Why UNMC College of Dentistry Postgraduate Programs?

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UNMC College of Dentistry Periodontics Residency Program

The UNMC College of Dentistry has offered fully accredited advanced educational programs in the field of periodontology since 1962. The program leads to a certificate of specialization in periodontics which satisfies the requirements for eligibility to take the American Board of Periodontology Diplomate examination. The didactic and clinical curricula are designed to allow an individual to develop those skills required by the practicing clinical periodontist.

Length of Program: 34-36 months
Application Deadline: August 1
Start Date: July 1
Class Size: 2

Eligibility: Residents matriculating for postgraduate training in Periodontology must have a professional dental degree from an A.D.A.-accredited dental college or school (United States or Canada). Provisional acceptance is offered to candidates in the final stages of dental education.

Program Summary 

The program leading to attainment of a Certificate of Specialization in Periodontology commences each year in July and is a minimum of three academic years (34-36 months) in length. The didactic and clinical curricula are designed to allow an individual to develop those skills required by the practicing clinical periodontist. A resident can also concurrently enroll in the Master of Science degree program which is explained under the heading “Additional Programs in Graduate Education.”

Residents matriculating for postgraduate training in periodontology must have a professional dental degree from an A.D.A.- accredited dental college or school (United States or Canada). Provisional acceptance is offered to candidates in the final stages of dental education. Applications to postgraduate periodontology for a program leading to a certificate of specialization should be sent to ADEA Postdoctoral Application Support Service, PASS, ( on or before August 1 of the year before desired entry. Interviewing of prospective residents will be in the fall. UNMC College of Dentistry participates in the Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program and abides by the dates set by the Match program each year. For more information please see:


Admissions to pursue postgraduate work in periodontology are limited to the number which can be handled to the advantage of the residents and the college. At the present time, usually two residents are accepted each year. Preference is given to those who have adequate preparation and aptitude.

Application instructions can be found on the Instructions for Applicants page. 

Applicants for the program are considered on the basis of the following factors:

  • Grade point average
  • Class standing
  • Pattern of academic achievement
  • National board examination scores (when available)
  • Experience and training
  • Recommendations
  • 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

Individuals selected from the applicant pool for consideration for admission may be invited for a personal interview which is an additional basis for student selection.

Non-U.S./Non-Canadian Degree Students
At the present time foreign trained dentists (non-U.S. or non-Canadian dental degrees) are not being accepted for the postgraduate periodontal training program. This is because of licensing restrictions.

Program Content 

Each resident's program provides a mixture of didactic instruction and clinical activity. The exact portion of time spent in each area varies somewhat with the resident's past experience and future goals.

Residents are required to take core courses that will allow them to develop knowledge and expertise in the relationship of immunology, microbiology, pharmacology and cell biology to that of periodontal and implant diagnoses and treatments. Each resident develops clinical skills in diagnosis, treatment planning and therapy for patients with periodontal diseases and implant needs. All residents also develop competence in other clinical areas such as conscious sedation via oral, inhalation and intravenous routes.

There is also an opportunity to teach and lecture. Residents with an acute interest in education may choose electives through educational departments at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to expand knowledge and skills in areas such as teaching techniques, audiovisual production and testing/evaluation. The option to apply this information and actively participate in the design and presentation of didactic and clinical courses is available to the resident who plans a career in education.

Program of Study 
Postgraduate Certificate Program
  • Advanced Anatomy
  • Advanced Dental Pharmacology
  • Advanced Oral Biology
  • Advanced Oral Pathology
  • Advanced Periodontology
  • Biostatistics
  • Case Presentation/Treatment Planning
  • Classic Literature
  • Clinical Pathology, Physical and Laboratory Diagnosis
  • Conscious Sedation
  • Current Literature
  • Endo-Perio Interrelationships
  • Etiology
  • General Anesthesia Rotation (four weeks)
  • Implantology
  • Medical Management/Emergencies
  • Microanatomy of Oral Tissues
  • Microbiology/Immunology
  • Occlusion
  • Oral Pathology Clinical Rotation
  • Ortho-Perio Interrelationships
  • Patient Management
  • Periodontal/Prosthetic Interrelationships
  • Periodontology Clinic
  • Practice Administration
  • Research Planning and Design
  • Periodontal Maintenance Therapy
  • TMD
  • Wound Healing
Other Program Requirements 

In addition to the program of study required by the College of Dentistry's postgraduate education committee which oversees all the graduate specialty programs, the following are expected to be satisfactorily completed during the training program and prior to granting the certificate of specialization in periodontics:

Scholarly Activity
During their tenure at the University of Nebraska, residents are expected to engage in some type of scholarly activity presented or published outside of the College of Dentistry. Common examples would be submission of a paper to a refereed journal, or presentation of an abstract at a regional or national meeting. The subject matter of this scholarly activity may be results of their research, a case report, a literature review, etc. This program requirement will be verified, prior to graduation, by the department chair.

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 residents located in programs housed in the College of Dentistry in Lincoln.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Each resident 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.

Advanced Cardiopulmonary Life Support (ACLS)
Each resident will be certified during the program duration in ACLS.

Participation in undergraduate teaching is a required activity, usually two days per week, experienced in the third year of study.

In-Service Examination
Each resident enrolled in the program will participate in the AAP's in-service examination given each year in the spring. Results of this examination remain confidential to the student.

Departmental Examination
Each resident will successfully complete an oral examination given by the department at the end of each year. This is to prepare the resident to take the American Board of Periodontology examination.

Joint Departmental Seminars
Each resident will participate in joint departmental seminars with residents from other departments on a schedule determined by the departments.

Each resident must be a student member of the American Academy of Periodontology. Residents may also join and participate in if they so choose the Academy of Osseointegration, the American Dental Association, the Nebraska Society of Periodontology, and the Southwest Society of Periodontists.

Instruments and Photographic Supplies
Most instruments necessary for the evaluation and treatment of patients with periodontal diseases and implantology will be provided by the University to use while in the educational program. Each resident will furnish a digital camera suitable for quality intraoral photography to record and document clinical procedures and therapy. Digital cameras are a requirement and must be purchased by the resident prior to or within the first couple months after starting the program.

Books and Journals
Occasionally, textbooks, which the resident will have to purchase, are required and utilized for didactic courses. The resident may also desire to purchase other selected texts for personal reference. A subscription to the "Journal of Periodontology" is required for all graduate residents. Required student membership in the Academy of Periodontology, which provides a subscription to the Journal of Periodontology, may be secured after matriculation into the program.

VA Rotation
Each resident spends a small portion of their clinical time at the Lincoln Veterans Administration Hospital treating patients with periodontal problems and implant needs. The exact amount of time spent at the VA Clinic is dependent upon the resident's individual program.

Program Costs 

2022-2023 Program Costs

For postgraduate students with a U.S. or Canadian dental degree, and Nebraska residents.

Clinical Fees

$2,806 Fall Term (July 1-December 31)
$2,806 Spring Term (January 1-June 30)
$5,612 Per Year (total clinical fees)

Equipment Assessment

$2,050 Per Year



One-time $37.45 fee for background check. This fee includes sales tax.

Salary and Employee Status 

As of July 1, 2019, GME-eligible Periodontics residents will be appointed as 1.0 FTE employees and will receive a salary. GME-eligible postgraduate students are 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. Due to the changes in GME funding, future funding may be at a reduced level.

Student Loans and Loan Deferment
Currently, 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 and student loan payments for postgraduate students can usually be deferred. Postgraduate students in periodontology may be eligible for loans through the American Academy of Periodontology.

Vacation/Sick Leave
Postgraduate students receiving GME funding 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. Leave requests must be submitted as per the policies of the program and the College. Residents 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, one week spring break, one week between spring and summer session and other holidays).

Private Practice
Private practice of dentistry is not permitted during the first year of residency. If the resident is progressing satisfactorily, the resident can practice in the private sector on weekends with administrative approval. The practicing resident must have a regular Nebraska dental license and is independent from the College of Dentistry during that period. (See Nebraska Licensure)

The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry policy requires that all entering residents in programs requiring patient contact must be vaccinated or exhibit active immunity to tetanus, measles*, mumps, diphtheria, chicken pox, polio, rubella and Hepatitis B and have had a TB skin test within the last 6 months, unless the student has a previous positive test/medical contraindication. Each entering resident must verify at the time of matriculation that he or she has completed the accepted routine of vaccinations. An immunization record is required in order for the student to be registered.

*Anyone born after 1957 is required to have two measles shots to assure immunity, with the second one given after 1980.

Nebraska Licensure 

All postgraduate residents are expected to have a Nebraska Dental License (either temporary or regular) and federal DEA license before October 15 of the year of the commencement of their program so that they can participate in the after-hours emergency care program and to teach. The postgraduate student must document efforts to obtain licensure to the postgraduate admissions office by July 15. Failure to obtain a Nebraska Dental License and federal DEA license by October 15 may result in a reduction of duties, reduction or elimination of stipend, an extension of time necessary to complete program requirements, or dismissal from the program.

It is possible for a student who has graduated from an A.D.A. accredited American or Canadian dental school and 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 and Human Services (DHHS), Attn: Dental Licensure, P.O. Box 94986, Lincoln, NE 68509-4986. Telephone: (402) 471-2115.

For a regular license, the Nebraska Board of Dentistry has determined that the following examinations will be accepted for Dentistry license applications completed between September 1, 2021, through August 31, 2022 (A passing score for each examination is determined by the respective testing agency):

  • 2021-2022 Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS) Dental Examination
  • 2021-2022 Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA) Dental Examination with either the CDCA Patient based Periodontal Examination or the CRDTS Patient based Periodontal Examination
  • 2021-2022 Council of Interstate Testing Agencies (CITA) Dental Examination
  • 2021-2022 Western Regional Examining Board (WREB) Dental Examination with CRDTS Prosthodontic Manikin or patient-based Examination, or the WREB Prosthodontic Manikin or patient-based Examination, or the CDCA Prosthodontic Manikin or patient-based Examination
  • 2021-2022 Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA) Dental Examination with CRDTS Periodontal Examination
  • 2021-2022 American Dental Examination (ADEX) with a manikin or patient based periodontal examination (Passing Score is 75)

The State Board also has provisions for licensure by credentials and interview for individuals licensed in other states.

State of Nebraska Residency 

As employees of the University, GME-eligible postgraduate students are considered residents of the State of Nebraska. Postgraduate students who are not GME eligible and are not from the State of Nebraska are not residents in the eyes of the University.

Professional Liability 

The University of Nebraska has in force professional liability insurance covering all students within the College of Dentistry.

Current coverage is $1,000,000 per person per occurrence, with $100,000 deductible. The University provides self-insurance for the $100,000 deductible through the University's general and professional liability insurance program.

Additional Programs in Graduate Education 

Master's Program
In conjunction and simultaneously with a resident's education leading to a certificate of specialization in periodontology, a program is available to complete the requirements for M.S. degree. This program leading to a master of science degree awarded by the University of Nebraska Medical Center Graduate College is administered through the Department of Oral Biology in the College of Dentistry (Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area [MSIA] Graduate Program).

The M.S. program consists of the conduct of an approved research project, the submission of a formal thesis and defense, and may involve expanded course-work depending on the resident's area of study. Extra time may be needed to meet the requirements of the M.S. degree. GME eligible residents, because they are University employees, receive tuition remission for up to 15 graduate credits per year.

Ph.D. Program
A program may be designed for a certificate of specialization in periodontics and a Ph.D. through the medical sciences interdepartmental area in one of the participating departments such as oral biology. This program is structured for an individual planning on a full-time career in academics and research. Further information can be obtained from the program director.

Application Process for M.S. Degree 

After acceptance by the student into the postgraduate certificate program, an application to the Graduate College for the M.S. program must be completed by the student who wishes to take the graduate degree program concurrently. Students interested in an M.S. degree should make application as soon as possible after acceptance to the periodontal program.

Applicants seeking a graduate degree (M.S.) must also meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College and the MSIA Program.

Statement of Equal Educational Opportunity 

In accordance with University policy, UNMC prohibits the denial of admission or of medical center privileges to residents or applicants on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, age, disability or religious or political beliefs. These privileges include but are not limited to admission, class assignments, scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, and financial aid, as well as housing and recreational facilities. Furthermore, student organizations must base their selection of students for membership in criteria which will not include race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age or disability.

Admittance to UNMC programs will not be denied to otherwise qualified disabled individuals solely by reason of their disability. Qualified disabled persons are those who meet the academic and technical standards for each program. These nonacademic skills are essential to successful program completion.

In summary, UNMC policies are in accord with:

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972
Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Sections 799A and 854 of the Public Health Services Act
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

The objective of the University of Nebraska Medical Center is to recruit and retain persons of high moral and ethical character. In accordance with this objective, the University of Nebraska Medical Center reserves the right to review a candidate's suitability for admission.


Matthew R. Byarlay, DDS, MS
Director of Postgraduate Periodontology
UNMC College of Dentistry
4000 East Campus Loop
Lincoln, NE 68583-0740

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