Postgraduate Periodontics

Periodontics Externship

The periodontics externship program is available to third- or fourth-year dental students enrolled in U.S. or Canadian dental schools who plan to apply to graduate periodontics programs, dentists enrolled in a general practice residency (GPR) or advanced education in general dentistry (AEGD) residency program, or practicing dentists who wish to return to residency.

Externs will be invited to attend classes, observe the postdoctoral students in the clinic, and socialize with current residents. There is a maximum of three days per extern visit.

Applications should be submitted at least one month prior to the desired dates requested. Externs are responsible for their own lodging, transportation, and food.

Apply for an externship with our postgraduate periodontics program.

Periodontics Residency Overview

The post-doctoral program in periodontics is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Post-Secondary Education and the United States Department of Education. The objective of this program is to develop specialists with a sound academic and clinical background on which to base clinical treatment, research, and teaching. Emphasis is placed on training clinicians who are competent in all aspects of Periodontology and preparing them for the certification process of the American Board of Periodontology.

The clinical component of this program includes:

  • Ample exposure to periodontal examination procedures
  • Nonsurgical periodontal therapy
  • Surgical periodontal therapy, including esthetic periodontal surgery
  • Guided tissue regeneration
  • Osseous grafting
  • Implant placement
  • Preparation of sites for implant placement, including extraction of teeth, socket preservation techniques, sinus augmentation, and block grafting
  • Hospital anesthesia
  • IV moderate sedation
  • Supportive periodontal therapy
  • On-call duty commitment is one month every nine months

Candidates will complete either the MSD (Master of Science in Dentistry, College of Dental Medicine) or the MS (Master of Science, College of Graduate Studies). The MS is generally for those candidates with a strong interest in research and the basic sciences. The curriculum is flexible enough to accommodate candidates interested in either track. Both degrees require completion of a research project, a thesis and defense of that thesis. The didactic component of the program includes treatment planning seminars and literature review seminars one half day each per week in addition to formal lecture courses.

The master’s degree program is completed simultaneously with the clinical certificate program. There is no option for a certificate-only program. The combined program is a minimum of 35 months in length. Depending on the research project and thesis defense, more time may be required. A Ph.D. program is also available for those interested and qualified. The time to complete a Ph.D. and clinical certificate is usually significantly more than 35 months.

There is no option for part-time attendance.

A copy of the bloodborne and infectious disease policies are available to the applicant upon request.

Residency Application


Due date: September 1
Start term: July 1
For example, to apply for the program that begins on July 1, 2024, the application is due September 1, 2023.

Application Requirements

Application as early as possible is strongly recommended. The deadline for all application materials includes those submitted to ADEA PASS.

  • Our program participates in Phase I of the Match program. The Match and ADEA PASS share a registration portal for applicants, so applicants who want to register for the Match must go to the ADEA PASS website to complete the Match registration process. Applicants will be charged the Match registration fee at that time. For more information, visit National Matching Services.
  • Apply through ADEA PASS. Application materials are accepted in mid-May. Note: the first step in using PASS is for the applicant to register and pay your PASS registration fee. Nothing will happen at PASS until you have paid and are registered.
  • Official transcripts uploaded to ADEA PASS (all colleges, dental school). If you have attended a non-U.S. college/university, it is required that all international transcripts be evaluated by either ECE or WES foreign credentialing services. We do not allow international applicants to use any credential evaluation services other than ECE (Education Credential Evaluators) or WES (World Education Services).
  • Three professional evaluation forms (letters of recommendation) uploaded to ADEA PASS.
  • Institution evaluation form (formerly called the dean’s letter) submitted by the Dean’s Office to ADEA PASS. This form will include GPA, Class Rank and National Board Examination scores.
  • GRE and/or ADAT scores uploaded to ADEA PASS. All applicants who graduated from a dental school not accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation are required to take either the GRE or the Advanced Dental Admission Test (ADAT); applicants may take both exams if they desire but must take at least one. GRE scores taken more than 5 years before the application date will not be accepted.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT) scores uploaded to ADEA PASS, for international applicants. We do not accept the IELTS test. A minimum TOEFL iBT test score of 92 is required for application consideration. TOEFL test scores taken more than 3 years before application date will not be accepted.

Application Fee

Applicants must send an application fee of $75. The check may be made payable to the Medical University of South Carolina and can be sent to:

Mary Catherine James
College of Dental Medicine
Department of Advanced Surgical Services
Division of Periodontics
173 Ashley Avenue, BSB 119, MSC 507
Charleston, SC 29425-5070