California is home to some of the best dental schools in California and the United States at large. California has a diverse population, which means that you may be able to find a school that fits your needs and wants.
Dental schools in California are accredited by the American Dental Association. There are currently 30 dental schools in California, as well as several dental hygiene programs. The University of California at San Francisco School of Dentistry is a public institution affiliated with UCSF Medical Center and is located on the same campus.
Best Dental Schools In California
There are several dental schools in California, and they range from public universities to private institutions. The California State University system has programs at several campuses, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Sacramento.
Private schools in the state include Loma Linda University School of Dentistry and USC Dental School. The latter offers both an undergraduate program as well as a graduate program for those who want to continue their studies beyond dental school.
There are many dental schools in California. Some of the most popular ones are:
Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine (Pomona, CA)
Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine is located in the heart of downtown Pomona, California. The college offers a four-year program leading to the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree.
WesternU’s College of Dental Medicine is one of the best dental schools in California and the great university is of just two private dental schools in California and is accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA). The curriculum is based on the scientific principles and clinical practice standards established by the ADA.
Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine is a private, for-profit institution located in Pomona, California. This school offers subjects such as dental assisting, dental hygienist, and dental assistant.
Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine has an annual full-time enrollment of 19 students. The school has an acceptance rate of 100%. 100% of applicants were admitted to the school in 2019. The most popular majors at Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine include Dental Assisting/Assistant.
Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine has a rolling admission policy which means that students can apply throughout the year for the upcoming fall semester.
The WesternU College of Dental Medicine provides an outstanding education that prepares graduates to enter practice with a wide range of expertise in general dentistry and oral surgery. The curriculum emphasizes clinical experience with an average clinical time commitment that exceeds 40 hours per week.
Students also receive rigorous didactic preparation in the classroom and laboratory settings. In addition, students are exposed to a variety of specialty areas during their clinical experiences including orthodontics, periodontics, pediatric dentistry, oral surgery, endodontics, and implant dentistry.
WesternU has been educating students from around the world for more than 100 years with a mission to provide quality healthcare through excellence in education, research, and service.
The WUHS CDM offers a four-year program leading to the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. The curriculum includes a broad base of basic sciences, clinical experiences in general dentistry and specialty areas, and didactic teaching.
Western University’s campus is located on the eastern end of Pomona, California near the City of Claremont and just 10 minutes from Ontario International Airport. The university is less than 1 hour from Los Angeles and Orange County area via Interstate 10.
University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, San Francisco, CA
The University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is without a doubt one of the best dental schools in California and only a few dental schools in the United States offers all four specialty training programs: General Practice, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, and Pediatric Dentistry. The school also offers a Post-Baccalaureate Dental Hygiene Program as well as an Advanced Standing Dental Hygiene Program.
The University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Dental Surgery (ACADS), an agency recognized by the U.S Department of Education as the accrediting body for dental hygiene education programs leading to eligibility for registration in California.
The University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry was founded in 1883 and is one of the oldest dental schools in California. We are committed to providing a high-quality education that combines academic excellence with clinical training. Our faculty members are dedicated to teaching, research, and providing excellent patient care.
The school has been accredited by the American Dental Association since 1923 and by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges since 1937. The average age of our students is 25 years old, making us one of the youngest schools in California.
Their students receive the same rigorous training as all other dental students in California, but they also have access to a variety of clinical sites throughout Northern California, including San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco State University, and many more!
They offer an innovative curriculum that integrates science with clinical practice early on so that their students learn how to think like dentists while they’re still learning about dentistry.
The great school preclinical program has been carefully designed to provide a strong foundation in basic sciences such as biology and chemistry that will prepare you for your clinical studies later on in dental school. In addition to these core courses, they also offer electives such as biochemistry or immunology so that each student can choose
The University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is a private dental school located in San Francisco, California. It was founded in 1883 as the first dental college on the West Coast, and has been called “the most prestigious dental school in the world.”
- Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) – 6 years
- Master of Science in Oral Biology (MSO) – 2 years
- Master of Science in Prosthodontics (MSP) – 1 year
California Western School of Dentistry, San Diego, CA
The California Western School of Dentistry is a private, non-profit institution of higher learning. Established in 1872 and located in the beautiful city of San Diego, California, it is the oldest dental school in the West.
