USC vs. TUFTS vs. UPENN. Please help.

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


Junior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
20+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2002
Reaction score
Hey y'all. I am curious to know, that if I get into USC, TUFTS, and UPENN, what is your opinion on where I should go?

I KNOW that I want to practice on the west coast, and USC is my only school in the west, even though I hear it doesn't have the rep that UPENN and Tufts have.

Here is the 10,000 dollar question... Which gamble do I take.... gamble #1) Do I take the chance that I can succeed enough with the PBL approach at USC so that I can train easier for the Cal boards and be able to find possibly another USC alumni to work with later...

Or gamble #2) Do I go to the east coast where I am used to the traditional approach from either Tufts or UPENN (having no clue whether I would specialize yet) and count on the fact that I can hopefully come back out west after graduation and find others to work with, of whom probably didn't go to my schools and maybe harder to get started as a result.

I just can't seem to choose what to do!

Hmmmm.... well what's behind curtain #1 ladies and gents could be yours if you can just answer this very question. Thanks y'all.


PS. Even if you just say 2 words, as many replies the better! Thank you!!!

PPS. Man, this choosing thing is like pullin' teeth!

Members don't see this ad.
Hello DDS

I went to all three schools and I think they're all really good. I am waiting to hear back from SC, they told me that they send out stuff once a month since I just interviewed I hope I get in. I think being from Ca that's probably the best choice for you and me (if you're planning to stay in Ca after dental school that is). USC has really really strong alumni connection and you will find work after graduation for sure. On top of that, I know someone from PBL before they did a an all PBL thing and she liked it. She said she had a lot of time on her hands. I met her at UCLA doing research there while she was in her first year at USC's PBL program, so definately you have a lot of time to do other stuff to streghten your credentials if you're thinking about specializing. You can also do a lot of community service with the extra time. Also when the time comes for the board exams, you have a lot of extra time that you're not spending in lectures and since you're studying from flash cards anyways you'll do much better because you have the extra time to spend. Also, USC has a lot of patients where as some schools in better areas do not, such as ucla.
as for tufts, definately a good school as well. i found that their students and staff was extremely nice. The only draw back for me was that i didn't like boston and it's way too cold.
UPenn, although has the name, i didn't like the facilities. they didn't show much of their clinics during the tour and was very selective on what they showed. Their facility was very old and you are in charge of making sure the patients pay for their fees. I think although this could be a good thing, but since you're just learning I think it could be overwhelming to have to contact patients and ask them to pay and at the same time trying to learn the basic clinical skills. could even cause some negative tention b/n patient and doctor. I think that the oldness of the school is what's pushing me away the most. Although they are building a new building no one knows for sure when it will be ready (not even the staffs that worked there when i asked). You will probably have the hardest time being on the top of the class here too.

so my choice would definately SC. it'll help you pass your board and it'll save you a year from having to prepare for other test and then to find patients and study for the Ca boards. I hope this helps!! good luck deciding!

Sup DDS,

I have talked to a dentist who is doing general practice residency so she can find her patient for the Ca lisensure exam. She told me she regret of going to school on the east coast becuase now she has to go thru all the hassles in California. If your goal is to ultimately practicing in California, USC will be the best bet for you. As bratty said, you will have more time to study for the national board, which is so crucial for you to get into a specialty program. USC's alumni is unparallel, and you will have such a easier time if you attend SC. Alumni is everything. Of course Tufts and U Penn are good school too. But it is just so much easier if you go to a school in Cali.

Just my two cents.