Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate:

  • in-depth knowledge of the core concepts of public health, including those within the disciplines of epidemiology, biostatistics, behavioral science, environmental health, and health care policy and management;
  • in-depth knowledge of, and the ability to apply, the ten competencies that define dental public health—manage oral health programs for population health; evaluate systems of care that impact oral health; demonstrate ethical decision making in the practice of dental public health; design surveillance systems to measure oral health status and its determinants; communicate on oral and public health issues; lead collaborations on oral and public health issues; advocate for public health policy, legislation, and regulations to protect and promote the public’s oral health and overall health; critically appraise evidence to address oral and public health issues for individuals and populations; conduct research to address oral and public health problems; and integrate the social determinants of health into dental public health practice; and
  • critical thinking skills to develop and complete an evidenced-based research project as part of their master’s thesis.

The Master of Science program in dental public health requires 40 s.h. of coursework and is designed to be completed in two academic years of full-time study. Students must maintain a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.00 to earn the degree.

It prepares dentists and dental hygienists to be specialists in dental public health. The program emphasizes research and requires a research project culminating in the completion and defense of a thesis. Successful dentist graduates meet the educational requirements for eligibility to take the certifying examination of the American Board of Dental Public Health.

Applicants must have a D.D.S. degree or equivalent or be a dental hygienist with a baccalaureate degree. They also must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College and complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test.

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans represent one way to complete a program of study. Actual course selection and sequence will vary and should be discussed with an academic advisor. For additional sample plans, see MyUI.

Dental Public Health, M.S.

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
40 s.h. must be graduate level coursework; graduate transfer credits allowed upon approval. More information is included in the General Catalog and on department website. a, b
Graduate College program GPA of at least 3.00 is required. c
First Year
Any Semester
First Year Comprehensive Exam d
DPH:5000 Introduction to Dental Public Health 2
DPH:5001 Literature Review Methods: Dental Public Health 2
DPH:5005 Administration of Public Dental Programs 2
DPH:5008 Field Experience in Dental Public Health 1
ORSC:5212 Statistical Methods for Dental Research 3
Intermediate Statistical Methods
or Regression Modeling and ANOVA in the Health Sciences
DPH:5006 Preventive Programs in Dental Public Health 2
Clinical Teaching Practicum: Preventive Dentistry
or Advanced Field Experience in Dental Public Health
DPH:6002 Research Protocol Seminar 2
ORSC:5215 Research Design in Dentistry 2
EPID:4400 Epidemiology I: Principles 3
PEDO:5220 Social, Cultural, and Public Health Issues in Pediatric Dentistry 1
ORSC:5210 Dental Sciences Research Methodology e 0,2
Second Year
Complete Thesis Data Collection
DPH:6011 Thesis: Dental Public Health 2
DPH:6017 Teaching Methods and Evaluation 2
Elective course (if needed) f 2
Thesis Completion
Introduction to Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
or Health Behavior and Health Education
DPH:5014 Dental Care Policy and Financing 2
DPH:6004 Principles of Oral Epidemiology 2
DPH:6011 Thesis: Dental Public Health 2
Final Exam g
DPH:5016 Introduction to Statistical Computing 1
DPH:6011 Thesis: Dental Public Health 1
HMP:4000 Introduction to the U.S. Health Care System 3
 Total Hours44-46
Note: Upon completion of the program, graduates are educationally qualified to take the ABDPH exam and become board-certified in Dental Public Health.
Students must complete specific requirements in the University of Iowa Graduate College after program admission. Refer to the Graduate College website and the Manual of Rules and Regulations for more information.
Graduate College program GPA is comprised of all courses that are approved degree requirements. If a student takes more than the minimum required number of semester hours to complete the degree, but all courses taken are eligible to count toward the degree, those courses will be included in the Graduate College program GPA.
Taken at the end of first year.
Note: International students who must be enrolled full-time are required to take ORSC:5210 for 2 s.h.; does not count towards degree requirements.
Work with faculty advisor to choose appropriate graduate elective coursework.
Thesis defense; may complete during the summer after second year if necessary.