May 19, 2024  
University of Alberta Calendar 2022-2023 
University of Alberta Calendar 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Sciences - Dentistry

The Department of Dentistry offers the degree of PhD in Medical Sciences - Dentistry.

Entrance Requirements

The Department’s minimum admission requirements include: an undergraduate degree, in any discipline, and a Master’s degree (exceptional cases, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis), an admission GPA of at least 3.0 on the 4-point scale from the University of Alberta, or an equivalent qualification and standing from a recognized institution, (see: Academic Requirements  for details on Graduate GPA calculation).

The Master’s Bypass allows for outstanding Master’s Candidates to request a change of program category to the PhD program without completing the Master’s degree. Additional research experience may be required within the PhD program for students selecting this option. See the Graduate Program Manual 7.2 Change of Category. Additional information on the process and timelines is available on the School of Dentistry Graduate Program Manual.

Where applicable, applicants must provide proof of English Language Proficiency (refer to English Language Requirement ). Any one of the following is acceptable:

  • TOEFL (internet-based) minimum score 95 with at least 21 per section;
  • MELAB minimum score of 91;
  • CAEL minimum score of 70 with at least 70 on each subtest;
  • or an IELTS (Academic) minimum score of 7.5 with at least 6 on each band.

All applicants are also required to submit the following:

  • a current curriculum vitae
  • a statement of intent
  • three letters of recommendation (two must be professional)
  • an official letter from their dental school noting their class ranking upon graduation from dentistry is recommended
  • Applicants must identify a willing faculty supervisor
  • Applicants must identify a potential thesis topic
  • Applicants must identify potential funding in their application.

Admission is dependent upon the approval of the Dentistry Admissions SubCommittee, the Department of Dentistry’s Graduate Studies Committee and the Medical Sciences Graduate Program Committee.

The application portal is open from January 1 to May 1 for September admission and May 1 to July 1 for January admission.

Program Requirements

Students are required to complete a minimum of 12 units in coursework, consisting of 6 units in required courses and 6 units in elective courses. The program also consists of seminars and a thesis. The program of study is determined by the Graduate Program Director in consultation with the supervisor and supervisory committee.

Student progress will be monitored through an oral and written assessment and an interview with the Graduate Program Coordinator in the Spring term.

Elective courses (6 units)

  • Students must complete 6 units in graduate-level courses chosen in consultation with the program director and their supervisor.


  • Registration in 900-level THES. Students are required to complete and defend a thesis.

Candidacy exam

Students are required to take a written and oral candidacy examination. Students must demonstrate that they possess an adequate knowledge of the discipline and of the subject matter relevant to their thesis topic, and that they have the ability to pursue and complete original research at an advanced level.


Students have an attendance requirement for the Discover Dental Sciences seminars and to participate in the Graduate Student Research Day.

Length of Program

The time required to complete the PhD will vary according to the previous training of the applicant and the nature of the research undertaken; however, a maximum of five years is considered normal. The maximum time permitted to complete the PhD program as set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research is six years.