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Top Dental Schools in USA for International Students

Nov 11, 2022

Best Dental Schools and Colleges in the USA: Rankings, Programs, Tuition Fees

Dental Schools in the USA offer post-graduate degrees only. There are two kinds of degrees offered by the USA universities – Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD). It takes four years to complete a DDS or DMD degree. Top Dental Schools in the USA provide excellent quality education using the latest technology, research, and exposure.

The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) has accredited about 70 dental schools in the USA. Harvard University, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, New York University, and the University of California, San Francisco are some of the top dental schools in the USA based on several rankings. 

The average tuition fee structure for DDS or DMD degree in the USA is 45,000 USD to 65,000 USD per year. Several scholarships are available for those who wish to study in the USA. 

Study Dentistry in USA: Overview

Intake  Mid May 2022 (currently open)
Deadline for application  Early February 2023
Average Tuition Fee 45,000 USD – 65,000 USD
Duration of DDS or DMD degree  Four years
Entrance Exam DAT
IELTS Required Yes

Top Dental Schools in the USA

Studying dentistry in the USA is a pristine choice because the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) has accredited more than 69 dental schools in the USA. The competition to get into the top dental schools is comparatively higher. DAT scores play an important role in the admissions process.

University Name QS Ranking (Dentistry) Shanghai Ranking (Dentistry)
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 5 1
University of California, San Francisco 9 5
Harvard University 12 4
University of North Carolina 19 2
New York University 20 15
University of California, Los Angeles 21 6
University of Pennsylvania 22 8
University of Washington 23 7
Columbia University 27 17
Boston University 29 50

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

In dentistry and other health-related fields, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is a driving force. The school enables dental students to work with distinguished faculty members to pursue research. It also gives them the opportunity to work with the school’s medical students during their pre-clinical years.

It offers a large network of connected clinics that provide a wealth of possibilities and exposure for dentistry students to obtain practical experience. In 2020, the School of Dentistry was ranked second among dental schools receiving NIH funding, and first among dental schools getting funds from the NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

The tuition fee for attending the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor is about USD 52,000 annually. 

University of California, San Francisco

The School of Dentistry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is regarded as one of the best dental schools in the country.

Each year, more than 100 students graduate from the institution, which offers clinical education as well as research possibilities. The school’s dental clinic, which handles over 120,000 dental patients each year, provides hands-on exposure.

In addition to research, the UCSF School of Dentistry receives good marks. In fact, according to funding from the National Institutes of Health, it is the best dental school in the United States. The school is also home to numerous major translational research programs and one of the world’s top oral and craniofacial research organizations.

The tuition fee for attending the University of California, San Francisco is about USD 49,000 annually. 

Harvard University

Harvard University is consistently ranked among the best universities in the world, both in the United States and in dental schools around the world. One of the greatest dentistry schools in the United States is located at this Ivy League institution.

In Boston’s Longwood Medical Area, the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) is situated. HSDM students usually study with Harvard medical students for a component of their education. Harvard Dental Center, which sees over 25,000 patients each year, provides hands-on experience through clinical rotations. Predictably, HSDM has a low acceptance rate as the University, at only 3.5 percent.

The tuition fee for attending Harvard University is about USD 68,000 annually. 

New York University

The dental school of New York University (NYU) is the largest in the country. Nearly a tenth of all dentists in the United States have received their degrees from NYU. The institution has one of the highest graduation rates in the country. Every year, over 400 DDS students graduate from its College of Dentistry.

Students in dentistry study courses in a variety of clinical, behavioral, and biological topics. NYU offers a wide range of clinical experiences with a variety of patients. Students acquire real-world experience throughout their four years of school as they collaborate closely with teachers, their groups, and practice directors.

Every year, over 300,000 patients visit NYU, which offers unparalleled experience and opportunity.

The tuition fee for attending NYU is about USD 88,700 annually. 

Admission Requirements for getting into a Dental School in the USA

Students can apply to dentistry programs in the United States through the ADEA Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (ADEA AADSAS), the central service for dental schools in the United States. All dental schools in the USA require students to fill out the form and take the DAT exam.

  • Four-year Undergraduate program in Science including Biology and Chemistry
  • Fill out the ADEA AADSAS online application form completely and accurately, then submit it with authentic college and university transcripts.
  • The American Dental Association (ADA) administers the U.S. Dental Admission Test (DAT), which students must schedule (ADA)
  • Attend a personal interview as part of the admissions process.
  • IELTS exam with a minimum score of 6.5

Tuition Fees of best dental schools in the USA

The average annual tuition fees for dental programs in the USA is about USD 45,000 to USD 65,000. The cost of living in the USA comes to about USD 1200 a month. There are several scholarships available for students pursuing medicine in the USA. 

University Name Program Annual Fees (Approx. in USD)
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor DDS 51,835
University of California, San Francisco DDS 49,000
Harvard University DMD 67,610
University of North Carolina DDS 33,000
New York University DDS 88,700
University of California, Los Angeles DDS 49,900
University of Pennsylvania DMD 79,166
University of Washington DDS 55,422
Columbia University DDS 89,788
Boston University DMD 44,125

Career Scope

Dentists with a DDS or DMD degree can work for a public or private dental hospital or practice as private dentists by founding their own dental clinic. Dentistry is an extremely competitive and still in-demand field in the United States, most dentists pursue specialties in niche areas.

Some common specializations for dentists are:

  • Dental Anesthesiology
  • Dental Public Health
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Oral Medicine
  • Endodontics
  • Orofacial Pain 
  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
  • Periodontics
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Prosthodontics

According to US news, Dentists made a median salary of $158,940 in 2020.

Find Related Blogs


For international students, DAT and IELTS are mandatory to take.

The Dental Admission Test is a multiple-choice standardized exam taken by potential dental school students in the United States and Canada. The DAT is a computer-based test that can be administered almost any day of the year.

Dentists make around USD 120,000 to USD 160,000 a year in the early career stage

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