Postdoctoral Clinical Observational Externship

Postdoctoral Clinical Observational Externship

Due to the Post-Doctoral Clinical Observational Externship currently being revamped, please consider our Certificate Program.

The UNC Adams School of Dentistry offers postdoctoral programs for domestic and international dental school graduates.

Applicants may apply to attend for up to six months in participation with the endodontics, operative dentistry and biomaterials, orofacial pain, periodontics or prosthodontics programs. The programs are structured to allow for personalized instruction.

The objectives of the programs are to provide additional experience to dentists who wish to enhance their knowledge and understanding of current educational and clinical approaches in dental specialty areas.

Completion of the program will prepare internationally trained dentists with foundational knowledge if the desire is to seek further clinical specialty education in the US.

However, completion in no way ensures acceptance into a US specialty program. An extern will not be authorized to provide any dental advice or perform any other duties that have been defined as within the scope of the practice of dentistry by the State of North Carolina.

The postdoctoral externs attend school on a full-time basis. The curriculum includes classes with postgraduate dental students and residents and involves observation and participation in the clinics.

Applicants who wish to may participate in a research project under the mentorship of a full-time faculty member.

Application Deadlines

Application Deadline Start Date
September 1 January 5
February 15 July 1


Application Materials

The application materials below should be emailed to

  • Postdoctoral Observational Externship Application
  • Letter of interest
    This should be a statement of intent that specifies the clinical area of interest, the desired length of stay, the proposed start date of the visit, and the goals for the visit to the School of Dentistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Copy of a current dental license in the country of your residence
    If not in English, a translated and certified copy must also be submitted.
  • Two letters of recommendation
    Letters should come from faculty or other professionals in dentistry who can best evaluate whether the externship would be a positive experience for your future academic/clinical career.
  • Recognized English language test
English Test Min Score
  • Transcripts or other documented evidence from an English language school or academic institution in the U.S. or another English-speaking country (Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and English-medium Universities in Canada and South Africa) of having attended full-time for at least one academic year within five years of arriving to UNC-Chapel Hill, or documented evidence of having been employed and having resided in the U.S. or one of the countries listed above for at least two years.
    *This requirement can be waived if:
    1) The individual will transfer their current J-1 status to UNC Chapel Hill from another U.S. institution, where the individual has meet this requirement already
    2) The individual is a native or permanent resident of Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or English-speaking regions of Canada or South Africa

Acceptance into any program is contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check and obtaining the appropriate visa if you are a non-US citizen.

Tuition and Fees

Full payment of the externship tuition must be received one-week after the extern’s start date at UNC. Accepted payment forms are check (drawn from US bank account) or wire transfer. We cannot accept cash payments.

Program Length Tuition Cost
1 months $7,500 (USD)
3 months $15,000 (USD)
6 months $25,000 (USD)


Externs have frequent faculty interactions and have the opportunity to discuss areas of common interest in education and research with faculty and residents. In addition, externs are encouraged to attend lecture courses, journal clubs, and seminars.

Externs are allowed to observe clinical activities. Externs must be accompanied at all times by the host or other faculty and have clear ID and the proper clinical attire. Externs must meet all federal and state compliance guidelines (training, immunizations, etc.) prior to observation in the clinic.

Externs are encouraged to attend research seminars in the Adams School of Dentistry. Data relating to research done at UNC-Chapel Hill is the property of the University and may not be used elsewhere without authorization. All publications resulting from participation in the program must be approved by the principal investigator or faculty mentor and published according to prevailing ethical and professional standards.

Externs may also be interested in participating in the continuing education courses offered through the Adams School of Dentistry. Participation is encouraged but the extern is responsible for the additional fees to attend these courses. Attendance at any regional, national or international conferences is encouraged, but the individual will be responsible for all costs associated with such meetings (membership, registration, travel, etc.).

Responsibilities and Limitations

Program Status

The externship programs are not accredited by any national or local accreditation body. Attendance and completion records are maintained by the Office of Academic Affairs at the Adams School of Dentistry and are not listed on the UNC-Chapel Hill registrar’s records. Completion is not the same as a postgraduate program certificate awarded to full-time postgraduate students in specialty programs as a qualification for recognition by the American Dental Association, nor is it considered in the United States as evidence of advanced study or recognition of specialty training.

Tuition, fees, medical insurance, and costs for housing and living expenses are the responsibility of the extern. No financial assistance is available or provided by the University.

Health Insurance

The Adams School of Dentistry also requires that externs to obtain health clearance prior to enrollment in the program, for individual and community health reasons. The health clearance must include a completed physical examination and demonstration of immunity to certain communicable diseases. A TB test (a PPD or Mantoux if the applicant has not received BCG immunization) also is necessary.

All externs are required to be insured under an adequate medical insurance plan during all periods of registration.

Medical insurance is not provided by the Adams School of Dentistry and externs cannot be seen at the student health service.

Patient Treatment

An extern will not be authorized to provide any dental advice or perform any other duties that have been defined as within the scope of the practice of dentistry by the State of North Carolina.

Contact Us


Associate Dean for Advanced Dental Education
Ceib Phillips, MPH, PhD