Dental Schools in Chicago, IL with Degree Program Summaries

There are two schools within 20 miles of Chicago that have dental degree programs. Read overviews of their admission and program requirements to find out which school is the right one for you.

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Chicago Schools with Dental Programs

Students interested in attending dental school in Chicago, IL, have a limited number of schools from which to choose; however, although there are only two dental schools in the area, each one offers multiple programs. Learn about the coursework and clinical requirements for each program below. The article ends with a table displaying various statistics about each school.

  • Chicago's largest university, the University of Illinois - Chicago, (UIC) is a research school that houses the well-regarded College of Dentistry that's located around two miles from the city's center. It offers dental medicine, oral sciences, international dentistry and clinical science programs at at either the doctoral or master's degree level. UIC offers dental and oral health services to the general public through the college's on-site teaching and specialty clinics.
  • Another option for students interested in dental schools in Chicago is Saint Xavier University, which is located around 18 miles from downtown. The school offers a pre-dentistry undergraduate program that provides students with hands-on experience and the prerequisite courses needed to attend dental school.

University of Illinois - Chicago

UIC's College of Dentistry offers a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Oral Sciences, an international dentist degree program and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Oral Sciences. The college also features two dual degree programs and certificate programs in endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, pediatrics, periodontics and prosthodontics. UIC's urban health program is centered on providing educational opportunities in dentistry for underrepresented minority students.

Doctor of Dental Medicine

The DMD program at UIC requires applicants to hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Students in this four-year program take 11 comprehensive care courses integrated with clinical training. They participate in a variety of patient scenarios that will require them to use their classroom training in a dental practice setting. Oral diseases, health and prevention, disease diagnosis and evidence-based practice are covered in the hands-on curriculum.

Doctor of Philosophy in Oral Sciences

The Ph.D. in Oral Sciences program is focused on using clinical training, cutting-edge technology, research and classroom teachings to educate the next generation of oral health scientists. Students can choose from concentrations in cancer biology, biomaterials science, wound healing, tissue regeneration, cellular, molecular and development biology, microbiology, immunology or a related field in oral disease.

International Dentist Program

The university's international dentist program is an intense, two-year program that provides the training, skills and knowledge for internationally-trained dentists to practice in the United States. Comprehensive courses in a variety of related subjects and clinical training are both elements of this program.

Dual DMD/Ph.D. in Oral Science

This dual degree program is designed for students who, in addition to practicing, wish to conduct research in oral science and possibly also teach at the university level. Students in this program must attend seminars and conduct research rotations during the summer, as well as take all the required doctoral-level courses and complete research papers. The program generally takes seven years to complete.

Dual DMD/M.S. in Clinical and Translational Science

This dual degree program has students take courses through both the College of Dentistry and the School of Public Health at UIC. It's a five-year program that's designed to train dentistry students in clinical research in various subjects in oral health. This program prepares students to become research-based faculty at a university's dental school.

Master of Science in Oral Sciences

Students must be accepted to one of the other postgraduate dentistry programs at the university to be eligible for the M.S. in Oral Sciences program. This program is designed to further educate dental clinicians and faculty and allow them to hone their skills. Students must develop and defend a master's thesis.

Saint Xavier University

Saint Xavier University is a Catholic institution serving roughly 5,000 students every year at its three Chicago-area campuses. Part of the school's College of Arts and Sciences, the Pre-Health Professions Program prepares students with the credits required to enter a professional health program, such as medicine or dentistry. Pre-health students are not required to choose a particular major, although the school recommends opting for a scientific field such as chemistry or biology.

Pre-Dentistry

The school's pre-dentistry program prepares students to attend dental school, and Saint Xavier works closely with the University of Illinois - Chicago's College of Dentistry to make the transition as smooth as possible. Students are encouraged to volunteer, shadow and explore the programs and clinics at UIC to get a better idea of what area they would like to specialize in while working on their undergraduate degree at Saint Xavier.

Comparison of Schools

You've compared the programs at the profiled schools; now take a few minutes to compare facts and figures for the universities themselves. This table contains information on school type, student enrollment, costs and graduation rates.

University of Illinois - Chicago Saint Xavier University
School Type Four-year, public* Four-year, private, not-for-profit*
Total Enrollment (2011) 28,091 (16,925 undergraduates and 11,166 graduate students)* 4,709 (2,993 undergraduates and 1,716 graduate students)*
Campus Setting Large city* Large city*
Tuition Per semester, for students taking 12 or more hours: $14,680 for in-state dentistry students, $26,949 for out-of-state dentistry students, $11,125 for advanced certificate students, $26,819 for international dentist program students (for 2012-2013, tuition only)** $27,060 per year for undergraduates enrolled full-time (for 2011-2012, includes fees)*
% of Undergraduate Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2011) N/A 100% of first-year students enrolled full-time*
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (2011) N/A 83%*
Retention Rate (2010-2011) N/A 72% for full-time undergraduate students*
Graduation Rate (for undergraduate students who began in 2005) N/A 52%*

Sources: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, **University of Illinois - Chicago

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