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2+ Year Member
Jun 3, 2019
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Hello there! I was grateful enough to gain acceptance to multiple dental schools, but I am currently trying to choose between 2 schools, Columbia and UPenn. I know cost is going to be a huge factor, but I personally plan on leavingg my current state so in-state tuition doesn't really matter to me at the moment. And my other choice I have other than those two schools, the price is almost the same as UPenn given it's OOS tuition.

Is there something that one offers that the other doesn't offer? I'm changing my decision every moment and person who is so indecisive, I am in a huge need of help..!

I plan on pursuing Genteral dentistry, first doing either AEGD/GPR after graduation and practicing 5-7 years and maybe going back to specializing?
but i'm 80% leaning towards GD at the moment.

If anyone goes to any of these schools and would like to leave input, I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you so much in advance!

School 1: Columbia


  • P/F grading system
  • friendly class atmosphere (really liked the vibe i got from students during the interview!; felt like it could be where I can fit in well)
  • high matching rates
  • I really enjoyed my interview with the school
  • small class size
  • new precision dental center-
  • high cost of living (NY...)
  • I personally love NY travels but hate NY traffic
  • limited clinical (beginning after d1)-> concerned mainly about this..
  • medical school integration
School 2: UPenn(20K dean's scholarship)

  • it's closer to home
  • community outreach activities/ programs offered to students -> huge + factor for me
  • early clinical exposure compared to columbia
  • cheaper cost of living/tuition b/c of scholarship

  • bigger classs size
  • less friendly class atmosphere?
  • the atomsphere @penn felt more "business-like" (at least from the inteview i had)

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Pablo Sanchez

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Jul 11, 2016
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Cheapest option. The clinical education is better at Penn, but your clinical experience your first year working will greatly outpace everything you learn in dental school, regardless, and that is where you will truly learn.


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Dec 5, 2018
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limited clinical (beginning after d1)-> concerned mainly about this..
We began pre-clinical work at Columbia (practicing drilling with our handpieces) in Nov of D1 year. Not sure where you got this info - were you told this during your interview? Maybe they're planning on changing for the future?
Pre-clinical work significantly ramps up during D1 second semester.
We started seeing patients for recall appointments during July of D2 year.


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Sep 4, 2017
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If Penn is the cheaper option I'd go to Penn. Both schools will pretty much get you where you want to be so might as well save money while you're at it. I definitely agree that regardless of where you go, you'll learn a lot more clinically after you graduate.