Craniofacial Biology Program

Professional Certificate Program in Dentistry 

The Professional Certificate Program in Dentistry (Craniofacial Biology) is a one-year continuing education curriculum that gives the individual exposure to basic and clinical research focusing primarily in the areas of bone biology, genetics and/or orthodontics (e.g., bone biology, external apical root resorption associated with orthodontic treatment, facial growth, response to orthodontic treatment, genetic factors in facial pain, development of class III and II division 2 malocclusion, and dental anomalies and cancer).

We welcome and have experience with both individuals wishing to enhance their subsequent application to an orthodontics residency program, and those who have already completed a foreign orthodontic program.

The program offers flexibility to fit an individual’s activities to their goals, level of education, and experience. Our educational philosophy is to create a collegial atmosphere that is conducive to learning. Although mentorship will be provided, the individuals in the Program are expected to be self-starters, responsible for putting their time and the time of the faculty to good use, and highly capable of learning and working independently. Through this, the individuals in the program will develop critical thinking skills in clinical and scholarly activities. To achieve these goals, we provide a broad diversity of didactic and clinical exposures to orthodontics and craniofacial biology.

How to Apply

Review the information available below. Complete and submit the online application here, and also send your CV and three letters of recommendation directly to Dr. Lina Sharab.

Duration & Tuition

The offering is one-year in length, typically beginning in July after the July 4 holiday (date to be determined annually), and ending on June 30 of the following year. The end date may be moved up if the individual has been accepted into a subsequent program. The beginning time may also be changed if faculty agree with the request to do so.

The tuition fee is $32,000. If accepted into the program, a nonrefundable deposit of $5,000 must be paid to the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry within two weeks of receiving an acceptance letter. Following the payment of the deposit, the remaining fee ($27,000) would be divided into two payments of $13,500, with the first due on the second Tuesday of July, and the second due on the first Tuesday in January.  


The goals of the program are for each individual to become proficient in using Endnote for focused literature searches and reference management, to learn how to organize and analyze data for statistical evaluation using Microsoft Excel, to understand the scientific method and how it is applied to research protocols and evaluation of professional literature, to be actively involved in one or more research projects and manuscripts, and to strengthen their background in craniofacial biology for future application to subsequent education and or clinical practice. Each individual in the Professional Certificate Program in Dentistry (Craniofacial Biology) may participate in the three areas of study highlighted below, depending on their level of education, experience and goals.

Program Didactic Component

Each individual attends and actively participates, including all exams, in all weekly seminars, case presentations and literature review sessions offered by the Graduate Orthodontics Program and other components of the University as directed.

Clinical Component

The individuals in the Professional Certificate Program in Dentistry (Craniofacial Biology) may observe orthodontic treatment in the Graduate Orthodontics Program and the Faculty Private Practice in the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry once they have completed all of the clinical compliance requirements (TB test, OSHA certification, HIPPA certification, etc.). The degree of participation of the each individual in the clinic, including assisting in the care of orthodontic patients, will be determined by the Program Director with consultation from the other faculty members according to the guidelines set by the College and University administration. Every individual in the Program must conform to all the rules, regulations and requirements pertinent to being present in the clinic for observation or acting as an orthodontic assistant, or they will be dismissed from the clinic.

Research Component

The individual in the program will write a review article on a topic related to craniofacial biology and or orthodontics in conjunction with one or more faculty members. Each individual in the program will select a topic, approved by the program director, and research all significant articles related to that topic.

This review article will be completed one month prior to the end of the extern’s program. Depending on their background, interests, and motivation, the individual may have the opportunity to participate in ongoing research efforts. The degree of participation will be determined by the availability and type of ongoing research activity at the time. The director will determine the degree of participation of the extern.


The Extern will fully participate in the following courses with the first year orthodontic residents.

Fall Semester 

1st Year Orthodontic Residents and Individuals in the Professional Certificate Program in Dentistry (Craniofacial Biology)

CDS 611 Child Growth and Development I
CDS 660 Research Design, Methods, & Dissemination
ORT 610 Craniofacial Form
ORT 660 Orthodontic Diagnosis
ORT 661 Orthodontic Seminar Clinic
ORT 662 Orthodontic Technique
ORT 770 Orthodontic Seminar

Spring Semester 

CDS 612 Child Growth & Development II
CDS 631 Orofacial Pain & TM Disorder
CDS 680 Clinical Medicine for Postgraduate Dental Studies
ORT 661 Orthodontic Seminar Clinic
ORT 664 Biomechanics
ORT 770 Orthodontic Seminar
ORT 790 Research in Orthodontics

Additional Information

I-20 Form
If an applicant is admitted and needs an I-20 form and visa, the applicant will need to provide the following:

  • Copy of written or electronic application of each individual participant to the Program.
  • Copy of TOEFL and/or other standardized assessment tool used by the school to determine English proficiency if English is not their primary language.
  • Copies of educational records/transcripts from University, Dental School and Residency if applicable.
  • Copy of the C.V. or resume of each student participant
  • Copy of acceptance letter into the program
  • Bank Statement on bank letterhead is required-scanned or faxed copies of the official bank statement or an original bank statement are acceptable. Please show an available balance in U.S. dollars. Students must show funding that exceeds tuition and living expenses.

Post-Baccalaureate Graduate Students/Non-degree Seeking Students
Applicants may apply to the University of Kentucky Graduate School as a non-degree seeking student if their visa, external support or other personal requirements make it necessary for them to do so. Note that acceptance into the University of Kentucky is not an automatic if you have been accepted into the Professional Certificate Program in Dentistry (Craniofacial Biology), which is not a part of the University of Kentucky Graduate School. All Graduate School application, course and other related fees are in addition to the fee for Professional Certificate Program in Dentistry (Craniofacial Biology). Admittance requirements and other details for post-baccalaureate graduate students may be found here.


Dr. Lina Sharab
University of Kentucky
College of Dentistry
800 Rose Street, D416
Lexington, KY 40536-0297
Phone: 859-323-7638

Make a Gift Your gifts help support the academic, research and patient care missions of the UK College of Dentistry. Make a gift now.