Cheapest Dental Schools In California

Last Updated on December 13, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

California has a reputation for being an expensive place to live, but if you are considering pursuing an affordable dental career, you should know that there are some schools that offer cheap dentistry.

If you’re thinking of going to dental school in California, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll provide a list of the cheapest dental schools in California, plus some tips and information about how to choose the right one for you.

On the internet, you can often find inaccurate and incorrect information, so it can be frustrating to find the right answer. Now, if you’ve been searching for information on the cheapest dental schools in California, then the article below brings you all you need to know and more. 

These pages offer information about the cheapest dental schools for international students, cheapest dental schools for international students in the UK, list of dental schools in California, cheapest dental schools in the US, dental schools in California requirements, and list of dental schools in California. You will also find related articles on the cheapest dental schools in California on Collegelearners.

Cheapest Dental Schools for International Students

Applying to dental school is a huge decision. If you’re an international student, the process is even more complicated, and there are many factors to consider.

In order to help you make your decision, we’ve compiled a list of the cheapest dental schools for international students.

1. University of California-San Francisco San Francisco, CA

The University of California-San Francisco offers 2 dentistry degree programs. It’s a small, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 129 dentistry students graduated, with students earning 115 doctoral degrees, and 14 certificates.

2. University of the Pacific

The University of the Pacific offers 1 dentistry degree program. It’s a medium-sized, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 169 Dentistry students graduated with students earning 169 Doctoral degrees.

3. Loma Linda University

Loma Linda University offers one dentistry degree program. It’s a small, private, not-for-profit, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2019, 126 dentistry students graduated, with students earning 126 doctoral degrees.

4. University of Southern California

The University of Southern California offers one dentistry degree program. It’s a very large, private, not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 173 dentistry students graduated, with students earning 173 Doctoral degrees.

5. University of California-Los Angeles

The University of California-Los Angeles offers 1 dentistry degree program. It’s a very large, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 95 dentistry students graduated, with students earning 95 Doctoral degrees.

Top Dental Schools in UK - Study Dentistry in the UK

Cheapest Dental Schools In California

Dental school is expensive, and the cost can vary widely from state to state and school to school. To help you budget, here are the cheapest dental schools in California.

SchoolStudent-Teacher RatioEnrolled Students
University of California-San Francisco San Francisco, CA 10: 13,180
University of the Pacific Stockton, CA16: 1    6,447
Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA    12: 14,462
Western University of Health Sciences Pomona, CA 16: 13,792
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA    22: 148,321
University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA    21: 144,371
10 Cheapest Dental Schools in the World with their Tuition Fees

Dental Schools in California Requirements

Dental school is one of the most competitive graduate programs in the country. Applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college and to have completed certain prerequisite coursework, such as biology and chemistry.

1. University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry

Prerequisites for Admission:
● Proof of completion of a B.A. or B.S. degree in another field from a regionally accredited
A college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.00
● Courses:
Grades of the following prerequisites have to contain an average grade of C or higher.
Please click on the link to double-check the unit conversation from semesters to quarters.
○ Human Anatomy and Human Physiology with a Lab (BIOL 223 & BIOL 223 or
BIOL 323 and 324 (for Bio Majors)
○ General Biology with a Lab (BIOL 200, 201, and 202)
○ Microbiology with a Lab
○ General Chemistry (CHEM 215 & CHEM 216)
○ Organic Chemistry (CHEM 221, CHEM 222, and CHEM 223)
○ Biochemistry (CHEM 436A)
○ Inorganic Chemistry with a Lab
○ Physics (PHYS 121, 122, and 123)
○ English, Communication or Speech**
■ It is required to take an English course on composition or technical writing.
● 40 hours minimum of Dental Shadowing Experience.
● Three Letters of Recommendation
○ Two letters from science professors and one of your choice (e.g., dentist, research
or work manager/supervisor)
○ OR one committee letter
● Requires the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). The scores are only valid for two years.

UCSF School of Dentistry

UCSF School of Dentistry is the leading dental school in the nation, renowned for its academic excellence, superior patient care, and groundbreaking research. As part of UCSF, a world-class university dedicated entirely to health sciences, our school has been a vital part of the scientific and clinical communities since it was established in 1881.