The great university being one of the best dental schools in California consists of distinguished educators who are dedicated to providing quality education. The school offers a variety of programs including DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) and DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery). A student can earn his or her degree through full-time studies or part-time studies.
Incoming students must meet specific requirements as well as have a minimum GPA. Students must also submit their application forms and pay the required fees before they are considered for admission.
Once enrolled in the program, students will be given hands-on training with state-of-the-art equipment under the supervision of experienced professors. They will also be exposed to advanced technology and modern teaching methods while working closely with their peers towards achieving their goals as future dentists.
The school being one of the best dental schools in California, they offers a wide range of degrees including Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), Advanced Standing Dental Hygiene Program, Master of Science in Orthodontics/Periodontics, and Master of Science in Prosthodontics, and Master of Science in Periodontics. We also have a Continuing Education Program for practicing dentists.
Some programs include:
- Accreditation: Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). CODA is an independent accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and other national organizations as having rigorous standards for evaluating dental schools. California Western School of Dentistry is accredited by CODA through 2020. The American Dental Association has approved accreditation for our residency training programs through 2022
- The School of Dentistry at California Western is dedicated to the education, training, and development of future leaders in dentistry. Our mission is to improve the oral health of our patients by providing them with exceptional treatment and education.
Their faculty members are experienced clinicians who provide instruction in all aspects of clinical dentistry. They bring their expertise into the classroom to help students prepare for their careers as practicing dentists by teaching clinical skills that include management of emergencies, oral surgery procedures, implant placement and maintenance, root canal therapy, restorative procedures such as crowns and bridges, as well as cosmetic treatments such as tooth whitening.
The School also offers a residency program where third-year students have an opportunity to further enhance their clinical skills under the mentorship of a faculty member or practicing dentist who has agreed to be their preceptor during the first year of residency training.
Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, Loma Linda, CA
The Loma Linda University School of Dentistry is committed to providing excellent educational opportunities for students in the pursuit of their professional goals. The school offers a full range of academic programs to prepare students for careers in dentistry which makes Loma Linda University one of the best dental schools in California.
The School of Dentistry consists of two components: the School of Basic Sciences and the School of Clinical Sciences. The Basic Sciences Program includes courses in Oral Anatomy, Oral Histology, Physiology, and Biochemistry, while the Clinical Sciences Program includes courses in Operative Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, and Prosthetic Dentistry.
Loma Linda University School of Dentistry is a private dental school located in Loma Linda, California. It is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church and is one of only two schools in the United States operated by the denomination (the other being Andrews University).
The school was founded in 1908 as a department within the College of Medical Evangelists, now known as Loma Linda University. The first class consisted of five students. In 1910 the program moved to its building on campus and became an independent department under the presidency of Dr. J.C. Moore, who served until 1934.
In 1931, Dr. A.B. Miller was appointed president and served until 1945 when he resigned due to ill health (he died two years later). During his tenure as president, he oversaw the construction of new buildings on campus including a dental laboratory building (1938), a second dormitory (1940), a new library (1941), an administration building (1940), and an infirmary (1945).
Loma Linda University School of Dentistry is a private, non-profit institution. The school’s mission is to provide students with quality dental education that emphasizes both clinical training and research.
It offers seven different programs, including an associate degree program in Dental Hygiene; a Baccalaureate of Science degree in General Dentistry; a Master of Science in Endodontics; an Advanced Certificate in Periodontics; a Master of Science in Orthodontics (MSO); and two Doctorate degrees: one in Oral Biology (Ph.D.) and another in Oral Biology/Dentistry (DSC).
The school also offers various postdoctoral training programs such as the Postdoctoral Residency in Pediatric Dentistry; Postdoctoral Residency in Prosthodontics; Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Esthetic Restorations; Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Implantology; Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Oral Implantology; and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine.
In addition to its successful four-year program, the school also offers two postdoctoral residency programs:
- The Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) program leads to board certification as a general dentist after completion of the two-year program.
- The Comprehensive Specialty Training Program (CSTP) is for students who wish to receive specialty training before entering dental school. The CSTP provides training in endodontics, orthodontics, pediatrics, and prosthodontics.
