Orthodontic Residency

The Advanced Education Program in Orthodontics at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry is a 24-month program consisting of didactic coursework, clinical training and research. The Graduate Program is a planned sequence of advanced courses that leads to a certificate of proficiency in the specialty of orthodontics. Successful completion of this program fulfills the educational requirements of the American Association of Orthodontists and the American Board of Orthodontists.

A mandatory Masters Program, managed through the Graduate School of the University of Louisville, leads to a Master's Degree in Dentistry by fulfilling additional requirements during the same period as gaining an Orthodontic Certificate. The Orthodontic Residency Program at the University of Louisville is fully accredited by The Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, the last review process completed in March 2015.

Accreditation standards state that the education program must be a minimum of 24 months and 3700 scheduled hours in duration. View all School of Dentistry accreditation information.

Note: The Division of Orthodontics also offers a one-year internship for domestic and international candidates that involves most classroom and laboratory aspects of Orthodontic education except for direct patient care in the clinic. 

Program Objectives

  1. To prepare residents for a career as an orthodontist in clinical practice and/or academics.
  2. To train qualified orthodontic specialists who can make independent decisions based on their knowledge of accepted biological and clinical principles and thorough assessment of the total patient health care needs.
  3. To train orthodontic specialists, with particular emphasis on clinical excellence in diagnosis, treatment planning, clinical treatment using variations of the standard Edgewise appliance, modern forms of removable appliances and other accepted treatment modalities.
  4. To provide experience in teaching orthodontics at the graduate and undergraduate level.
  5. To provide experience in biomedical sciences, scientific methodology and research techniques and to develop an appreciation for the biological and scientific aspects of orthodontics.
  6. To fulfill the educational requirements for specialty certification by the American Board of Orthodontics.


Scope of Training

The instruction in the Graduate Orthodontics Program consists of academic coursework, clinical training and experience in scientific methodology and research. Residents gain experience in the treatment of patients with all types of dentofacial deformities. Orthognathic surgical cases are treated in conjunction with Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Faculty and Residents. Treatment is provided for adults, adolescents and children in mixed dentition. Residents provide orthodontic treatment in complex rehabilitation cases in coordination with graduate residents in Prosthodontics and Periodontics. Residents must initiate and complete a research project that includes a review of the literature, a hypothesis, report methodology and data analysis during the two years under the guidance of department or other qualified University of Louisville Graduate School Faculty.


1625 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 101
Washington, DC 20036
202 667-0642
202 332-9351 (fax)

Access the PASS website

Summary of Application Requirements for the Graduate Program in Orthodontics


In order to be eligible for admission to the UofL School of Dentistry Residency Programs, an individual must attain a Kentucky temporary limited resident’s license from the Kentucky Board of Dentistry. Eligibility for the Kentucky temporary resident’s license from the Kentucky Board of Dentistry is dependent on, among other items, graduation from a dental school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association and passing scores on Parts I and II of the National Board Dental Examinations (NBDE). Additional requirements for application to the Graduate Orthodontics Program are listed below.

We participate in the Postdoctoral Dental Match Program. Classes begin July 1. The deadline for application is September 1, for the class entering the following year. Interviews are by invitation only. Interviews are held for selected applicants. A committee consisting of faculty, alumni members will review your application. There are six (6) positions available and the admissions process is highly competitive.

Applications submitted are considered without regard to race, gender, religion or national origin.

Selection Process

ULSD participates in the Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS) sponsored by the American Dental Education Association (ADEA). All orthodontic applicants must submit an online application directly to PASS.

All applications must be submitted to PASS by September 1. Applications that are incomplete will not be considered. It is the responsibility of the applicant to insure that materials are submitted in a timely manner. Applicants are encouraged to apply early.

Orthodontic applicants must also obtain a MATCH number. PASS applicants seeking postdoctoral positions that utilize the Dental Match will be able to register for both services within the PASS application portal. Data will flow to the National Matching Service, Inc. for all applicants who select the Dental Match from the services menu and the ADEA/PASS will pay the appropriate fees to NMS.

Please note: The Orthodontic Graduate Program at the University of Louisville participates in the Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program. Our faculty believes the MATCH to be fair and beneficial to applicants. Consequently, we will only consider applicants who are applying exclusively to graduate programs participating in the MATCH.

The following should be sent directly to PASS

Class ranking or standing: This is mandatory for all applicants except those from un-graded programs. We will accept class rankings and GPA recorded on the ADEA PASS Institutional Evaluation (ADEA IEF) form and sent directly to PASS. We will also accept class ranking which are recorded in the dental transcript or a letter directly from the Dean's Office of your Dental School.

