Special Programs

Urban Service Track

Combined D.M.D./Masters Program

The increasingly complex interactions between genetic, environmental and socioeconomic factors in human disease, and specifically in dental, oral and craniofacial disease, require training of scientists and clinician-scientists capable of working as part of a multidisciplinary research team that can address these interactive factors. The need for such individuals is increasingly urgent, both for advancing knowledge and for training the next generation of scientists, educators and clinicians. To help address this need, the UConn School of Dental Medicine has established a five-year dual degree program for dental students interested in the fields of public health or clinical and translational research. The program leads to the Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) degree and a masters degree (M.P.H. or M.C.T.R.). Students may enter the program upon matriculation at the Dental School, or after their first or second year of predoctoral studies, and will receive both degrees at the completion of the five-year program.

Students applying to the combined D.M.D./Masters Program must be accepted by both the School of Dental Medicine and the UConn Graduate School.

Master of Public Health

The Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) program, an approved and accredited program at the UConn Health, focuses on the core competencies in epidemiology, biostatistics, social and behavioral sciences, occupational/environmental health and health services administration. The M.P.H. program will train students in the skills necessary to apply public health principles to oral health problems. A key component of the program is a mentored research experience to enhance the profile of research in dental training. The M.P.H. portion of the combined D.M.D./Masters curriculum requires a minimum of 36 credit hours, including:

  • 21 credit hours of required core courses
  • 3 credit hours of a practicum in public health involving approximately 100 hours of supervised field experience
  • 3 to 6 credit hours of elective courses
  • 9 credit hours of research/thesis preparation (Capstone Project)

The objectives of the practicum include: defining biological, social, cultural, economic and behavioral determinants of problems under study; identifying individual and community resources available to address conditions; recognizing performance of assessment, assurance and policy development functions by public health agencies; engaging community-based practitioners and other stakeholders in public health action; and demonstrating the importance of written and oral communication skills.

The Capstone Project should address a significant public health concern, pursue novel inquiry and/or initiative, demonstrate the student’s mastery of one or more of the M.P.H. program competencies, and yield relevant knowledge that can be generalized to the practice of public health. The student is required to write and defend a thesis on his/her research project.

More information may be obtained from the Master of Public Health Program website.

Master of Clinical and Translational Research

The Master of Clinical and Translational Research (M.C.T.R.) program, an approved and accredited program at UConn Health, trains students in the skills necessary to conduct clinical research that translates findings from the bench to the bedside (T1 research) as well as to translate evidence-based findings to clinical practice (T2). A key component of the program is a mentored research experience to enhance the profile of research in dental training. The M.C.T.R. portion of the combined D.M.D./Masters curriculum requires a minimum of 24 credit hours, including:

  • 9 credit hours of required core course in Clinical and Translation Research
  • 3 credit hours of a “translational science” course
  • 9 credit hours of research
  • 3 credit hours of an elective classroom or research course

The research experience is designed to provide the student with competency in applied advanced research methods, including hypothesis formulation, research design, quantitative and qualitative methods, data analysis and computer application. After completion of the course work, the student must submit a written paper and a grant proposal and give an oral presentation related to one of those two documents.

More information may be obtained from the Master of Science Program in Clinical and Translational Research website.

Contact Information

Eric R. Bernstein, JD, EdD
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
UConn School of Dental Medicine
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-3905
Phone: 860.679.2672
Email: erbernstein@uchc.edu

Passport to Dentistry

One of the major challenges faced by the dental profession today is the recruitment of qualified dental school applicants who are capable of serving the nation’s future oral healthcare needs. The Passport to Dentistry Program has been designed to provide potential dental school applicants the opportunity to explore the world of dentistry as a career option. Through a challenging combination of academic and experiential activities, participants will gain insight and a greater appreciation for the dental profession.

The program consists of presentations and discussions with current dental students.

Preparing for a Career in Dental Medicine Overview

Introduction and Overview to Dental Careers and Specialties: Students are introduced to the rewards and challenges of a career in dental medicine. Topics include options available to dental professionals as well as the scope of dental practice.

The Application Process: Students are presented with step-by-step guidelines for applying to dental schools. Topics discussed include letters of recommendation, personal statements, interviewing skills, the application process, application timelines, optimizing non-academic accomplishments, and selection of schools.

Contact Information:
Ms. Tricia Avolt
Phone: 860-679-2175
Email: avolt@uchc.edu

Medical/Dental Student Summer Research Programs

Today’s academic health center is defined by a complex infrastructure of people, services, buildings and missions serving three fundamental masters – education, patient care, and research. At the UConn School of Dental Medicine, opportunities abound for students to invest their energies, abilities and talents to advance our knowledge and understanding of basic sciences, clinical sciences, public health, and biopsychosocial understandings of wellness and disease through involvement in our various student research programs.

