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RELIABLE dental school rankings?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by secretstang19, Aug 1, 2002.

  1. secretstang19

    secretstang19 Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2002
    Does anyone know where you can find reliable rankings of dental schools? The only ones that I can find are in the Gourman Report.

    (And yes, I KNOW that any rankings that purport to state which school is "best" are inherently arbitrary... while I agree that there is a best school for everybody, there has to be at least some marginal consensus on what schools have the best academic reputation, etc.)

    Any help will be greatly appreciated!!! ;)
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  3. KDBuff

    KDBuff Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 15, 2002
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think any reliable ranking exists. In all of the research I've done on dental school, I've never seen anything besides the Gourman Report, and that was from like 1992.
  4. UBTom

    UBTom Class '04 official geezer 10+ Year Member

    Jul 24, 2002
    Queens, NY
    to Secretstang19:

    Being that there are so few dental schools in the country and they all tend to give preference to the residents of its state/region, arbitrary rankings I think are probably not that important.

    If academics are important to you, maybe you want to check out the scores for the NBDE part-I's. That exam covers all the basic science materials covered in the first two years of dental school and might be an indicator how much a particular school stress its academics (though I wouldn't say that is a completely reliable indicator either).

    Ultimately, the best way to decide I think would be to talk to the students attending the schools you are applying to and see how they feel about their institution.. Not just the good points but also the bad.

    Good luck, whichever dental school you choose!
  5. Doggie

    Doggie Professional Jackass 10+ Year Member


    It is kinda discouraging to not have a dental ranking when applying for dental schools. I think a good indicator of school ranking would be to compare the admission dat, gpa, %of applicants accepted, etc.

    Attached Files:

  6. gryffindor

    gryffindor Dentist 10+ Year Member

    Feb 2, 2002
    No reliable ranking system exists. The dental school deans all agreed in the mid-90s to do away with the whole dental school ranking thing b/c ranks just don't work for dental schools.

    After reading the medical boards on this forum, I get the impression that the name/ranking of your medical school *could* have some bearing on your chances at certain coveted residency programs. I really don't believe residencies/specialty programs after dental school work this way. It's all about your GPA, rank, letters of rec, clinical experience, research experience, extra-curric involvement, etc. The only place the name of your school could have a bearing is for alumni purposes. For example, if the endodontic program director is a graduate of UT-Houston, and the decision comes down to choosing between two equally qualified candidates (one is a graduate of Houston, the other is a Penn grad) for an endo residency position, he would probably go with Houston regardless of Penn's "rank" or "prestige".

    UBTom is right. The only way to really find out what the dental school is like is by asking the students who are there or by asking recent graduates of the school. If you are still obsessed with numbers and academic reputation, you can try calling the schools to ask how they rank in NBDE I and NBDE II scores. You have to call the schools and ask, this info is not published anywhere. If a school is nationally ranked #3 in NBDE I scores, you can assume that they teach the basic sciences real well since that is what NBDE I tests. NBDE II is a multiple choice exam on dental subjects, so a school ranked #1 on NBDE II would teach the dental subjects very well.

    Your dental school experience is what you make of it. You have to work hard and earn the grades, the school, no matter what it is ranked, is not going to hand them to you. If you want to be at the super top of your class, you have to work for it. If you want to just pass, again, you still have to study for that too.

    BTW Doggie, I thougt the info you are looking for is published in the book by the ADEA mentioned often in this forum.

    And your patients will never ask where you went to dental school. If they do, they are probably a dental student.
  7. steiner19er

    steiner19er Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Nov 30, 2001
    i know that i shouln;t post this but i will. This is the US news and world report from 1993, I made a photocopy of it some time ago. I really think that this info is useless. Not to mention that it only contains STATE schools, no privates (except Harvard oh la la). :rolleyes:

    Your best school, is the one you feel most comfortable at. Also cost is a factor, some out-of-state schools get pretty hefty. Each school has their own strengths and weaknesses. You might want to be in an urban area (NYU, UCLA, Boston), or might want to rough it at SIU, Iowa, Nebraska. Not to mention do you want to be with 50 other people, 75 others or 230 others? There is no one best school. Not to mention you become a DDS or DMD in the end, and none of your patients care if you graduated from cheap state university, or expensive private school. Same goes for class rank. None of your patients (besides your mom), will know where u graduated in you class. #1 or #99, you are still a DDS. In fact, I asked my DDS what his rank was, I never got a straight answer, but he did fill my tooth, and I was happy. There are other factors too, such as facilities: do they have the computer simualted heads?, do you make your own dentures during your last 2 years? when will you first get your hands wet? etc..... So the decision is yours, NOT US news and World Reports

    but neglecting what I said here it is. Note there are many schools tied for each position, it doesn;t go 1,2,3....10. It goes 1, 2, 3,3,3, 6, 7,7,7,7,7,7, 13,13,13,13,13

    1. U. Texas San Antonio
    2. Univ of North Carolina
    3. Univ of Washington
    3. Univ of Iowa
    3. Univ of Michigan
    6. SUNY Buffalo
    7. Univ of Alabama
    7. Univ. of Minnesota
    7. Univ. of Maryland
    7. Indiana Univ.
    7. UCLA
    7. UCSF
    13. Baylor
    13. Ohio state
    13. Virgina Commonwealth
    13. Harvard
    13. U Conn
  8. gryffindor

    gryffindor Dentist 10+ Year Member

    Feb 2, 2002
    Steiner - Thanks for your post. It just goes to show how useless rank is for dental school and why the dental schools did away with it. If 6 schools tied for spot #7 and you get into two of these #7 schools like UCLA and UCSF, how does the rank help you decide which one to attend?

    THis is from the Baylor Dental School website

    "The major problem is that the rankings were based on the perception of Deans, administrators, faculty and others about the relative quality of the schools and not on any objective criteria that compared "apples to apples". The dental schools complained bitterly to US News and as a result US News has discontinued ranking US dental schools. Parenthetically, the dental schools were given wide acclaim by our colleagues in higher education as being the only education enterprise that has stood up to US News. As you may know, rankings of all colleges and universities are under intense criticism by our colleagues in the higher education community. "

    Steiner is right. None of your patients will care what your class rank was. But if you are trying to apply for a residency spot in ortho or endo, you can bet that many programs will look at your rank with a magnifying glass. I have had many orthodontists tell me this. So whether or not rank matters depends on what your ultimate goal is.

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