National Board Scores: We will accept NBDE scores I & II recorded on the ADEA PASS Institution Evaluation Form (ADEA IEF) and sent directly to PASS.

ADEA PASS Evaluations: There are three types of evaluations for ADEA PASS: the ETS Personal Potential Index® (ETS PPI), the Professional Evaluation (PEF) and Institution Evaluation (IEF).

  1. Three (3) Professional Evaluation Form (PEF) - a PEF is a traditional letter of recommendation
  2. One (1) Institution Evaluation Form (IEF)

For more information about ADEA PASS Evaluations: http://www.adea.org/dental_education_pathways/pass/eForms/Pages/default.aspx

Official transcripts: An official dental school transcript, which shows courses taken and grades received, is required. Pass/Fail grades are acceptable only if the transcript is accompanied by a letter which explains how well the applicant performed in the course or program. Official transcripts and a certified English translation for each school attended should be sent directly to PASS. International applicants are required to submit an educational credential evaluators (ECE) course-by-course evaluation report directly to PASS.

Advanced Dental Admissions Test (ADAT) score: Optional requirement.

    Graduate Records Examination (GRE) scores: To register for the GRE general test, please visit the GRE website: http://www.ets.org/gre/. Applicants are required to complete the GRE by July 31, and include scores as part of the PASS application.

        TOEFL Scores (International Applicants Only): If English is not your native language, you must demonstrate proficiency in English. TOEFL scores of 550+ (paper version/PBT) or 213+ (computer based version/CBT) or a minimum score of 79+ internet based version/iBT is required.

        Beginning after the deadline specified by PASS, the faculty of the Department of Orthodontics will review completed applications and issue invitations to interview to potential candidates. Selection criteria for interviews are multifaceted, taking into account all the application materials. Those selected for an interview are notified via email. Interview dates are typically scheduled for October. DO NOT CONTACT FACULTY OR STAFF UNLESS YOU HAVE RECEIVED AN INVITATION EMAIL.

        For incoming 2023 residents, interview dates for the ADEA PASS process are October 20 and 21, 2022. Following interviews, applicants will be ranked by the Department and submitted to the Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program. To participate, you will be assigned a match number. This number is requested in the PASS application.  Applicants will be notified of Match results in early December.

        Upon acceptance into the Graduate Program in Orthodontics, you must submit an official Dental School transcript.

        The courses for the Orthodontic Residency Program are divided into a 24-month schedule consisting of didactic, clinical and research training.
        For more detail, including specific courses and professors, choose a semester.

        First Year: Fall Semester

        • ORTHO 900 Principles of Biomechanics
        • ORTHO 901 Biomechanics Laboratory I
        • ORTHO 910 Cephalometrics
        • ORTHO 920 Advanced Diagnostic Sciences in Orthodontics
        • ORTHO 930 Clinical Orthodontics I
        • ORTHO Dental Emergency (CPR), Infection/Control/OSHA Regulations
        • Clinical Photography, Jurisprudence/Ethics
        • ORTHO 902 Biomechanics and Principles of Appliance Design
        • Multidisciplinary Seminars
        • ORTHO 941 Craniofacial Embryology and Genetics
        • Advanced Implantology
        • OBIO 611 Craniofacial Osteology
        • OBIO 613 Diagnosis and Treatment of TMJ Disorders
        • OBIO 617 Advanced Oral Pathology
        • OBIO 501 Biomedical Data Analysis, Experimental Design and Statistics
        • OBIO 601 Introduction to Oral Biology Research
        • ORTHO 921 Case Presentation Seminar I
        • ORTHO 950 Growth and Development
        • OBIO 605 Oral Health Seminar

        First Year: Spring Semester

        • ANSB 675 Advanced Head and Neck Anatomy
        • ORTHO 940 Craniofacial Anomalies
        • OBIO 612 Craniomaxillofacial Diagnostic Imaging [every other year]
        • OBIO 616 Overview of Medical Genetics in Oral Facial Disease
        • ORTHO 932 Clinical Orthodontics II
        • ORTHO 950 Literature Review
        • ORTHO 922 Case Presentation Seminar II [transitional dentition]
        • ORTHO 619 Introduction to Research Methods
        • OBIO 606 Oral Biology Seminar
        • Multidisciplinary Seminars
        • ORTHO 960 Orthognathic/Orthodontic Surgery
        • ORTHO 904 Advanced Biomechanics Techniques I
        • ORTHO 971 Research Development II

