MPH - Dental Emphasis with a Dental Public Health Residency Certificate

MPH - Dental Emphasis with a Dental Public Health Residency Certificate

Online Healthcare Degree

A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Health Studies sponsors a full-time, 25-month completely online residency program in Dental Public Health. This new residency program provides a formal training opportunity for dentists planning careers in dental public health. Because the program is fully online, it enables trainees to balance their professional and personal life with their education. During this program, residents learn about the fundamental principles of public health including epidemiology, biostatistics, healthcare policy and management, behavioral sciences, and environmental health with an emphasis on oral health and dentistry-related issues. They also receive training in the 10 dental public health competencies outlined by the American Board of Dental Public Health. In addition, the program provides residents with a field experience opportunity as well as instruction in essentials of scientific research.

Program graduates receive a Master of Public Health (dental emphasis) and a Dental Public Health Residency Certificate, and are qualified educationally to apply for examination by the American Board of Dental Public Health for specialty certification. Transfer credits are not accepted. All residents must earn their MPH with a dental emphasis from ATSU while in this 25 month residency.

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The goal of the Dental Public Health Residency program is to provide dentists with training in the general public health as well as dental public health and prepare them to function as public health dentists whose activities are concerned with preventing and controlling dental diseases and promoting dental health through organized community efforts.

  • Continuing Education +

    • ATSU offers Continuing Education (CE) for MPH and MPH-D faculty, students, and public health workers in the community. If you are interested in continuing education please visit

      TRAIN is a nationally developed system of CE programs developed by agencies of the federal government and various universities, and is the nation’s premier learning resource for professionals who protect the public’s health. TRAIN is comprised of the national site and participating TRAIN affiliate sites. TRAIN users can access information about state, local, national, or international training available to them through any participating TRAIN site.

  • Accreditation +

    • Higher Learning Commission Mark of Affiliation

      A.T. Still University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 S. LaSalle Street; Suite 7-500; Chicago, IL 60604, Phone: 800.621.7440, Fax: 312.263.7492, Email:,

      The ATSU Residency in Dental Public Health is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “initial accreditation”. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, 1L 60611. The Commission’s web address is: OO.aspx.

  • Career Advancement+

    • There are many, diverse career options in both the public and private sectors for graduates who have earned the notable A.T. Still University Public Health Master of Public Health degree with dental emphasis, including:
      • Dental director in a community health center
      • Dental director for a local or state health department
      • Dental hygienist
      • Dental manager in a professional dental organization
      • Dental personnel in a federal health agency
      • Dental faculty in dental or dental hygiene school

      • Dental personnel for an insurance company
      • Epidemiologist
      • Manager in a community-based non-profit
      • Public health administrator
      • Researcher

Master of Public Health - Dental Emphasis Degree Faculty

​The ATSU-College of Graduate Health Studies faculty and staff are dedicated to helping each student succeed along their Master of Public Health – Dental Emphasis career path. They comprise an elite team of leaders in their respective fields, with all faculty members holding doctorate degrees. The public health dental degree program offers an exclusive opportunity to learn from the finest educators in the public health field. All coursework is taught by industry leaders, academic innovators, and former top public servants. No teaching assistants are used in any of the courses. Faculty provides support to students in various ways. Communication with online public health degree students includes email, chat, forum postings, and phone. They serve as facilitators and mentors, helping students to meet course objectives, apply key concepts to real-world situations, and develop the skills needed for success in the healthcare industry. Additional support is provided to students through comprehensive student services such as advising and technical support.

  • Dean +

      • Don Altman, DDS, DSHc, MPH, MBA, MA
        Dean & Professor
        Residency Director

        Dr. Altman is the Professor and Dean of the College of Graduate Health Studies at A.T. Still University. He also serves as director of public health, at ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health.​

        Dr. Altman graduated from The University of Texas Dental Branch in 1983 and then completed his master’s degree in public health at The University of Texas School of Public Health in 1989. He became board certified in dental public health in 1999, then completed a master’s degree in business administration at The University of Phoenix (2002) and a master’s degree in bioethics from Midwestern University (2004). He also received his doctor of health science degree from ATSU’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (2012).​

  • Associate Dean +

      • Katherine M. Adler, DHA, FACHE
        Associate Dean of Academic Success and Assessment

        ​Dr. Adler is the Associate Dean for Assessment and Student Success at the College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS). She began teaching for the College of Graduate Health Studies in 2006, became the Program Chair for Health Administration in 2009, and became the Associate Dean in 2012.

