Login
Copyright
 

Dental Schools in California with Degree Information

There are seven schools in California that offer dental degree programs. Read an overview of six of these schools' programs, requirements and tuition info, and find out which school is the right one for you.

View popular schools

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Advanced General Dentistry Programs
  • Dental Assisting
  • Dental Clinical Science
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Dental Laboratory Tech
  • Dental Materials
  • Dental Public Health and Education
  • Dentistry - DDS, DMD
  • Endodontics
  • Oral Biology and Oral Pathology
  • Oral Surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics

Essential Information

The Dental Board of California licenses dentists in the state. To work as a dentist, individuals need to earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.), which may take 3-4 years. This graduate program requires prerequisite coursework, scores from the Dental Admission Test and reference letters. The curriculum involves clinical, lecture, laboratory and simulation training. Some schools also have dual degree programs, such as D.D.S and Master of Business Administration, as well as master's degrees in majors like oral biology or craniofacial biology.

In addition to these degree offerings, universities in California may also offer 2-3 year postgraduate certificates in such fields as pediatric dentistry, implant dentistry, oral medicine and orthodontics. A D.D.S. or D.M.D. and national board examination scores is required to apply to any of these postgraduate programs. The following dental schools prepare students to take the national licensing examination.


Loma Linda University

This school, which is located in the city of its name, Loma Linda, enrolls about 4,000 students. It offers a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) program that requires four years of study. Students in this program learn about general dentistry. A 2-year, D.D.S. program designed for internationally trained dentists is also offered. The D.D.S. program is also offered as a dual degree program with a Master of Public Health, Master of Arts in Bioethics, or with a Doctor of Philosophy of Master of Science program of the student's choice.

The university also offers Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Science in Dentistry (M.S.D.) and Post-Doctoral Certificates in Prosthodontics, Periodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Endodontics, Implant Dentistry and Dental Anesthesiology. A Master of Science and a Post-Doctoral Certificate in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics are also available. Certificate programs take anywhere from 24 months to four years to complete. M.S. programs are designed to prepare students for careers in research, clinical dentistry or teaching. Graduates of a M.S.D. program are considered to have completed a dental specialty program.

University of California - Los Angeles

Situated in Los Angeles, this school enrolls almost 40,000 students. It offers a 4-year Doctor of Dental Surgery program. Students in this program begin clinical experiences during their first year of study. The university also offers a 2-year D.D.S. program to foreign-trained dentists. Dual D.D.S. and Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Oral Biology or Doctor of Philosophy in Oral Biology programs are also available.

Dentists and oral health researchers may also earn a Master of Science in Oral Biology. The curriculum of this 2-year program includes a thesis requirement.

A Doctor of Philosophy in Oral Biology is also offered. This program, which prepares students for research careers, requires a minimum of four years of study. Students in this program must write a dissertation.

University of California - San Francisco

This university is located in San Francisco and enrolls about 3,000 students, all of whom are graduate students. The university offers a traditional Doctor of Dental Surgery program, but also offers a D.D.S. and Doctor of Philosophy dual degree program that is a component of the school's Comprehensive Oral Health Training Program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. This program prepares students for careers in dental research. A 2-year D.D.S. program is offered to internationally trained dentists.

Students may also complete a Doctor of Dental Surgery and Master of Business Administration dual degree program. Business-related courses in this program are offered by the University of San Francisco.

Individuals possessing a D.D.S. degree may earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences. This program's curriculum prepares students for careers in research or academia. Students in this Ph.D. program may elect to complete a residency program in prosthodontics or periodontics. A Master of Science in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences can also be completed with a residency in prosthodontics or periodontics.

A Master of Science in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences with a Certificate in Endodontics, Oral Medicine, Orthodontics or Pediatric Dentistry program is also offered. The curriculum of these 36-month programs includes both didactic and clinical instruction.

Students may also attend Doctor of Medicine in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with certification in oral and maxillofacial surgery program. The curriculum of this 6-year program meets the requirements established by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is located in Los Angeles. The university's Doctor of Dental Surgery program, which takes four years to complete, provides instruction in pharmacology, patient interviews and microbiology. The program's curriculum includes numerous clinical rotations. An advanced standing, 2-year D.D.S. program is also available for foreign-trained dentists.

