UMKC Catalog


Master of Science in Oral Biology

Student Learning Outcomes


In addition to writing a research proposal, completing a research project, and writing a thesis, a minimum of 30 credit hours including the core curriculum is required for the MS Degree.  The course curriculum will be developed in consultation with the Oral Biology Director of Graduate Research Programs and faculty who serve on the supervisory committee.  The developed program of study will meet the student’s individual needs and research interests, satisfy discipline-specific requirements, and assure upon graduation that students are able to:

  • Demonstrate appropriate depth and breadth of knowledge in their discipline
  • Use scholarship and research skills to evaluate the literature and make evidence-based decisions
  • Work effectively in a collaborative environment
  • Effectively communicate results of their research to diverse audiences
  • Apply ethical principles to all aspects of their professional life
  • Think critically and creatively as clinicians and researchers
  • Develop skills to become good mentors and communicators
  • Successfully complete the CITI Research Ethics Tutorial at:  When finished, the Certificate of Successful Completion will be printed and turned in to the Oral Biology Administrative Office to be placed in the student’s file.

Program Requirements

The candidate enrolled in this program must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of coursework. These courses must be listed on the Master's Degree Program of Study form (available from the Department of Oral Biology office) and must be signed by the thesis adviser, members of the thesis committee, and chair of the Department of Oral Biology.

The required core curriculum will consist of the following courses:

The thesis committee may require additional courses. This catalog contains listings of appropriate graduate level courses. Some examples of additional courses applicable to the program:

Of the 30 semester hours, no more than 6 semester hours of graduate work taken at institutions other than UMKC may be transferred. The transfer of 6 graduate credit hours includes those courses deemed appropriate to the student's program of study by the thesis committee.

The student must conduct an original investigation in a basic, behavioral or clinical science area and write a thesis describing the research and reporting the results of the study. The student will be required to successfully defend the thesis in a final oral examination at a university-wide seminar.

Enrollment in BIO-SCI 5751 Elements of the Scientific Method and in BIO-SCI 5752 Research Methods in Oral Biology is required.  These courses are the foundation for writing a Research Proposal for the MS thesis project.

Within BIO-SCI 5751 the student will conduct a literature review associated with developing a research question for the thesis research proposal.

As part of BIO-SCI 5752 the student will write the thesis research proposal in consultation with the committee chair and members plus obtain appropriate IRB and/or IACUC approvals. The research proposal serves as the written portion of the Qualifying Exam. Once the written proposal has committee approval, the student will give a presentation about the proposal and answer related questions pertaining to the proposal. This serves as the Oral portion of the Qualifying Exam. 

Enrollment in BIO-SCI 5799 Research and Thesis is also required as a part of the student's program of study. To reflect the student's research involvement in activities that will ultimately lead to the completion of the thesis, multiple semesters of enrollment in this course are allowed. Cumulative credit for this course may not exceed 6 hours. Until the thesis is successfully completed and defended, a grade of incomplete (I) is given for each term of enrollment in this course. Upon successful defense and completion of the thesis, incomplete grades will be changed to an appropriate letter grade.

While the MS program in oral biology can be pursued simultaneously with dental specialty certificate programs, it is likely that such a student can expect to spend 6 months or longer beyond the period designated for the certificate program to obtain the master of science in oral biology.

Thesis Research

The major criterion of the MS in oral biology is original research. This original research may be conducted in basic, behavioral or clinical sciences. Adherence to all standards established by the School of Graduate Studies is necessary for final acceptance and approval of the thesis.

Thesis Committee

Each student is responsible for selecting a thesis committee chair who must be an Oral Biology faculty member. The selection of a thesis chair must be completed within the students first semester of study and approved by the Department of Oral Biology Director of Graduate Research Programs. Once the chair is selected, the student and the chair will select two or more additional faculty members to serve on the thesis committee. One additional member of the thesis committee must be a member of the Department of Oral Biology and all of the faculty selected must be members of the graduate faculty. Committee members should be selected for their ability to provide additional advice and resources to augment the thesis research of the student.

Following committee selection, the Program of Study form must be completed. This document serves as the record of selected committee members and required courses for each student. The Program of Study form and example course lists (for concurrent specialty certificate program students) are available on the Oral Biology Web site at The completed Program of Study must be signed by all committee members; the Department of Oral Biology Director of Graduate Research Programs; the Department of Oral Biology Chair; and the Dean or Graduate Officer, School of Dentistry. The completed form must meet all Department of Oral Biology and School of Graduate Studies requirements.

All thesis committee members must approve a thesis research proposal before the research project is initiated. The thesis committee members also advise and guide the students in the successful completion of their research and determine when the MS thesis is complete.


Original research will be used to construct a formal thesis conforming to the standards set by the School of Graduate Studies (see University of Missouri-Kansas City Guide to Formatting Graduate Theses, which can be obtained at the UMKC Dental Library). At least ten weeks prior to graduation, the completed thesis must be submitted to the thesis committee for its preliminary approval.

After all members of the thesis committee have read and given preliminary approval to the content of the thesis, and the instructor(s) of the course RES-ME 5703 Thesis Writing has given preliminary approval to the format of the thesis, and at least six weeks prior to graduation, the original typewritten copy must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for certification by the dean of Graduate Faculties and Research. After the thesis has been certified for acceptance by the dean of Graduate Faculties and Research, the thesis committee will require the student to defend the thesis. School of Dentistry regulations require students to defend their theses by presenting university-wide seminars on their research. In addition to the required distribution of copies (see the UMKC Guide to Formatting Graduate Theses and the General Graduate Academic Regulations and Information section of this catalog), a copy of the thesis also must be received for retention by the Dental Library of the School of Dentistry.


RES-ME 5703 Thesis Writing

The methods of preparing, organizing, and presenting research findings using scientific writing format will be reviewed for completing a thesis.  This course is required for the MS degrees in Oral Biology and Dental Hygiene Education.


Students will be expected to comply with all rules, regulations and requirements specified in the General Graduate Academic Regulations and Information section of this catalog.