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MPH - Dental Emphasis with a Dental Public Health Residency Certificate

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.

  • University Catalog+

    • University Catalog Program guide

      Review the University Catalog to learn more about the Master of Public Health - Dental Emphasis with a Dental Public Health Residency Certificate program catalog program. Read detailed course descriptions and obtain answers to many of your questions regarding application information and tuition.

  • Accreditation +

    • A.T. Still University is accreditated by the Higher Learning Commission.

      230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500
      Chicago, IL 60604

      Phone: 800.621.7440
      Fax: 312.263.7462


      The ATSU Residency in Dental Public Health is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of approval without reporting requirements. 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:

  • 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, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA<br> Dean  Don Altman, DDS, DSHc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA

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        Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA, is the Dean of the College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS) at A.T. Still University (ATSU). He also serves as director of public health at ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH). Dr. Altman has been with ATSU since October 2006.

        Dr. Altman graduated from the University of Texas Dental Branch (DDS) in 1983. He completed his Master of Public Health degree at the University of Texas School of Public Health in 1989 and became Board Certified in Dental Public Health in 1999. Dr. Altman completed his MBA at the University of Phoenix (2002) and a MA in Bioethics from Midwestern University (2004). He graduated with a Doctor in Health Science (DHSc) degree in March 2012 from the Arizona School of Health Sciences at A.T. Still University (ATSU-ASHS) and his EdD from Southern New Hampshire University in March 2016.

        Dr. Altman has worked for The City of Houston, the State of Texas, the State of Arizona, as well as The Principal Financial Group. Dr. Altman’s public health experience includes: serving as President of the Arizona State Board Dental Examiners; serving as President of the Arizona Public Health Association; volunteering with Health Volunteers Overseas (Cambodia and Vietnam); Director of the National Oral Health Leadership Institute; and serving as the Consumer Representative to the Dental Products Panel for the Food and Drug Administration. On May 1, 2012 he was appointed as a Director to The American Board of Dental Public Health and is currently the president.

        Dr. Altman’s research interests are currently centered on public health and higher education. He has published articles in the Journal of Dental Education, Journal of the American Dental Association, Public Health Reports, Special Care in Dentistry, and Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology.

  • Associate Dean Academics and Assessment +

      • Katherine M. Adler, DHA, FACHE<br />Associate Dean Academics and Assessment Katherine M. Adler, DHA, FACHE
        Associate Dean Academics and Assessment

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        Katherine Adler, DHA, FACHE, TOC, is the associate dean of academics and assessment 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 and Associate Professor +

      • Mary-Katherine Smith,DrPH, MPH, MCHES, CPH, COI<br /> Chair & Associate Professor Mary-Katherine Smith,DrPH, MPH, MCHES, CPH, COI
        Chair & Associate Professor

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        Mary-Katherine Smith, DrPH, MPH, MCHES, CPH, COI, is department chair and associate professor of the Master of Public Health program at A.T. Still University-College of Graduate Health Studies.

        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 with a minor in chemistry. She is a master certified health education specialist, is certified in public health, and is a certified online instructor.

        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, COI from LERN, and is currently taking courses from Quality Matters..

        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, health equity, 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 Rural Health Associations Government Advisory Council, National Rural Health Association’s Health Equity Board, and serves on the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health Education Committee, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Best Practices in Pedagogy subcommittee. She is also a CPH question writer.

        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 family.

  • Faculty +

      • Jeffrey Chaffin, DDS, MPH, MBA, MHA Jeffrey Chaffin, DDS, MPH, MBA, MHA
        Assistant Professor
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      • Jaana Gold, DDS, PhD Jaana Gold, DDS, PhD
        Associate Professor
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      • Gregory Loeben, PhD, MA, BA Gregory Loeben, PhD, MA, BA
        Associate Professor
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      • Ashley Love, DrPH, MPH, MS Ashley Love, DrPH, MPH, MS
        Assistant Professor
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      • Shachi Shanti, DDS, MPH. PhD Shachi Shanti, DDS, MPH. PhD
        Associate Professor
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      • Mary-Katherine Smith, DrPH, MPH, CHES Mary-Katherine Smith, DrPH, MPH, CHES
        Associate Professor and Chair
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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, 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.
      9. Applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to the College of Graduate Health Studies, A.T. Still University. Written and spoken proficiency in the English language may be demonstrated by one of the following options:
        • Option 1 - English is your first language.
        • Option 2 - Graduated from a regionally accredited four year university or college in the United States (minimum BA or BS).
        • Option 3 - You are demonstrating your English proficiency by submitting acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Testing Service (IELTS).

        Acceptable minimal scores for CGHS applications are:

        • Internet based total score = 80
        • Acceptable IELTS score are an overall band score of 6.5

        The TOEFL is administered by TOEFL/TSE Services, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151, USA, phone: 609. 771.7100. Information is available at A.T. Still University’s institutional code is 0339. Please be sure to include this information when you submit your application packet. TOEFL Educational Testing Services P.O. Box 6151 Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, phone: 609.771.7100

      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. Technology requirements: All ATSU students are required to own a computer system. Minimum system requirements vary depending on program.

      Foreign Credential Evaluation

      Applicants who have graduated from a foreign college or university must submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree/course equivalency. All coursework taken at the foreign institution must be evaluated for American institution equivalence by one of the following services:

      • World Education Services P.O. Box 5087 Bowling Green Station New York, NY 10274-5087 phone: 212. 966.6311 fax: 212.739.6139
      • Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. P.O. Box 514070 Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470 414.289.3400
      • American Assn. of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 520 Washington, DC 20036-1135 202.293-9161
      • FCCPT - Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (PT Applicants only) p: 703.684.8406
      • Josef Silny & Associates, Inc. International Education Consultants 7101 SW 102 Avenue Miami FL 33173 p: 305.273.1616 f: 305.273.1338
      • ICD - International Consultants of Delaware (General) p: 215.222.8454
  • 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.

The Family and Culture

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  • Blackboard Demo Course +

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

      Please click the "Connect Now button below and use join code: MPHDEdemo

      • Fill out your full name
      • Choose a username, and a password.
      • Confirm your password
      • Agree to Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
      • Click the "Start Learning" button.

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  • 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.​

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.​

  • 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.

  • Practical Dental Research, Planning, and Design+

    • Students develop and implement a dental public health research project, enhancing their skills related to search strategies, problem statements, literature review, protocol preparation, and how they relate to their research projects.​

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • 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.

  • 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 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.​

  • Research III+

    • 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.​

  • Professionalism and Ethics in Dental Public Health+

    • ​This course looks at how to apply ethical principles to dental public health program planning, implementation, and evaluation. It describes the legal and ethical bases for dental public health and dental services.

  • 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.

  • Research IV+

    • 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.​

  • Leading Healthcare Organizations+

    • This course focuses on healthcare administration, including the management process, descriptions of the managerial functions, managerial roles, motivation, and communication. In addition, this course will provide students with an understanding of leadership and ethics in healthcare administration in the context of the U.S. healthcare system. Codes of professional conduct and ethical policy statements will be reviewed from the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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HLC seeks third-party comments about ATSU

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU) is seeking comments from the public about the University in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). How to submit comments.

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