        Dr. Adler holds a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration and Leadership from the Medical University of South Carolina. She has more than 25 years of varied experience in the not-for-profit health care industry, spending the bulk of her career working at safety-net hospitals in urban Detroit.

        During her tenure in administrative roles, Dr. Adler worked closely with physicians in medicine and surgery, having direct oversight of those departments and subspecialties, and gained extensive knowledge in public health, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, and environmental health sciences. Through her formal training and work, Dr. Adler has a strong background in health services administration as well as public health. She is a patient advocate, understands the plight of the underserved and underinsured, and has worked to incorporate patient-centered care into the curriculum with the understanding that prevention and whole person healthcare are the keys to a healthy community and society.

  • Chair +

      • Mary-Katherine Smith, DrPH, MPH, MCHES, CPH
        Chair & Associate Professor

        Mary-Katherine Smith, DrPH, MPH, MCHES, CPH, is chair and associate professor with A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Health Studies, MPH program, and is part-time faculty with Capella University’s School of Public Service Leadership.

        Dr. Smith holds a doctorate of public health with an emphasis in social and behavioral sciences from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, a master’s in rural public health from Texas A&M University Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, and a bachelor’s in biology from Texas A&M University. She earned a master certified health education specialist and is certified in public health.

        Dr. Smith has extensive experience in epidemiology, program planning, community health, and public health preparedness; with experience working in the non-profit sector, government sector as well as in academia. She has been teaching online since 2007, and has completed and obtained her online teaching certificate from Sloan-C and is currently working toward her certificate in online instruction.

        Prior to becoming a full time academic, Dr. Smith was the first full time pandemic program planner in the state of Texas at Dallas County Health and Human Services. Key activities included enhancing existing surveillance systems for seasonal influenza, educating community leaders through created lectureships and programs, and provide consulting services for agencies in developing their own business continuity and continuity of operations plans. Prior to her employment for Dallas County she worked as a community health facilitator for Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Fort Worth, focusing on community health education and outreach.

        Dr. Smith has published multiple research articles on pandemic planning and emergency preparedness, and on social media in educating diverse populations; she also presents regularly at national conferences on rural border health issues, social media and water scarcity as a public health issue, this includes presentations at American Public Health Association and National Rural Health Association. She has served as a national spokesperson for the American Heart Association as well as former chairman of the American Heart Association Cultural Health Initiatives Tarrant County Task Force. She is a member of the National Society of Public Health Education and the U.S. and Texas Public Health Associations, as well as the National Rural Health Association.

        Dr. Smith’s research interests include cultural health disparities, rural /border health issues, maternal and child health, public health preparedness, and special medical needs populations.

        In her spare time she enjoys riding horses and traveling. Dr. Smith lives in Texas with her husband and young son.

  • Faculty +

      • Don Altman, DDS, DSHc, MPH, MBA, MA
        Dean & Professor
        Read Bio
      • Jeffrey Chaffin, DDS, MPH, MBA
        Assistant Professor
        Read Bio
      • Jaana Gold, DDS, PhD
        Associate Professor
        Read Bio
      • S.D. Shantinath, DDS, PhD, MPH
        Associate Professor
        Read Bio
  • Adjunct +

      • Denice Curtis, DDS, DHSc, MPH

        Read Bio
      • Margaret B. Evans, RDH, MS, EdD

        Read Bio
      • Jeanine Tucker, DMD, MPH

        Read Bio
      • Michael Lazarski, DMD, MPH

        Read Bio
      • Michael D. McCunniff, DDS, MS

        Read Bio
      • M. Dean Perkins DDS, MPH

        Read Bio

MPH - Dental Emphasis with a Dental Public Health Residency Certificate Degree Admissions

  • Student Selection +

    • The program is available to qualified graduates from a school of dentistry accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association or from a Canadian dental school with accreditation recognized by the commission. Graduates of schools from other countries must possess an equivalent educational background.

      Applications from prospective residents are accepted through the electronic application system (PASS), which is sponsored by the American Dental Education Association.