University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry
The University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry, founded in 1872, is one of the best dental schools in California and its also the oldest dental school in the western United States. The school has an international reputation for excellence in research and education. The School currently has over 500 students who are enrolled in 6 academic departments: Basic Sciences; Pediatric Dentistry; Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; Oral Medicine; Public Health and Social Policy; and Orthodontics.
The University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry is home to more than 1,300 students and 100 faculty. The school has a long history of excellence in education and research, with more than $200 million in extramural funding annually.
The School of Dentistry is a world-class institution teaching the most advanced dental care to thousands of students each year. It is home to one of the largest student bodies in the country and offers a wide range of academic programs, including doctoral degrees in dentistry and dental medicine.
The school also provides clinical training and research opportunities for students, residents, and faculty members through its affiliation with UCSF Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading comprehensive medical centers.
The School of Dentistry offers master’s degree programs for those who wish to pursue careers as dental hygienists or dental assistants; bachelor’s degree programs for those who wish to become registered dental assistants; master’s or doctorate programs for those who want to become dentists; and certificate programs for those who want special skills training or career development.
The School is located in the Parnassus Heights neighborhood at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus. Our facility includes modern classrooms and laboratories, undergraduate dental clinic facilities, and research labs for graduate students.
The UCSF School of Dentistry offers a wide variety of academic programs leading to both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Undergraduate students can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Dental Hygiene or Oral Health Sciences; graduate students may pursue degrees leading to licensure as a dentist (Doctor of Dental Surgery or DDS), Doctorate in Medical Science (DMDSc) or Master of Science (MS).
The University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry is one of the world’s premier dental schools. It is the only dental school in the United States affiliated with a major teaching hospital. UCSF dentistry students attend lectures at UCSF Medical Center, which provides state-of-the-art clinical training in every specialty area and offers unparalleled opportunities for students to learn from world-renowned faculty and researchers.
The School of Dentistry offers a four-year program leading to the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. An additional two years are required for completion of an accredited residency program or qualifying examination.
The School of Dentistry has numerous special programs that enhance the educational experience for students:
- Pre-dental track program that provides students with an excellent foundation in the sciences before matriculation into dental school
- Summer research program for new freshmen
- Summer clinical skills program for new freshmen
- Summer research experience for upperclassmen
- Postdoctoral studies program for recent graduates
University of Southern California Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry (Los Angeles, CA)
The University of Southern California (USC) is a private, not-for-profit, and nonsectarian research university founded in 1880 with its main campus in the city of Los Angeles. As California’s oldest private research university, USC has grown to become a large university with a diverse student body of nearly 44,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university is organized into 20 schools, including the USC School of Dentistry.
The School of Dentistry at USC is one of the nation’s leading dental schools. It offers a full-time program leading to the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree as well as a part-time evening program that leads to the Master of Science in Oral Biology (MSB). The school also offers an accelerated three-year program leading to both degrees.
Training future oral health professionals to succeed in their area, the University of Southern California Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry is an outstanding private university noted for its clinical education, research activities, and outreach initiatives to the local community. While many students opt to study for their doctor of dental surgery, Herman Ostrow also offers distinctive specialty degree programs such as the master of science in biomedical implants and tissue engineering, and the master of biomaterials and digital dentistry.
The school’s history extends back to 1897, allowing dentistry students today the opportunity to be a part of their great academic past. Herman Ostrow graduates throughout the years have made important contributions to the dental profession: from Floyd E. Hogeboom who is credited with establishing pediatric dentistry as a modern specialization, to Anna M. Pattinson who is known for serving as Editor in Chief of the scientific journal Dimensions of Dental Hygiene.
It is expected that a lot of students especially those who are from the southern region of California will get interested to join these 7 dental schools in California will be like if they will have an opportunity to join it. In their future career, they can gain not only education to become a successful dentist but they are also assisted by their instructors as well as mentors who are trusted by the school.
This is a subjective list of the best dental schools in California. Ranking any top school is not easy as many factors can be taken into consideration. Also, many of these factors cannot be quantified. Nonetheless, I have attempted to rank each school based on what I know about the schools and talk to my colleagues and friends who graduated from those schools. I hope that this list is helpful and informative for dental students who are considering which college to attend in the future.