A D.D.S program offered alongside a Master of Science in Gerontology or Master of Business Administration are also available. These dual degree programs require five years of study.

Students may also earn either a Master of Science (M.S.) or a Doctor of Philosophy in Craniofacial Sciences. Both of these programs prepare students for careers in research or academia. Students in the M.S. program may simultaneously earn a degree and a certificate in orthodontics, periodontology or operative dentistry. In total, students in the master's degree program complete 32 credit hours of study, which includes writing a thesis. Earning the Doctor of Philosophy degree requires completing 60 credit hours of study, which includes researching and writing a dissertation.

University of the Pacific

The University of the Pacific is located in Stockton and enrolls about 7,000 students. The university's Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry offers a Doctor of Dental Surgery program that students may complete in three years rather than four. Students in this program learn about subjects such as biochemistry, dental materials and microbiology. They also begin working with patients during their second year of study in the school's simulation lab.

An Accelerated Doctor of Dental Surgery program is also offered. This program, which is available only for internationally trained dentists, requires two years of study.

Students may earn a Master of Science in Dentistry and a Certificate in Orthodontics. This 27-month residency program provides students with instruction in areas like practice management, oral physiology and orthognathic surgery.

Western University of Health Sciences

The Western University of Health Sciences is located in Pomona and enrolls about 3,000 students, all of whom are graduate students. It offers a Doctor of Dental Medicine program that includes numerous clinical experiences and requires four years of study. Instruction in this program covers topics such as neck anatomy, the neuroscience system, maxillofacial pathology and the essentials of clinical dentistry.

Career Requirements

To earn licensure as a dentist, an individual must graduate from a dental school that is either approved by the state or accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association and pass both parts of the National Board Written Examination as well as the California Law and Ethics Exam. Below are the six CODA-accredited schools in California.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Dental Programs Offered Graduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Loma Linda University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb Doctor of Dental Surgery,
International Doctor of Dental Surgery,
Dual Doctor of Dental Surgery with Master of Public Health, Master of Arts in Bioethics, Doctor of Philosophy or Master of Science,
Master of Science, Master of Science in Dentistry and Post-Doctoral Certificates in Prosthodontics, Periodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Endodontics, Implant Dentistry and Dental Anesthesiology,
Master of Science and Post-Doctoral Certificate in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
$29,520*
University of California - Los Angeles 4-year, public; large city Doctor of Dental Surgery,
Doctor of Dental Surgery and Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Oral Biology or Doctor of Philosophy in Oral Biology,
Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy in Oral Biology
$12,763 for in-state and $37,471 for out-of-state students*
University of California - San Francisco 4-year, public; large city Doctor of Dental Surgery,
International Doctor of Dental Surgery,
Doctor of Dental Surgery and Doctor of Philosophy,
Doctor of Dental Surgery and Master of Business Administration,
Doctor of Philosophy in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences,
Master of Science in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences with a Certificate in Endodontics, Oral Medicine, Orthodontics or Pediatric Dentistry,
Doctor of Medicine in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with certification in oral and maxillofacial surgery
$11,220 for in-state and $26,322 for out-of-state students*
University of Southern California 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Doctor of Dental Surgery,
Advanced Doctor of Dental Surgery,
Doctor of Dental Surgery and Master of Science in Gerontology,
Doctor of Dental Surgery and Master of Business Administration,
Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Craniofacial Sciences
$50,277*
University of the Pacific 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Doctor of Dental Surgery,
Accelerated Doctor of Dental Surgery,
Master of Science in Dentistry and a Certificate in Orthodontics
$42,934*
Western University of Health Sciences 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb Doctor of Dental Medicine $23,331*

Source: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma of GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MSHS in Health Care Quality
    • Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Healthcare Management

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
    • Master of Science in Health Informatics

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • MBA in Healthcare Management
    • Master of Health Administration
    • Executive Certificate in Health Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management
    • Master of Health Administration

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Dental Assistant
    • Healthcare Assistant
    • Patient Care Technician

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Business Administration - Health Care Administration
    • B.S. General Studies - Life Sciences
    • B.S. Healthcare Administration
    • A.S. General Studies - Life Sciences

    What is your highest level of education?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?