COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

The Department of Orthodontics offers a 24-month advanced education Master of Science in Dentistry program. The program teaches the latest in clinical care in an environment modeled after private orthodontic practice. The curriculum is composed of seminars and small-group instruction with emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving. Contemporary concepts of orthodontic treatment are reviewed for substantive and scientific content. Also included are regularly scheduled orthognathic surgery conferences and seminars with other dental and medical specialists.

The postgraduate program is designed to develop skilled practitioners who are prepared to grow with the future and manage busy orthodontic practices. Our goal is not only to familiarize future orthodontists with contemporary techniques but also to teach them how to interpret cutting-edge scientific information and use it to approach clinical challenges logically and practically.

Students completing the program earn a specialty Certificate in Orthodontics and Master of Science in Dentistry degree. Students must complete the requirements for the master’s degree prior to being awarded the specialty certificate.

The program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.

Student learning outcomes

Graduates of this program will:

Formulate and conduct a relevant research project as evidenced in the completion of a master’s thesis in a publishable format for a refereed journal

Be equipped to practice evidence-based orthodontics

Have demonstrated the ability to communicate with patients, colleagues in general dentistry, dental specialties, medicine and other health care practitioners in the provision of ethical and informed patient care

Be proficient in:

  1. Diagnosis, treatment planning, treatment, retention and prognosis of dental malocclusions and
  2. dento-facial disharmony
  3. Outcome assessment
  4. Diagnostic imaging technologies
  5. Management of patients with craniofacial deformities
  6. Management of combined orthodontic and surgical cases
  7. Use of various fixed and removable appliances, aligner technology
  8. Use of temporary anchorage devices and soft tissue laser
  9. Use of digital technology for records taking and treatments with aligners

Be eligible to sit for the Diplomate Boards of the American Board of Orthodontists

Which department am I in?

School of Dentistry

Study options

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
$24,741.00 (18,36,658) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

Expected July 2021


School of Dentistry

Lyons Dental Building,

520 North 12th Street, Fourth floor,



23298, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Successful applicants will typically have the following credentials: A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent at the time of enrollment, with an undergraduate GPA of 3.5.

For international students

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, the following requirements represent the minimum acceptable standards for admission:

  • Agreement to participate in the Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program
  • Agreement to participate in the American Dental Education Association Postdoctoral Application Support Service
  • Graduation or anticipated graduation from dental school
  • Eligibility to obtain a Virginia temporary resident’s license from the Virginia Board of Dentistry
  • Completion of National Boards Part I and anticipated completion of Part II

The university minimum TOEFL score requirement is 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based). The university minimum IELTS score requirement is 6.5. The PTE is also accepted with a minimum score of 65. Deadline: Fall - Sep 2.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University is a top 100 research university and number one public postgraduate arts school in the US.

  • VCU is one of the top 3 research universities in Virginia
  • 21% growth in sponsored awards in a 10-year period
  • 1,600 international students from 108 countries
  • 173-acre campus in downtown Richmond