Degree Offered

  • Master of Science

General Information

The Department of Orthodontics at West Virginia University offers a 34-month (three academic years and two summers) advanced education Master of Science program. The program models a private practice atmosphere with state-of-the-art clinical facilities. The curriculum is centered on daily clinical seminars and private instruction with each individual class. Also included are regularly scheduled orthognathic surgery conferences and seminars with other dental and medical specialists.

A stipend plus tuition waiver will be provided for graduate students in Orthodontics at the end of the second year for summer session and fall/spring semesters. Special fees are not covered by the tuition waiver. You must pay special fees each term/semester.

Inquiries concerning this program should be directed to the Office of Admissions, Recruitment & Access. This program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.Applications will be processed by the School of Dentistry. For details about the faculty, publications, and alumni information, please visit the Department website at Department of Orthodontics..

Program Goals

The postgraduate program is designed to develop skilled practitioners who can easily transition into and manage a busy orthodontic practice. The goal of this program is to teach a variety of treatment mechanics that are scientifically valid, and let the residents make choices based on treatment needed on a case-by-case basis. Clinical experiences are diverse, including cleft lip and palate and orthognathic surgery cases. 

An original master's thesis project is required and is designed to obtain results suitable for publication in a reputable dental journal. The curriculum focuses on didactic and clinical materials to prepare residents in taking the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) Examinations. Classes pertaining to the written board are given throughout the three-year program. It is a requirement for every third year resident to take and pass the written component of the ABO, and all residents are encouraged to complete the board certification process.

Program Curriculum

The thirty-four-month Master in Science program in Orthodontics begins July 1. First-year residents begin an intensive Orthodontic Technique course on July 1 and begin seeing new patients in mid-July. In August, first year residents begin a full clinic schedule which includes morning and afternoon clinic sessions.

Didactic course work at the WVU Department of Orthodontics consists of faculty led, resident taught lectures and seminar sessions for an average of two hours each day. Seminar topics range from patient diagnosis and treatment planning to practice management and financial planning. In addition, the department maintains a relationship with many commercial orthodontic companies that regularly visit the clinic to present new products and techniques.

Clinical work simulates the private practice environment. There are two dental assistants and a patient service coordinator available in the clinic to aid residents during clinic sessions. All orthodontic records are computerized. Diagnosis and treatment planning can be completed entirely in the digital realm. Billing, scheduling, and record storage is accomplished using a commercial dental office management system. The orthodontic clinic is completely paperless to maximize clinical efficiency so residents are able to increase their number of patient experiences.

Admission Requirements

The program's admission requirements are as follows:

  • Must have passed the National Dental Board Examination - Part I at the time of application and Part 2 upon entrance to the program.
  • Must have earned a D.M.D./D.D.S. degree, or its equivalent.
  • Must report most recent GRE scores.
  • Must be proficient in the English language and provide a TOEFL score (if you are a foreign applicant).
  • Must display evidence of scholastic and clinical achievement that would indicate the applicant’s ability to progress in a program of this nature. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required.
  • Must apply to the program through the Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS) http://www.adea.org/ and have all application materials submitted by September 15.
  • Must complete and submit WVU Graduate Application.
  • Must have applied only to schools participating in the Match program (http:// www.natmatch.com). Students applying to other programs will not be accepted. Applicants must also obtain a match number from National Matching Services and sign a form indicating that they are not applying to a nonmatched program. 
  • Must submit documentation of required immunizations. A complete list is available on the School of Dentistry website.
  • Must participate in an onsite interview.
  • All residents will be subject to a criminal background check, by fingerprinting or the most recent technology available. The resident may not begin their training program beyond the orientation phase until the criminal background check has been submitted
  • Must become familiar with the West Virginia University School of Dentistry's policy and procedure for Bloodborne Pathogens and Infectious Diseases.
  • Must be eligible for a West Virginia dental resident permit upon entrance to the program.

Degree Requirements

  • Fulfill University requirements for graduate study.
  • Complete 34 months (three academic years and two summer sessions) of consecutive full-time advanced study and clinical training at the School of Dentistry.
  • Complete an approved master’s thesis based on original research completed during the course of study in an area related to Orthodontics.
  • Must pass the Mock ABO clinical examination which includes a written and an oral examination.
  • Must pass the written component of the ABO examination.
  • Must successfully complete all didactic and clinical work in the required curriculum.
  • Must demonstrate satisfactory clinical competency in orthodontics.
  • Complete a minimum of 91 credit hours, including 69 hours of orthodontic courses and a minimum of 5 hours of selected basic science subjects, 6 hours of teaching practicum, and a research/thesis (11 hours).
  • Achieve a 3.0 GPA or an overall competence in the student’s field. A minimum grade of B must be earned in all work attempted in the master’s program. A grade of C or below in two courses will require a faculty review of the student’s progress. A third C or below will result in suspension from the program.

