Aspiring dentists can find doctoral programs at some of the nation’s top schools. These programs may allow students to not only prepare for a career as a dentist, but also pursue specialty areas in the field. Among the top schools for aspiring dentists are Harvard University, an Ivy League institution, as well as the University of Florida in Gainesville and A.T. Still University. Dental schools may award a Doctor of Dental Surgery, or, as in the case of the three profiled institutions, a Doctor of Dental Medicine. These institutions offer a wide variety of programs for those who are interested in specific areas within dentistry or other aspects of health care, such as public health.
Located in Boston, the School of Dental Medicine at Harvard University has its own clinical facility and offers a Doctor of Dental Medicine as well as a Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences in Dental Medicine. Dental students are prepared to take on leadership roles in the field of dental education and research after graduation. Advanced graduate programs are also available in orthodontics, periodontology, and implantology, which can lead to a Master of Medical Sciences or Doctor of Medical Sciences.
University of Florida
The College of Dentistry at the University of Florida in Gainesville is the sole dental school in the state to be publicly funded. The school offers a Doctor of Dental Medicine program with the option to take elective courses. Fourteen certificate programs and various fellowships are available in areas of study like oral biology, oral and maxillofacial radiology, orthodontics, and periodontics. Students can enroll in the Hialeah Dental clinic, which houses 12 dental residents each year. There are also options available for those who are not registered as students to engage in special study programs at the school, like externships and volunteering.
A.T. Still University
A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona offers a dual degree program that allows students to earn a Doctor of Dental Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees in four years. The public health coursework is completely online, and courses are offered by quarter. Courses are ten weeks long, and students must complete an eight-credit practicum. Core courses include public health biology and dental policy and administration.
When choosing a dentistry school, students may take into consideration a program’s options, such as online availability or dual degrees, as well as different areas of specialization.