Frequently Asked Questions about the NIDCR Dental Public Health Fellowship

1. Is there an entrance exam for the fellowship program?

No entrance exam is required for the fellowship program.

2. Do I need National Dental Board scores for the fellowship program?

We do not require applicants to take National Dental Board exams.

3. What do you suggest is my best chance to be admitted into the Dental Public Health MS/ PhD program that you offer?

We do not offer any degree program (MS/ PhD, etc). The full-timefellowship program is a one-year training aimed at fulfilling the educational competencies required for the exam of the American Board of Dental Public Health.

4. I do not have an MPH but have taken some courses. May I apply with some of the already taken courses?

No. Educational requirements standards for dental public health advanced specialty education programs are set by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. They are summarized below:

Commission on Dental Accreditation

4-1. Individuals pursuing advanced education in dental public health require a foundation in the principles of general public health. Two-year dental public health programs must incorporate instruction specified in standard 4-2. For students/fellows entering one-year dental public health programs, the principles of general public health normally will have been covered in the prerequisite MPH or comparable degree program. Nevertheless, directors of one-year programs must review each student's/fellow's previous public health training and supplement it where necessary to ensure that instruction identified in Standard 4-2 is covered.

4-2. The program must provide instruction at the advanced level in the following:

a. Epidemiology;

b. Biostatistics;

c. Behavior science;

d. Environmental health; and

e. Health care policy and management.

5. I noticed that there is a full-time and part-time fellowship option available. What are the differences between the two programs?

Full-time fellows complete all requirements of the fellowship program in 12 months; however, part-time fellows have 24 months to do so. The curriculum and requirements are the same for both full-time and part-time fellows.

6. Is there a clinical component to the program?

There is no direct clinical care component involved in the fellowship program. Completion of a research project is one of the critical components of the fellowship program. The fellowship program aims to provide experiences to fulfill the competencies set out by the American Board of Dental Public Health.

7. Do fellows participate in any field or practicum experience activities?

Fellows have the opportunity to complete a field experience in which they work with an organization involved in public health, health policy, or community education. The nature and scope of this participation is determined by the fellowship program director based on the interests of the fellows as well as the extent of time and logistics involved.

8. Could you please provide information regarding the eligibility criteria, curriculum, and scope of the program?

Complete details about the program are available on our fellowship program web page.

9. I completed my Dental Public Health degree in a program outside the U.S. and Canada. Am I eligible to apply for NIDCR's fellowship program?

You are eligible to apply under the following conditions:

  • Your public health curriculum included graduate-level training in epidemiology, biostatistics, health care policy and management, environmental health, and behavior science.
  • Duration of your graduate public health training was at least two full-time academic years.?

10. I do not have a degree in public health, but I have experience in public health gained as a student and intern while attendingdental school.Am I eligible?

No. Public health experience gained during a dental program and/or internship does not meet the eligibility criteria for the fellowship program. Please also refer toquestion # 4 above.

11. How do I obtain a waiver for the pre-requisites?

Prerequisites/core requirements cannot be waived.

12. Is it possible to complete this training via distance education?

The non-residential part-time fellowship is a combination of some in-person learning along with some distance learning. Non-residential part-time fellows will be required to attend seven core weeks on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD over the 24-month training period.

13. Do you still offer traditional (residential) part-time fellowship training?

Yes, traditional part-time fellows receive in-person training on the NIH campus (like full-time fellows); however, they have 24 months to complete their fellowship requirements.

14. Please send me the application form. I would like to start preparing the documentation in advance.

Application materials are available on our fellowship program web page.

15. Do you offer a PhD program in Community Dentistry or Dental Public Health?

We do not offer a PhD Program.

16. How many positions does your program support each year?

The number of fellows accepted into the program varies. However, we plan to accept one or two full-time and/or one or two part-time fellows per year.

17. When are your interview dates?

Interviews are generally held in the months of November and December.

18. When does your program start?

The tentative start date for both full-time and part-time DPH fellows is the first Monday in July.

19. Do you offer a stipend? What is the amount of stipend?

There are a limited number of stipends available to qualified trainees. The amount of the stipend depends on availability of funds and the educational background and experience of the incoming fellow.

20. Do you accept foreign dental graduates?

Yes. Applicants must be graduates of a school of dentistry accredited by the American Dental Associations Commission on Dental Accreditation or the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada. Applicants who are graduates of a school of dentistry outside the U.S. must be deemed to have equivalent education as determined by the fellowship director.

21. Do foreign dental graduates need to have clinical experience in the U.S. before applying for the fellowship program?


22. Do I need a U.S. dental license to be eligible for the fellowship program?


23. Does completion of the fellowship lead to or qualify me to obtain a U.S. license to practice dentistry?

No.Eligibility to obtain a license to practice dentistry is NOT an outcome of the fellowship program. For more information about obtaining a dental license, please refer to the licensure pageon the ADA web site.

24. When will the form be available?

The application form is currently available on our fellowship program web page.

25. What is your application deadline?

The application deadline for the 2017-18 program is October 31, 2016.

26. Can I send photocopies of my transcripts in place of official copies of transcripts?

A photocopy or an unofficial copy of the transcript may be sent as an "advance copy" for our review until the official transcript arrives from the Registrar's office. However, official transcripts MUST arrive by the deadline. Reports from credentialing agencies may be sent, but these do not replace the need for official copies of transcripts. Transcripts in languages other than English MUST be accompanied by certified translations.

27. Do you accept letters of recommendation by email?

A letter of recommendation should be typed on an offical letterhead and signed by the reference. Such a letter can be sent by email as an attachment from the reference's email account.?

28. Do you have a cut-off year since graduation from dental school?


29. When will I know if I am selected for an interview?

Applicants will be notified within four weeks after the submission deadline if they are selected for interview.?

30. Are there any special requirements for international dental graduates?

No. At this time we do not require TOEFL or GRE scores. Any change in this policy will be posted on the fellowship program web page.

31. What visa should I apply for? Do you offer H-1 Visas?

We do not sponsor H-1 visas for the fellowship program. Most of our fellows who require visas come in either with a J-1 (research) visa or possess their own non-immigrant work permission (such as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) under F-1 (Optional Practical Training). Applicants may contact the NIH Division of International Services (DIS) for further information on non-immigrant status and visa requirements.

32. Do I need to have my credentials evaluated by a credentialing organization?

Foreign dental graduates should have their credentials evaluated by a credentialing organization. Please ask for a course-by-course evaluation.

While we do not recommend any specific credentialing organization, the following organizations are frequently used by foreign applicants to U.S. programs:

American Association of Collegiate Registrars (AACRAO)
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 520
Washington DC 20036
Phone: 202-293-9161

Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc (ECE)
PO Box 514070
Milwaukee WI 53203-3470
Phone: 414-289-3400

World Education Services (WES )
Bowling Green Station
PO Box 5087
New York, NY 10274-5087
Phone: 212-966-6311

Last Reviewed on
February 2018