15 Best Dental Schools in The US (2023 Edition)

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With an 8% projected growth in dentist jobs in the next 10 years, the interest of students in dental medicine has increased, and the best dental schools in the US get full as soon as the results are announced. Finding the best dental schools becomes difficult for an aspirant due to the lack of proper information. 

Around 67 universities in the US offer advanced Dentistry degrees. The top dental colleges help students to gain command over excellent dental skills.

In this article, I have compiled a list of the best dental schools in the US. The factors that affect the rankings of dental schools are the rate of acceptance, average test scores of accepted students, the demand for university among students, etc. 

So, let’s dive into our list!

Top 15 Dental Schools in the US: In a Nutshell (2023)

If you are in a hurry or don’t have enough time to take a look at the details of the dental schools, you can check out the table below.

Sr. No.Dental School4-year costRatings
1.University of Michigan$377,1434.9/5
2.Harvard School of Dental Medicine$464,9714.9/5
3.University of North Carolina$330,8054.8/5
4.University of California, Los Angeles$378,6734.7/5
5.University of Washington$391,3614.6/5
6.University of California, San Francisco$390,7874.7/5
7.University of Pennsylvania$507,8594.5/5
8.Columbia University$511,4114.4/5
9.New York University$572,2914.2/5
10.University of Iowa$224,0434.3/5
11. University of Southern California$514,8884.4/5
12. University of Florida$71,0504.6/5
13. Ohio State University$212,6924.7/5
14. University of Minnesota$224,0434.6/5
15. Boston University$132,1344.7/5

Let us take a detailed look at what the best dental schools in the US have to offer students and why they are considered the top schools for students pursuing their education in dentistry. 

1. University of Michigan:

Class Size:108
Four-Year Cost:$377,143
Average GPA:3.73
Average DAT score:22

The University of Michigan is situated in the city of Ann Arbor. The university has a large network of clinics. These clinics help students with several opportunities to gain experience and expertise. 

University of Michigan

The University Of Michigan in Ann Arbor has 120 full-time faculty members. There are 15 different programs available.

Key Highlights:

  • The acceptance rate is 26%. 
  • The average ACT score required is 33.
  • The average SAT score required is 1432.
  • 66% of the students tend to receive aid.

2. Harvard School of Dental Medicine:

Class Size:35
Four-Year Cost:$464,971
Average GPA:3.85
Average DAT score:22

The Harvard School of Dental Medicine in Boston is situated in the Longwood Medical area.

The students get practice experience in clinical rotations. The Harvard Dental centers provide the opportunity to gain mastery in the required procedures. 

Harvard School of Dental Medicine

There is some coursework in the syllabus of the dental students that they study together with the Harvard medical students. 

Key Highlights:

  • The Acceptance rate of Harvard University is 5%.
  • The average ACT score required by students to get into Harvard dental school is 34.
  • The average SAT score required for students to get into the school is 1520. 

Bonus: Read the Harvard Transfer acceptance rate in detail!

3. University of North Carolina:

Class Size:82
Four-Year Cost:$330,805
Average GPA:3.6
Average DAT score:22

The University of North Carolina is located in Chapel Hill Adam School of Dentistry. It has consistently bagged the top place among the top dental schools. The dental students here are trained to work as problem solvers. 

University of North Carolina

The Doctor of Dental Surgery program includes a curriculum that follows the Advocate-Clinician-thinker (ACT). The students get trained to act as advocates for their patients. These make them provide exceptional care to their patients. 

The students work in 50 rotation sites in North Carolina to get clinical experience. There are two student-led free clinics to help students practice. More than 90,000 patients receive dental and oral health care in these clinics annually. 

Key Highlights:

  • The acceptance rate of the dental school is 25%.
  • The average ACT score required to get into University is 31.
  • 1385 is the average SAT score required to get admitted to a dental school in North Carolina.
  • 64% of the students receive educational aid.

4. University of California, Los Angeles:

Class Size:88
Four-Year Cost:$378,673
Average GPA:3.72
Average DAT score:22

Every year, around 100 students graduate from the University of California in Los Angeles School of Dentistry. The degree it provides is a Doctor of Dentistry.

University of California, Los Angeles

The students start to get opportunities from the second year to get hands-on experience and treat patients. Maximum students who graduate from this school either choose to get post-graduate degrees or get advanced degrees in oral biology. 

The students get clinical experience in various community service projects, specialty clinics, etc., through rotations. 

Key Highlights: 

  • The acceptance rate of the college is 14%
  • 73% of the students tend to receive aids. 
  • $15,461 is the average aid received by the students.

