This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program goals and objectives

The didactic requirements of the M.S.D. are combined with the goals of the M.S.D. program to provide the student with a strong clinical background which is supported by a strong background in research methodology.

Program goals

  1. To provide an academic environment for inquiry in which expertise and knowledge in basic sciences and clinical periodontics can be achieved
  2. To provide a sound background in medicine as it applies to the periodontal patient
  3. To provide a sound background in oral pathology
  4. To be able to interpret, critique and apply periodontal and associated literature
  5. To develop sound diagnostic, clinical, nonsurgical and surgical skills
  6. To provide didactic instruction and clinical training in the area of dental implants
  7. To provide methods of pain and anxiety control, including ADA certification in intravenous conscious sedation
  8. To provide an environment for the interpretation and implementation of research
  9. Enable successful completion of the American Board of Periodontology exam
  10. To develop sound lifelong didactic and clinical learning skills
  11. To provide specialists in periodontics for community health care, professional service and dental education

Program objectives

  1. To be exposed to the basic sciences and be able to apply concepts to clinical periodontics
  2. To be able to critically critique and interpret the old and new literature
  3. To have an understanding of oral pathology and medicine as it applies to management of the periodontal patient
  4. To have residents become exposed to and proficient in multiple nonsurgical and surgical treatment modalities
  5. To become competent in the treatment planning, site preparation, surgical placement and maintenance of dental implants
  6. To obtain competency and certification in enteral and parental conscious sedation
  7. To complete research, M.S.D. and prepare a paper for presentation and publication
  8. To prepare the student to successfully complete Part I and II of the American Board of Periodontology examination
  9. To develop communication and presentation skills and lifelong learners

Student learning outcomes

Graduates of this program will:

  1. Be able to formulate and conduct a research project relevant to their discipline
  2. Practice evidence-based advanced level dentistry
  3. Demonstrate the ability to communicate with patients, colleagues in general dentistry, dental specialties, medicine and other health care practitioners
  4. Demonstrate advanced clinical skills in the provision of ethical and informed patient care
  5. Become proficient in the delivery of state-of-the-art periodontic care including:
    1. Diagnosis treatment and planning as it applies to the periodontal patient
    2. Expertise in systemic/medical considerations affecting patient periodontal status and provision of care
    3. Outcomes assessment
    4. An in-depth knowledge of oral medicine and oral pathology
    5. Advanced clinical skills in a comprehensive variety of periodontal and dental implant treatment modalities
    6. Management of medically compromised patients
    7. Emergency management of periodontal conditions
    8. Management of orofacial pain and dental anxiety, including ADA certification in intravenous conscious sedation
    9. Use of emerging techniques of periodontal treatment

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.