Jun 13, 2024  
2022-23 ATSU University Catalog 
2022-23 ATSU University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Orthodontics, MS

Master of Science in Orthodontics

The Postgraduate Orthodontic Program at the ATSU-ASDOH is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. The Program is 30 months in length and is composed of clinical training, didactic coursework, teaching experiences, and a research project leading to a research manuscript. ATSU-ASDOH awards a Certificate of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics and Master’s of Science in Orthodontics to those completing the program. Graduates of the program are educationally qualified to take the Phase III examination of the American Board of Orthodontics. The recommended ADA Accreditation Standards for Dental Specialty and the AAO Recommendations for Orthodontic Specialty are the basis from which the ATSU-ASDOH program was developed.

Approximately 60 percent of residents’ time is devoted to clinical treatment, 20 percent to seminars and small-group classes, and the remainder to independent research and teaching. The program also provides orthodontic care for the Society of Saint Vincent De Paul as a service to the community.

Patient care begins within the first week of the program and culminates with comprehensive case treatments at the end of the final year. As part of The Center for Advanced Oral Health and in close cooperation with the Advanced Education in General Dentistry, our orthodontic program provides residents the opportunity for interdisciplinary seminars and treatment of complex cases.

The working hours of the program are 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Residents are expected to attend special programs that may be held in the evenings or on weekends. In addition, preparation for patient care and didactic courses, as well as research, are expected to require additional time.

Residents will:

  • Attend the Tweed Study Course,
  • Attend professional conferences,
  • Complete rotations in TMD as well as craniofacial rehabilitation, and
  • Complete a capstone research project in the field of orthodontics that will be suitable for publication in a major orthodontic journal.

The residents are also exposed to a variety of advanced treatment techniques including temporary anchorage devices (TADs), lingual braces, Invisalign®, soft-tissue lasers, digital orthodontic models and three-dimensional imaging.

Residents will take the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) written examination prior to graduation and are strongly encouraged to complete the clinical examination and become board certified shortly after graduation. Residents can expect to start approximately 70-80 new cases during the first year of residency, plus an additional 20-30 transfers during their 30-month residency. This number might be reduced due to special circumstances such as COVID-19 pandemic.

Length of Program

The Master of Science in Orthodontics program is 30 months in length and consists of 112.5 credit hours.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition is due twice a year at ATSU. It is due at the beginning of the first and second semesters. Each payment is half the cost for the entire year. Tuition may be paid any time during the week that it is due. Delinquent tuition penalties accrue at 1.5% per month, which is 18% per year.

Class/Year Tuition Student Technology Fee
Class of 2024, year 1 $90,454 $1,150
Class of 2023, year 2 $90,454 $1,150
Class of 2022, year 3 $45,226 $576


Application Process

The application process begins in mid-May of the year prior to anticipated enrollment. Applicants will need to create an account with the American Dental Education Association’s (ADEA) Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS) and complete the online application. Accounts may be created at https://portal.passweb.org/. Deadline for submission is August 15 prior to the fall of anticipated enrollment. ASDOH’s Postgraduate Orthodontic Program participates in National Matching Services Inc.’s Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program. Please include your match number on your PASS application. Visit the Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program at https://www.natmatch.com/dentres/ to obtain your match number.

Contact ATSU Admissions at 866.626.2878, ext. 2237 or admissions@atsu.edu for assistance. All materials such as transcripts, board scores, and recommendation letters must be sent to PASS. ATSU Admissions does not accept application materials directly.

The ATSU-ASDOH Postgraduate Orthodontic Program will send a secondary application to applicants via email after receipt of the PASS application. Deadline for submission of the secondary application is September 1.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission to the Postgraduate Orthodontic Program must meet the following requirements prior to matriculation:

