Dental education

Findings from CODA surveys of accredited dental education programs, the impact of student debt, and more.
Enrollment and graduate trends by program type

See enrollment and graduate trend data for predoctoral, advanced and allied dental education programs, with breakdowns by student demographics.

First year dental school enrollment 2023 graph

CODA Survey of Dental Education Series

Report 1: Programs, Enrollment, and Graduates

National and program-level survey information on accredited programs, admission requirements, financial assistance, instruction methods, patient care, and support personnel at U.S. dental schools. Also features trends in applications, enrollment, and graduates by gender and race/ethnicity.

Report 2: Tuition, Admission, and Attrition

Program-level and national data on tuition and fees as well as admissions criteria and policies of dental schools, including academic qualifications of first-year students, advanced placement and international dental school graduates, and student attrition and withdrawal information.

Report 3: Finances

Financial information from the previous fiscal year from accredited U.S. dental school, including revenue and expenditures per student and comparisons between public and private schools. School-level data is presented anonymously.

Report 4: Curriculum

The curriculum survey conducted every other year offers an internal benchmarking tool monitoring compliance to CODA. The report features national-level data on instructional methods, evaluation methods, curriculum format, clock hours of instruction, and data on patient care in dental schools.

CODA Survey of Advanced Dental Education

Advanced Dental Education

Survey of accredited advanced dental education programs, including advanced education in general dentistry (AEGD), general practice residency (GPR), dental anesthesiology, orofacial pain, oral medicine, dental public health (DPH), endodontics, oral and maxillofacial pathology, oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, and prosthodontics.

Features data on program directors; student enrollment and graduates by gender, race/ethnicity, and program type; tuition and stipends; instruction methods; international dental school graduates; off-campus training; and non-accredited programs offered by dental schools.

CODA Survey of Allied Dental Education

Dental Hygiene

Survey of accredited dental assisting, dental hygiene, and dental laboratory technology education programs. Includes program-level data on admission requirements, applications, student costs, enrollment and graduate levels, student and faculty characteristics, and curriculum. The report also features trend data on program capacity, applications, enrollment, graduates, and student costs.

Dental education FAQs

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

There are 73 accredited dental schools in the U.S. and 10 in Canada.

The U.S. predoctoral dental education programs that have most recently been granted accreditation by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) are:

  • Universidad Ana G. Mendez - Gurabo, School of Dental Medicine in Gurabo, PR (2024)
  • High Point University Workman School of Dental Medicine in High Point, NC (2023)
  • Ponce Health Science University School of Dental Medicine in Ponce, PR (2023)
  • Lincoln Memorial University College of Dental Medicine in Harrogate, TN (2022)
  • Kansas City University College of Dental Medicine in Kansas City, MO (2022)
  • California Northstate University College of Dental Medicine in Elk Grove, CA (2021)
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (2020)
In August 2019, CODA granted accreditation to an international predoctoral dental education program based outside the United States for the first time. There are now two international predoctoral dental education programs accredited by CODA:

  • Yeditepe University Faculty of Dentistry in Istanbul, Türkiye (2024)
  • King Abdulaziz University Dental School in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (2019)

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

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

During the 2023-24 academic year, there were 27,004 students enrolled in predoctoral dental education programs, up from 26,596 the prior year. The class of 2023 had 6,869 graduates, up from 6,745 in 2022.

Source: Dental Education Program Enrollment and Graduates Report: 2023-24 (XLSX).

How many dental students/graduates are female?

In 2023-24, 56.7% of all enrolled dental students in predoctoral programs were female, and 54.5% of graduates of the class of 2023 were female. In comparison, the percentage of graduates who were female was 47.2% in 2013, 39.5% in 2003, 35.3% in 1993, and 21.3% in 1985.

SourceDental Education Program Enrollment and Graduates Report: 2023-24 (XLSX).

Is dental school enrollment increasing or declining?

Total predoctoral enrollment is currently at its highest level historically, with 26,596 students enrolled in the 2022-23 academic year compared to 21,994 in 2012-13.

Source: 2022-23 Survey of Dental Education – Report 1: Academic Programs, Enrollment and Graduates (XLSX).

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

In 2022-23, the average first-year cost of dental school (including tuition and mandatory general fees) was $42,821 for residents and $71,152 for non-residents in public programs. Also in 2022-23, the average resident first-year cost of private dental school programs was $80,869.

Source: 2022-23 Survey of Dental Education – Report 2: Tuition, Admission and Attrition (XLSX).

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.

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

In 2022-23,  799 graduates of international dental schools were admitted to U.S. dental schools with advanced standing, up from 704 the previous year.

In 2022-23, non-resident aliens made up 3.9% of first-year students and 5.2% of graduates.

Source: 2022-23 Survey of Dental Education – Report 2: Tuition, Admission and Attrition (XLSX).