Dental Public Health Sciences Residency

Graduate Program Director: Marisol Tellez Merchan, BDS, MPH, PhD
Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry and Community Oral Health Sciences and College of Public Health
Diplomate, American Board of Dental Public Health

Ph: (215) 707-1773; email:


Temple University, with over 36,000 students, is a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania-related institution nationally-recognized for its clinical and research programs. The University offers undergraduate degrees in various academic areas, 121 master’s degree programs, and 56 doctoral degree programs. With professional degree programs in dentistry, medicine, podiatry, law and pharmacy, Temple University has the fourth largest enrollment of professional students in the United States.

The Kornberg School of Dentistry is on the Temple University Health Sciences Center campus in North Philadelphia, located approximately two miles north of the main Temple University campus. The dental school has a long and proud tradition of excellence in dental education dating back to the nineteenth century. Founded as the Philadelphia Dental College in 1863, and affiliated with Temple University in 1907, the Kornberg School of Dentistry today ranks as the second oldest dental school in continuous operation in the United States.

Tuition fees without stipend support are applicable to students in the postdoctoral clinical specialty certificate programs in Endodontics, Orthodontics, and Periodontology Oral Implantology and Dental Public Health. Tuition rates and other program-related costs are available from the Bursar’s Office website.


Dental public health is the science and art of preventing and controlling dental diseases and promoting oral health through organized community efforts. These community efforts include assessments of oral health status and need for care, the use of scientific knowledge to influence oral health policy, and assurance of adequate services to achieve community health goals are available and provided.

The Dental Public Health Residency Program is an accredited one year full-time or two/three year’s part- time Residency in Dental Public Health (DPH) (Accreditation status granted by CODA on 02/04/16). This certificate program adheres to the guidelines of the American Board of Dental Public Health (ABDPH) and is designed to allow dentists with the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree to complete the educational requirements for the Board Certification as a specialist in Dental Public Health.


The goals of the residency program in dental public health at Temple University Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry are to provide dentists with the necessary educational preparation to: 1) permit them to practice dental public health, 2) become eligible to take and pass the American Board of Dental Public Health and achieve diplomate status and 3) design, conduct and lead dental public health research projects.

Core Courses and Descriptions

Administration in Dental Public Health

This course is designed to address the following topics: Models of public organization, administrative decision-making, patterns of administrative communications, role and function of administrative leadership, nature and function of public personnel and fiscal management systems, planning, operating, and evaluating dental public health programs, quality assurance, budgeting, legislative issues and environmental hazards in the dental office.

Foundations of Dental Public Health

This course will cover a wide range of topics including: Models of health beliefs and behavior, strategies for health behavior change at the individual, group, and community level, organization and function of the dental profession, history and development of dental public health, government in health issues, developing political support for dental public health initiatives, public policy and dentistry, written communication and public speaking.

Epidemiology and Prevention of Oral Diseases

This course will discuss topics such as measuring the distribution of dental conditions, risk factors for oral diseases, research designs in oral epidemiology, clinical trials, and scientific base for prevention procedures, strengths and limitations of the various methods for preventing oral diseases, cost-effectiveness issues and application of prevention methods in public health.

Analysis of Oral/Dental Health Data

This course will require students to carry out a small research project. This is the survey course in which students carry out a clinical dental survey, analyze the data obtained, and prepare a report or use secondary data sources for developing a specific analysis plan.

Planning and Evaluating Field Experience in Dental Public Health

This course will require a statement of objectives and planned procedures prior to the field placement in a selected affiliation site. This will be prepared by the student, working in concert with the adviser and field supervisor. The student will also be required to present a formal evaluation report of the field experience to his or her adviser after its completion

Provision and Financing of Dental Care

This course will cover topics such as: Overview of fee-for-service private practice and salaried practice, detailed examination of traditional insurance in general health and dental plans, managed care in general and dental plans, HMOs, Medicaid, evolution of current plans and some projections into the future developments, types of dental personnel and social, economic, and political factors determining their supply and deployment.

Research in Dental Public Health

Principles and methods used in epidemiologic study of dental diseases will be covered. Philosophy of the science, study designs, strengths and limitations of different designs. IRB protocol development, consent, design, methods, conduct and analysis of a research project will be developed within this course.

Attendance of  National Public Health Meetings

Residents will be encouraged and resources will be made available for them to attend the American Public Health Association and American Dental Public Health Association annual meetings.

Admissions Information 

Four individuals are selected each year for full-time matriculation into the Residency Program in Dental Public Health. Preference is given to academically-accomplished candidates. Also preferred are those with demonstrable maturity in research, clinical care, or service. Individuals with high GPAs and strong letters of recommendation are encouraged to apply. The admissions process ensures a fair, unbiased and non-discriminatory admissions policy.

Resident selection will be accomplished by the DPH Program Committee.  The Committee will consist of the Program Director as Chair, two additional DPH Faculty, and one non-DPH faculty from the College of Public Health.  The committee members will review every applicant’s folder and decide whether to grant an interview to the applicant based upon a combination of GPA (Dental School and Master of Public Health), previous public health education, letters of recommendation and any other supplemental information. 

Admission to the Residency Program in Dental Public Health requires the following:

1.   A DDS or DMD degree from an accredited dental school, according to the standards of the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Temple University encourages both domestic and foreign applicants. International applicants must be able to verify that their training is equivalent to an ADA accredited school by using one of three foreign academic credentialing services (World Education ServicesEducation Credential Evaluators, or Education International, Inc.)

2.   A Master of Public Health Degree from a Canadian or US School of Public Health. Candidates with other Master degrees may submit an inquiry to the program director.

3.   Personal Curriculum Vitae

4.   Copy of all undergraduate and graduate colleges and universities, including GPA and class rank. Applicants without a completed MPH transcript will not be considered for admission. 

5.   Three letters of references

6.   Personal Statement (max 2000 words)

7.   Academic writing sample from Master Program

8.   A separate Temple University application and application fee of $50 is required when applying to the DPH Residency program.  CLICK HERE to submit the online application and application fee. 

ADAT scores are not required.

Applications are received on a rolling basis but it is strongly recommended to submit all documents no later than September 1st of the year preceding the expected date of enrollment. Incomplete applications will not be evaluated.

Upon review of all completed applications, the Residency Admissions Committee will extend invitations for interviews to those applicants being seriously considered for acceptance. Interviewees are required to come to Temple University for a personal interview; however, granting of an interview appointment does not guarantee admission into the program.

Application materials can be sent to:

Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry

ATTN: Matt Schillizzi, Office 341

3223 N. Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19140


Electronic materials can be emailed to


The tuition for Pennsylvania residents and non-residents is $42,849.  A $3,000 tuition deposit is required for accepted applicants.

The address for the check, transcripts, and all other documents is:

Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry

ATTN: Matt Schillizzi, Office 341

3223 N. Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19140

phone: 215-707-3305




The programs in Predoctoral Dental Education (DMD), Advanced Specialty Education in Dental Public Health, Advanced Specialty Education in Endodontics, Advanced Specialty Education in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Advanced Specialty Education in Periodontics are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and have been given the accreditation status of Approval (without reporting requirements). The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312)440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The commission's web address is: The Commission on Dental Accreditation has accredited the postdoctoral program in Advanced Education in General Dentistry. However, accreditation of the program does not, in itself, constitute recognition of any dental specially status.