The United States has some of the best dental schools in the world, which have become increasingly more competitive throughout the years.
In this article, we'll cover the top ten ranked dental schools in the United States, as ranked by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, now known as Shanghai Ranking.
The ranking system is based primarily on research output, research influence, international collaboration, research quality, and international academic awards.
Here are the top dental schools in the United States:
10. Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
Located in Manhattan, New York, Columbia's dental school ranks #10 in the United States and #11 in the world. The average DAT from candidates who
received acceptances was a 23 Academic Average and a 23 Total Science Score. The average accepted GPA for Columbia's dental school was a 3.7 GPA for the class of 2022. Over 90% of their class typically pursues postdoctoral studies in specialities, or advanced general dentistry residencies. Columbia is also the 5th most expensive dental school by tuition.
9. NYU College of Dentistry
Located in New York City, New York, NYU's dental school ranks #9 in the United States and #10 in the world. NYU's College of Dentistry is the 3rd oldest dental school in the United States, and has the largest dental school class size out of all of the other dental schools in the United States, and is the third most expensive dental school by tuition in the country, according to 2020 statistics.
8. University at Buffalo, SUNY School of Dental Medicine
UB's School of Dental Medicine ranked #8 in the United States and #9 in the world, having jumped a couple of ranks from previous years. Along with Stony Brook's School of Dental Medicine, It is one of the two public dental schools in the state of New York.
7. University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) College of Dental Medicine
UPenn's College of Dental Medicine ranks #7 in the United States and #8 in the world. It is known for it's curriculum, research opportunities, and ivy-league status.
6. University of Washington School of Dentistry
Located in Seattle, Washington, UW School of Dentistry is the only dental school in the state of Washington, and one of 9 dental schools located on the west coast.
5. UCLA School of Dentistry
Located in Los Angeles, California, UCLA School of Dentistry has ranked as the #5 dental school in the United States, and #6 in the world, in the 2021 rankings. In terms of admissions statistics, UCLA School of Dentistry's Class of 2025 had an average GPA of 3.72 and an average DAT of 22.
4. UCSF School of Dentistry
Located in San Fransisco, California, UCSF's School of Dentistry improved their ranking in 2021, landing in front of UCLA's School of Dentistry. The school is known for their research, diversity, and community outreach amongst other things.
3. Harvard University's School of Dental Medicine
Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Harvard has ranked as the #3 best dental school in the United States, and #4 best dental school in the world. Harvard's School of Dental Medicine is known for their Pathways curriculum, team-based academic style, and excellence in research.
2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, UNC Adams School of Dentistry
Located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the UNC Adams School Dentistry is the #2 dental school in the United States, and the #2 dental school in the world, in the 2021 rankings. UNC is one of the public schools in North Carolina, and the dental school gives preference to North Carolina residents.
1. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor School of Dentistry
Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, University of Michigan's School of Dentistry has become ranked the #1 dental school in the United States, and the #1 dental school in the world, in the 2021 rankings, albeit not the most competitive dental school to gain admissions to. For the Class of 2023, 1,747 applicants applied for 109 available seats. The Class of 2023's average GPA was 3.69.
Just because a dental school is ranked highly, it does not mean that it's the best school for everyone. After all, there isn't an objective way to rank schools based on practice-ready graduates or how successful the graduates will be at treating patients.
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About the Author: Andrew Ghadimi
Andrew has served as the National Pre-Dental Liaison for the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), the same organization that runs the dental school application, ADEA AADSAS. He also served as the California Pre-Dental Chair for the ADEA Council of Students, Residents, and Fellows. Ghadimi was accepted to some of the most competitive dental schools in the world, and matriculated at UCLA's School of Dentistry. He founded Predenting because of his passion for helping other pre-dentals get accepted into their dream dental schools, and his unique admissions knowledge and insider information from working with current and former admissions officers. He has helped 300+ pre-dentals on their journey to dental school over the past 4+ years.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to UCLA School of Dentistry, the American Dental Education Association, or any other organization.