences graduate students must thoroughly review these Graduate Education Policies and retain them for future reference.

Application Information

Fall 2021 Applicants

Step Date(s)
Applications Accepted Application deadline: April 1, 2021

How to Apply

To apply, please submit all documents listed below.  Your application will not be complete until these items have been received and you have submitted your application for formal review.

Required (All candidates applying via the UB Application)

1. The On-line UB Application

  • Please complete all questions on the application completely and accurately.
  • You must select your desired entry term (i.e. Fall 2020) and intended program of study as you begin the application.
  • The personal information section of the application provides special instructions for international applicants; be certain to following instructions on how to accurately enter your name.

2. $50.00 non-refundable application fee paid on UBePay

  • Once you have submitted your online application for review, you will be able to pay the application fee by credit/debit card. Your application cannot be reviewed until the fee has been paid. Please note that the $50 application fee is non-refundable.

3. CV/Resume (upload with your application)

4. Personal Statement (upload with your application or type statement directly into the application)

5. Letters of Recommendation

  • Two letters of recommendation and a Dean's letter (if graduated from a US or Canadian dental school), otherwise three letters of recommendation.
  • Recommendation letters must be uploaded electronically by your recommenders.
  • You will submit names, titles and email addresses for three recommenders. They will receive an email request to electronically submit a letter on your behalf.  The notification is traditionally sent to recommenders after the application is submitted for review However, you can opt to have the email requests sent immediately as you enter recommender names; this option is suggested for candidates who are applying close to the application deadline to ensure sufficient time for upload.

6. Unofficial transcripts from EVERY college/university attended

  • If you are accepted into the program you will be asked to submit original transcripts with proper signatures, seals or stamps. Academic documents that are not in English must be accompanied by an exact, certified translation; ECE course-by-course report is preferred.  International applicants please include copy of certificate with proof of degree.

7. Unofficial NBDE Scores (optional)

  • Unofficial scores from the National Board of Dental Examination Part I and/or Part II; optional for all programs not using the PASS application.

Additional Requirements — International Applicants

In addition to the requirements listed above, please submit the following:

1. Unofficial TOEFL Score Report that meets University Requirements

TOEFL score report must be at or above minimum of 550 (written) / 213 (computer based) / 79 (internet based) or better obtained within eighteen months of the application deadline. An official score report must be provided upon acceptance.  UB’s School Code is: 2925.

2. UB Financial Form

  • All International applicants must complete and upload the UB financial form documenting all sources of anticipated educational support.  The upload option will appear in the applicant portal after application is submitted for review.

Note: Financial documentation is required for visa issuance - documentation may be submitted after acceptance but I-20 documentation cannot be issued without it. 

3. Photocopy of Passport Biographical Page

4. Photocopy of Your Current I-20 AND the F-1 Visa Stamp in Your Passport (if currently an F-1 Student)

* All documents become property of the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine and are not returnable to the applicant.

FAQs for Oral Sciences

Is the Oral Sciences Program limited to applicants with a DDS/DMD/BDS degree?

  • No; while most of the applicants DO have such degree and are usually also enrolled in a dental clinical specialty, applicants with a traditional Bachelor degree are also allowed to apply.

How long does the program take?

  • It depends whether the enrollee is also enrolled in a clinical specialty. A student enrolled only in the Master Program usually takes about two years to complete the program, while clinical residents, because of their clinical obligations, usually take 3-4 years.

Does the Program require the GRE?

  • No; traditionally the program has not required the GRE.

What are the minimum requirements to apply to the program?

  • A Bachelor degree is the minimal degree required of an applicant. In addition, the Graduate School also required a minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 for all graduate programs, although a competitive academic record is one of the factors that are considered in the selection of an applicant. In exceptional circumstances, the Graduate School will accept a GPA slightly below a 3.0; but this is rarely done, and under extraordinary conditions.

Will the Master Program in Oral Sciences help me get an acceptance to Dental School?

  • The Master program and the DDS program are totally independent programs, so there is no assurance that completing the Master Program will guarantee acceptance in the DDS one. As for any Master Program, the Oral Sciences one may make someone more competitive for ANY dental school and, indeed, many of our graduates have continued onto the DDS program. In addition, the Master Program allows its student to enroll in some of the dental school basic sciences courses (which are also open to graduate students); these courses would be waived in the first year od dental school, should one of our student be accepted into the DDS program.

Will the Master Program provide any clinical training?

  • No. The Oral Sciences Program is an academic research-oriented graduate program; your enrollment implies a commitment to learn about and to engage in research.  This means that the didactic curriculum of the Master’s Program in Oral Sciences may not necessarily be directly related to a clinical setting.  Rather, the overall design of the program is to provide background, expertise and current concepts of basic sciences as related to dental research and oral biology. Your research project MAY involved clinical studies, but the overall scope of the research project is to concentrate on research design, experimental methods, and basic science.

What are the areas of research that the program provides?

  • Being a multidisciplinary program not affiliated with any particular department, the research areas are numerous and varied. Some examples are, immunology and host response, microbiology, biochemistry, salivary-bacterial interactions, biofilms, bone physiology, autoimmunity, physiology of pain, temporomandibular disorders, epidemiological studies, biomaterials, and lasers, to name some.

How soon can I start my research project?

  •  No deadline is fixed for this. Traditionally, students connect with a potential research mentor after the first semester of classes; however, if a student has agreed to start with a research mentor right from the beginning, this is possible.

Will the Program provide financial assistance?

  • No. The Oral Sciences Program does not provide funds for student financial support via stipends, fellowships, assistantships, tuition waivers, or any other form of support. The Oral Sciences Program will provide the necessary courses and research training to fulfill the Master Degree’s requirements.  The students are expected to be responsible for tuition, fees, and all other expenses required by the University for graduate students enrolled in a Master Program. 


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