Master of Science with emphasis in Oral Biology
UAB School of Dentistry/UAB Graduate Studies

The Department of Pediatric Dentistry in collaboration with the joint basic science departments at UAB School of Dentistry offers graduate studies leading to a Master of Science degree with emphasis in Oral Biology. The objective of the program is to relate basic biological sciences to health and disease of the oral cavity. This program is designed for individuals holding a D.D.S., D.M.D., or B.S. in Science (e.g. biology, chemistry, etc.) with little or no experience in basic research. This program will provide insight into dental academics and teaching in basic or applied research.

Students are required to pursue studies in oral biology and in the basic biological sciences. These studies include course work, seminars, journal club, and a laboratory component. Course work includes formal lectures from within the School of Dentistry and courses offered by the basic sciences departments, School of Public Health and the School of Medicine. The seminars include the “Dean’s Seminar Series” and the Institute of Oral Health Research seminars. The Seminars cover a wide array of topics relevant to various research areas as well as other disciplines of dentistry or dental education. A significant portion of the program is devoted to the design and completion of a thesis research project in the form of one publishable paper in a reputable scientific journal which is a requirement of the program. The publication of the paper will be carried out under the supervision of the faculty mentor. Faculty involved in this M.S. program are actively engaged in research that represents a variety of oral and basic biomedical disciplines within the Dental School and Medical Center. The diversity of the research interests offers opportunities for students to pursue studies in a stimulating research environment.

The program requires a minimum of 30 graduate credits. Of these, at least 24 credits must be selected from graduate-level courses approved for the program and a minimum of 6 credits at the master's research level. Each student must orally defend a master's thesis based on their research. If the applicant holds a D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree, the M.S. program may be combined with a clinical dental specialty training only after acceptance into the clinical program and as long as the research leading to a M.S. in Oral Biology constitutes basic and not clinical research.


Applicants must hold a D.D.S., D.M.D., B.S. in Science or an equivalent degree and should possess a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale. Students whose first language is not English must earn a score of 560 or better on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Master of Science with emphasis in Oral Biology Program

Program Director:
Dr. Jannet Katz

Length of Program: 2 years (may extend to 2.5-3 years)

Match Participant: No

Pass Participant: No

Certificate Awarded: No

Degree Awarded: Master of Science

Stipend Available: No

Tuition/fees Approximately: $10,538.00 per year plus Graduate School fees that are based on per credit hour

International Students Accepted (TOEFL required NO less than 600 points): Yes

Application Deadline: December 1 (No extensions accepted)

Program Start Date: July 1

Application Fee: $50 - Apply directly to the School of Dentistry


For further information and application materials, contact:

The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Graduate School
Room 511, University Center
Birmingham, AL 35294
Telephone: (205) 934-8227


Jannet Katz, DDS, PhD
Department of Pediatric Dentistry
University of Alabama School of Dentistry
BBRB 713
1530 3rd Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35294-2170
Telephone: (205) 934-2878
FAX: (205) 934-1426

Course Descriptions: Oral Biology (OB)

Unless otherwise noted, all courses are for 3 semester hours of credit.

OB600 Graduate Cariology. Comprehensive survey of the state of the science in the management, etiology and prevention of dental caries from an infectious disease perspective. Modern methods in molecular epidemiology and molecular biology are integral to the course. Winter.

OB602 Pharmacology and Therapeutics for Dentistry. Current knowledge in pharmacological issues related to dentistry. Spring.

OB603 Oral Inflammation and Periodontal Disease. Understanding the immunological aspects of periodontal disease. Winter

OB607 Prenatal craniofacial growth and Development

OB611 Saliva: Composition and Function. Physiology, biochemistry, and function of saliva in relation to oral health and as a diagnostic fluid. Spring.

OB616 Postgraduate Oral Histology

OB620 Oral Microbiology and Immunology. Microbiological and molecular aspects of infectious diseases that impact the oral cavity including dental caries, periodontal disease, hepatitis, AIDS and various oral infections. Winter.

OB622 Biochemistry of Connective Tissue and Bone. Biology, chemistry and function of connective tissue elements. Methods and approaches to research. Fall.

OB625 Current issues in Nutrition and Oral Health

OB627 Surgical Implants in Dentistry. Basic aspects of dental implant-based treatment modalities. Spring.

OB630 Introduction to Clinical Trials/Epidemiology

OB631 Ethics in Biological Research

OB632 Special Topics on Mucosal Immunology

Updated 1-30-06

OB633 Research Design Methodology

OB657 Prenatal Craniofacial Growth and Development

OB663 Saliva as a Diagnostic Fluid. Comprehensive knowledge about planning, performing, and interpreting results of saliva analyses. Fall

OB687 Oral Immunobiology and Vaccine Development. Comprehensive knowledge of immune responses and “state of the art” mucosal vaccine development and their protection of oral/mucosal infectious diseases.

OB698 Non-Thesis Research.

OB699 Thesis Research. Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy.