Post Graduate FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose Columbia University School of Dental Medicine for my postdoctoral studies?The short answer is: Because of the students. You will live with and learn from a dynamic, bright, enthusiastic group of students and residents, who are deeply interested in the field of oral health.

Your fellow students or residents will be a diverse group, from many different places, and interested in the full range of specialization, practice, and research. The cultural differences and the broad range of interests in every field of dental medicine make for a vibrant, intellectually challenging atmosphere.

What are the prerequisites for admission?
Candidates for admission must be qualified graduates in dentistry with a genuine interest in advanced training, either in general dentistry or in one of the following specialized areas: Endodontics, Orthodontics, Periodontics, Prosthodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Pediatric Dentistry, Advanced Education in General Dentistry, General Practice Residency Program. All postdoctoral programs include advanced study in both the clinical and basic sciences of dentistry.

What sort of research opportunities will I find?
Talented students will find significant research opportunities at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. You may, in fact, find yourself expanding beyond purely dental research, working with professionals in other areas of our vast medical center. Note, however, that there are no research training stipends available for postdoctoral students.

What is your acceptance rate?
Acceptance to any of the School of Dental Medicine’s postdoctoral programs is extremely competitive. On average, less than five percent of applicants are accepted into each program.

Are stipends available?
Some stipends are available for hospital residents. Other postdoctoral students are not eligible for stipends.

Is financial aid available?
Federal Direct Loans are available for US Citizens and Permanent Residents. Limited scholarship money is available for other international students.

How much does it cost to apply?
The application fee is $125.

When are applications due?
Applications must be done online, and must be received by AY Recruiting Solutions .

When will interviews be held?
If you are selected for an interview, you will be contacted sometime during the month of August/September.

When are acceptance letters sent?
Acceptances are sent out between October and December.

Is it possible to do short-term postdoctoral study?
Yes. Our Postdoctoral Externship Program offers visiting dentists the opportunity for guided study, attendance, and observation within the specialized programs in endodontics, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, and prosthodontics. These short-term programs (ranging from one month to one year), are customized to meet each student’s specific needs.

Students in the Externship Program do not receive university credit. The programs are not meant to replace formal postdoctoral study. Upon completion, however, students will receive a certificate of attendance, which can be framed and displayed.

Externship fees are based on a prorated percentage of annual postdoctoral specialty training tuition.

What sort of student housing is available?
Postdoctoral students have the opportunity to rent studio or one-bedroom apartments in campus housing. Off-campus housing in the neighborhood is also available.

Whom should I contact for more information?
You should contact the individual program director.

In addition to the regular postdoctoral programs, does the College of Dental Medicine offer a Ph.D. program?
At this time, the only available Ph.D. program at the College of Dental Medicine is in the emerging field of Dental Informatics. Admission to the program, dedicated to developing a new kind of dental scientists with a strong commitment to academic dentistry and research, is highly selective.

What will I be qualified to do after I complete my postdoctoral program?
Many of our students go on to pursue academic careers at various universities and hospitals. Others open highly successful private practices, in locations all over the world. Some go into research, and publish.

Many of our alumni become highly involved with the professional organizations in their specialty. In fact, many of our College of Dental Medicine postdoctoral graduates have gone on to hold leadership positions in the national and international organizations devoted to their specialties.

How many international students participate in the postdoctoral programs?
Approximately 40% of the students admitted for postdoctoral study in a typical year are from other countries. In any given year, you might find yourself studying with people from Canada, Australia, Germany, Kuwait, Syria, Greece. . . or any other point on the globe.

Why do so many international students choose to do their postdoctoral work at Columbia?
In addition to the school’s “first choice” reputation, many international students choose Columbia because of its New York City location.

Our international students report that they feel at home in New York. No matter where they come from, they can find the food they like, and make friends from their home country, as well as new friends from America and all over the globe.

Our overseas students are also welcome to take part in the international student organizations on Columbia University’s lower campus

How difficult is it to gain acceptance into the School of Dental Medicine?
Admission to the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine is extremely selective. Once admitted, you will benefit from living and studying with some of the brightest and best postdoctoral students in the field.

How does the student enrollment break down according to specialty?
Some programs accept more students than others. A typical entering class in orthodontics, for example would include seven students. Other programs accept about four. Only two students per year are chosen for the combined Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and M.D. degree program.