San Francisco, CA

Prerequisites for Admission:
● Proof of completion of a B.A. or B.S. degree in another field from a regionally accredited
A college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.00
● Courses:
Grades of the following prerequisites have to contain an average grade of C or higher.
Please click on the link to double-check the unit conversation from semesters to quarters.
○ Human Anatomy and Human Physiology with a Lab (BIOL 223 & BIOL 223 or
BIOL 323 and 324 (for Bio Majors)
○ General Biology with a Lab (BIOL 200, 201, and 202)
○ Microbiology with a Lab
○ General Chemistry with a Lab (CHEM 215 & CHEM 216)
○ Organic Chemistry with a Lab (CHEM 221, CHEM 222, and CHEM 223)
○ Biochemistry (CHEM 436A)
○ Inorganic Chemistry with a Lab
○ Physics (PHYS 121, 122, and 123)
○ General Psychology (PSYC 100)
○ Two courses in English Composition
○ Social Sciences, Humanities, or Foreign Language (16 quarter units)
○ Additional electives
● Shadowing a dental experience is very beneficial, helping applicants to better
understand their own fit within the profession, communicate that understanding with real-world examples, and demonstrate their commitment to the field of dentistry.
○ There is no specific number of hours required for shadowing or dental experience,
Applicants are encouraged to obtain as much information as possible prior to applying.
● Three Letters of Recommendation
○ One letter should be written by a college science professor, and one by a dentist with
One from an organization with whom you have volunteered, or an adviser, researcher, or mentor; and one from an
individual of your choice. Or, you may have one composite letter sent from a preprofessional health advisory committee in lieu of the three required letters.
● Requires the Dental Admissions Test (DAT).

Loma Linda School of Dentistry

Loma Linda, CA

Prerequisites for Admission:
● Proof of completion of a B.A. or B.S. degree in another field from a regionally accredited
college or university with a minimum GPA of 2.7. To be a competitive applicant, a 3.5 or
A higher GPA is recommended
● Courses:
Grades of the following prerequisites have to contain an average grade of C or higher.
Please click on the link to double-check the unit conversation from semesters to quarters.
○ General Biology with a Lab (BIOL 200, 201, and 202)
○ General Chemistry with a Lab (CHEM 215 & CHEM 216)
○ Organic Chemistry with a Lab (CHEM 221, CHEM 222, and CHEM 223)
○ Biochemistry (CHEM 436A, CHEM 437A)
○ Physics (PHYS 121, 122, and 123)
○ English Composition
○ Recommended Courses (Listed in order of Priority):
■ Histology
■ Human Gross Anatomy
■ Systems Physiology
■ Microbiology
■ Cellular and Molecular Biology
■ Immunology
■ Neuroscience
■ Genetics
■ Biochemistry II or III
● 50 hours minimum of Dental Shadowing Experience.
● Three Letters of Recommendations
○ The three letters can be any of the following: spiritual leader, employer, or
the professional, pre-professional committee, or science professor.
● Requires the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). The scores are only valid for two years. To
be competitive, scores of 20 or above in all areas are advised.

Hospital Dentistry Service | UCSF Health

University of Southern California of Dentistry

The University of Southern California School of Dentistry, founded in 1897, is the oldest dental school in the West. Our mission is to educate and inspire future dentists and dental hygienists to provide quality oral health care for all. We are nationally renowned for our groundbreaking research, education, and clinical care.

Los Angeles, CA

Prerequisites for Admission:
● Proof of completion of a B.A. or B.S. degree in another field from a regionally accredited
A college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.00
● Courses:
Grades of the following prerequisites have to contain an average grade of C or higher.
Please click on the link to double-check the unit conversation from semesters to quarters.
○ General Biology with a Lab (BIOL 200, 201, and 202)
○ General Chemistry with a Lab (CHEM 215 & CHEM 216)
○ Organic Chemistry with a Lab (CHEM 221, CHEM 222, and CHEM 223)
○ Physics (PHYS 121, 122, and 123)
○ English Composition (3 quarters)
○ Philosophy, history, or fine arts (3 quarters)
● Shadowing a dental experience is very beneficial, helping applicants to better
They understand their own fit within the profession, communicate that understanding with real-world examples, and demonstrate their commitment to the field of dentistry.
○ There is no specific number of hours required for shadowing or dental experience,
Applicants are encouraged to obtain as much information as possible prior to applying.
● Two Letters of Recommendation
○ Two letters of recommendation are required from lecture-based science professors.
in biology, chemistry, or physics. We highly recommend that one of the letters be
from the DDS. Letters from research or lab-based professors will not meet the
The letters must be written based on your performance in the lecture.
component of the class. A committee letter may be substituted if your undergraduate
the institution offers this service.
● Requires the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). The scores are only valid for two years.

