Academic Programs

Master in Orthodontics Program


Program Director
Dr. Ching-Chang Ko

Phone: (919) 537-3191


Location: 275 Brauer Hall

Orthodontics Graduate Program
UNC School of Dentistry
Campus Box #7450
Chapel Hill, N.C. 27599-7450

The orthodontic postgraduate program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides a combined clinical experience in orthodontics and a critical thinking and research experience that leads to a certificate in orthodontics and a Master of Science degree conferred by the UNC Graduate School. Students in the advanced orthodontic education program are required to demonstrate clinical and professional proficiency as well as complete the didactic and research components of the master’s degree prior to graduation. In the following pages, you will find information describing our program and instructions on how to apply. Our program offers a unique combination of didactic and clinical experiences in a state-of-the-art orthodontic facility. Thank you for your interest in our program.

Program Description

The Department of Orthodontics offers a 33-month program. Six residents begin the program each August. The full-time and adjunct attending faculty provide instruction in the latest and quite diverse approaches to clinical care and supervise treatment of a wide variety of orthodontic patients, including patients with complex craniofacial or developmental skeletal disharmony problems. The postgraduate program is designed to develop skilled practitioners who understand and are familiar with contemporary techniques and who can critically and scientifically evaluate clinical challenges and innovative treatment approaches in the future. Students are educationally qualified to take the written portion of the American Board of Orthodontics in the second year. Residents are encouraged to pass the written portion of the American Board of Orthodontics examination prior to graduation and to complete the board certification process. Students completing the program earn a specialty certificate in orthodontics. The program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.

The curriculum is composed of didactic courses, clinical seminars and small-group instruction with emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving. Contemporary concepts of orthodontic treatment are reviewed for substantive and scientific content, and students participate in regularly scheduled orthognathic surgery, craniofacial and interdisciplinary conferences. Also included is an extensive practice management seminar series which features a practicum to visit private orthodontic offices in California. Learn more about our practice management curriculum in the video below.

An original research experience is an integral part of our program with each project intended to produce results suitable for publication in a peer reviewed journal. The successful completion of a research project is required for the receipt of the certificate in orthodontics as well as the Master of Science degree. All senior residents present their research at the UNC Dental Research in Review Day and are encouraged to submit an abstract to the professional societies (e.g., AADR, ADEA, AAO). Students must complete the requirements for the master’s degree prior to being awarded the specialty certificate.