Student Perspectives

PhD in Oral Health Sciences graduates:

Nora Makansi, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences, McGill University

"I see the unique and enriching experience that had propelled me towards a career in academia. McGill's Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences is an ideal environment for budding scholars looking to work with established researchers in diverse fields, ranging from bench-side basic sciences to clinical and community-based research. I was given the opportunity to lead my doctoral project with continuous guidance from my thesis supervisors, access to the most up-to-date academic resources, and support from a faculty that adopts advanced research methodologies and promotes interdisciplinary work and international collaborations. I conducted an international research project and was among the first graduate students in our faculty to use a mixed methods approach (quantitative and qualitative methodologies). Along with research experience, my doctoral studies advanced my scientific writing and teaching skills...but most-of-all it cultivated a sense of curiosity that molded me into a life-long learner"


Qiman Gao, BDS, MSc (OMFS), PhD

“It was a fantastic experience to pursue my Ph.D. in the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences at McGill University as an international dentist. The interaction and communication between the faculty member and students are harmonious. The research projects are well-funded, students have access to almost all the facilities and resources they need. There are many collaboration opportunities with other departments in the university. Even if we have a particular requirement for research, the faculty members are supportive to help us make it happen. Moreover, I enjoyed the lectures and research seminars a lot. I am grateful for all the happy memories in the faculty with my colleagues and friends.”

MSc in Dental Sciences, Non-Thesis

Clay Smith, B.Sc, Graduate Student

"After completing my BSc and having worked many student jobs, I felt that my next step was to learn more about dentistry within an academic setting. I am very fortunate that McGill had this program, specifically the non-thesis MSc option.

The non-thesis program provides individuals who do not have a lot of research experience an opportunity to learn, experiment and find new interests. Additionally, those who have research experience will develop many new skills along the way (analyzing scientific literature, working with literature reviews, and thinking critically and scientifically).

For me, this program has been a motivator for my academic interests and my desired career. I feel that I am already better prepared for a career in dentistry as I have learned how to work, interpret and understand key points of relevant topics. I also know that I am better prepared for work beyond dentistry if I choose to pursue it.

Furthermore, I have taken unique classes that I otherwise would not have been able to experience (oncology/ research approaches, methods, and writing).

Lastly, I have had the luxury to meet many dentists from around the world, collaborate with them, and learn so much about dentistry outside of the classroom. I am incredibly grateful to be a part of the dental community at McGill and the experience it has given me in Montreal.

From what I remember, McGill University was the only school that offered the non-thesis track. This was important to me as I felt that I did not have an opportunity to perform a lot of research in my undergrad. Nonetheless, I did have interests, motives, and skills within this area."

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