University of Southern California

UCLA School of Dentistry

Los Angeles, CA

Prerequisites for Admission:
● Proof of completion of a B.A. or B.S. degree in another field from a regionally accredited
A college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.00
● Courses:
Grades of the following prerequisites have to contain an average grade of C or higher.
Please click on the link to double-check the unit conversation from semesters to quarters.
○ General Biology with a Lab (BIOL 200, 201, and 202)
○ General Chemistry (CHEM 215 & CHEM 216)
○ Organic Chemistry (CHEM 221, CHEM 222, and CHEM 223)
○ Biochemistry (CHEM 436A)
○ Physics (PHYS 121, 122, and 123)
○ English Composition (8 quarter hours = 6 semester hours)
○ General Psychology (PSYC 100)
● Shadowing a dental experience is very beneficial, helping applicants to better
They understand their own fit within the profession, communicate that understanding with real-world examples, and demonstrate their commitment to the field of dentistry.
○ There is no specific number of hours required for shadowing or dental experience,
Applicants are encouraged to obtain as much information as possible prior to applying.
● Three Letters of Recommendation
○ Dean or head of the applicant’s dental school
○ Dental school clinical instructor who is able to evaluate the applicant’s potential
○ A person of the applicant’s choosing, preferably someone with whom the
the applicant has worked with
It requires the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). The scores are only valid for two years.

ucla dental school tuition

Attending dental school is a significant time and financial commitment, but the Office of Student Services is here to help you figure out how to pay for your training at UCLA Dentistry, one of the top ranked dental schools in the country.

To help you plan your PPID education at the UCLA School of Dentistry, here is a projected off-campus and commuter budget for students in the 2-year PPID program for the 2022-2023 Academic Year.

The figures listed below represent an estimate of expenses. Living expenses include room/board, transportation, and personal expenses. These estimates do not include costs for dental/medical care, car payments, debts, charge accounts, spouses and childcare. It is essential to note that budgets are subject to modification.

2022-23 PPID Annual Fee Assessment* 

Class of 2024  – Annual Fee $99,522 (AY 22/23)

Class of 2023  – Annual Fee $97,863 (AY 22/23)

*(All fees subject to change without prior notification) 

Total Projected Costs for the 2022-23 Academic Year

Off-campus Housing Budget

 1st Summer(3 mo)1st Year(9 mo)2nd Summer(3 mo)*2nd Year(9 mo)*
Tuition/Fees$23,696$75,826$23,969$74,167
Books/Supplies/
Instruments
$22,806$8,942$1,000$6,050
Room & Board$7,670$23,010$7,670$23,010
Personal Expenses$791$2,373$791$2,373
Transportation$674$2,022$674$2,022
TOTALS$55,637$112,173$33,831$107,622

Commuter Budget Living with Family

 1st Summer(3 mo)1st Year(9 mo)2nd Summer(3 mo)*2nd Year(9 mo)*
Tuition/Fees$23,696$75,826$23,696$74,167
Books/Supplies/
Instruments
$22,806$8,942$1,000$6,050
Room & Board$3,731$11,193$3,731$11,193
Personal Expenses$730$2,190$730$2,190
Transportation$722$2,166$722$2,166
TOTALS$51,685$100,317$29,879$95,766

*There are fewer supplies required in the 2nd year.

All fees are subject to change without prior notification.

The amounts shown here represent, for planning purposes, estimates of tuition and fees for existing and proposed professional degree programs. Final figures are subject to change without notice and may differ from the amounts posted. 

The Total Cost of Attendance (TCOA) at UCLA includes tuition, fees and expenses for housing, food, educational materials and transportation. Your TCOA budget is determined by the housing option selected on your financial aid application and is used to determine the maximum amount of financial aid that can be awarded. Please inform Dental School Financial Aid office, if your housing plans for the year change so that your aid can be recalculated. 

Please note: Students enrolling in this program cannot use CAL VET tuition/fee exemptions; this program is not supported with state funds and is not subject to the state law regarding CAL VET tuition/fee exemptions.


Western Health University College of Dental Medicine

Pomona, CA

Prerequisites for Admission:
● Proof of completion of a B.A. or B.S. degree in another field from a regionally accredited
college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.00
● Courses:
Grades of the following prerequisites have to contain an average grade of C or higher.
Please click on the link to double-check the unit conversation from semesters to quarters.
○ General Biology with a Lab (BIOL 200, 201, and 202)
○ General Chemistry (CHEM 215 & CHEM 216)
○ Organic Chemistry (CHEM 221, CHEM 222, and CHEM 223)
○ Physics (PHYS 121, 122, and 123)
○ English Composition
○ Recommended courses:
■ Biochemistry, Genetics, Cell Biology, Human Anatomy & Physiology,
Microbiology, Calculus 1, Biometrics, Psychology, and Conversational
Spanish
● 30 hours minimum of dental shadowing experience.
● Three Letters of Recommendation
○ Two letters from science professors and one of your choice (e.g., dentist, research
or work manager/supervisor)
○ OR one committee letter
It requires the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). The scores are only valid for three years.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are many factors to consider when choosing a dental school. The cost of the program is certainly one of them, but it’s important to choose the right fit for your educational needs as well. Consider whether you want more of a clinical or a theoretical focus, how much experience you want working with patients, and what other aspects of dentistry interest you. The best schools are out there—use this guide to find yours!

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