  1. Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree or equivalent from a U.S. or Canadian dental school
  2. DMD or DDS and state board licensure eligibility
  3. National Board Dental Exam (NBDE) scores Part I or Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE) score to apply.
    1. Passing scores for Part II will be required prior to matriculation.
  4. Official GRE or ADAT scores - (GRE Code #0581). Scores older than three years prior to admissions year will not be accepted. Send the GRE scores directly to: ATSU-ASDOH Admissions, 800 W. Jefferson, Kirksville, MO 63501
  5. Official college and dental school transcripts (only if accepted).
  6. Three ETS® Personal Potential Index (ETS® PPI) evaluations. Information on this form may be found at www.adea.org.
  7. Institutional evaluation form to be submitted by the dean of the applicant’s dental school.
    1. The dean may submit both a Professional Evaluation Form (PEF) and a PPI. Information on both forms may be found at www.adea.org.
  8. Academic PEF to be submitted by the chair, the director, and faculty of the orthodontic department of the applicant’s dental school.
    1. These parties can submit both a PEF and a PPI.
    2. A practicing orthodontic PEF can be used if the applicant has been out of school for 3 or more years.
  9. Email a curriculum vitae to Admissions at admissions@atsu.edu
  10. ATSU-ASDOH Graduate Orthodontics Program secondary application (will be sent to you after PASS application is received)
  11. Application fee of $70.00 (paid when submitting secondary application)
  12. Matriculants will meet the minimum technology specifications found at: https://its.atsu.edu/knowledgebase/asdoh-post-graduate-orthodontic-program/

If an applicant is invited for an interview, the applicant will need to provide a summary of research.

The School maintains all current clinic compliance policies required to maintain a healthy and safe environment for our patients. A copy of these policies is available upon request. 

Transfer Student Admission

ATSU-ASDOH will consider transfer students on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Admissions at admissions@atsu.edu or by phone at 866.626.2878 ext. 2237 for more information.

Transfer Credit

ATSU-ASDOH will consider transfer credit on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Admissions at admissions@atsu.edu or by phone at 866.626.2878 ext. 2237 for more information.

Advanced Standing Admission

ATSU-ASDOH will consider advanced standing on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Admissions at admissions@atsu.edu or by phone at 866.626.2878 ext. 2237 for more information.


ATSU-ASDOH programs adhere to the University grading scale 

Grading Criteria

Faculty are encouraged to use grading criteria, when possible, that is based on multiple methods such as examinations, quizzes, papers, projects, presentations, case studies and/or a final examination. Each course should have both formative and summative evaluation methods.

  • Except for examinations and quizzes, each assessment method must have a grading criterion matrix (e.g., a grading rubric) established at the time the residents are notified of the assignment.
  • Scores from each of the assessments shall be recorded as raw scores (e.g., not adjusted or graded on a bell curve).
  • Course grades shall be recorded as raw scores with corresponding letter scores. Final grades for the course shall not be adjusted to a curve.

Residents earning a 79% or below will be required to remediate course content and will receive an “F”. When residents successfully complete the remediation process with an 80% or higher, the grade of “F” will be changed to a “B”. If the resident does not successfully complete remediation in accordance with the ATSU-ASDOH policies, the grade of “F” will remain. The resident must then retake the course at his or her own expense. This fee is determined by the Finance Office and is based upon a per credit equation.

Grading Criteria for Pass/Fail Courses

Residents earning a score of 79% or below will be required to remediate course content and will receive an “I” for the course. When students successfully complete the remediation process, the score of “I” will be changed to a “P”. Currently, most of the courses are adopting the Pass/Fail grading criteria.

Academic Appeals

The individual professional and graduate programs of ATSU, through their faculty and established school procedures, retain principal responsibility for assessing student performance. Disputes concerning unsatisfactory progress evaluations should be reconciled through the processes and procedures described under the MS in Orthodontics with Certificate in Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics program. Additional guidelines regarding academic appeals, including grade appeals, promotion, and/or dismissal appeals will be found within the ATSU Policies section, Academic Appeals policy .

Graduation Requirements

Students in the Postgraduate Orthodontics Program at ATSU-ASDOH must meet the following requirements for graduation. Each student must:

  • Successfully complete all prescribed didactic clinical courses and modules (“P” or above)
  • Take the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) written examination (Part I)
  • Present six ABO board cases
  • Submit a manuscript based on original research to a peer reviewed dental journal


In addition to the core courses, students must choose three electives.


Descriptions & Credit Values

A typical course schedule consists of the following. Additional course options may be available and listed below under Other Courses.

Third Year: Fall Semester

Other Courses