Top Dental Schools in United States

dental schools

There are two degrees in the United States that enable you to become a dentist with full rights in the country. You can either enroll in a four-year Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) degree. Many areas of study in the United States take four years to complete in order to obtain a Bachelor’s degree. Oral medicine also belongs in this group of programs. 

About 12 universities in the United States that offer oral-health programs are listed among the 50 top universities in the world. Due to these statistics, international students dream to pursue their careers as dentists in this country of opportunities.

Here are some of the best Dental Schools in United States available for students from all nationalities:

1. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Many factors have had an impact on increasing the reputation of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. What makes them stand out and get ranked as the number one university in the US for dentistry, is their dedication towards advancing health through education. Due to the thorough independent research which is done at this university, students and graduates benefit significantly career-wise. 

Throughout your studies at the UM Dentistry School, you are required to complete a specific number of 100 hours in dental clinics, either as a volunteer or shadowing professionals. Private clinics, dentist’s offices, or even specialist offices are all options for you to complete your practical courses at. Furthermore, sociology hours equal to three semesters are required as part of the course at the dentistry school.

2. Harvard University

At Harvard University Dentistry School, graduates experience life as a professional clinical dental worker, as well as a hint on other careers that are available after graduating with a Dental degree at Harvard. Some of these include working in educational institutions, doing research, and becoming leaders in dentistry. Graduates have the opportunity to contribute to public health all around the world, with the qualifications gained at one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

The Dental Medicine program at Harvard University offers a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry degree, a program which is considered to be one of the specialties of this university, because of its great popularity. Students are initially required to undertake classes with an introduction to the human body shapes and their functions, as an essential course of the program. 

According to the faculty of the Dentistry School at Harvard, students need to learn the basics of the relationship between doctor and patient. The most productive way of learning everything there is to know about oral and general health is through participation in independent and collaborative research.

3. University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

The University of California, San Francisco has begun their history of educating future leaders as early as 1881, and they have been producing successful and notable alumni since. UCSF is known for its oral and craniofacial health sciences programs, which have been advancing through the years with degrees in Ph.D., post-graduate, and residency programs. UCSF is home to a licensed Dental Center, where students are practitioners of the chosen degrees and have the opportunity to treat over 120,000 patients in a year. In the last 25 years, UCSF has been ranked among the top dental schools in research by the National Institutes of Health.

At UCSF, you can choose between a wide range of degree options with numerous programs depending on your chosen field of specialization. Aside from the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) which is the core degree, UCSF offers Ph.D. and master’s degree programs, as well as a combined DDS-PhD or a PhD-dental specialty training program. 

To get enrolled at either of these programs, you need to submit a transcript evaluation form, in accordance with the Educational Credential Evaluators Inc. (ECE) or World Education Service (WES). Language proficiency exam scores are also required, with a minimum TOEFL score of 95 or higher. Furthermore, you must also provide at least three letters of recommendation, a CV and clinical experience of two years is also preferred. Lastly, the CASPer Test is recommended, although not mandatory.

4. University of Washington (UW)

The University of Washington is fully dedicated to educating new generations through research and teaching them the importance of patient care as well as the advantage of collaborative work within the community. The school’s focus is on equally treating the many aspects of dental and orofacial health including biological, behavioral, biomedical as well as ethical, and social impacts.

The University of Washington School of Dentistry offers students the possibility to pursue a degree as a Doctor of Dental Surgery if they have already graduated from a foreign dental program. The acceptance rate at this school is very low with only a small percentage of students getting accepted every year. DDS graduates are eligible to undertake the regional exams in order to get dental licensure and get authorized to practice within the United States.

The UW International DDS program welcomes ambitious graduates from all majors, and the Admission Committee appreciates heterogeneity in programs, including social sciences and humanities. 

5. New York University (NYU)

NYU students, graduates, and faculty at the College of Dentistry are constantly contributing to the healthcare of the city’s population. They are known to provide service for patients who have oral health issues and are treated directly at the NYUDentistry premises. The areas of specialization offered at the NYU College of Dentistry are numerous, such as endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, pediatric surgery, prosthodontics, periodontics, and the program of implant dentistry. 

The chances of admission at NYU dental program are slim since out of approximately 3,400 applications annually, only around 375 of them are admitted. During the past year, the NYU School of Medicine admission committee has decided to offer a scholarship that will be able to cover the complete tuition for students who have yet to apply, are already enrolled, or for those who are planning to study medicine in the near future. The eligibility criteria for the scholarship application include all students of the MD program, regardless of their monetary situation or even their academic achievement. 

6. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC)

At UNC Adams School of Dentistry, students who are trying to pursue a degree as a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), are required to enroll in classes in four years in order to be eligible to work as a dental practitioner. Some of the career options that you can choose from with a DDS license include general dental practice, dental research, teaching, public service. More on this topic, you will also be able to enroll in postdoctoral programs in several specialties provided through dental medicine programs.

The Adams School of Dentistry is seeking students who are willing to contribute professionally in their communities as well as the activities organized at the university. Because of the limited places for new students, they evaluate applicants through earlier undergraduate work and their passion for beginning a career in dental medicine.

Here is a list of the programs available at the UNC Adams School of Dentistry:

  • Doctor of Dental Surgery, D.D.S 
  • Dental Hygiene Major, B.S.
  • Post Certificate in Dental Hygiene
  • M.S. in Dental Hygiene Education
  • M.S. in Endodontics
  • M.S. in Operative Dentistry
  • M.S. and Ph.D. in Oral and Craniofacial Biomedicine
  • M.S. in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
  • M.S. in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
  • M.S. in Orthodontics

7. University of Pennsylvania (Penn)

Penn University is home to the Penn Dental Medicine Clinical Education Program, where students who want to pursue a career in dental health are trained professionally and in an environment where real patients receive treatment. The University of Pennsylvania offers a degree in DMD where applicants who have already completed a four-year degree, are eligible to apply. The DMD program at Penn University also takes four years to complete, thus helping students develop a broad knowledge of oral health science.

Earlier coursework such as Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) can be considered as enough credit points for the DMD program. The curriculum consists of subjects such as Biology taught in two semesters through lab work and additional Anatomy core courses including Microbiology and Physiology. Furthermore, courses that are compulsory at oral health programs include Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and English.

8. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

UCLA has been attracting successful and hard-working students for many years. All graduates of UCLA have become leaders of oral health in their communities. The Professional Program for International Dentists (PPID) involves a three-part curriculum: didactic, pre-clinical, and clinical preparatory. Through these courses, students are instructed to follow the same pattern of opportunities in clinical experience and research.

The PPID program at UCLA focuses on producing skillful dentists, with knowledge in many aspects of oral health sciences. Biomedical sciences and clinical skills are essential when it comes to getting hired in the dental care industry in the United States. The UCLA School of Dentistry welcomes students from all parts of the world to become part of the community and help make the world a healthier place while contributing to the education and research of oral health.