"What I like most about my mentor and fellow students in the OCS program is the sense of togetherness. I know I can reach out to any of them, and they would be willing to assist. It takes a village to raise a child, and I believe it takes a supportive community to achieve your graduate degree."
— Erin Malone, PhD student, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences

Oral and Craniofacial Sciences

The Oral and Craniofacial Sciences (OCS) interdisciplinary PhD program provides students with the knowledge and research tools needed to study oral and craniofacial tissue and organ systems. From a variety of approaches, students learn about the functions of these tissues and systems, and about the conditions and diseases to which these tissues and systems are susceptible. The OCS program emphasizes the importance of translating scientific discovery into advances in patient treatment and clinical care.

The OCS graduate program aims to develop world leaders in scientific discovery, who will be able to translate their research into health benefits for patients worldwide. Recognizing that significant scientific discovery occurs at the crossroads of different disciplines, students acquire an outstanding level of competence in cell and molecular biology, which is incorporated with an in-depth examination of the key developmental, molecular, materials sciences questions related to oral and craniofacial sciences.


Fifty faculty members are associated with the OCS program, representing several departments in the UCSF School of Dentistry as well as many departments in the UCSF School of Medicine. This ensures a program curriculum that spans a range of disciplines. See a list of faculty and their research areas.

The OCS program office is located at the Parnassus campus. Visit the program website for more information.

The Oral and Craniofacial Sciences program is offered by the UCSF Graduate Division, administered by the UCSF School of Dentistry, and delivered by faculty members in the UCSF schools of dentistry and medicine.


Program Coordinator
Roger Mraz

Program Co-Directors
Pamela Den Besten, DDS, MS
Ralph Marcucio, PhD