Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD) - Orthodontics

In order to meet the goal of providing a wide range of experiences grounded in a process of critical analysis, the program provides the following:

The mission of the MSD Program in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics is to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to conduct an ethical, patient-centered, evidence-based practice in the specialty of orthodontics. The MSD curriculum is structured for a balanced work load to allow time for each postgraduate student to broaden their clinical and didactic experiences as well as provide opportunities to gain additional experiences in areas of special interest. Postgraduate students who complete the program are expected to have developed their skills and knowledge to the level of a specialist in orthodontics as approved by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation.  This implies the student will have had considerable didactic background and direct experiences with patients exhibiting a variety of malocclusion presentations. Critical topics to the specialty of orthodontics will be covered in departmental based seminars (e.g. Craniofacial Growth & Development, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, Space Supervision, Cephalometrics, Edgewise Appliances Design, Biomechanics, Dentofacial Orthopedics). Seminar topics will be supported by literature reviews and case analysis treatment planning sessions that are reinforced through clinical experiences. Recognition  of malocclusion parameters, hereditary conditions and orofacial patterns will be expected by completion of the program with knowledge of physical and emotional development essential to successful outcomes. Utilizing diagnostic training, the graduate should be able to prepare and present a treatment plan that is comprehensive and efficiently sequenced. Clinical expertise will be attained in management of the primary and mixed dentitions (space supervision, interceptive procedures, growth modification, multi­ phase early treatment), the young permanent dentition (comprehensive non-extraction and extraction protocols} and adult patients  (orthognathic  surgery,  coordinated  restorative  -  prosthetic management). The MSD program curriculum and experiences are further designed to  prepare graduates not only for successful entry into the contemporary practice of orthodontics; but to provide a scientific foundation for future growth in the field. In addition to clinical expertise, the graduate should have superior abilities in interpreting new evidenced-based procedures and concepts available to the profession and public. An evidenced-based understanding of the specialties knowledge base will be emphasized in seminar discussions, the clinical environment, through the core curriculum of the MSD program, and in research experiences. In sum, the MUSC Orthodontic Program will strive to produce knowledgeable and compassionate practitioners who have the skills and desire for lifelong learning and who will play a leadership role in specialty governance, education, research, and community activity.


Learn more about the admission steps and requirements for the program.


An overview of curriculum components and distribution for the three years of the program:

Year 1, Summer

GDENT 701 Preclinical Instruction 1
GDENT 710 Head and Neck Anatomy Review 0.5
GDENT 834 Advanced Topics in Radiology 1
Semester Total 2.5

Year 1, Fall

GDENT 800 Research Methodologies 1.5
GDENT 801 Teaching Methods 1.5
GDENT 878 Oral Medicine 1.5
GDENT 899 Research Thesis 1
GORTH 710 Contemporary Orthodontics 2
GORTH 732 Literature Review 1
Semester Total 8.5

Year 1, Spring

GDENT 863 Dental Ethics/Behavioral Management 1
Innov & Resch in Oral Health  1
GDENT 868 Advanced Oral and Maxillo Path 2
GDENT 899 Research Thesis 1
GORTH 745 Literature Review II 1
Semester Total 6

Year 2, Summer

GDENT 899 Research Thesis 1
GORTH 746 Literature Review III 1
Semester Total 2

Year 2, Fall

GDENT 899 Research Thesis 1
GORTH 747 Literature Review IV 1
Semester Total 2

Year 2, Spring

GDENT 899 Research Thesis 1
GORTH 748 Literature Review V 1
Semester Total 2

Year 3, Summer

GORTH 749 Literature Review VI 1
GDENT 899 Research Thesis 2
Semester Total 3

Year 3, Fall

GDENT 899 Research Thesis 2
GORTH 750 Literature Review VII 1
Semester Total 3

Year 3, Spring

GDENT 899 Research Thesis 2
GORTH 751 Literature Review VIII 1
Semester Total 3
Curriculum Total 32