Graduate Program in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology

The Graduate Program in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology offers a three-year postdoctoral program leading to a Master of Science degree. The program prepares qualified oral and maxillofacial pathology specialists for positions of responsibility in institutions of dental higher education and research, or in the oral pathology private practice setting.

Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology

Students in the graduate program gain experience in oral and maxillofacial pathology practice, surgical pathology, clinical management of patients with disorders of the head and neck, pathology laboratory management and teaching and research skills for enhancement of an academic career.

The students will become involved in activities essential in the development of an oral and maxillofacial pathologist including clinical oral pathology consultations in the dental school clinics, daily biopsy review sessions where the student learns histopathologic diagnosis and the process of composing a pathology report; pathology laboratory management, tissue and slide preparation.

Mentoring in classroom instruction and lecture preparation and interaction with medical and dental colleagues on issues of patient care are included.

In addition to formal coursework and clinical activities within the dental school setting the student will participate in 12 months of general pathology rotations at UNC Health. Other rotations determined by the student’s interests are scheduled in July of the second year.

Admissions Information

Application Deadline: March 8

Priority consideration for the class beginning in July will be given to applications received by the UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School by December 15.

Applications for admission to the program are through the UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School. Candidates should apply for the second summer session term (July 1 start date).

The application fee must be paid in US funds or through an international money order. This fee cannot be waived. Applications that arrive without the required fee will remain unprocessed, pending receipt of the fee. The UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School will send a notification of receipt of the application only after the fee has been paid and the application has been processed.

Admissions criteria are applied equally to all applicants regardless of race, gender, color, national origin or religion. Minority students are encouraged to apply.

General questions may be directed to:

The UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School
200A Bynum Hall
CB# 4010
Chapel Hill NC 27599-4010

Phone: (919) 966-2611

Admissions Requirements

All prospective students must hold a DDS, DMD or equivalent degree from a dental school.

Applicants should have National Dental Board Scores (Part I) at the time of application. Part II should be completed prior to the start of the Program.

For international students, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) can serve as an alternative to National Dental Board Scores.

International Students

International students are required to take the TOEFL exam with a minimum of 90 on the internet-based test, or the IELTS with a minimum score of 7.5. The exam score must be less than two years old.

When you register for any tests, you should indicate the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School (institution #5816) as a score recipient. If you did not specify the UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School as a score recipient at the time of taking the test, you must promptly ask ETS to send your scores to us (institution #5816). No departmental code is required.

Applicants should take the test no later than October to ensure that test scores arrive by the application deadline.

International applicants seeking admission must complete and upload an international student data form and financial certification worksheet, available here. Applicants may submit financial certificate documentation at any time during the application process or applicants may wait to upload the documentation until admittance notification is received from the UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School. Please note these documents must be received and approved by the International Student and Scholar Services office before visa documents can be prepared.

International students should submit National Board Scores, if available, as Supplement Number 1 in the Graduate School application.

Tuition, Stipend Support and Benefits

The cost of attending graduate school includes tuition, fees, and health insurance, for which the student is billed directly. Tuition and fees for the master’s programs in the Adams School of Dentistry are available through the University Cashier.

Graduate students must pay tuition and fees during all years of study and training. These charges are subject to change at any meeting of the NC Board of Trustees and a yearly increase of 5-10 percent should be anticipated each year. Estimates for living expenses are available through the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.

Out-of-state students and international students with permanent resident status (“green card”) are encouraged to establish legal residence in North Carolina and to apply for classification as a state resident for tuition purposes. Guidelines and application forms for establishing residency are available from the UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School.

Regardless of the availability of stipend support, teaching responsibilities are required as a part of the program.


Click here for the course catalog. If the page does not automatically direct you, click “ORPA” at the top.

North Carolina Licensure/Intern Permit

Students who are not graduates of an ADA-accredited dental school must complete a simulation exam as part of their NC intern permit process. Such candidates must pass and complete the simulation exam within two months of their formal matriculation in the program. If a candidate does not pass the simulation exam within the two-month interval, they cannot advance in the clinical program and will be subject to dismissal from the program.

Contact Us


Program Director, Ricardo Padilla, DDS
Phone: (919) 537-3156