Graduate students on graduation day

Dental Scientist Training Program (DSTP)

MUSC’s dual degree Dentist Scientist Training Program (DSTP) begins with 1 year of dental school, followed by ~4 years of research, and then the final 3 years of the dental school curriculum. This paradigm helps students concentrate on their research and/or clinical work for better retention and offers a more satisfactory blend of academic and patient experiences. Additionally, dental students need continuity in their clinical training to maintain the skills acquired during their second year of preclinical, laboratory-based dental classes. To stimulate and promote integration of the basic research skills and interests likely to be acquired during the years of PhD training, we plan to provide two new opportunities for DSTP students to gain knowledge about and actively participate in clinical and translational research.


This combined degree program is designed for outstanding students who wish to become dentist scientists and pursue research careers in an academic environment. The curriculum typically is completed in seven to eight years. Stipends of $28,000 per year and tuition, paid by a number of sources including a NIH/NIDCR T32 institutional training grant, are also provided for DMD/PhD students. More information can be found at College of Dental Medicine's Dental Medicine Scientist information page.


1.     Prerequisites


Semester Hours

General Chemistry 

The General Chemistry prerequisite requirement consists of general or introductory college-level Chemistry courses. Each science course must include the corresponding laboratory credit.


Organic Chemistry 

The Organic Chemistry prerequisite requirement consists of college-level Organic Chemistry courses. Each science course must include the corresponding laboratory credit.


Biology or Zoology 

The Biology prerequisite requirement consists of general or introductory college-level Biology or Zoology courses. Each science course must include the corresponding laboratory credit.



The Physics prerequisite requirement consists of general or introductory college-level Physics courses. Each science course must include the corresponding laboratory credit.


Science Electives 

The science elective prerequisite requirement consists of upper-level natural sciences courses. Each science course must include the corresponding laboratory credit. Examples: Microbiology, Biochemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Genetics, etc.


The English prerequisite requirement consists of introductory college-level English courses. Examples: Reading and Composition, Rhetoric, Literature, etc.



The Mathematics prerequisite requirement consists of college-level Math courses. Examples: College Algebra, Statistics, Calculus, etc. 


All prerequisite coursework must be taken at a regionally accredited US institution and may include coursework taken at a community or technical college and coursework offered in an online format. All prerequisite coursework must be completed by matriculation in June.

2.     ADEA AADSAS application

The following materials must be submitted through ADEA AADSAS. You do not need to have anything sent directly to MUSC.

  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended

    Strong preference is given to applicants who have, or will have                    
    completed, four years of college coursework and have earned a                  
    bachelor's degree at a regionally accredited US institution prior to              
    matriculation. In extremely rare circumstances a minimum of three years of
    exemplary college work, including an exceptional science GPA and DAT
    scores, may be considered.  

  • Official DAT scores

    Official US DAT scores must be less than five years old. Canadian DAT      
    scores are not accepted. It is recommended that you take the DAT early to
    allow ample time for official scores to be received or retesting if                

  • Letters of Recommendation
    A minimum of three individual letters of recommendation or one confidential committee letter are required. It is recommended that letters of recommendation come from those most familiar with the applicant (i.e. faculty member, dentist, leader or mentor in volunteer organization, etc.)

3.   Supplemental MUSC application

*Please note that both applications are required before the application will be marked complete and reviewed by the admissions committee.

*Applicants that have applied in previous years must submit new AADSAS and MUSC applications and should update all application materials for each new admissions cycle.

Application Process

Applicants must complete the AADSAS application and the MUSC Supplemental Application before application materials will be reviewed and the applicant will be considered for an interview. After the ADEA AADSAS fee payment and official transcripts are received, it usually takes about 4-6 weeks to process and verify the application. The ADEA AADSAS application must be verified by the December 15th deadline. For more information about the College of Dental Medicine, please visit our website and take a virtual tour.

Use of Marijuana and/or CBD Products

Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug and is illegal to purchase in South Carolina. Apart from a narrow and limited scope of codified/documented medical exceptions, it is illegal for individuals to use marijuana/tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in South Carolina. Although cannabidiol (CBD) products may be purchased and used in South Carolina, please be aware that CBD products may contain higher levels of THC than represented on packaging and use of CBD products can result in a positive drug screen for THC/marijuana. Be aware that current drug testing methods cannot accurately ascertain the origins of THC metabolites (i.e., whether from marijuana or CBD products). Your academic program has the authority to conduct random and/or scheduled drug testing; if your test result is reported as positive for THC metabolites (even if you only used a CBD product), your ability to be accepted into the program, progress in the program, and/or successfully complete the program may be negatively impacted.

Scholarship Eligibility

MUSC offers scholarships for which you may be eligible. Some are awarded based on academic achievement; others are awarded based on community service, for example. However, the majority of scholarships awarded at MUSC are based on financial need. This means those scholarships are only awarded to students who need some financial assistance to cover the cost of tuition and fees. If you would like to be considered for a financial need-based scholarship, you must have an up-to-date Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. Make sure you list Medical University of South Carolina on your FAFSA form, along with MUSC’s code: 003438. We encourage you to submit the FAFSA as early as possible. It is recommended to submit the FAFSA in January if you plan to enroll in the Fall.

Application Deadlines

Start Term Application Type Available Deadline
Summer 2025 Regular July 1, 2024 Dec 15, 2024