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Professional Certificate Program in Dentistry (Craniofacial Biology)

The Professional Certificate Program in Dentistry (Craniofacial Biology) is a one-year continuing education curriculum that gives the individual exposure to basic and clinical research focusing primarily in the areas of bone biology, genetics and or orthodontics (e.g., bone biology, external apical root resorption associated with orthodontic treatment, facial growth, response to orthodontic treatment, genetic factors in facial pain, development of class III and II division 2 malocclusion, and dental anomalies and cancer).

We welcome and have experience with both individuals wishing to enhance their subsequent application to an orthodontics residency program, and those who have already completed a foreign orthodontic program.

There is flexibility in the Program to fit the individual’s activities to their goals, level of education and experience.  Our educational philosophy is to create a collegial atmosphere that is conducive to learning. Although mentorship will be provided, the individuals in the Program are expected to be self-starters, responsible for putting their time and the time of the faculty to good use, and highly capable of learning and working independently. Through this, the individuals in the Program will develop critical thinking skills in clinical and scholarly activities. To achieve these goals, we provide a broad diversity of didactic and clinical exposures to orthodontics and craniofacial biology.

The Program is one-year in length, typically beginning in July after the July 4th holiday (date to be determined annually), and ending on June 30th of the following year. The end date may be moved up if the individual has been accepted into a subsequent program. The beginning time may also be changed if the Program Faculty agree with the request to do so.

The goals of the Program are for each individual to become proficient in using Endnote for focused literature searches and reference management, to learn how to organize and analyze data for statistical evaluation using RStudio™, to understand the scientific method and how it is applied to research protocols and evaluation of professional literature, to be actively involved in one or more research projects and manuscripts, and to strengthen their background in craniofacial biology for future application to subsequent education and or clinical practice. Each individual in the Professional Certificate Program in Dentistry (Craniofacial Biology) may participate in the three areas of study highlighted below, depending on their level of education, experience and goals.

If an applicant is admitted to the Program and needs an I-20 form and visa, she or he may contact the University of Kentucky Office of International Affairs to start the process of obtaining them. To do so, the applicant will need to provide the following:

  • Copy of written or electronic application of each individual participant to the Program.
  • Copy of TOEFL and/or other standardized assessment tool used by the school to determine English proficiency if English is not their primary language.
  • Copies of educational records/transcripts from University, Dental School and Residency if applicable.
  • Copy of the C.V. or resume of each student participant
  • Copy of acceptance letter into the program
  • Bank Statement on bank letterhead is required. The Office of International Affairs will accept scanned or faxed copies of the official bank statement or an original bank statement. Please show an available balance in U.S. dollars. Students must show funding that exceeds tuition and living expenses.

She or he may apply to the University of Kentucky Graduate School as a non-degree seeking student IF their visa, external support or other personal requirements make it necessary for them to do so. Note that acceptance into the University of Kentucky is not a utomatic if you have been accepted into the Professional Certificate Program in Dentistry (Craniofacial Biology), which is not a part of the University of Kentucky Graduate School. All Graduate School application, course and other related fees are in addition to the fee for Professional Certificate Program in Dentistry (Craniofacial Biology). Admittance requirements for Post-Baccalaureate Graduate Students may be found at

The following is from that website at the time of this document preparation. Applicants who wish or need to pursue admittance into the University of Kentucky Graduate School are strongly advised to check the website for current information. Students who holda baccalaureate degree from a fully accredited institution of higher learning and who wish to pursue graduate study without a degree objective may apply for admission as post-baccalaureate graduate students. Post-baccalaureate students may take graduate courses for graduate credit. Permission to enter any graduate class as a post-baccalaureate student will however be granted only if the student meets the prerequisites for that course and if space is available.

An application for admission to the Graduate School as a post-baccalaureate graduate student should be submitted at least two weeks in advance of the term in which the student plans to enroll. An original or a photocopy of a transcript showing an awarded bachelors degree must accompany the application. An overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.50 or better and 3.00 on all previous graduate work (both on a 4.00 point scale) are required by the Graduate School for admission. GRE scores are not required.

A post-baccalaureate student who later wishes to apply to enter a degree-granting graduate program must have a 3.00 or better grade point average on all course work, graduate or undergraduate, attempted as a post-baccalaureate.

A maximum of 9 semester hours or 25 percent of the credits required for the degree concerned, whichever is greater, may later be transferred from post-baccalaureate status to a master's, specialist or doctoral degree program at the University of Kentucky. All such transfers of credit hours into a graduate program must be approved by that program's Director of Graduate Studies and by the Dean of the Graduate School. A grade of A or B must have been earned in the course or courses to be transferred.

The Didactic Component

Each individual attends and actively participates, including all exams, in all weekly seminars, case presentations and literature review sessions offered by the Graduate Orthodontics Program and other components of the University as directed.

The Clinical Component

The individuals in the Professional Certificate Program in Dentistry (Craniofacial Biology) may observe orthodontic treatment in the Graduate Orthodontics Program and the Faculty Private Practice in the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry once they have completed all of the clinical compliance requirements (TB test, OSHA certification, HIPPA certification, etc.). The degree of participation of the each individual in the clinic, including assisting in the care of orthodontic patients, will be determined by the Program Director with consultation from the other faculty members according to the uidelines set by the College and University administration. Every individual in the Program must conform to all the rules, regulations and requirements pertinent to being present in the clinic for observation or acting as an orthodontic assistant, or they will be dismissed from the clinic.

The Research Component

The individual in the Program will write a review article on a topic related to craniofacial biology and or orthodontics in conjunction with one or more faculty members. Each individual in the Program will select a topic, approved by the Program Director, and research all significant articles related to that topic.

This review article will be completed one month prior to the end of the Extern’s program. Depending on their background, interests, and motivation, the individual may have the opportunity to participate in ongoing research efforts. The degree of participation will be determined by the availability and type of ongoing research activity at the time. The Director will determine the degree of participation of the Extern.

1st Year Orthodontic Residents and Individuals in the Professional Certificate Program in Dentistry (Craniofacial Biology)

CDS 611 Child Growth and Development I
CDS 660 Research Design, Methods, & Dissemination
ORT 610 Craniofacial Form
ORT 660 Orthodontic Diagnosis
ORT 661 Orthodontic Seminar Clinic
ORT 662 Orthodontic Technique
ORT 770 Orthodontic Seminar

CDS 612 Child Growth & Development II
CDS 631 Orofacial Pain & TM Disorder
CDS 680 Clinical Medicine for Postgraduate Dental Studies
ORT 661 Orthodontic Seminar Clinic
ORT 664 Biomechanics
ORT 770 Orthodontic Seminar
ORT 790 Research in Orthodontics


Rina Gonzalez-Infantes
Moataz Elmahdy
Shruthi Venugopal
Walid Harsha