Why UNMC College of Dentistry Postgraduate Programs?

"I chose UNMC because of the tight knit community at the College of Dentistry. We received the one-on-one attention that is really important. I learned so much from my fellow residents, as well as from the faculty and the orthodontists in the community who help at the college. They had a lot of different treatment modalities and I really enjoyed those eye-opening patient care experiences. I also recommend living in Lincoln - everyone can find something wonderful about Lincoln." - Dr. Anna Schoettger, Schoettger Orthodontics, Lincoln

UNMC College of Dentistry Orthodontic Residency Program

The UNMC College of Dentistry has offered fully accredited advanced education programs in orthodontics since 1951. The program leads to a Certificate of Specialization in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. This certificate satisfies the requirements of the American Board of Orthodontics for eligibility to complete the written exam and take the clinical exam to become board eligible toward the ultimate goal of becoming a diplomate.

Length of Program: 30 months
Application Deadline: September 1
Start Date: July 1
Positions Available: 3
Location: UNMC College of Dentistry, Lincoln, Nebraska
Department: Growth & Development

Why study orthodontics?

Orthodontists experience the satisfaction, privilege and joy of enhancing their patients smiles to improve their oral function and appearance, and to increase their self-confidence. Orthodontics is a rewarding and challenging career that offers a wealth of benefits, including building relationships with patients, exercising creativity in daily work, working as part of a team, and helping to eliminate oral health disparities. Many orthodontists own their own businesses and every day have the privilege of transforming their patients’ lives by improving their oral health.

Why the UNMC College of Dentistry Orthodontic Residency Program?

Core Topics Covered

Comprehensive Physical Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, Craniofacial Growth and Development, Dentofacial Deformities, Orthodontic and Endodontic/Periodontic/Prosthodontic/Surgical Interaction, Principles of Mechanics, Research, Temporomandibular Disorders and Orofacial Pain

Skills Students Develop

Critical thinking and problem-solving, clinical diagnosis and treatment planning, clinical hand skills (fine motor skills), patient communication, practice management and research.

Career Opportunities

Private Practice, Practice Owner, Public Health (public health agencies, community health clinics and schools), Research, Teaching


Meenakshi Vishwanath,

Program Director

Po-Jung Chen, DDS, MDS, MDentSc

Sumit Yadav, BDS, MDS, MBA, PhD
Department Chair


Part-Time Faculty

2023-2024 House Officers

Teresa Bae

Lyndzie Brace

Stella Dong

Hibah Chughtai

Katherine Lambert

Emily Leach

Applicant Process 

Applicant Eligibility
Must have a professional dental degree from an A.D.A.-accredited dental college or school with the degree designation of Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). Provisional acceptance exists for students in the final stages of dental education. In addition, the applicants must have a valid license to practice within the United States of America or be licensed as such by the time they are to begin the postgraduate program in orthodontics.

Once accepted, a Nebraska dental license is required to participate in the program. At the present time foreign trained dentists (non-U.S. or non-Canadian dental degrees) are not being accepted for the postgraduate orthodontics training program. This is because of licensing restrictions.

Selection Factors
Preference is given to those who have adequate preparation and aptitude. Applications for the program are considered on the basis of the following factors:

  • Grade point average
  • Class standing
  • GRE exams are optional - However, it is highly recommended that the exam be taken and scores reported
  • Pattern of academic achievement
  • National Board Examination Scores/Passing Rate (For INBDE - Please see Applicant Process)
  • Advanced education
  • Research experience
  • Recommendations
  • Meaningful extracurricular activities
  • State of residence
  • Personal statement of goals (include explanation for choice of graduate field, expectations for learning in your chosen field of study, and anticipated career goals)
  • Other supporting evidence such as a CV or resume

Applicant Process

  1. Complete the online application through the Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS), a central application service. With PASS, applicants complete one standard application which is then distributed to each of the participating programs to which the applicant wishes to apply. PASS deals with the initial stages of the recruitment process prior to the evaluation of applicants by the programs. PASS has been designed by and is administered by the American Dental Education Association (ADEA).
  2. Submit the supplemental application and $50 application fee. Instructions to submit online will be sent to you by email after you have submitted your application through PASS.
  3. Applications will be reviewed and interviews will be granted without INBDE results. However, if selected, candidates will be required to pass the INBDE exam before admission to the program.
  4. Candidates will be matched to programs through the Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program - National Matching Services.

The didactic and clinical curricula are designed to allow an individual to develop skills required of the practicing orthodontist. ADA CODA approval granted as of February 1, 2008.

The curriculum includes the following:

  • Orthodontic Clinic
  • Clinical Orthodontic Seminars
  • Advanced Anatomy
  • Advanced Dental Biomaterials
  • Advanced Oral Biology
  • Advanced Oral Pathology
  • Biophysical Principles
  • Biostatistics
  • Cephalometrics
  • Craniofacial Anomalies
  • Craniofacial Growth & Development
  • Current Literature
  • Orthodontic and Endodontic Interaction
  • Orthodontic and Periodontic Interaction
  • Orthodontic and Surgical Interaction
  • Practice Management
  • Research, Project Planning and Design
  • Statistics
  • Temporomandibular Disorders and Orofacial Pain

Students must concurrently enroll in, and complete, the master of science degree program.

Master's Program*
A requirement for the attainment of a Certificate of Specialization in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics is the completion of the requirements for a master of science degree. The UNMC Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area (MSIA) graduate program is offered through UNMC Graduate Studies. The program consists of expanded coursework, an approved research project, a formal thesis, and a publishable article to a refereed journal. The program usually requires a minimum of 30 months to complete.

The MSIA degree program is administrated by UNMC Graduate Studies and is not administratively related to the certificate program. There is no clinical component and extra coursework may be required depending on the student's area of study. However, the certificate of specialization program completion is contingent on completion of a M.S. degree program. Students must meet the admission requirements of and complete an application to UNMC Graduate Studies.

*See MSIA program website.

Program Requirements 

In addition to the program of study required by the Postgraduate Education Committee, the following are expected to be satisfactorily completed during the training program and prior to the granting of the Certificate of Specialization in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.

Professional Presentations
During the Spring semester of the second year, each student is required to present at the College of Dentistry's annual Student Scientific Program.

During the second year, students will be encouraged to present their Master's research at the annual meeting of the American Association for Dental Research, or the American Association of Orthodontists annual session, or the annual Midwest Student Biomedical Research Forum, or the Moyer's symposium. Residents' travel will be funded to present at the meetings.

Emergencies and Pain Control
The College of Dentistry has determined that a course in Emergencies and Pain Control and participation on the CODE BLUE team and the After Hours Emergency Care Program are parts of the academic program for all postgraduate students who are eligible for licensure in Nebraska and who accept GME funding. The course will be scheduled during the first year as a required course for all new postgraduate students.

An objective standardized clinical examination (OSCE) will be given to students annually in order to help monitor their progress and identify strengths and deficiencies. A departmental clinical comprehensive examination will be given to all third-year residents during the Fall Semester. Details of the examination procedure will be available at least six weeks prior to the scheduled time and will follow a format similar to that of the American Board of Orthodontics.

Participation in undergraduate teaching is a required activity for second year postgraduate students. A regular or temporary Nebraska Dental License is mandatory for postgraduate students. 

Research Project
A research project is required. The project is part of the requirement for an advanced academic degree (M.S.). The complete M.S. thesis must be received and approved by UNMC Graduate Studies before the Certificate of Specialization will be awarded.

Off-Site Education
Clinical experiences for students include a periodic rotation to participate with the Boys Town National Research Hospital Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Team and the Children's Nebraska where students evaluate and plan treatment for children with craniofacial birth defects.

See University of Nebraska Medical Center Immunization Policy.  

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Each student is required to be certified and maintain certification in basic CPR. A copy of the valid certification in basic CPR must be maintained at the College of Dentistry.

Financial and Employment Information 
2022-2023 House Officer Stipends
Level Annual Monthly
H1 $11,528.28 $960.69
H2 $14,672.35 $1,222.69
H3* $8,384.20 $1,397.36

* Year 3 is only 6 months.

Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding allocations by UNMC must be established before resident stipends for the year can be established. Residents will be assigned a 1.0 FTE status which makes them eligible for a flexible benefit package which includes choices among health, life and disability insurance. Future income is contingent upon continued availability of federal funds and, therefore, is subject to change at any time.

2022-2023 Program Costs
For postgraduate students with a U.S. or Canadian dental degree, and Nebraska residents.

Clinical Fees $5,612 per year
- $2,806 for spring term
- $2,806 for fall term
Equipment Assessment $2,050 per year
Orthodontic Course $2,500 per year
Total $10,162 per year

There is a one time $37.45 fee for background check.

View the Estimated Cost of Attendance Budget from the UNMC Financial Aid Office.

Camera Requirement
Residents are expected to provide their own Canon EOS Rebel XSI (12mp) camera - or the equivalent - equipped for intra-oral high-quality photos (Mini Macro Ring and Point Flash) by the beginning of clinic during fall of the first year in the program.

Tuition Scholarships
GME-eligible postgraduate students are considered full-time employees of the University and, as such, are eligible for employee tuition scholarships for graduate credit hours. This permits the GME-eligible student to enroll for up to 15 credit hours per year. No more than 6 credit hours may be taken in each of the fall and spring semesters, and three credit hours may be taken in the summer. 

Student Loans and Loan Deferment
Postgraduate students are considered students of the College of Dentistry for financial aid purposes. Postgraduate students may get financial aid information from the UNMC Financial Aid Office. Student loan payments for postgraduate students can be deferred.

Vacation/Sick Leave
Postgraduate students who accept stipends shall have ten (10) scheduled working days of paid leave per year. Leave includes vacation and sick leave. Leave in excess of ten (10) days per year must be taken as Leave Without Pay from the College or as Family Leave. Students who do not have stipends shall have ten (10) scheduled working days of leave per year for vacation and/or sick leave with provision for Family Leave as per University policies. Leave requests must be submitted as per the policies of the program and the College. Students have additional vacation days that do not count toward the 10-day limit when the University is closed (e.g., the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, but not including spring break or spring/summer semester break).

Private Practice
Private practice of dentistry is not permitted under any circumstances at any time while a postgraduate student is in this postgraduate program unless there has been specific approval from the Program Director and the Associate Dean of Education.

State of Nebraska Residency
As employees of the University, GME-eligible postgraduate students are considered to be residents of the State of Nebraska. Ordinarily students who are not GME-eligible may be considered not residents of the State of Nebraska.

Professional Liability 

The University of Nebraska has professional liability insurance covering all students within the College of Dentistry. Current coverage is $1,000,000 per person, per occurrence, with a $100,000 deductible. The University provides self insurance for the $100,000 deductible through the University's general and professional liability insurance program.

Nebraska Licensure 

Postgraduate students are required to have a Nebraska Dental License (temporary or regular) by the time they are to begin the postgraduate program. Those who accept GME funding are expected to have a Nebraska Dental License (temporary or regular) and federal and state DEA licenses before July 1 of the year of the commencement of their program so they can participate in the After Hours Emergency Care Program.

It is possible for a student who has graduated from an A.D.A. accredited American or Canadian dental school and is licensed in another state, territory, or District of Columbia to obtain a temporary Nebraska Dental License during the time he or she is enrolled as a full-time postgraduate student. The temporary license is only for practice-related and clinical teaching activities within the College of Dentistry and does not allow extramural private practice.

After acceptance into the postgraduate program, licensure information may be obtained from the State of Nebraska Department of Health, Bureau of Examining Boards.

For a regular license, the State Board accepts the results of the clinical examination given by the Central Regional Dental Testing Service. The State Board also has provisions for licensure by credentials for individuals licensed in other states.

Statement of Equal Educational Opportunity 


Meenakshi (Minnie) Vishwanath, BDS, MDS, MDentSc
Program Director
UNMC College of Dentistry
4000 East Campus Loop South
Lincoln, NE 68583-0740

Postgraduate Dental Programs
Julie Buss
UNMC College of Dentistry
4000 East Campus Loop South
Lincoln, NE 68583-0740