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Top 10: Easiest US Dental Schools to Get Into for International or Foreign Trained Dentists (admissions)

THIS LIST IS SPECIFICALLY FOR INTERNATIONAL DENTAL PROGRAMS (IDP's) or ADVANCED STANDING PROGRAMS (AS). First off, it should be made clear that no dental school is easy to gain admission into. This ranking is about the easier dental schools that international students worried about admission should aim to include on their application lists. For graduates of accredited undergraduate universities applying to 4-year DDS or DMD programs, see our 'Easiest US Dental Schools to Get Into' post. Information provided here is approximate (but as accurate as possible) and is updated as required. Thank you for turning to Top 10 Nation for this important information. International or foreign-trained dentists, especially from areas such as India, Korea, Latin America, and the Middle East are looking for the easiest dental schools in the United States to apply to. Which schools have the easiest path to acceptance and admission for these already-trained dentists? Keep reading...

Top 10 Best Dental Schools to Apply To For Foreign or Internationally Trained Dentists as of 2008

With approximately 125 seats for Advanced Placement students, this large program is the leading favorite for international students. The biggest disadvantage to this program is that it is a THREE YEAR PROGRAM.
Minimum's for Application: NBDE Part I: Pass (Average 87), TOEFL: 230.
Advantages: Easy admission, large Advanced Placement class means many peers to work with, state-of-the-art clinical facilities.
Disadvantages: 3-year program makes it a year longer than most other programs, highest tuition/fees at $66,746/year, with the added relatively high cost of living in New York City ($31,351/year).

2. Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine Advanced Standing Program (BU Dental)
Definitely the best (easiest) choice for international dentists seeking a two-year program in the United States. With approximately 65 seats available, many students are interviewed and accepted. Read our Top 10 Reasons to attend BU Dental.
Minimum's for Application: NBDE Part I: 85 or higher, TOEFL: 250 or higher.
Advantages: Relatively easy admission for a large 2-year program, large Advanced Standing class means many peers to work with, relatively more affordable tuition, student-friendly environment, supportive faculty.
Disadvantages: Still has a high tuition/fees at $64,511/year (cost of living expenses not available), clinical facilities are lacking with more chairs for students required.

3. University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine Program for Advanced Standing Students (UPenn)
Ranked as our Top 7th Best Dental School in the US or Canada. This top-tier school has 26 seats available for foreign trained dentists.
Minimum's for Application: NBDE Part I: 85 or higher (average 89), TOEFL: 220 or higher, GPA: 3.0+.
Advantages: Top-tier school ranked at #7 across the country, 2-year program.
Disadvantages: Still has a high cost at approximately $83,000/year for fees and living expenses, clinical facilities are lacking, although a new clinical facility did open in 2002.

4. University of Southern California, School of Dentistry Advanced Standing Program (USC Dental)
This 32-seat program offers a relatively large number of seats and Southern California weather. Qualified applicants will be required to attend an on-campus technical exam and written exam.
Minimum's for Application: NBDE Part I: Pass, TOEFL: 250 or higher.
Advantages: 2-year program, strong clinical emphasis.
Disadvantages: Problem-based learning cirriculum means no structured classes, with an emphasis on 'self-learning,' high-crime location, tuition and living expneses cost in the range of $95,000/year.

This program admits 24 foreign trained dentists as students each year. Tuition alone for this school is approx. $16,000/quarterly or $64,000/year. Living expenses are not available. Qualified applicants will be required to attend an on-campus technical exam and written exam.
Minimum's for Application: NBDE Part I: 83 or higher, TOEFL: 240 or higher.
Advantages: 2-year program, decent clinical exposure, California climate.
Disadvantages: High cost of living, may be difficult to acquire patients.

Note that Visa students are not accepted for this 24-seat program, residency is a requirement. Minimum's for Application: NBDE Part I: Pass, TOEFL: 213 or higher.
Advantages: 2-year program, relatively easy acceptance for residents or citizens of the US.
Disadvantages: Total tuition costs are in the range of $83,000/year.

