Boston University's (BU) Dental Health Centre Dubai officially opened its temporary headquarters in Dubai Healthcare City earlier this year. Its academic arm — the Boston University Institute for Dental Research and Education Dubai (BUIDRE) — is set to receive its first batch of students in July 2009.
Notes spoke to the institute's chief academic officer Dr Thomas Kilgore to find out more about the university.
Curriculum and programmes
The institute will offer courses in a range of dental health specialties, with more courses to be added every year.
"In 2008 we will offer programmes in Prosthodontics (crowns, bridges, dentures), Periodontology (treatment of diseases of the gums and bone), Endodontics (root canal treatment), Orthodontics (braces) and Paediatric Dentistry," Dr Kilgore said. "In 2009 we will initiate a programme in Dental Public Health and in 2011 we will offer a programme in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery."
The programmes will be full-time post-doctoral programmes, but occasional continuing dental education courses will be offered for dental professionals, according to Kilgore. It takes three years to finish the postgraduate degree at a cost of $40,000 (Dh146,928) per year.
The programmes result in the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study and Master of Science in Dentistry.
Eight full-time faculty members of BU will run the facility. "All of our faculty received their specialty training in the United States," Kilgore said.
In addition, senior faculty from BU will periodically come to Dubai to give special lectures, demonstrations and to participate in continuing professional education courses.
As programmes are added, more faculty will join the centre.
BU Dubai vs. Boston
"The curriculum here will be very similar to that of Boston University and will be under the control of department chairs and programme directors in Boston," Kilgore said.
For the students it will be beneficial to study in a 'unique and vibrant community' like Dubai.
"Dubai Healthcare City is becoming a full-scale academic medical centre similar to our medical campus in Boston.
Our students' interaction with students of Harvard Medical School Dubai Centre and University Hospital should mirror the dynamic relationship our students have in Boston as part of a major academic medical centre," he said.
He added that the school chose Dubai Healthcare City as a venue because the academic programmes are in the health care field.
Students at the institute will have full electronic access to the Boston University Medical and Dental Library. They will also have access to course outlines, course content and instructors at Boston
Profile of students
Student applicants are expected to be mainly from the Gulf region, according to Kilgore.
"Our attraction is our ability to offer high quality postgraduate dental education without the student having to leave home and family for three years," he said.
Upon graduation, students will be practising dentistry in the UAE. "All our candidates are already trained dentists. They will emerge from our programmes as specialists in their fields," Kilgore said.
Application and admissions
Students interested in applying for programmes at BUIDRE can apply online at www.budubai.ae. The application deadline for the academic year, which starts July 2009, is November 1, 2008.
The programmes offered by BUIDRE will be accredited by the UAE Ministry of Education's Commission for Academic Accreditation. They are not eligible for accreditation by the American Dental Association. Neither the programmes nor the certificates/degrees will confer eligibility to register for US dental specialty board examinations or to obtain US state licences.
Other student services
Students at the institute will have full electronic access to the Boston University Medical and Dental Library. They will also have access to course outlines, course content and instructors at Boston University School of Dental Medicine.
- The centre is equipped with modern clinical and laboratory equipment. It has 19 dental chairs, two radiology rooms and 10 laboratory stations. Employing a modern electronic patient record system, the centre allows dentists to efficiently integrate patients' diagnosis, radiographic exams, and treatment options.
- The permanent location of the new centre will be in the Boston University building at the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Academic Medical Centre in Dubai Healthcare City. The centre is due for completion in 2011.
- Application form: completed, signed and dated;
- Application fee of Dh350;
- Personal statement describing your qualifications and objectives;
- TOEFL score: internet based(iBT) minimum 85; computer-based minimum 213; written TOEFL minimum 550. An official, original report must be received directly from the agency;
- Academic transcripts;
- Course-by-course translation and evaluation of each transcript provided by Educational and Credential Evaluators (ECE Inc.);
- Dilpoma for degree earned;
- Curriculum Vitae;
- Recommendations: three original, sealed letters of evaluation, including one from the dean of your dental school and two from dental school faculty — on an evaluation form provided with the application;
- Photograph of applicant.