      Applications are due November 1 of each year with the residency starting that following June. Documents required are outlined in the PASS application system. Applications received are reviewed by the residency director for completeness and compliance with educational requirements. If necessary, additional information is requested of applicants. Applications are further reviewed by the residency director and other members of the admission committee. They conduct personal interviews with eligible candidates by telephone or electronic media such as Skype. After completion of all interviews and in-depth evaluation of applicants, the admission committee makes the final decision.

      Normally, between two to four residents are selected each program year. Selection is based on educational eligibility, past academic performance, past professional experience, professional references and the candidate’s essay of intention. Applicants are considered equally, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, political affiliation or age.

      Once residents are selected, they will be referred to an Enrollment Counselor at the College of Graduate Health Studies to complete the application and submission of documents needed before he/she is able to begin taking courses in the Masters of Public Health dental emphasis program.

  • Requirements +

    • Required materials for admission into the MPH program for residents:

      1. Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited university. Applicants who graduated from a university outside the United States must provide a degree equivalency evaluation.
      2. Completed admissions application.
      3. Official transcript from a qualifying degree-granting institution. For students using VA benefits transcripts for all institutions attended are required.
      4. Non-refundable application fee submitted with application.
      5. Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.0 (4.0 scale) at the qualifying degree institution. Candidates with a GPA below 3.0 may apply by completing an additional essay during the application process to explain factors that precipitated a student’s low GPA and how and why a student will be successful in a program. Students who did not attend an institution where a GPA system was used are required to petition the program chair.
      6. National Boards Part I and II scores.
      7. A current resume.
      8. Completion of essay and three professional references.
      9. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for applicants when English is not their first language. The Computer Based Test (CBT), Internet Based Test (iBT), or the Paper Based Test (PBT) are accepted. The following are the minimum required score based on test type:
        • CBT - minimum total score of 213 (min. 22/Reading Skills section; min. 26/Writing Skills section)
        • iBT - minimum total score of 80 (min 22/Reading Skills section; min. 24/Writing Skills section)
        • PBT - minimum total score of 550 (min. 57/Reading Skills section; min. 61/Writing Skills section)

      10. ATSU does not provide assistance in securing visas. All residents must possess a visa and must live in the U.S. during the length of residency.
      11. Applicants are selected by an admission committee.
      12. Completion of background check, using a vendor selected by ATSU. CGHS requires criminal background checks on matriculants to ensure the safety of patients and employees. The checks are conducted by an ATSU selected vendor. The student will pay the cost of the criminal background check directly to the vendor. Failure to comply with this mandate will result in denial to matriculate. Applicants who fail to disclose anything on their application that is returned on their background check report will have that finding reviewed by a University official.
      13. Technology requirements: All ATSU students are required to own a computer system. Minimum system requirements vary depending on program.
  • Program's Length and Timeline+

    • The length of the full-time residency program is 25 months; however, part-time residents have up to 49 months (approximately four years) to complete their training. The program is semester based with two blocks within each semester, and starts each year, mid-June. The program starts each year, mid-June. During the first month, residents complete their training plans and upon approval of their training plans by the residency director, they begin formal courses in mid-July. The total credit hours for completion of the residency program are 68.

      View the MPH-Dental Emphasis with a Dental Public Health Residency Certificate Academic Degree Plan.

The Family and Culture


  • Blackboard Demo Course +

    • ATSU has set up a demo course of our Blackboard
      Learning Management System for interested students.

      Please go to our guest demo site, and login with:

      Username: MPHDEdemo
      Password: cghsguest

      Connect Now



  • PUBH5050: Introduction to Dental Public Health+

    • This course is a comprehensive introduction to public health and dental public health within the context of the
      U. S. healthcare system. Course content includes basic organizational arrangements of health services in the United States; the concept of public health, its problems in the context of social and community factors, its development from a historical perspective, and the role and mission of public health organizations, science, philosophy, and practice of dental public health.​

  • HLTH6400: Behavior Sciences and Educational Concepts+

    • An overview of the theoretical model and research methodologies used in health education research/programs is provided. This course explores the integration of culture, language, and literacy when designing, implementing, and evaluating dental public health programs.

  • BIOS7050: Biostatistics for Dental Research+

    • ​Key statistical tools and concepts used by managers in dental public health are examined. Concepts covered include descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, probability, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis.

