Application and Admission


The Department of Orthodontics participates in the Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS). The Department also participates in the Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program (the Match). Applicants MUST register with Match and PASS. The shared PASS/Match registration portal can be accessed from the Match website (select the option for Applicant Registration), or directly at

Our program code is 768574.

The ADAT has been introduced as an additional evaluation in 2016, the pilot year for that test. Since ADAT scores will be released after the application deadline, they will be considered as optional supplemental information but are not a required component of the application.

Application materials should be completed and received by PASS before September 1, 2018 for admission the following July. The following must be submitted directly to the program:

  1. A 2" x 2" photograph.
  2. You are seeking a place in an Orthodontic residency program.  Programs are different in their approach to your education.  One approach emphasizes training you to be a proficient provider who is competent in the use of multiple devices.  Another approach emphasizes the biological and biomechanical principles which can be applied to any clinical treatment.  Most programs attempt to achieve a balance somewhere between these two approaches.

    So we may get to know you better, please respond to the question: 

    "Dr. Smilefixer lives next door to his lifelong friend Mr. Tinker, who happens to be a biomedical engineer. They have had many conversations over the years regarding possible gadgets and widgets that could be used on patients of Dr. Smilefixer. Mr. Tinker develops the “Wonder Widget” and makes the claim it will move teeth better and faster without the risk of apical root resorption as well as prevent long term effects from sleep apnea. He offers to give the good Doctor half of the patent rights if he will use them on his patients, speak on behalf of the WW at meetings, and assist him in obtaining the patent. Dr. Smilefixer asks Mr. Tinker to provide him with 20 prototypes to try. After using them, he is of the opinion they have minimal or no value in better or faster treatments and certainly cannot verify the long term claims but decides to assist in obtaining the patent and use them for his patients anyway. What dilemmas does this create for Dr. Smilefixer?"

    For context, please refer to the article from The American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (March 2018,Vol. 153,Issue3) by Laurance Jerrold entitled, “Expectations: Contractual, entrepreneurial, or professional” in developing your handwritten paper. Your signed response should not directly quote or paraphrase this article but be a representation of your thoughts and opinions for this topic.

    Limit your answer to one handwritten page and please do not repeat the question. Attach your 2 X 2 photo to your essay.
  3. The UTHSC Department of Orthodontics participates in the Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program and considers that participation to be beneficial and fair to both the residency program and its applicants. The Department fully complies with the Institutional Agreement. During selection of candidates for interviews, we grant priority consideration to applicants who are participating exclusively in the Match.

    Attach a signed and dated copy of the following statement with circled choice to your submitted handwritten essay: I am / am not applying exclusively to programs participating in the Match.

After the application materials are received and evaluated, some applicants will be invited for an interview. Interviews are scheduled in the month of October. No student is admitted without a personal interview.

If accepted for enrollment, each student will be required to make application to the College of Graduate Health Sciences. Original copies of transcripts, NBDE scores, GRE scores and three original and signed letters of recommendation must accompany that application. The letters of recommendation may be the same as those submitted to PASS but must be an original and signed document.

All applicants must be eligible for full licensure by the State of Tennessee Board of Dentistry at the time of matriculation in July of 2019. Information regarding Tennessee licensure requirements may be found at

Admission Decisions

The probability of success in graduate study is assessed using many criteria, but important characteristics are:

  1. Dental and undergraduate school achievement
  2. Performance on standardized tests
  3. Extracurricular activities
  4. The interview
  5. Experience
  6. Recommendations

Minimally, to be considered for full-standing as a graduate student, an applicant must have earned a D.D.S. or equivalent degree awarded by a CODA accredited institution, compiled at least a "B" coursework average, and rank in the upper 30% of his or her graduating class.

Non-Discrimination Statement

All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and admissions without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.

Eligibility and other terms and conditions of employment benefits at The University of Tennessee are governed by laws and regulations of the State of Tennessee, and this non-discrimination statement is intended to be consistent with those laws and regulations.

In accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, The University of Tennessee affirmatively states that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or disability in its education programs and activities, and this policy extends to employment by the University.

Inquiries and charges of violation of Title VI (race, color, national origin), Title IX (sex), Section 504 (disability), ADA (disability), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age), sexual orientation, or veteran status should be directed to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), 920 Madison Avenue, Suite 825, Memphis, Tennessee 38163, telephone 901-448-7382 (V/TTY available). Requests for accommodation of a disability should be directed to the ADA Coordinator at the Office of Equity and Diversity.

Orthodontics room

Contact Us

Graduate Orthodontic Program
875 Union Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38163
Phone: 901-448-6213
Fax: 901-448-8358

Program Director:
Richard A. Williams, D.D.S., M.S.