This 22-seat program offers an exciting program in the warm sunny weather of California. Read our Top 10 Reasons to attend UoP Dental.
Minimum's for Application: NBDE Part I: 80 or higher, TOEFL: 237 or higher.
Advantages: 2-year program, strong clinical emphasis, friendly faculty environment.
Disadvantages: Total tuition costs are in the range of $90,000/year, with living costs in the range of $25,000/year making this one of the most expensive IDP schools.

8. Loma Linda University, School of Dentistry, International Dentist Program (LLU Dental)
This 16-seat program is at a Christian-based university.
Minimum's for Application: NBDE Part I: 81, Part II: 79, TOEFL: 213 or higher.
Advantages: 2-year program, total tuition costs around $50,000/year, large patient availability.
Disadvantages: Seventh-day Adventist (Christian religious) ideals are integrated into the cirriculum.

9. University of Pittsburgh, School of Dental Medicine International Advanced Standing Program (UPitt Dental)
This 10-seat program is at an overall high-ranking university. This school requires a bench testing pre-clinical exercise as a part of it's admission process.
Minimum's for Application: NBDE Part I: Pass, Part II: Pass, TOEFL: 250 or higher.
Advantages: 2-year program, generally regarded as a higher-end school.
Disadvantages: Total tuition costs around $73,000/year.

10. Tufts University, School of Dental Medicine Dental International Student Program (Tufts Dental)
This 14-seat program offers exciting courses in fields such as implantology.
Minimum's for Application: NBDE Part I: 90, Part II: 85, TOEFL: 233 or higher.
Advantages: 2.3-year program, generally regarded as a higher-end school in terms of clinical and research exposure.
Disadvantages: Is at the bottom of this list, and is generally harder to gain admission into. Generally in the range of $80,000/yearly, note that the additional 0.3 years adds an additional $40,000/year cost.

All of this information was correct at the time of posting, however, this information changes constantly. If you notice something that is incorrect, please leave a comment! Good luck from all of us at Top 10 Nation.


  1. thank you, this is great! best information for us, i was looking for this

  2. Thank you guys sooooo much for sharing this. These info. helps rest of the dentist-hopefuls like me so much!!


  3. I don't see how having Christian ideals integrated into a school curriculum is a disadvantage. This is a consideration for many who apply and definitely not a disadvantage.

  4. This is the mother-load of all the information that we foreign trained dentists need....Love it!

  5. Thank you for the great information. Just wanted to confirm one thing, is it true that chances of getting approved in school are less if you apply late, say the last month of the deadline? Also i have heard Boston dental school does not get enough patient for all the students? Would you be able to help me with these questions?

  6. Yes your chances are significantly lower the later you apply. The earlier you apply, the better your chances of admission. Boston University does struggle a bit with finding appropriate patients for students, as do many other schools. Some AS students at BU do tend to graduate a bit late on average. Overall, AS students still think BU is a great school to attend.

  7. Hey thanks for replying to my questions about Boston university... just a quickie...i am applying only to NYU and Boston as it is too late for any other school. If i have to make a choice in program for advanced placement of foreign trained dentist, which program would you grade better overall:))

  8. thanks alot this was really great,i wanted to know this since long time and i succeeded nw thanku

  9. I would rank BU over NYU in the Advanced Standing programs simply because BU's program is 2 years long whereas NYU's program is 3 years long. An additional year of freedom and potential income makes BU's program infinitely better.

  10. thank you for the great information..could you please help me to know when is the best time
    to apply for admission to dental schools
    to take TOEFL exam?
    when are NBDE Part I exams scheduled?

  11. The answer to both of your questions is as soon as possible!
    the NBDE Part 1 can be written any day by scheduling an exam at a Thompson Prometric Center in the US or Canada. I am unsure of the protocol outside of the US and Canada.

  12. UPENN has 26 positins this year.
    USC has bench exam as well.
    New schools to the list- UCLA, U of Med and Dentistry New Jersey, Columbia, U of MI. Thats all I can think of.
    Good Blog though!