        Second Year: Fall Semester

        • ORTHO 934 Clinical Orthodontics III
        • ORTHO 924 Case Presentation Seminar III [Orthognathic/Ortho Surgery]
        • OBIO 619 Research
        • ORTHO 905 Advanced Biomechanics Seminar II
        • ORTHO 972 Research Development III
        • ORTHO 952 Literature Review II
        • Multidisciplinary Seminars
        • ORTHO 925 Treatment Progress Conference
        • ORTHO 801 Dentofacial Deformities Seminar I
        • ORTHO 973 Research [Introduction, Literature Review, Method Presentation]

        Second Year: Spring Semester

        • ORTHO 954 Literature Review III [ABO Preparation]
        • ORTHO 907 Advanced Biomechanics Seminar III [Finish Ortho Procedures]
        • ORTHO 974 Research
        • ORTHO 802 Dentofacial Deformities Seminar II
        • ORTHO 936 Clinical Orthodontics IV
        • ORTHO 955 Literature Review [ABO]
        • ORTHO 926 Treatment Conference II [Retention and Post-Retention]
        • ORTHO 989 Risk Management and Insurance
        • ORTHO 975 Thesis Writing and Presentation

        Tuition and Fees

        The program accepts six highly selected residents per year.

        For 2023-2024, the fee structure (per program year) is:

        • In-state tuition/fees (2023-2024): $24,757 per year*
        • Out-of-state tuition/fees (2023-2024): $39,441 per year*

        *These figures include $3,234 for health insurance premiums, which can be waived with proof of similar coverage.

        The above tuition and fees will change every year based on the state budget and the Board of Trustees.

        There is a one-time deposit fee of $1,000 (which will be used toward the first semester tuition) due on acceptance into the program. Financial aid counseling is available from the Office of the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs of the School of Dentistry.

        For more information about total cost of attendance, visit the University of Louisville Student Financial Aid Office Cost of Attendance (COA) page

        Please note that stipends, fellowships and externships are not available in our Graduate Orthodontics Program.

        Orthodontic Alumni Council 2023 Newsletter 

        The latest edition of the Orthodontic Alumni Council newsletter includes updates on the 2023 Annual Meeting, as well as updates from the program director, residents, and alumni council leaders. View newsletter


        View Photos from the 2023 Orthodontic Alumni Council Annual Meeting  

        Attendees of the 2023 Annual Meeting had an enjoyable day seeing friends, visiting with vendors, and deepening their knowledge. The event also provided the opportunity to honor current residents, alumni, and longtime supporters of the program. 

        View event photo gallery on Flickr 

        Orthodontic Alumni Council 2022 Newsletter 

        The latest edition of the Orthodontic Alumni Council newsletter includes updates on the 2022 Annual Meeting and clinic renovations, as well as updates from the program director, residents, and the alumni council president. View newsletter


        View Photos from the 2022 Orthodontic Alumni Council Annual Meeting  

        Attendees of the 2022 Annual Meeting had an enjoyable day seeing friends, speaking with vendors, and learning from Tom Cartee and Emery Pike. The event also provided the opportunity to honor current residents, alumni, and longtime supporters of the program. 

        View event photo gallery on Flickr 

        ULSD Ortho Clinic Renovations Have Begun 

        Support from alumni has played a significant role in the continued success of the ULSD Orthodontic Residency. The latest evidence of that support is the “Brace For Change” campaign, which started two years ago.

        Thanks to donors to this campaign, renovations of  the orthodontics clinic on the third floor of the school began over the summer of 2022. The first phase of the project involved installation of 21 new chairs and cabinets. Nearly all of the chairs have been named in honor of a donor – or, in some cases, a mentor, faculty member, or loved one the donor selected. View renovation photo gallery on Flickr

        More information about the campaign, the renovations, and the future of the program will be shared at the Orthodontics Annual Meeting in Louisville on Friday, September 23, 2022.

        Orthodontic Alumni Council 2021 Newsletter 

        The latest edition of the Orthodontic Alumni Council newsletter includes updates on the 2021 Annual Meeting and the Brace for Change campaign, as well as updates from the program director, residents, outgoing alumni council president, and incoming alumni council president. View newsletter



        Heather Stone Hopkins, DMD, MS '10 Featured by Orthodontic Products

        Dr. Hopkins, who practices in South Carolina, spoke to the publication about the digital workflow in her practice. Read the article at https://orthodonticproductsonline.com/practice-management/practice-profiles/heather-hopkins-customizing-digital-workflow/ 

        Tracey Washington - Administrative Assistant, Orthodontics

        University of Louisville School of Dentistry
        Room 362
        Louisville, KY 40202
        phone: (502) 852-5124