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ADA Health Policy Institute

Education

How many dental schools are there in the U.S. and Canada?

Currently, there are 67 accredited dental schools in the U.S. and ten in Canada. The U.S. predoctoral dental education programs most recently granted accreditation by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) are as follows:

  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine was approved for initial accreditation in January 2020, and will enroll its first class in July 2021.  
  • Touro College of Dental Medicine at New York Medical College (NYMC) in Hawthorne, NY was approved for initial accreditation in February 2016 and enrolled its first class in Summer 2016.
  • A.T. Still University-Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health in Kirksville, MO was approved for initial accreditation in August 2013 and enrolled its first class in Fall 2013.
  • University of New England in Portland, ME was approved for initial accreditation in August 2012 and enrolled its first class in Fall 2013.
  • University of Utah in Salt Lake City was approved for initial accreditation in August 2012 and enrolled its first class in Fall 2013.
  • Roseman University of Health Sciences in South Jordan, UT was approved for initial accreditation in August 2011 and enrolled its first class in Fall 2011.
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) in Bradenton, FL was approved for initial accreditation in February 2011 and enrolled its first class in Summer 2012.
  • Eastern Carolina University in Greenville, NC was approved for initial accreditation in February 2011 and enrolled its first class in Fall 2011.
  • Midwestern University-Illinois in Downers Grove, IL was approved for initial accreditation in August 2010 and enrolled its first class in Fall 2011.
  • Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA was approved for initial accreditation in January 2009 and enrolled its first class in Fall 2009.
  • Midwestern University-Arizona in Glendale, AZ was approved for initial accreditation in February 2008 and enrolled its first class in Fall 2008.

Note that in August 2019, CODA granted accreditation to the predoctoral dental education program sponsored by King Abdulaziz University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is the first time an international predoctoral dental education program based outside the United States has been accredited by CODA. For more information, please see this article from CODA

In addition, please note that another dental school may be accredited in 2021. Pending CODA approval, California Northstate University College of Dental Medicine in Elk Grove, CA is scheduled to enroll its first class in August 2021.

 

Related Item: Visit the CODA Search DDS/DMD Programs page.

 

How many students are enrolled in/graduate from dental schools?

During the 2018-19 academic year, there were 25,381 students enrolled in predoctoral dental education programs, up from 25,010 the prior year. The class of 2018 had 6,305 graduates, up from 6,238 in 2017.

Source: 2018-19 Survey of Dental Education – Report 1: Academic Programs, Enrollment, and Graduates (Tables in Excel). 

 

How many/what percentage of dental students/graduates are female?

 In 2018-19, 12,822 predoctoral dental students were female (50.5%), and 49.7% (3,135) of graduates of the class of 2018 were female. In comparison, the percentage of graduates who were female was 44.3% in 2008, 38.4% in 1998, 27.6% in 1988, and 11.2% in 1978.

Source: 2018-19 Survey of Dental Education – Report 1: Academic Programs, Enrollment, and Graduates (Tables in Excel). 

 

Is dental school enrollment on the increase or decrease?

Total predoctoral enrollment is currently at its highest level historically, with 25,381 students enrolled in the 2018-19 academic year. Prior to this recent surge, dental student enrollment was at its highest level during the late 1970s/early 1980s, with peak enrollment of 22,842 in the 1980-81 academic year.

Source: 2018-19 Survey of Dental Education – Report 1: Academic Programs, Enrollment, and Graduates (Tables in Excel). 

 

What is the average first-year cost of dental school?

In 2018-19, the average first-year cost of dental school (including tuition and mandatory general fees) was $53,002 for residents and $69,905 for non-residents. Results also vary by institution type. In 2018-19, the average resident first-year cost of public dental school programs was $39,662 while the cost of private dental school programs was $72,271.

Source: 2018-19 Survey of Dental Education – Report 2: Tuition, Admission and Attrition (Tables in Excel). 

 

What is the average debt carried by dental school graduates?

Visit the American Dental Education Association's (ADEA) page for free data reports on dental graduate debt. Available from: https://www.adea.org/data/seniors/.

 

How many international students attend/graduate from U.S. dental schools?

In 2018-19, 627 graduates of international dental schools were admitted to U.S. dental schools with advanced standing, up from 600 the previous year. 

In 2018-19, non-resident aliens made up 3.5% of first-year students and 5.9% of graduates. 

Source: 2018-19 Survey of Dental Education – Report 2: Tuition, Admission and Attrition (Tables in Excel). 

 

How many dental school graduates are in dental-related activity?

Of the U.S. dental school graduates in 2018 who reported their occupational status to their dental schools, 88.2% were in dental-related activity approximately five months after graduation while 11.8% were not. Dental-related activity includes pursuing additional dental education or participating in the dental-related occupation for which graduates were trained.

Source: 2018-19 Survey of Dental Education – Report 1: Academic Programs, Enrollment, and Graduates (Tables in Excel).