Graduate Program in Oral Biology Application Process

The Department of Oral Biology coordinates and manages the Graduate Program in Oral Biology. This program is intended for post-baccalaureate students, first-professional DMD students and dental residents interested in research and academic careers in oral health. Topics will be discussed at the molecular, cellular, organismic and clinical levels.


Specialty tracks are available in

These programs are designed to provide a stimulating environment for highly motivated and qualified students to prepare them for a rewarding career in academics or industry with the focus on oral health and biomedical research and teaching. The scope of the program encompasses studies of fundamental biological phenomena related to the development, structure, and function of the craniofacial region and the development of new therapies, biomaterials, and diagnostic tools for the treatment of diseases and disorders in the craniofacial area with the aim of improving health and well-being.


Fall term admissions only, early admissions are encouraged. Paper applications are accepted. Three to six students will be matriculated in both the MS or PhD programs per year.

Application Deadline

All interested students should submit their paper application materials for admission by January 15th.

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree in a natural or physical science or engineering program
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a scale of 4) or its equivalent from an accredited institution
  • Scores (less than 5 years old) from the general Graduate Record Exam (GRE). (Institution code 0231)
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation. (Letters from faculty familiar with the applicant's research accomplishments are of particular value to the evaluation process.)

Application Materials

  • The application together with an extensive personal statement
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and prior graduate coursework (submitted directly by all colleges and universities attended)
  • GRE scores (verbal, quantitative, and writing scores)
  •      Less than 5 years old
  •      Institution code 0231Department code 0604
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (for applicants from non-English speaking countries);
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Application fee of $50. The application fee may be waived under special circumstances.

Financial Aid

All PhD applications will automatically be considered for financial aid in the form of Graduate Student Research (GSR) fellowships. There are no separate forms for financial aid. Oral Biology Graduate Student 2011-2012 Tuition rates are based on rates charged by the Graduate Schools in the Health Sciences.

Personal Statement: Discuss at length your intellectual and professional interest in graduate study in Oral Biology.  Click here for the Personal Statement Form. This statement is a vital part of the application, and carries the most weight in our admissions decisions.

What are your primary interests within your chosen field of study (i.e., Craniofacial Genetics or Tissue Regeneration) and list any relevant background experience that might make you a good candidate?

Which faculty mentor and lab would you like to work with?

Where do you see yourself after graduate school (what type of career are you training for)?

Notification of Admissions Decisions: Early applications are encouraged, for offers may be extended to suitably qualified candidates before the application deadline. Admissions review begins after January 15, and applicants can expect to be notified of the department's decision within eight to 10 weeks. Financial aid offers are made together with admissions offers.

Please submit all application materials to

Ms. Lynn M. Marendo
University of Pittsburgh
Department of Oral Biology
3501 Terrace Street
347 Salk Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15261


International Applicants

Citizens of countries where English is not the official language (including the Province of Quebec, Canada) are required to submit  English language proficiency scores. Applicants who have earned a bachelor's degree or a higher from a regionally accredited institution in the United States are exempt. Applicants must submit scores fewer than 2 years old from one of the following:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
TOEFL score higher than 600 (paper test), or 250 (computer test), or 100 (iBT internet test) is required for admission.  TOEFL scores can be submitted to the DOB by using Institution Code 0231and Department Code 0604.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
The minimum IELTS score is 7.0. IELTS results certificates are to be sent directly to the OB Graduate Studies Office.

International students may be admitted provisionally to the program with a TOEFL below 600 (paper test), or below 250 (computer test), or below 100 (iBT), or below a Band 7.0 on the IELTS, but they must take an additional test (the "Michigan" test) as part of registration.

Additional General Information for International Students

Additional general information for International Students is available through the Office of International Services. If you have questions , please contact us or the Office of International Services directly.

University-Wide Training Programs

For more information please see the Graduate Program Handbook or contact Lynn Marendo or Dr. Mark Mooney at 412-383-7695.