5. University of Washington:

Class Size:63
Four-Year Cost:$391,361
Average GPA:3.5
Average DAT score:20.9

The students at the University of Washington gain experience from the specialty clinics. They get to treat and be involved in communication with patients at clinics for persons with disabilities, People with psychological conditions, people with dental fears, etc. They also get an opportunity to work at a mobile geriatric clinic.

University of Washington

Furthermore, students also get opportunities to gain clinical experience at Seattle Children’s Hospital, the clinics owned by the school, and the Harborview Medical Center. 

Key Highlights:

  • The acceptance rate of the college is 56%.
  • The average ACT score required to get admission is 30.
  • The average SAT score needed to get into the school is 1327.
  • 56% of the students tend to receive aid.

6. University of California, San Francisco:

Class Size:88
Four-Year Cost:$390,787
Average GPA:3.65
Average DAT score:22.8

The University of California, located in San Francisco, is known for its research opportunities and clinical education. More than 100 students graduate each year from the school.

University of California, San Francisco

The dental school helps students to gain practical experience from the dental center of the school. The students treat approximately 120,000 annually in the dental center. 

The dental school grabbed the first position as a dental school based on the funding received from the National Institutes of Health. The university grabs extra points for research. 

Key Highlights:

  • The Acceptance rate of the college is 18%.
  • Male to female ratio in the school is 36:64.
  • The Dental School of the University of California, San Francisco, was founded in the year 1864.

7. University of Pennsylvania:

Class Size:135
Four-Year Cost:$507,859
Average GPA:3.7
Average DAT score:22

The dental school of the University of Pennsylvania was established in the year 1878. The dental school provides DMD in different degrees like bioethics, Business administration, Education, Law, Public health, etc. 

University of Pennsylvania

Students get various clinical opportunities with the help of outreach programs for the community. Every year, approximately 22,000 patients are provided with primary care units and dental care service 

Key Highlights:

  • The acceptance rate of the dental school is 9%.
  • The average ACT score required for enrollment is 34.
  • The average SAT score required by students to get into the Dental school of Pennsylvania is 1515.

8. Columbia University:

Class Size:84
Four-Year Cost:$511,411
Average GPA:3.7
Average DAT score:23.4

The Dental School of Columbia promotes students for research with professors. The students also get an opportunity to collaborate with medical students in their pre-clinical years at the institution. 

Columbia University

The University of Columbia is a great choice for dental students. There is quite a great competition among students to get into dental school. The institution also provides students with the required dental training.

Key Highlights:

  • The acceptance rate is 7%.
  • The average score required to get into the dental school of Columbia University is 34.
  • 1515 is the Average SAT score needed by students to get enrolled in dental school. 

9. New York University:

Class Size:375
Four-Year Cost:$572,291
Average GPA:3.5
Average DAT score:21

The Dental School of New York University is one of the largest dental schools in the US. Around 10% of dentists in the US receive their degrees here. Approximately 400 DDS students graduate each year from the College of Dentistry.

New York University

The school provides students with extensive training and experience with diverse sets of patients. Students in dentistry opt for various courses in clinical. Biomedical and behavioral areas. 

The students at NYU gain experience by working closely with the faculties, their group, practice directors, etc. Annually 300,00 patients are treated at the dental school of New York University.

Key Highlights:

  • The acceptance rate of the dental school is 21%.
  • The Average SAT score is 1455 to get enrolled into the dental school of New York University. 
  • Students require 33 as the average ACT score. 

10. University Of Iowa

Class Size:80
Four-Year Cost:$224,043
Average GPA:3.75
Average DAT Score:22

The University of Iowa is one of the leading institutions in dental education, oral science research, and patient care. It was founded back in 1882, and since then, it has produced most of the dentists of Iowa.

Since it is the only dental school in the state of Iowa, it produces over 78% of dentists in the state. It is also in the 10th spot for national ranking for research funding. It also offers 26 different community programs that focus on patients with special needs, seniors, and children.

University of Iowa

Their dental program is considered to be competitive and comprehensive. The instructors of the school teach their students problem-based learning and critical thinking.

Key Highlights:

  • The acceptance rate of this college is 8%.
  • The dental clinic of this school sees over 170K people every year.
  • You can apply for their advanced standing, doctor of dental surgery, and specialty programs.

11. Herman Ostrow School: University of Southern California

Four-Year Cost:$514,888
Average GPA:3.73
Average DAT Score:20.5

The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at USC is a private school that has been providing dental education since 1897. 

This school offers a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program that combines basic science and clinical content over four years. The programs provided at this school are learner-centered. It prepares students to assess dental patients and provide excellent care. 

Herman Ostrow School

Talking about the faculty, it has expert faculty members who provide in-depth clinical education to future oral health professionals. 

The admission process at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC is competitive, and the school meets with admissions. It is a research-intensive university, which allows students to participate in the research study.

