A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

Advanced Specialty Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry

Program Director
Jung-Wei (Anna) Chen, DDS, MS, PhD
Jung-Wei (Anna) Chen, DDS, MS, PhD
Professor of Pediatric Dentistry

For a list of other Faculty for the Advanced Specialty Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry, click here.

General Information

Accreditation status: "Approval" (next accreditation 2016)
Length of program: 24 months in residence
Number of applicants accepted each year: Four (4)
Applications accepted as of: January 1st each year
Application deadline: October 1, 2016
Program start date: July 1, 2017

Application Method

Loma Linda University application:          An LLU online application is mandatory
PASS application: A PASS application is mandatory
Match application: A Match application is mandatory

Contact Information

Program phone number: (909) 558-4690
Fax number: (909) 558-0322
Email: pediatricdentistry@llu.edu

Program Description

The Advanced Specialty Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry is designed to prepare residents for a practice limited to the care of children and adolescents. Completion of the curriculum leads to the award of a certificate in pediatric dentistry.

Clinical pediatric dentistry is emphasized; however, this clinical experience is balanced with a didactic curriculum of multidisciplinary courses and seminars. There is also a research component to the program designed to expose residents to problem solving using the scientific method. The program requires a minimum of 24 months in residence and begins on July 1st each year to fulfill the requirements of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

The goals of the Advanced Specialty Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry are:

Goal 1 To prepare the resident to be a specialist who is proficient in providing comprehensive, preventive, and therapeutic oral health care for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health care needs.
Goal 2 To provide an educational structure that complies with the standards set forth by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
Goal 3 To prepare residents for the practice of pediatric dentistry.
Goal 4 To train pediatric residents to participate in pediatric dental research.
Goal 5 To train pediatric residents to participate in teaching pediatric dentistry.
Goal 6 To prepare the resident for certification by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

Operatory in the Graduate Pediatric Dentistry Clinic
Operatories in the Graduate Pediatric Dentistry Clinic.

Operatory in the Graduate Pediatric Dentistry Clinic
Operatories in the Graduate Pediatric Dentistry Clinic.

Two Master's Degree Tracks Available

Loma Linda University School of Dentistry offers two master's degree tracks for graduate students/residents enrolled in the advanced education certificate programs.

Master of Science (MS) degree track:

The Master of Science (MS) degree track can be invaluable to students who wish to pursue an academic career in clinical dentistry, research, and teaching. The didactic and clinical components of the certificate program fulfill the academic requirements for the MS degree. Candidates must be admitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS), conduct a graduate level research project, write a thesis, and hold a public thesis defense. Students have five years from the date of acceptance of the certificate program to complete the requirements for the MS degree.

Candidates who meet the admissions requirements must submit an application to FGS through the Office of Advanced Dental Education and that application must be supported by the applicant's program director.

Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD) degree track:

Graduate students/residents may elect to apply for the Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD) degree track.  The MSD degree track is intended to provide individuals with an advanced degree widely recognized as having completed a dental specialty program.  Applicants must be recommended for admission to this degree track by their program director and subsequently approved for admission by the Assistant Dean for Advanced Education. The MSD degree is awarded upon successful completion of the certificate program, completion of an approved graduate research project, and submission of a report of that research project in the form of a publishable paper in the format of a journal selected by the candidate and approved by the program director.  Candidates must also hold a public presentation of their research in a format similar to a thesis defense.  All the MSD requirements may be complete during the program but no later than one year from the candidate’s program completion date.

Graduates of the certificate, MS degree program, and MSD degree program are educationally qualified to pursue certification by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

Required Applications and Admission Process

Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS) - The Advanced Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry participates in the PASS application service of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) allowing applicants to apply to multiple participating institutions using one standardized format. PASS Application

Loma Linda University Application - In addition to the PASS application, applicants for the Pediatric Dentistry Program must complete a direct Loma Linda University application.  LLU online application

The Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program (Match) - The Loma Linda University Department of Pediatric Dentistry also participates in the Match program to help identify and "match" the preferences of applicants and the advanced education program a using rank order list of the applicants and the program.  http://www.natmatch.com/dentres

Invitation to interview - All completed applications that meet the minimum admissions requirements are reviewed (refer to Admissions Requirements below). The top candidates are invited for an interview by a selection committee composed of department faculty and outside faculty/administrators and chaired by the program director.

Admissions Decisions - The program director presents the rank order for admission for discussion and approval by the Graduate Admissions Committee at the beginning of the winter quarter. That rank order is then submitted to the Match Program. Applicants and programs will receive the results of the "Match" directly from the Match Program.

Acceptance - Candidates are offered acceptance through the Match.  They must submit a nonrefundable deposit check of $1,000 to hold a place in the entering class. These funds will be applied towards tuition and fees for the first quarter of study.

Background check - Accepted students must complete a background check in order to register and begin the program.

