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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 -Twin Cities are among the largest schools in the U.S. offering dentistry programs.

Dentistry Majors

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 65 ADA-recognized schools as of 2014, according to the ADA.

Because these are doctoral degree programs, dentistry is not offered as a major. Still, 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 Acceptance Test (DAT). This exam measures a student's general academic and perceptual skills, in addition to his or her ability to comprehend scientific information.

Colleges with Dentistry Programs

Ohio State University (OSU)

Located in Columbus, OSU is Ohio's largest school in terms of student population. 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. Residencies are available in a number of areas such as endodontics, general practice, oral and maxillofacial surgery, pediatric dentistry and oral biology. Other dental degree programs include a Master of Science in Dentistry and a Doctor of Philosophy in Oral Biology.

University of Florida

The University of Florida's College of Dentistry (COD) offers a DDM program. Students take courses in infectious diseases, pediatric dentistry, oral health management, oral pathology, oral medicine and pharmacology. The school's COD features a dental simulation laboratory for students of all college levels.

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

The Twin Cities campus of 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 56,387 4-year, Public
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities 51,853 4-year, Public
University of Florida 49,913 4-year, Public
New York University 44,516 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of Washington - Seattle Campus 43,485 4-year, Public
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 43,426 4-year, Public
University of Southern California 39,958 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of California - Los Angeles 39,945 4-year, Public
Temple University 36,744 4-year, Public
Boston University 32,603 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Virginia Commonwealth University 31,445 4-year, Public
Indiana University - Purdue University-Indianapolis 30,451 4-year, Public
University of Iowa 30,129 4-year, Public
University of Tennessee 29,833 4-year, Public
West Virginia University 29,707 4-year, Public
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 29,278 4-year, Public
University at Buffalo 28,952 4-year, Public
University of Nevada - Las Vegas 27,389 4-year, Public
East Carolina University 26,947 4-year, Public
Nova Southeastern University 26,808 4-year, Private not-for-profit

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