Dental Public Health Certificate

Overview

The program in Advanced Education in Dental Public Health (DPH) in the School of Dentistry, Department of Comprehensive Dentistry is a one year full-time (two year part-time equivalent) for candidates with a dental degree (can be international) and a M.P.H. from a School of Public Health that is accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. The mission of the certificate program in Dental Public Health is to educate specialists in dental public health to promote oral health and prevent dental disease at both the population and individual level, with a focus on the oral health needs of South Texas and the Texas-Mexico border communities.

The goal of the certificate program in Advanced Education in Dental Public Health is to educate competent dental public health professionals to strengthen the capacity of the dental public health workforce. The DPH Program fulfills this goal by:

  • educating culturally competent dental public health specialists who can address the oral health needs of children and adults;
  • providing service-learning experiences that will ensure the understanding of efficient and effective dental public health programs that increase access to community preventive services;
  • cultivating professionals with advanced education in dental public health who can address oral health inequities through service to populations bearing a disproportionate share of oral disease and disability.

Admissions Requirements

Admission into the Dental Public Health (DPH) Program is systematic and considers candidate applications based upon a holistic review of each application.  Individuals are eligible to apply for admission if they have a dental degree (can be international) and have completed a Master’s degree in public health from a school that is accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. These criteria for admission are established by the American Board of Dental Public Health. Applications must be postmarked by the application deadline (December 1) to be considered. Initially, the applications undergo a review for completeness. Applications cannot be reviewed if deemed incomplete by the DPH Program Director. The applications are forwarded to the Dental Public Health Program Committee that consists of members of the teaching faculty, representation from individuals with education in dental public health from the community, and the Program Director. Applications are reviewed based upon established criteria that include, but are not limited to, oral and written communication, previous work experiences, research/publications, community experiences, potential for success, and academic performance.

A preliminary review of the applications is conducted by the Committee who select candidates for a telephone interview. Once the Committee completes the telephone interview, the Committee decides which two or three candidates to consider for a face-to-face interview. The interview provides the committee with the ability to evaluate the candidate’s intellectual curiosity, career objectives and goals, and suitability for the program. Based upon input received from the interviewers, the Committee meets and recommends the individuals for admission to the DPH Program Director who will notify applicants of the disposition of the application.

Once admitted into the DPH Program, the following information must be provided to the Director before matriculation:  1) each candidate will need to provide proof of current immunizations; 2) each candidate must demonstrate that they have health insurance or purchase student health insurance, and; 3) each candidate must complete a criminal background check through the University. A candidate cannot matriculate until all official transcripts are verified.

Degree Requirements

The curriculum is designed to provide the dental public health advanced education student with experiences leading to competence in the field of dental public health. At the completion of the program in dental public health, the candidate should have obtained fundamental knowledge of the philosophy, principles and practice of dental public health and should have developed skills to practice dental public health, including research, administration, and education. The program is arranged to address the competency statements, allowing the resident to develop core knowledge in the area. The required experiences and courses cover a wide range of information believed to be essential for graduates in the field. The curriculum consists of five content areas, including didactic coursework, research, rotations, undergraduate dental teaching, and field clinical and service - learning experiences. The curriculum components are combined into two courses per semester titled “Advanced Education in Dental Public Health 1” and “Research Methodology in Dental Public Health 1” that is offered in the fall semester and “Advanced Education in Dental Public Health 2”  and “Research Methodology in Dental Public Health 2” that is offered in the spring semester. Upon demonstration of competency in dental public health, the advanced education students are awarded a specialty certificate.

Sample Plan of Study

First Year
FallCredit Hours
PBHL 5011Advanced Education In Dental Public Health 1 1
PBHL 5014Research Methodology in Dental Public Health 1 1
 Total Credit Hours: 2.0
First Year
SpringCredit Hours
PBHL 5012Advanced Education In Dental Public Health 2 1
PBHL 5015Research Methodology in Dental Public Health 2 1
 Total Credit Hours: 2.0

Objectives/Program Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate comprehensive education in dental public health sciences as a foundation for the practice of the specialty, including the oral health needs of children and adults, preventive services for individuals and populations, and oral health disparities and inequities;
  2. Students will demonstrate knowledge and skill in research design, research conduct, data analysis, data interpretation, and presentation of findings;
  3. Students will demonstrate knowledge and skill in program planning and program operation by engaging in service-learning experiences that ensure understanding of efficient and effective dental public health programs that increase access to community preventive services;
  4. Students will, upon completion of the program, engage in a dental public health career in academics, local, state and federal agencies (e.g. Indian Health Service, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Health Resources and Services Administration), armed forces, community health center, international health agencies, health care management, financing, and management agencies, and;
  5. Students will be prepared to successfully challenge the examination for certification by the American Board of Dental Public Health.