Health Clearance Information and CPR Training for Incoming Graduate Students and Residents - All individuals accepted into an Advanced Education Program must receive a health clearance from Student Health Service before they are permitted to start their program. A health clearance includes passing a PPD (tuberculosis), Hepatitis B, and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) test. In addition, all incoming graduate students/residents also must undergo Health Care Provider CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training and obtain certification prior or during the start of their program.

How to obtain information regarding policies on blood-borne and infectious diseases:
Federal OSHA (www.osha.gov) In search menu type: Bloodborne Pathogens 1910.1030
State Cal/OSHA (www.dir.ca.gov) In search menu type: Bloodborne Pathogens Standards 5193

Admissions Requirements - Checklist

The following information and documentation are required for all applications to the Pediatric Dentistry Program:

1.  Transcript(s) - from all post-secondary institutions from which the applicant received credit whether or not the work pertains to their LLU degree.  Only official transcript(s) will be accepted.  An official transcript is one that is submitted directly from the school, college, or university to Loma Linda University.  Transcripts that are hand-carried or mailed by an applicant, even if in a sealed envelope, cannot be considered official and will be recorded as still missing.  Transcripts should be mailed directly to: Admissions Processing, 11139 Anderson Street, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350.

Applicants who have transcripts from non-US dental schools must submit a translated course-by-course transcript report from one of the following agencies (See International Transcript Information):

  1. World Education Services (WES) *
  2. American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)
  3. Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc (ECE)
  4. American Education Research Corporation (AERC)

* If ordering an evaluation from WES, the applicant should select Loma Linda University from the drop-down list of recipient institutions as opposed to writing in an address. LLU does not need the additional ICAP service from WES. If their WES report is only for LLU the applicant should order the basic (non-ICAP) course-by-course report.  The electronic WES report to LLU will already include copies of the evaluated documents, however these document copies are not the Official transcripts/mark sheets that LLU requires to be sent directly from the issuing institution.

2.  Official Degree Certificate (for all international applicants) - Any foreign transcript (or mark sheet) that does not list on it the graduation information, including the actual degree earned, must be supported by an official degree certificate or school-verified copy of the degree certificate mailed directly from the issuing institution to Admissions Processing, Loma Linda University.

Applicants who are uncertain as to whether or not their transcript lists graduation information and degree earned should contact their school before requesting a separate degree certificate.

3.  Dental License (for all international applicants) - All applicants for the Pediatric Dentistry Program who have received their dental school training outside of the United States or Canada must have a current dental license from their country and submit a notarized copy with their application.

4.  GPA and Class Rank - A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.  GPA and class rank can be submitted through the Institutional Evaluation on PASS.

5.  Graduate Record Examination (GRE) - Satisfactory completion of the GRE is required for all applicants who have completed their dental school training outside the United States or Canada. 

6.  National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) - Successful completion of the National Board Dental Examination Part I and Part II (when available) is required for all U.S.-trained applicants.  Please allow plenty of time for NBDE score report requests to be processed by the ADA.  We cannot accept NBDE scores reported in a Dean's letter as an official report of test results.  Request NBDE scores

7.  English Proficiency Exam - Regardless of nationality or citizenship, an applicant whose native language is not English or whose secondary education has been given outside the U.S. is required to pass one of the following English proficiency tests:

  1. TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date.  The institution code for Loma Linda University is 4062. TOEFL minimum scores for the pediatric dentistry program are: 90 - Internet-based test , 590 - Paper-based test, including a minimum final score of 5.0 on the TWE part (Test of Written English)
  2. IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. LLU minimum score is 6.5
  3. MELAB LLU minimum score is 77

8.  Letters of recommendation - Three letters of recommendation from individuals who have known and worked closely with the candidate are required in support of an application.  Letters of recommendation are valid for no more than two consecutive years for the same program.  Letters of recommendation also must be program specific (ie, support an applicant for the actual program to which he/she is applying).  Electronic notifications to the recommenders are sent out after submitting the online application.  Alternatively, an applicant applying to the program through PASS may use their Personal Potential Index (PPI) evaluation report, Professional Evaluation Forms (PEF), and Institutional Evaluation Form (IEF) for their LLU application as well.  Applicants who would like to use their PASS letters of recommendation should leave the recommendation section of their LLU online application blank and after submitting the application, the PPI evaluations will be matched up.  

Important Instructions for the Transmittal of Official Documents

All official documents must be mailed from the issuing institutions. Applicants must not mail originals or official copies of transcripts, GRE scores, National Dental Board scores, and TOEFL scores themselves.

An application is not considered complete until all required supporting documents have been received. Only completed applications go to committee for consideration. This policy holds true for both U.S. and non-U.S. applicants. So please apply early.

Administrative office staff (from left): Ms. Trisha Costelow and Ms. Eileen Griego (Administrative Secretaries).

Class of 2016 residents.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for the 2015-16 academic year (effective July 1, 2015) are $15,862.00 per quarter.  Tuition is adjusted annually every July 1st. These fees do not include instruments and textbooks that may be required.

Required courses for the Pediatric Dentistry Program can be found in the University Catalog.


Study may extend beyond 24 months for those pursuing a Master of Science (MS) degree or the Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD) Degree.