  • PUBH6550: Dental Healthcare Policy and Management+

    • This course focuses on the application of general management concepts including management process, descriptions of management functions, managerial roles, and organizational culture. It includes practical aspects of planning, staffing, financing, implanting, evaluating, and communicating dental public health programs at the local, state, and federal levels. A practical look at dental public health policy-making and how best to translate policy into practice is provided.

  • EPID6150: Dental Epidemiology+

    • General principles of epidemiology, including research methods, study designs, sampling, data analysis, interpretation of data, and application of findings to dental public health policy, are explained. This course closely examines distribution and determinants of oral disease such as caries, periodontal disease, and oral cancer.​

  • PUBH7600: Community-Based Programs-Development+

    • This course looks at various community- based programs and how best to develop, implement, and evaluate these programs as well as financing these programs. Students work with a local organization/institution/ agency to develop a comprehensive oral health plan for a community.

  • PUBH7650: Community-Based Programs-Implementation & Evaluation+

    • This course looks at various community-based programs and how best to develop, implement, and evaluate these programs as well as financing these programs. Students work with a local organization/institution/agency to develop a comprehensive oral health plan for a community.

  • PUBH7800: Public Health Practicum+

    • Completion of a project in an approved supervised public health setting emphasizing evaluation and service delivery, planning, or operations resolving a management problem or evaluating a program component is required. This is an eight-quarter credit hour practicum requiring 240 contact hours in a supervised public health environment. (8 credit hours)

  • ENVR6200: Environmental Health Sciences+

    • This course introduces ecology and ecological principles and examines how human population pressures affect them. Man’s impact on biotic and abiotic components of the earth is examined, as well as environmental factors affecting public health. Particular emphasis is placed on the impact of anthropogenic, chemical, and physical stressors, and their impact on various ecosystem components and man.

  • PUBH6200: Research I+

    • This independent study course is meant to provide a student with the knowledge and skills to continue his or her research project. This course will focus on research methods, selection of data, the proper management of data, and the use of statistical software appropriate for the study. Students will also prepare and submit a research project application to the appropriate institutional review boards. Each student is responsible for working with his or her assigned instructor to arrange regular meeting times, assignment milestones, and completing the data collection component of the research product.​

  • PUBH6900: Public Health Biology+

    • This course explains the role of biology in the ecological model of population-based health. This course integrates the general biological and molecular concepts into public health and looks at how biological, chemical, and physical agents affect human health.

  • PUBH6300: Research II+

    • This independent study course is meant to provide a student with the knowledge and skills to continue his or her research project. This course will focus on the logic and process of hypothesis testing, and give you an overview of basic quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques. Each student is responsible for working with his or her assigned instructor to arrange regular meeting times, assignment milestones, and completing the data collection component of the research product.​

  • PUBH5500: Financing Dental Care+

    • ​This course examines the various ways in which dental care is financed, including mechanisms of payment for providers, third-party plans, salaried and public-financed programs, and federal systems such as Medicare and Medicaid.

  • MHAD6200: Administration of Health Care Organizations+

    • This course focuses on health service managers, the management process, descriptions of management functions, managerial roles, organizational culture and philosophy, leadership, motivation, and communication. Quality management is featured, as well as a practical approach to service, process, function, roles, culture, philosophy, leadership, motivation, and communication.

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Community Health Center

Waianae, Hawaii

As a leading provider of quality healthcare for area residents, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center also provides community employment and health education. More than 80% of the staff are local residents, and many were trained at the affiliated Waianae Health Academy. Find out more.


From public health centers located in communities where services are needed most, to research and other leading edge whole person healthcare initiatives, you can create your own legacy by contributing to the specific cause that moves you most. Find out more.


When you give to A.T. Still University, you're not only supporting whole person healthcare education, you're also helping deliver it to where the care is needed most. Through our legacy program, we send students to underserved communities nationwide and conduct healthcare clinics at the university on occasion. Find out more.


Whole person healthcare takes an integrated approach that addresses body, mind and spirit as one. Students are encouraged to participate in wellness programs and study areas including nutrition and psychology to gain a more comprehensive understanding. Find out more.


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Let your light shine at A.T. Still University. Combining leading-edge whole person healthcare with a commitment to serving those communities where needs are greatest, we provide students the opportunity to truly excel as doctors, dentists, healthcare providers and healthcare leaders. Apply now; click here.