Program Policies

Policy on Probation and Dismissal

An advanced education student may be placed on academic probation for reasons of substandard performance in didactic, clinical, behavioral, or professional/ethical areas. A student who receives a final grade of F for any course during any one grading period will be considered for a recommendation of academic probation by the DPH Program Committee. A recommendation for probation will be made to the Advanced Education Committee (AEC) Graduate Program Directors Subcommittee, which is comprised of the Program Directors of all of the Advanced Education Programs in the School of Dentistry and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Only the Program Directors will be voting members of this Subcommittee; the Associate Dean for Student Affairs will serve in an ex-officio capacity as a non-voting member. In addition, the DPH Program Committee may recommend to the AEC’s Graduate Program Directors Subcommittee that a student be placed on academic probation for academic, behavioral, or professional/ethical performance that does not meet the standards of the program. The AEC’s Graduate Program Directors Subcommittee will formally place the student on academic probation upon a majority vote of the members.

A student placed on academic probation will be given written notification by the Chair of the Advanced Education Committee of such status. This notification will serve as an official warning to the student that her or his didactic, clinical, behavioral and/or professional/ethical performance is below standard and continuation in the certificate program is in jeopardy. The student will be allowed an opportunity to correct the substandard performance that led to the academic probation status over a probationary time period determined by the DPH Program Committee. At subsequent monthly AEC meetings, the DPH Program Director will report to the AEC on the status of the probated student’s progress. Upon the student’s successful correction of performance deficiencies, he/she will be removed from academic probation. While on probation, a student must maintain passing grades in courses for which he/she is registered or be considered for dismissal recommendation by the DPH Program Committee. A recommendation to remove the student from academic probation will be made by the DPH Program Committee to the AEC Program Directors Subcommittee, which will remove academic probation status upon majority vote of the members.

If the substandard performance that led to academic probation is not corrected, the student will be subject to dismissal from the program. A recommendation for dismissal will be made by the DPH Program Committee to the AEC Graduate Program Directors Subcommittee. The AEC Graduate Program Directors Subcommittee will consider the recommendation for dismissal and will formally dismiss the student from the program upon majority of the vote of the members. A student will be subject to dismissal actions without a probationary period if the student receives a final grade of F for two credit hours of required course work during a single grading period.

During academic probation and dismissal actions, the student may address the AEC Graduate Program Directors Subcommittee in writing or may request permission to appear before the Subcommittee to present his/her views. The Advanced Education Committee will transmit recommendations for dismissal through the Associate Dean for Student Affairs to the Dean. Students may appeal academic dismissal to the Dean of the School of Dentistry. 

PBHL 5011. Advanced Education In Dental Public Health 1. 1 Credit Hour.

This course is designed to provide dental public health (DPH) students with the foundational knowledge about DPH topics and learn to critically review the scientific literature. Students will also develop skills in dental public health practice by applying knowledge in community-based practice and teaching. Through this participation course, DPH students are expected to review the seminal and current literature about a defined topic in dental public health and discuss the topic with a faculty member who is assigned to teach this topic. Students receive experiences in administration, programs, and policy. The DPH student participates to dental public health community service-learning experience and rotations, DPH students acquire knowledge and skills in education focusing on teaching methodologies, scholarship, and educational planning.

PBHL 5012. Advanced Education In Dental Public Health 2. 1 Credit Hour.

This course is designed to provide dental public health (DPH) students with the foundational knowledge about DPH topics and learn to critically review the scientific literature. Students will also develop skills in dental public health practice by applying knowledge in economically-based practice and teaching. Through this participation course, DPH students are expected to review the seminal and current literature about a defined topic in dental public health and discuss the topic with a faculty member who is assigned to teach this topic. Students receive experiences in administration, programs, and policy. The DPH student participates to dental public health community service-learning experience and rotations, DPH students acquire knowledge and skills in education focusing on teaching methodologies, scholarship, and educational planning.

PBHL 5014. Research Methodology in Dental Public Health 1. 1 Credit Hour.

This course provides a vehicle for dental public health (DPH) students to complete two research projects in fulfillment of the expectation of the American Board of Dental Public Health as described by the American Association of Public Health Dentistry. This course is required.

PBHL 5015. Research Methodology in Dental Public Health 2. 1 Credit Hour.

This course provides a vehicle for dental public health (DPH) students to complete two research projects in fulfillment of the expectation of the American Board of Dental Public Health as described by the American Association of Public Health Dentistry. This course is required.