PhD Program in Dental Biomedical Sciences


This training program is affiliated with the Graduate Program in Life Sciences (GPILS).  It provides specialized training for people with  backgrounds in the oral health professions through the offerings described herein. 

The Doctor of  Philosophy degree offered through this program is designed for dental professionals who wish to develop careers in science.  The doctoral program includes directed coursework, seminars and research experiences.  Scholarly activities within the program prepare students to become independent research investigators and competent teachers.

The program is administered by the Graduate Program Director, the Graduate Program Coordinator and a Graduate Program Committee selected by the departmental faculty. The Graduate Program Coordinator administers the program, oversees record keeping, and also serves as a full member of the committee. The duties of the committee are to review student applications to the program, to recommend the awarding of stipends, to propose policies, to help administer the program, and to report to the department faculty.

 This is a self-funded program and there is no financial support available at this time from our University. 

Application and Admission

Applicants must meet all minimum admission requirements and should have had courses in biology, physics, chemistry, and mathematics through calculus.  Applicants should apply directly to the Graduate School online:  

In addition to the online application, applicants must submit the following directly to the Graduate School:

  • One (1) set of official transcripts or marks sheets from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended - Each transcript should bear the signature of the registrar and the seal of the granting institution and should include the years of attendance, courses taken, grades received, class standing, and the degree, diploma, or certificate conferred. Although photocopies of credentials are acceptable for initial reviews, the Graduate School must receive official copies of all academic credentials before students are admitted.
  • Official standardized score reports (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, etc.) - Have the testing agency send directly to the Graduate School; our institution code is #5848 for GRE and TOEFL. The Graduate School normally requires the submission of scores earned on the Graduate Record Examinations (verbal, quantitative, and analytical scores). Many programs may also require scores earned on the GRE Advanced (subject-specific) test or the Medical College Admission Test. See the program description in the catalog to learn which examinations you must take for admission. You must have one set of official score reports sent to the Graduate School from the responsible testing agency:
  • $75 (US) Non-refundable application fee can be paid online or sent directly to Graduate School
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation- You must provide three letters of recommendation, preferably from professors or others who can attest to the quality of your academic performance and scholastic potential. Your full name, the semester or session for which admission is desired, and the program to which you are applying must be indicated on the letter or form provided for this purpose. These letters must be sent directly to the program to which you are applying.
  • Statement of Academic Goals and Research Interests (pdf)‌ can be pasted in the online application. If you do not apply online, it must be sent directly to the graduate program to which you are seeking admission. The statement should be 300 to 500 words and outline your goals and objectives in pursuing graduate study.
  • Certificate of Finances (this is a self-funded program)

Submit the application form and all required documents, credentials, materials, test scores, documentation for funding support for immigration purposes to the address that follows. The Graduate School will not process or review an application until the application fee is paid. We do not waive or defer the application fee.  Applications for admission to Graduate School programs must be submitted to:

University of Maryland, Baltimore
Graduate School
620 W. Lexington St., 5th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201

Minimum Standards and Requirements

The minimum academic standard for full admission to the Graduate School is a B average, or 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in a program resulting in the award of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, or an equivalent degree and standing from a comparable foreign institution. 

In addition to the aforementioned requirements, the Graduate School normally requires scores from Graduate Record Examinations (GREs) for admission to graduate programs and uses GRE scores as part of the data on which it bases its admission decisions. 

Applicants whose native language or language of the home is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the examination of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). 


The doctoral degree requires completion of required core courses, seminar (4 credits), rotations (2 credits), required courses and elective courses determined by the programmatic interests of the student, and doctoral dissertation research (12 credits).  After completion of the core and track-required courses (usually at the end of the second year), students take the qualifying examination for admission to candidacy.  Doctoral students must also show sufficient evidence of high attainment in scholarship and the ability to engage in independent research. 


Students must prove the ability to do independent research by an original dissertation on a topic approved by the department or program graduate committee.  During the preparation of the dissertation, all candidates for doctoral degrees must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of doctoral dissertation research (899) at the University of Maryland Baltimore.

Procedures for Examination of the Candidate’s Doctoral Dissertation

The purpose of the defense is to allow candidates to demonstrate that they:

  • Have mastered a field of knowledge
  • Have successfully completed a program of research in their chosen field
  • are able to discuss and defend a research question and the results of the research project with colleagues and the general public

The examination of the doctoral dissertation is conducted by the doctoral examination committee.  Brief descriptions of the components follow:

  • Composition of the Doctoral Examination Committee – The committee must have a minimum of five and a maximum of seven voting members, all of whom must hold a doctoral degrees or the terminal degrees in thier disciplines.  The committee must include the candidate’s dissertation advisor, two readers, and one member who is external to the candidate’s program, department or discipline.  One of the committee members (other than the chair) is appointed by the dean of the Graduate School as the Graduate School representative and serves as the dean’s surrogate.  At least three of the members must be regular members of the graduate faculty.
  • Documentation and actions required prior to the Doctoral Examination – Prior to the doctoral examination, the following actions need to be completed:
    • Nomination of Members of Final Doctoral Examination Committee must be submitted
    • Certification of Completion of the Doctoral Dissertation must be submitted
    • Announcement of the Doctoral Dissertation Defense
    • Submission of the Doctoral Dissertation to all members of the committee at least two weeks before proposed examination date
  • Conduct of the Doctoral Examination - The doctoral examination normally comprises two components: an open presentation by the doctoral candidate and a formal examination by members of the committee.
  • Outcome of the Examination – At the end of the examination, the candidate  and others in attendance who are not part of the committee withdraw, and the committee deliberates in private on the acceptability of the written dissertation, and the oral performance of the candidate. The committee has three options:
    • Pass – with very minor changes
    • Pass with significant, nontrivial revisions
    • Fail

For more information on Graduate School policies and procedures please visit the website: 

For more information regarding this program please contact:

Dr. Pei Feng
Pei Feng, MD, PhD

Director Graduate Research Education and Training


Department of Oncology and Diagnostic Sciences



Nicki Mitchell

Program Coordinator

Office of Research