Dental Public Health

DPH is the art and science of improving the oral health of communities

This is a 12-month (full-time)/ 24 month (half-time) accredited program. DPH is the art and science of improving the oral health of communities. It is unique among dental specialties in that it considers the entire community as its ‘patient’. As such, the DPH specialist promotes oral health through organized community efforts, such as improving access to care for underserved population groups and developing community-based prevention programs, rather than providing treatment to patients one-at-a-time. Residents become experienced in the practice of DPH, particularly in the development, management and evaluation of dental care delivery systems. The DPH specialty credential and the practical experience gained at the health center will provide the graduate with a real-world advantage in securing employment in more complex and more highly compensated management and leadership positions, in both the public and private sectors.

To see a list of locations where Dental Public Health is offered, click here.

PositionsTraining SitesApplicationU.S./Canadian Grad StipendInternational Grad Stipend
10 15 Apply after January 1st, but no later than July 31st to start October 1st. Please contact Dr. Jay Balzer at before applying

$50,000 (full-time)/ $25,000 (half-time)

$30,000 (full-time)/ $15,000 (half-time)

Program Strengths

  • CODA-approved program provides eligibility to take the specialty board exam (American Board of Dental Public Health)
  • Learn and practice DPH in a real-world environment - at an NYU Langone-affiliated community health center
  • Select a training site from several participating organizations across the country
  • Flexible enrollment: full time (12 month program)/ half-time (24 month program)
  • Emphasis on program development, management and evaluation
  • Majority of time devoted to implementing public health projects and research
  • Each resident is assigned an academic advisor to guide the resident’s curriculum
  • Didactic coursework offered via video tele-conference 
  • Supervised field experiences (rotations) to public health agencies 
  • Program graduates develop expertise in the oral health programs of community health centers

Program Description and Goals

The program matches DPH residents to training sites that are located at affiliated community health centers or schools of dentistry. The availability of these training sites is subject to change each year so the candidate should contact the Program Director to confirm current availability.

The DPH residency provides an excellent opportunity for residents to develop skills related to the development, management, and evaluation of oral health programs in general and more specifically as those programs impact community health centers programs.

Residents are prepared to successfully challenge the certifying examination of the American Board of Dental Public Health (ABDPH) and to acquire practical public health skills that will facilitate meaningful employment in the public health field after graduation.

The DPH residency emphasizes the practical aspect of dental public health. Residents will spend the majority of their time developing and implementing one or more projects that are consistent with the interests of the resident and that also provide a tangible benefit to the host health center. These projects may include the development of preventive and outreach programs to improve access, projects to improve the management practices of the dental program, need assessments and program evaluations. Residents will develop the projects in collaboration with the academic advisor and the health center staff.

Residents will also take several didactic courses that cover the full range of DPH competencies. These courses are provided via video teleconference, so all DPH residents can participate, regardless of their geographic location. Residents will also learn about the public health system beyond the health center by participating in Supervised Field Experiences at public health agencies.

DPH Competencies

DPH Residency teaches competencies required by the American Board of Dental Public Health (ABDPH). At the beginning of the residency, the resident and the Resident Advisor jointly assess the resident’s proficiency level for each of the competencies. Based on this assessment of the resident’s strengths and weaknesses, the Resident and Resident Advisor develop an individualized Curriculum Plan that guides the resident’s program.

The DPH residency prepares the resident to acquire the following competencies:

  • Manage oral health programs for population health
  • Evaluate systems of care that impact oral health
  • Demonstrate ethical decision-making in the practice of dental public health
  • Design surveillance systems to measure oral health status and its determinants
  • Communicate on oral and public health issues
  • Lead collaborations on oral and public health issues
  • Advocate for public health policy, legislation, and regulations to protect and promote the public's oral health, and overall health
  • Critically appraise evidence to address oral and public health issues for individuals and populations
  • Conduct research to address oral and public health problems
  • Integrate the social determinants of health into dental public health practice

DPH Curriculum


The resident conducts one “data based” project that demonstrates the capacity to collect, manage and analyze data, and to prepare a scholarly paper that is suitable for publication. The resident may also conduct additional projects as time permits and as approved by the Resident Advisor. Projects may address a wide scope of topics, such as health center management issues to make the oral health program operate more efficiently, to develop systems to document clinic productivity, quality and patient outcomes, to develop new outreach or preventive programs, and seek grant funding for new initiatives. To the extent possible, projects should meet the needs of the host health center and be consistent with the resident’s professional interests and educational goals.

Didactic Curriculum

Residents in each of the training sites jointly participate in didactic coursework via video teleconference. Typically, course faculty will assign readings and a brief written assignment prior to each videoconference session and guide the discussion. Didactic courses are usually “seminar”, rather than “lecture” style, to permit residents to discuss complex community, social and healthcare issues. The following courses are offered:

  • Epidemiology of Oral Diseases
  • CHC Policy and Management
  • Evidence Based Dentistry
  • Contemporary Issues in DPH
  • Biostatistics
  • DPH Study Club
  • Critical Review of the Literature
  • Grant Writing for CHC Projects
  • Oral Health Surveillance
  • Board Preparation Course
Field Experiences

Residents participate in several Field Experiences (similar to rotations) that provide exposure to the public health system beyond the health center to which they are assigned. Sites may include state and local health departments, primary care associations, non-profit health care and policy organizations, Medicaid agencies, and any other sites that promote the resident’s professional interests. Field experiences may be short visits (single day) to learn about a program or more comprehensive experiences (multi-week) that provide an opportunity to participate in projects or oral health coalitions at the site.

Program Stipend and Benefits

Residents receive generous stipends and fringe benefits, and do not pay tuition or program fees. Graduates of U.S. dental schools receive a $50,000 stipend for full-time status and $25,000 for half-time status. Graduates of non-U.S. or Canadian dental schools receive a $30,000 stipend for full-time status and $15,000 for half-time status. Benefits include medical and dental benefits, 25 days Personal Time Off (includes vacation, sick and personal days), 9 paid holidays, and 4 paid continuing education days.


Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must have a dental degree from a U.S or International dental school
  • Applicants must have the MPH (Masters of Public Health) or "equivalent" degree from a program or school accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) or other accrediting agency. The CEPH search tool is helpful to search for accredited degrees:  If you are uncertain if your non-MPH degree is “equivalent” to the MPH degree, contact Dr Balzer at:
  • Immigration sponsorship is not provided for this program. Program participants must provide documentation of identity and U.S. work authorization valid for the duration of the program, as per Form I-9 requirements; failure to provide documentation of U.S. work authorization for the duration of the program may result in termination from the program, and the participant may not be issued a completion certificate which is required for DPH specialty board certification. See USCIS Form I-9; Lists of Acceptable Documents 
  • Applicants must have English language proficiency. International grads must have TOEFL exam taken within 2 years of program start date (October 1 each year). Total score must be at least 75. Component scores must be as follows: Reading - at least 15; Listening - at least 15; Speaking - at least 17; and Writing - at least 17

Application Instructions

  • Our program does not use the ADA PASS system and we do not require a special application form. We do require that you submit several documents that will be reviewed by our admissions committee. The first step of the application process is to send an email to the Program Director, Dr. Jay Balzer, at for further information stating your interest and why you believe you meet the eligibility requirements listed in the above paragraph. He will review your eligibility status and if acceptable, will send you instructions for what documents to submit. Once you submit all required documents, your application will be sent for review. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Real World Experience. Real World Advantage.

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