After achieving a dental degree, dentists may wish to specialize in Orthodontics by enrolling as a resident in an accredited Orthodontic Program.

Iowa’s graduate program in orthodontics prepares residents to practice orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. The programs' objectives are to provide residents with an in-depth education in biological and biomechanical principles related to orthodontics; to teach residents to diagnose, establish treatment plan, and provide patients with comprehensive orthodontic care in a state-of-the art facility; and to develop residents’' research and service skills.

Opportunities are available for research and independent study in the department, and there are special facilities for research in biomechanics and craniofacial growth. Multidisciplinary interactions with other departments within and beyond the College provide residents with learning and research opportunities such as pre-clinical/clinical biomechanics in orthodontics, surgical orthodontics, cleft lip and palate treatment, speech pathology, animal study, genetics/genomics, human growth study, and artificial intelligence.


Master of Science and Certificate in Orthodontics

The Master of Science program in orthodontics requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit. Residents must satisfactorily complete a thesis based on a hypothesis-driven original research project to qualify for an M.S. in addition to the Certificate in Orthodontics.

Satisfactory completion of 24 months (July – June) of intensive requirements qualifies residents to receive the Certificate in Orthodontics. Requirements include didactic courses, seminars, clinical practicum, oral defense and successful submission of a thesis project..

Application Process


The application deadline is August 1.

The Orthodontics MS program application process is described at http://grad.admissions.uiowa.edu/academics/orthodontics-ms and the application is available online at apply.admissions.uiowa.edu/admissions/graduate.page


Admission requires the D.D.S. or its equivalent and satisfaction of the Graduate College Requirements

Department Requirements

Faculty in the University of Iowa Department of Orthodontics feel that residency program participation in the Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program is fair and beneficial to applicants. We also feel that it is in the long-term best interest of the specialty. Consequently, we have decided to interview applicants who are applying exclusively to programs participating in the Match.


The focus of the thesis project is to create new knowledge to advance the specialty of orthodontics.  Alumni and supporters of the department have established the Dr. George Andreasen Memorial Fund in honor of Dr. Andreasen, former faculty member and department head who spearheaded the application of Nitinol wire in the specialty of orthodontics.  This substantial fund provides support for orthodontic resident research projects.  The University of Iowa is a Big Ten university and offers research facilities in all areas of endeavor.

The majority of Iowa thesis research projects result in publications in peer-reviewed journals such as the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (AJO-DO), the Angle Orthodontist, Progress in Orthodontics, and Seminars in Orthodontics. 

Program Information, Stipend, and Costs

Program Information, Stipend, and Costs


General system theory, control theory, cybernetics, systems analysis; role of applied human biologist; human biology as a science.

Diagnosis, treatment planning implementation.

Literature concerning orthodontic diagnosis; treatment of particular problems; case histories of patients treated in graduate clinic.

Skills for treatment of disfiguring malocclusions; use of edgewise biomechanical therapy; laboratory focus on typodont exercises.

Principles in biomechanics applied for comprehensive orthodontic treatment combined with case-based didactic clinical review.

Theories, processes; use of accepted facial growth concepts in treatment of individuals with malocclusions during active growth period.

Render orthodontic care in state-of-the art clinical facility. The scope of treatment ranges from early interventions to comprehensive care for adolescents, adults, and patients with craniofacial anomalies.

Evaluation, discussion, criticism, defense of diagnostic and treatment approaches to orthodontic non-surgical cases that have been completed for orthodontic treatment.

Case-presentation seminar for difficult, challenging, on-going cases that have been treated by 2nd-year residents.

Residents’ thesis project: pre-proposal, thesis progress meetings, oral examination, and completed thesis submission.

Literature review on required articles for ABO-board examinations and current biological, technical publications.

Use of cephalometric radiographs (lateral and/or postero-anterior) in formulating orthodontic diagnosis, treatment plans for malocclusions; cephalometrics as a tool for craniofacial structure research.

Literature on anatomy, phylogeny, ontogenesis, physiology of craniofacial structures.

Evaluation, discussion, criticism, defense of diagnostic and treatment approaches to orthodontic cases that need, are undergoing, or have completed surgical orthodontic treatment.

Evaluation, discussion, criticism, defense of diagnostic and treatment approaches to orthodontic cases that need, are undergoing, or have completed surgical/non-surgical orthodontic treatment for patients with cleft lip and palate.