  13. hey ,thanks this information is really of great help. can u please tell me about marquette university, i came to know that it also offers international dentist program..

  14. Vineet,
    Please see the following link for more information, unfortunately, we have no other information regarding the program.

  15. Thank you for the information. Could you please help me to know if there is any problem if I am applying to more than 2 universities?

    1. No problem. Apply to as many as you want..apply away.....

  16. Not a problem at all, in fact, we encourage you to apply to a lot of schools if you are concerned about admissions!

  17. We live in Richmond, VA.

    Can you please let me know if there are any universities in Virginia which admit foreign dental students?

  18. thank you for quesion is ,what can happen if the minimum score of NBDE I is 85 for some dental school,and i got 80.can i apply or not.
    thank you

  19. Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!!
    This ranking is the best thing I found.
    I have some questions for you.
    I am applying for NYU but my NBDE score was 84,do you think I have chance?
    I think that for Southern California you need to score high at NBDE I, it is not just pass

  20. aarunsun,
    The only dental school in VA is Virginia Commonwealth University. As far as I am aware, they do not have a foreign advanced standing or IDP program.

    It is recommended that you apply to schools only if you meet the minimum standards. Generally, if you do not meet the minimum standards, your application is disqualified. For further information, contact the dental schools you are applying to directly.

    Generally a higher score is required for admissions to most programs. The Part 1 score for USC quoted is the minimum score required to apply (simply a passing score). This does not mean that a passing score is sufficient for admission.

    I hope this helps!

  21. Hi!!!!!!!
    Do you know how many seats Un.of Colorado have for international dentists?

  22. Priscila,
    Colorado accepts 24 students each year. The program starts in January of each year. Applications are due by 1st or 2nd or March (depending on which day the 1st falls on) and interview invitations are out by early April. Interviews are usually in May and or June, and the class is announced by early or mid July. CU does not base admissions on a rolling-basis, therefore no decisions are made until all files are reviewed. There is a clinical exam on the day of the interview, and detailed information is sent out with the invitation. This information was obtained directly from the dental school.

  23. I have got selected for Advanced standing dental program interview in Boston University . CAn anyone tell me how will be the interview? what and all preparations I need to finish for attending it.

  24. Greetings,
    Do any of the schools have restrictions based on the country of origin?

  25. Hello I am a dental student in China. I want to ask if I want to apply to NYU DDS program. Do I need my autography? Or I just need to pass the NBDE part one and the TOEFL grade 230? And I want to know how do I find out my grade in China is recognized in here?

  26. Indrani,
    The BU interviews vary greatly depending on the interviewer themselves. They are generally very laid back and simply conversational, with questions such as, "why do you think BU will be a good fit for you?" I hope this helps.
    International programs generally do not favor applicants based on country of origin, but rather by academic performance. I hope this helps!
    Your grades will be recognized by international dental programs, simply because international graduates have international dental programs geared to license them! I am not sure by what you mean by an autography, however, a complete application is required by schools including your grades from your international dental school and a personal statement, etc. I hope this helps!

  27. Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this is great! best information for me, i was looking for this

  28. I have this question: what exactly is the difference between doing the IDP program, and just passing the boards??? To get for example a CA licence (DDS) as a foreing student, being a US citizen, do i necessary need to do the IDP?? or is that to be able to study another degree like pediatrics dentistry for example.... ???

    thank youª!

  29. Guiselle,
    Passing the boards does not get you a license to practice. For most states with the exception of a couple of states, you need to complete an IDP program to be able to qualify for a license to practice dentistry. I hope this helps, for further information regarding the state in which you intend to practice, please contact the state dental board directly to see the requirements to obtain a license for that jurisdiction.

  30. which state doesnt need us to finish da IDP?

  31. Soham27,
    Unfortunately, we do not provide answers such as these, as these involve legalities, and constant policy changes that we do not track at this time. Perhaps in the future, we may decide to being providing this information.

