What Colleges Offer Dentistry As a Major?
A dentistry degree, which is offered at the doctoral level, is required for all students who wish to launch a career as a dentist. Ohio State University (OSU), the University of Florida and the University of Minnesota are among the largest schools in the U.S. offering dentistry programs.
Preparing for Dental School
To become a dentist, a student must complete a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) program at a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA). There were 57 ADA-recognized schools in 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).
Students should begin preparing for dental school as undergraduates. They might seek a school that offers a pre-dental program, or they might pursue a bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry or another scientific field. Regardless of the major they choose, aspiring dentists should complete courses in chemistry, physics, biology and advanced math in preparation for dental school.
All students applying to dental school also must take the Dental Admission Test (DAT). This exam measures a student's general academic and perceptual skills, in addition to his or her ability to comprehend scientific information.
Ohio State University (OSU)
Located in Columbus, OSU is Ohio's largest school in terms of student population. The university and its academic departments are regularly ranked among the nation's best, including a 2010 ranking as the 18th best public university in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. The OSU College of Dentistry offers a DDS program, which can be completed in four years. Topics of study include anatomy, pharmacy, anesthesiology, orthopedics and oral pathology. Students also complete a residency.
University of Florida
The University of Florida's College of Dentistry offers a DDM program. Students take courses in infectious diseases, pediatric sedation, oral health management, oral pathology, oral medicine and pharmacology. In 2010, the University of Florida was ranked 47th among all national universities by U.S. News & World Report.
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota offers a DDS program through its School of Dentistry. Students have access to the school's dental simulation clinic, where they can build their eye-hand coordination and dental skills while working on mannequins. The school also features an advanced simulation clinic, which uses on-screen textbooks and virtual reality technology to evaluate student performance in real time.
Dentistry Schools by Overall Student Population
|College/University||Student Population||School Type|
|Ohio State University - Main Campus||53,715||4-year, Public|
|University of Florida||51,474||4-year, Public|
|University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||51,140||4-year, Public|
|New York University||42,189||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|University of Michigan - Ann Arbor||41,028||4-year, Public|
|University of Washington - Seattle Campus||39,675||4-year, Public|
|University of California - Los Angeles||38,220||4-year, Public|
|Temple University||35,490||4-year, Public|
|University of Southern California||33,747||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||32,044||4-year, Public|
|Boston University||31,766||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|University of Tennessee||30,410||4-year, Public|
|Indiana University - Purdue University-Indianapolis||30,300||4-year, Public|
|University of Iowa||29,152||4-year, Public|
|West Virginia University||28,840||4-year, Public|
|University of Nevada - Las Vegas||28,600||4-year, Public|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||28,567||4-year, Public|
|Nova Southeastern University||28,378||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|University at Buffalo||28,192||4-year, Public|
|East Carolina University||27,677||4-year, Public|
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