Key Highlights:

  • The acceptance rate of this college is 13%.
  • The average SAT score you will need to enroll in this school is 1475.
  • Ranks at 19 within all the schools in the US.

12. University of Florida

Four-Year Cost:              $71,050 
Average GPA:3.85
Average DAT Score:22

This dental school is the only publicly-funded dental school in the State of Florida. It is a national leader in dental education, patient care, and research.

UFCD offers all nine American Dental Association specialties and AEGD programs in Miami/Hialeah and St. Petersburg.

University of Florida

This school provides 16 degree and certificate programs in dental specializations. Each year, they admit 93 DMD students in a new class.

UFCD is one of the top dental schools in the United States, featuring a nationally ranked research enterprise, all ADA-recognized dental specialties. It also has been a recipient of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award consecutively since 2015.

Key Highlights:

  • The acceptance rate of this college is 30%.
  • You receive around 94% of the aid.
  • It ranks 17th as the best dental school in the world.

13. Ohio State University

Four-Year Cost:$212,692
Average GPA:3.65
Average DAT Score:21

The Ohio State University College of Dentistry is the fifth-largest public dental college in the United States. The college has 10 academic divisions that represent all major dental specialties. 

The DDS program at this college prepares students to become licensed dentists. 

Ohio State University

The college also offers MS degree and/or certificate programs in nine different fields. The college has 103 full-time faculty who educate 440 dental students and 64 dental hygiene students. 

The college has several clinics, including the Advanced Clinics, Dental Faculty Practice, Dental Emergency Clinics, Pediatric Dental Clinic, and Student Clinics. 

Key Highlights:

  • Offers services such as oral and maxillofacial pathology services, oral and maxillofacial radiology services, and sterilization monitoring service
  • Has an acceptance rate of 57%.
  • Provides financial aid to students of 83%.

14. University of Minnesota

Four-Year Cost:$224,043
Average GPA:3.58
Average DAT Score:20.4

The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The school has a strong reputation for academic excellence, and its graduates are highly sought-after by dentists nationwide.

This offers a variety of graduate programs, including 

  • Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD) in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, 
  • Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD) in Dental Public Health, 
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences.
The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry

It also offers a Program for Advanced Standing Students (UMN PASS) for graduates of dental schools outside of the United States who want to practice dentistry in the United States. 

Key Highlights:

  • It is the oldest dental school in Minnesota.
  • The school offers a variety of clinical rotations, which allow students to gain experience in a variety of dental settings.
  • The average acceptance rate is 73%.

15. Boston University

Four-Year Cost:$132,134
Average GPA:3.44
Average DAT Score:20.2

The Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) is a leading dental school that offers a variety of programs in dentistry.

The admissions process for the DMD program requires applicants to submit an application through the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) and official academic transcripts. 

It offers a two-year program for internationally-trained dentists, which follows a condensed version of the DMD curriculum. 

Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine

It also offers advanced degree and certificate programs in 12 dental specialties, including endodontics, orthodontics, periodontology, and pediatric dentistry.

The school seats 115 students in the DMD entering class. You will need to complete all prerequisite courses and earn a bachelor’s degree before starting the DMD program. 

Key Highlights:

  • The school is on a trajectory of growth and expansion, building a future to be the premier institution promoting excellence in dental education.
  • The acceptance rate of this school is 19%.

Related Reads:

Best Dental Schools in the US: Final Verdict

In the year 2021, the 0.85% of dental school graduates increased as compared to the year 2020. Dental schools have gained a lot of popularity in the previous year. 

The dental specialties offered in the dental schools are Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Dental Anesthesiology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Pediatric Dentistry, Prosthodontics, Periodontics, Public Health Dentistry,  Oral Medicine and Orofacial Pain. 

Before you finalize dental schools in the US, make sure to go through all the necessary information. You can visit the university’s official website for additional details and enquire about your program.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the #1 dental school in the US?

According to Think Impact, Harvard School of Dental Medicine is the best dental school in the US. It is one of the top institutions in the world and is world-renowned.

What is the number 1 dental school in the world?

The best dental school in the world is Universidade de Sao Paulo. It is located in Brazil and was founded in the year 1934. 

Where is the best place to study dentistry?

The best place to study dentistry is in the United Kingdom. The dental schools there provide students with the best hands-on experience and research.

Is becoming a dentist worth it?

Becoming a dentist is a dream career for many students. Graduating from a good dental school ensures a good career. Students have to invest their post-grad years in clinics and hospitals. However, becoming a dentist is surely worth it.

Is dentistry a good career in 2023?

In the year 2023, the dental job has a great scope. Students in recent years have been more attracted to dentistry programs. A dentistry job provides promising career options. 

Alvin Parker

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