DMD/PhD Program

Degree Offered: DMD/PhD
Director: Dr. Carly McKenzie
Phone: (205) 934-3387

DMD/PhD Program

The UAB School of Dentistry DMD/PhD program prepares students for an exciting career in dental academics through an innovative integrated clinician scientist training program. Applicants interested in the DMD/PhD program must have completed an undergraduate degree program (BA or BS) that fulfills all requirements for both dental school and graduate school admissions.

Interested students need to contact Dr. Carly McKenzie, Director of Admissions, UAB-School of Dentistry at 205.934.3387 or by email at

Important Points:

  1. DMD and PhD degrees will be awarded within the same year upon completion of all dental and graduate school requirements.
  2. Duration of the program is 8 years; however students with strong prior research experience have completed the program in 7 years.
  3. Students accepted into the DMD/PhD program that do not complete the PhD training program, are required to reapply to the School of Dentistry for admission as a traditional DMD candidate.

To apply to the program, applicants must:

  1. Contact Dr. Steve Filler at UAB School of Dentistry indicating intent to apply for the DMD/PhD program.
  2. Submit a formal application to the UAB School of Dentistry through AADSAS as early as possible.
  3. Submit an online application to the UAB Graduate School through one of the Biomedical Sciences Interdiscipinary Themes, Engineering (Biomedical or Materials), Public Health, or other graduate program.
  4. Have successfully taken the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT).
  5. Have completed all the recommended courses for both dental and graduate school admissions.
  6. Have prior hands-on-research experience.

Note: Students must submit separate applications to the UAB School of Dentistry and the UAB Graduate School. The Graduate School application can be found on the Graduate School’s website ( by clicking the ‘Apply Now’ button. The UAB School of Dentistry participates in the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). Students should initiate AADSAS applications as early as possible.

Applicants under consideration will be requested to file a supplemental DMD/PhD application. Applicants qualified for admission will be invited for a personal interview with the Admissions Committee.

Candidates will be evaluated based on their academic record, DAT scores, research accomplishments, publications, commitment to a research dental academic career, character, and personality traits indicating potential for success in a DMD/PhD program.

Sequence of the DMD/PhD Program:

  1. Students first enter the Graduate School and complete at least two years of coursework including graduate school qualification examinations and dissertation proposal defense maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA.
  2. After research PhD candidacy with approval of the DMD/PhD Advisory Committee the student transitions into the DMD curriculum in lock step with a dental class from years 2-4.
  3. DMD and PhD degrees are awarded within the same year upon completion of the degrees programs.

Financial Support Opportunities:

Students enrolled in the DMD/PhD training program are eligible for funding through the School of Dentistry's NIDCR supported T-90 Dental Academic Research Training (DART) Program or an individual NIDCR supported F-30 Training Award. See details about these programs at the following links: DART Program and the NIDCR F-30 grant application (