CDC Dental Public Health Residency Program

The application period for the Dental Public Health Residency is now closed. Please monitor this page for information regarding the next academic year.

The aim of the CDC Dental Public Health Residency Program (DPHR) is to produce skilled specialists in dental public health who can work collaboratively with their public health and dental colleagues in an array of health settings to achieve improved oral health for populations. View our Resident Spotlight page to learn more.

The Residency Program provides four key opportunities:

Gain experience and skills across all ten designated competency areas outlined by the American Board of Dental Public Health (ABDPH).
Gain skills in the methods of scientific inquiry and research, emphasizing oral health epidemiology and population-based efforts.
Set a foundation for future examination and certification by the Board.
Start a career as a specialist in dental public health.
Dental Public Health Residency Program Logo

The program offers guided practice in collaborating with public health and dental stakeholders to achieve improved oral health for populations.

The Resident will receive a certificate of completion meeting educational requirements established by the ABDPH for specialty certification.

For more information, please view the resources below  or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.


This program is located in Atlanta, Georgia, home of CDC’s headquarters.

Number of Residency Openings

Two or three qualified dentists are admitted into CDC’s Residency Program every year.


The program starts in July of each year and extends over 12 months (full-time) or 24 months (part-time).

The DPHR offers career opportunities in:

  • Research settings
  • Health agencies
  • Voluntary organizations
  • Health care delivery
  • Health care reimbursement systems
Atlanta CDC office

Admission Requirements

Prior to starting the residency program, residents must have the following:

A dental degree (DDS or DMD) from a US dental school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation or a Canadian school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada.

  • Applicants who are graduates of a school of dentistry outside the US or Canada must be deemed to have equivalent education.

A Master of Public Health (MPH) or comparable degree from an institution in the United States accredited by an agency recognized by the US Department of Education.

  • Courses for the MPH or comparable degree would include biostatistics, epidemiology, health care policy and management, environmental health, and behavioral sciences.

The Residency Training Plan

Program instruction follows an individualized training plan with either full- or part-time schedule options, focused on competency objectives developed by the ABDPH.

Each Resident develops a training plan based on prior education and experience. The plan addresses competencies to be developed or refined during the training program, activities designed to achieve these improved skills, and methods or criteria for evaluating progress. Both a supervised field experience and an applied research project must be included in the plan. While the plan accommodates individual differences and considers current issues, it emphasizes applying fundamental public health principles to prevent oral disease and promote oral health.

Financial Considerations

No tuition or fees are required. Stipends for Residents are provided through CDC’s Regular Fellowship Program. This program is designed to encourage training for research and advancing science related to health. Currently, program stipends range from $47,000 to $66,000, depending on the Resident’s prior professional experience.

Although Residents in CDC’s Regular Fellowship Program are not federal employees, they can access a wide array of training resources and experiences. Interested employees of other federal agencies, including commissioned officers in the United States Public Health Service, can discuss their circumstances with the Residency Director.

Residency Resources

CDC’s Dental Public Health Residency Program is sponsored by the Division of Oral Health, within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP). NCCDPHP offers an abundance of learning opportunities and has programs addressing the prevention and control of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and tobacco use, as well as programs focused on reproductive health, school health, aging, obesity prevention, nutrition and physical activity, and more. Residents have access to the larger CDC community of programs as well as other institutions and partner organizations to explore potential collaboration opportunities.

CDC employs professionals who can contribute their expertise during the residency (e.g., dentists, statisticians, economists, epidemiologists, social and behavioral scientists, physicians, and specialists in health policy, health communication, and evaluation). Residents also have access to CDC resources including excellent library facilities, computer services, training courses, and frequent seminars and guest lectures on public health topics.