Curriculum Requirements

DENT 601Advanced Oral Microbiology1
DENT 687Research Methods1
DENT 691 Advanced Topics3
NBAN 716Craniofacial Growth and Maturation1
ORTH 616Biomechanics2
PATH 601Special Studies in Oral Pathology2
PCOL 765Advanced Biomedical Sciences: Applied Pharmacology1
Orthodontic Technique4
Orthodontic Technique (Repeated)
ORTH 618Orthodontic Materials1
Orthodontic Diagnosis12
Orthodontic Diagnosis (Re[eated)
ORTH 620Cephalometrics1
Orthodontic Mechanics8
Orthodontic Mechanics (Repeated)
ORTH 623Growth and Development2
ORTH 625Orthodontic Seminar1
Orthodontic Clinic22
Orthodontic Clinic (Repeated)
Surigical Orthodontics2
Surgical Orthodontics (Repeated)
Early Orthodontic Treatment2
Early Orthodontic Treatment (Repeated)
Orthodontic Patient Management2
Orthodontic Patient Management (Repeated)
ORTH 630Craniofacial Anomalies1
Journal Club2
Journal Club (Repeated)
ORTH 632Dentofacial Orthopedics1
Orthodontics-Periodontics Seminar2
Orthodontics-Periodontics Seminar (Repeated)
Teaching Practicum6
Teaching Practicum (Repeated)
ORTH 697Research (Research)11
Total Hours91

Suggested Plan of Study

First SemesterHours
ORTH 6172
ORTH 6181
ORTH 6193
ORTH 6212
ORTH 6251
Second SemesterHours
PATH 6012
ORTH 6162
ORTH 6172
ORTH 6191
ORTH 6211
ORTH 6261
ORTH 6321
DENT 6913
Third SemesterHours
ORTH 6192
ORTH 6201
ORTH 6211
ORTH 6232
ORTH 6263
DENT 6871
DENT 6011
Fourth SemesterHours
ORTH 6192
ORTH 6264
ORTH 6311
ORTH 6971
NBAN 7161
Fifth SemesterHours
ORTH 6191
ORTH 6211
ORTH 6263
ORTH 6271
ORTH 6281
ORTH 6331
ORTH 6971
PCOL 7651
Sixth SemesterHours
ORTH 6191
ORTH 6211
ORTH 6265
ORTH 6972
Seventh SemesterHours
ORTH 6263
ORTH 6311
ORTH 6902
ORTH 6973
Eighth SemesterHours
ORTH 6191
ORTH 6211
ORTH 6262
ORTH 6281
ORTH 6291
ORTH 6331
ORTH 6902
ORTH 6972
Ninth SemesterHours
ORTH 6191
ORTH 6211
ORTH 6261
ORTH 6271
ORTH 6291
ORTH 6301
ORTH 6902
ORTH 6972
Total credit hours: 91

Major Learning Goals


  • Provide the educational and training necessary for graduate dentists to practice in their specialty.
  • Provide the education and training necessary for a specialist to achieve Board Certification.


ORTH 616. Biomechanics. 2 Hours.

PR: Consent. Design and function of the teeth and their surrounding structures, and response of these tissues to orthodontic procedures.

ORTH 617. Orthodontic Technique. 2 Hours.

PR: Consent. Laboratory course in techniques related to fabrication and manipulation of orthodontic appliances.

ORTH 618. Orthodontic Materials. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Physical properties of materials used in orthodontic appliances.

ORTH 619. Orthodontic Diagnosis. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Seminar-type class on technique of patient examination, acquiring diagnostic records, and analyzing and correlating this information to the treatment of clinical problems.

ORTH 620. Cephalometrics. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Use of radiographic cephalometry in studying growth of the human face, analysis of dentofacial malformations, and evaluation of orthodontic treatment.

ORTH 621. Orthodontic Mechanics. 1-4 Hours.

Seminar and laboratory course on basic orthodontic mechanical properties.

ORTH 623. Growth and Development. 1-5 Hours.

PR: Consent. Seminar-type course on normal and abnormal growth of the human head and its application to orthodontics.

ORTH 625A-Z. Orthodontic Seminar. 1-8 Hours.

PR: Consent. Discussions including all branches of dental science, with special emphasis on the orthodontic interest. Assigned topics and articles in the literature discussed.

ORTH 626. Orthodontic Clinic. 1-12 Hours.

PR: ORTH 616 and ORTH 617. Clinical treatment of selected patients.

ORTH 627. Surgical Orthodontics. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Diagnosis and treatment of patients that require surgical orthodontic treatment.

ORTH 628. Early Orthodontic Treatment. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Diagnosis and treatment of young patients that require early orthodontic and orthopedic treatment.

ORTH 629. Orthodontic Patient Management. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Addresses the skills needed to effectively manage an orthodontic practice.

ORTH 630. Craniofacial Anomalies. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Diagnosis and treatment of patients presented with craniofacial anomalies.

ORTH 631. Journal Club. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Review of literature in the orthodontic journals.

ORTH 632. Dentofacial Orthopedics. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Detailed study of the variety of appliances and their respective modalities in orthodontic treatment.

ORTH 633. Orthodontics-Periodontics Seminar. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. A series of seminars on the diagnosis and treatment of oral conditions requiring interdisciplinary care by the specialties of periodontics and orthodontics.

ORTH 690. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Supervised practice in college teaching of dentistry. Note: This course is intended to insure that graduate teaching assistants are adequately prepared and supervised when they are given college teaching responsibility. It also provides a mechanism for students not on assistantships to gain teaching experience.

ORTH 691. Advanced Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of advanced topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

ORTH 692. Directed Study. 1-6 Hours.

Directed study, reading, and/or research.

ORTH 693. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.

ORTH 694. Seminar. 1-6 Hours.

Special seminars arranged for advanced graduate students.

ORTH 695. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

ORTH 696. Graduate Seminar. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Each graduate student will present at least one seminar to the assembled faculty and graduate student body of his or her program.

ORTH 697. Research. 1-15 Hours.

PR: Consent. Research activities leading to thesis, problem report, research paper or equivalent scholarly project, or a dissertation. (Grading may be S/U.).

ORTH 716. Craniofacial Growth and Maturation. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. The current concepts of craniofacial growth and maturation are presented and integrated for application to clinical problems.



  • Peter Ngan - D.M.D. (Harvard University)

Associate Professors

  • Chris A. Martin - D.D.S. (West Virginia University)
  • Timothy J. Tremont - D.D.S. (University of Pittsburgh)