9 Best Dental Schools in California (2023)

Finding the best dental schools in California might be a difficult task when there are a plethora of options around you.

California boasts some of the finest dental schools in the United States. They offer exceptional education and training opportunities for aspiring dentists. 

These institutions provide rigorous academic programs, state-of-the-art facilities, renowned faculty, and valuable hands-on experience.

Based on the above data , I have curated a list of the 9 best dental schools in California.

You will have a clear understanding of these dental schools as we explain overview of each school’s program, clinical facilities, and research opportunities. 

So whether you are a high school or a dental student interested in learning dentistry at a top-ranked school, this article is for you.

Let’s quickly dive into it.

9 Best Dental Schools in California: In A Nutshell

Here is a quick overview of the best dental schools in California.

Sr NoBest Dental Schools in CaliforniaAcceptance Rate
1.University of California – Los Angeles11%
2.University of California – San Francisco18%
3.Loma Linda University60%
4.University of Southern California13%
5.Stanford University4%
6.University of the Pacific79%
7.University of California-San Diego34%
8.University of California – Davis49%
9.University of California – Berkeley14%

Top Dental Schools in California: In Detail

The following are the popular dental colleges in California. I have mentioned the acceptance rate, tuition fee and more.

1. University of California – Los Angeles

Acceptance Rate 11%
Average Tuition Fee$17,592

First in my list is the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), which is widely recognized as one of the best dental schools in California. Known for its excellence in education, research, and patient care, UCLA’s School of Dentistry will offer you a comprehensive and rigorous dental program.

University of California - Los Angeles

2. University of California – San Francisco

Acceptance Rate 18%
Average Tuition Fee$11,442

The next one is the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), is highly regarded as one of the best dental schools in California. UCSF School of Dentistry has a strong reputation for its exceptional education, innovative research, and commitment to advancing oral health care. 

Graduates from UCSF are well-prepared to make significant contributions to the field of dentistry and oral health care.

University of California - San Francisco

3. Loma Linda University

Acceptance Rate 60%
Average Tuition Fee$32,736

Loma Linda University, located in Loma Linda, California, is known for its strong academic programs, commitment to service, and integration of faith and health. Loma Linda University School of Dentistry offers a comprehensive dental education. 

The dental program will prepare you to be a competent and compassionate dental professional. Hence you will be serving your communities with a strong sense of purpose and dedication.

4. University of Southern California

Acceptance Rate 13%
Average Tuition Fee$26,021

USC’s dental school is known for its strong academic program, clinical training, and research facilities. The school has a state-of-the-art clinical facility to help you practice skills on real patients. The school also has a number of research centres that are dedicated to advancing the field of dentistry.

USC’s dental school is a highly selective school. According to research, in 2023, the school received over 4,000 applications and admitted only 300 students. The average GPA for admitted students is 3.8, and the average DAT score is 20.

University of Southern California

5. Stanford University

Acceptance Rate 4%
Average Tuition Fee$14,402

The Stanford University School of Dentistry was founded in 1920 and is one of the oldest dental schools in California. It is accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA) and is a member of the Association of American Dental Schools (AADS).

The school offers a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree, as well as a Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD) degree. The DDS program is a four-year program that includes classroom instruction, clinical rotations, and research. 

The MSD program is a two-year program that is designed for dentists who want to specialize in a particular area of dentistry.

Stanford University- Best Dental Schools in California

7. University of the Pacific

Acceptance Rate 79%
Average Tuition Fee$21,311

This university is one of the oldest dental schools in the country and is consistently ranked among the top dental schools in the United States. 

The university is known for its academic excellence, comprehensive clinical training, and career support. They also have commitment to community service, research opportunities, and inter-professional education. 

Graduates of the University of the Pacific’s dental school are highly sought-after by dentists across the country. In 2023, the school had a 99% employment rate for its graduates.

University of the Pacific

7. University of California- San Diego

Acceptance Rate 34%
Average Tuition Fee$18,083

As a top-tier dental school, the University of California-San Diego offers an outstanding academic program that will prepare you for successful careers in dentistry. 

The curriculum is designed to provide a comprehensive education in oral health, combining rigorous coursework with hands-on clinical training.

As a student, you will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in state-of-the-art clinical facilities, working closely with experienced faculty members. By treating patients from the surrounding community, you will develop essential clinical skills while providing much-needed dental care.

University of California- San Diego

8. University of California – Davis

Acceptance Rate 49%
Average Tuition Fee$17,628

The University of California – Davis stands out as a premier dental school in California, offering a comprehensive and exceptional dental education. 

UC Davis Dental School  comes with a reputable history, top rankings, outstanding faculty, and research opportunities. 

It will provide you an ideal environment with clinical experience, state-of-the-art facilities, vibrant student life, a strong alumni network, and a commitment to community engagement. Hence UC Davis Dental School has made a positive impact among students in the field of dentistry.

University of California - Davis (Best Dental Schools in California)

9. University of California – Berkeley

Acceptance Rate 14%
Average Tuition Fee$21,406

UC Berkeley’s dental school consistently ranks among the top dental schools in California and the United States. Their programs have a comprehensive curriculum, distinguished faculty, commitment to cutting-edge research and patient-centered care.

Moreover, UC Berkeley Dental School is committed to serving the community. You can provide dental care to underserved populations through their outreach programs and partnerships with local clinics and organizations. 

University of California - Berkeley

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Conclusion: Best Dental Schools in California

Let me conclude through careful consideration and evaluation that the dental schools in California have been exceptional in dental education and training. 

They have sophisticated equipments and facilities, experienced faculty, comprehensive curriculum, and emphasis on practical experiences.

 If you are expecting to be an aspiring dentist with the knowledge, skills, and expertise for a successful career, these schools are worth it.

After these factors are lined up, you can start narrowing down your choices. Talk to current students and faculty, and visit the schools in person. The best way to find the right dental school for you is to get a feel for the school’s culture and see if it’s a good fit for you.

So what are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comment section below.


What are the requirements for admission to a dental school in California?

The requirements for admission to a dental school in California vary from school to school. However, most schools require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree, a high GPA, and a good DAT score. 

What is the cost of attending a dental school in California?

The cost of attending a dental school in California varies depending on the school. However, the average cost of tuition for a dental school in California is around $150,000 per year.

What are the job prospects for dentists in California?

The state has a large population and a growing demand for dental care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of dentists is projected to grow 13% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

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