Additionally, supporting students' spirit of inquiry, encouraging the mental tenacity to see the project through, and expecting the ability to record, write-up and present findings according to accepted scientific standards are the promises each of our faculty gives to each student embarking on any research endeavor with us. We want our students to appreciate what goes into the rigorous search for the right research questions, how to achieve the tightest research design and protocol, and how to systematically convey experiences and results in oral and written form.

We invite you to explore the opportunities available so that each student can build into his or her own academic development that unique set of skills and unique bond that develops among people invested in identifying and carrying out a protocol on a specific research question.

Graduate School – Undergraduate Summer Research Internship in Biological and Biomedical Sciences

College Summer Fellowship Program

The University of Connecticut Graduate School in Biomedical Sciences invites highly qualified and motivated undergraduate students to apply for a limited number of summer internships. The internships are available to students who have completed their sophomore year and are interested in a doctorate degree in the biological or biomedical sciences. Students will have the opportunity to participate in the research activities of a laboratory under the direction of a faculty member, receive a stipend, and housing assistance.

Department of Health Careers Opportunity Programs – Summer Research Opportunities for High School and College Students

Summer Research Opportunities for High School and College Students

Summer Research Fellowship Program

Pre-College Research Program

Medical/Dental Student Summer Research Program

Medical/Dental Student Summer Research Program

The Medical/Dental Student Summer Research Program is offered to entering and first-year students from the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine. It is designed to give students the opportunity to engage in research projects under the guidance of a faculty member. Students are notified of opportunities in December with a “letter of intent,” application cover sheet and procedures. Interested students need to file the “intent” to Lisa Ramsdell in February. Students then meet with faculty to develop a research protocol. Fellowships are awarded for approximately 400 hours of research time. The stipend is normally $3,000 depending on sources of funding available for the program. The number of stipend supported projects is limited and are awarded on a competitive basis by the Faculty Research Committee. Students are advised to prepare their applications carefully in close conjunction with their sponsors. Most important are the articulation of a clear hypothesis and the delineation of defined approaches to test it.

Contact Information

Lisa Ramsdell
Administrative Program Coordinator
School of Dental Medicine Research Office
Room AG017
Phone: 860-679-2552
Email: ramsdell@uchc.edu

Dr. Aditya Tadinada
Director of Student Research
Phone: 860-679-7527
Email: tadinada@uchc.edu

Medical/Dental Student Research Day

Medical/Dental Student Scientific Research Day

Each year, the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine set aside a day in late February to acknowledge and honor student research. A faculty committee reviews the abstracts of student research projects completed the previous summer. Students are selected to present their work for either formal oral presentation or poster sessions that run concurrently throughout the day. A guest lecturer is selected to serve as the capstone speaker. Students, sponsors, faculty and family attend the awards reception/dinner. The research committee selects students for awards to acknowledge their contributions to research and excellence in their presentations.

Urban Service Track

The Urban Service Track is designed to produce a cadre of well qualified health care professionals committed to serving Connecticut’s urban underserved populations. As Urban Health Scholars, participants represent a select group of students enrolled in the University of Connecticut Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing, Medicine and Dental Medicine.

A total of 36 to 40 Urban Health Scholars, nine to ten students per school, are selected each year from among qualified applicants who have a demonstrated commitment to service. Urban Health Scholars gain valuable exposure to the complex and challenging issues of health care in the inner city. A strong mentorship component supports Urban Health Scholars as they navigate their own personal and professional development.

Students develop competencies in the following areas: culture and linguistics; population health; health policy; advocacy; health care financing and management; leadership; community resources; interprofessional health care teams; and quality improvement.

In addition to completing the basic science and clinical curricula of their respective schools, Urban Health Scholars are exposed to a set of interprofessional experiences designed to heighten awareness of the intriguing challenges and unique opportunities in urban communities. Clinical training occurs in federally qualified health centers and other primary care facilities in Connecticut’s urban underserved communities. Elective clinical experiences focus on underserved settings such as homeless shelters and migrant farm worker clinics.

The Urban Service Track officially enrolled its first group of students in the fall of 2007. Urban Health Scholars, who are eligible for financial assistance, may apply for scholarship and stipend support. Financial support is based on resource availability through the Financial Aid Office on each campus.

Related Information

Contact Information

Contact the Connecticut Area Health Education Center Program at 860-679-7971 or clarkdufner@uchc.edu.