  32. Do I have to write both NBDE part 1 and NBDE part 2 to get admission in to an international dentist program?

  33. Bobby,
    It is usually just the Part 1 that you would have to take. It may depend on the individual schools you apply to as well. Please check the individual dental school websites you plan on applying to (prior to applying) to save your time and money.

  34. I have a question; I am a dental student from China. If I want to take the NBDE part I, I should have pass my grade to ECE org for elevate, rite?? But what if they say it's not enough certificates?? What can I do to make up the certificate?

  35. Sasha,
    I am not completely sure I understand your question, but it sounds as if you may need to take more undergraduate courses. I hope this helps!

  36. Thank you, it helps a lot!! , I really need to make my question more specific.
    And I got another question; my situation is that I have to study in my medical school for total five years. The beginning three and half years we study theoretical, the remaining one and half year we do the clinical (go to hospital for practical) part. So, the grades that ECE count include my practical part?? Or they only need the theoretical part?? So I can just turn my grade to ECE for evaluate (for NBDE part 1) after I finish my three and half years in school? Or I need to turn my grade for total five years?? Thanks for your patience again, I really appreciate your response. It really helps me to define which way I have to work toward.

  37. my name is mohammad.....thank you guys ... this is a great site ... it helped me alot ... i would like your help though in one more thing... what are the easiest PAID GPR programs available for foreign international students ... is there like a top ten paid Gpr programs list?
    thanks again

  38. Does anyone know if is it too late to be called for an interview in NYU for 2009 year. Thank's

  39. Does anyone know if it is too late to be called for an interview for NYU advanced program for the 2009 year?
    Thank you

  40. hello,I am a foreign trained dentist.recently took my part 1 nbde and got 84 on that.can you please suggest the universities I might consider with this score?

  41. Hi, I am a dental student from Mongolia. I have few questions to ask.
    1. Where can I take NBDE Part1? How many times it is taken a year? To take the test must I be graduated from my dental school? (Can I take that when I am in dental school?)
    2. Can I apply to advanced standing when I am in my dental school graduate year ?(5th year in Mongolia) Because by that time I won' t have my diploma.
    3. Is diversity important for applying to advanced standing? (if I apply from Mongolia wil it be important in selection factor?)

  42. hi
    this is really a great web site , thanks a lot for all your efforts .

    but I need to know ,if I applied for more than one dental school in the same time (eg. UCLA , UCSF , UNY , USC , UC ) in the same time , would that increase my chances to get acceptance ??!!!

    and how I'll send the orignal certificate to all those dental schools in the same time ???
    of course I don't have 5 orignal certificates I just have one :)
    should I send a copy or what ?????

  43. Hi. I just recently withdrew from my dental school as a third year student because I was about to fail one course and I was being considered for dismissal. I am looking to transfer to another US dental school. Can you suggest which schools to apply for that would consider a transfer student. I want to transfer into the third year class next Fall. Please advise ehich schools I would have some chance to transfer into. Thanks.

  44. Hey I'm from India and wanted to ask if it is possible to take the NBDE and TOEFL exams just after completing my internship after a 4 yr BDS (bachelor of dental surgery) course in India?

  45. hey i am really tensed ...i just appeared fr the exam and just gt the bare passing score..tht is do u think to all the dental schools tht u mentioned tht only passing score is req..i have a chance of getting admission any of them...plz let me knw which colleges i stand the maximum chance of getting adimsssion tht i shld apply to tht unviersity fr sure..thankss....

  46. Hi

    I am a foreign dentist. I have NBDE part 1 score of 88, Toefl Score101 and I gave GRE also to become eligible for Masters Program in dentistry also and scored-1110. My biggest problem is my worst GPA which is just 1.7. I do not know what to do to be able to get into dental school? I have the work experience of 3 years in my country. The only and major problem is LOW GPA. Because of this i have not even tried to apply to any program so far. Please advise.

  47. hi.. thnx 4 d gr8 info..
    i graduated in 2006 from india and have jus 1 yr work experience.. i'm a permanent resident in baltimore, married to a citizen.. do i stand a chance in baltimore college of dental surgery if i can achieve a good nbde part 1 and toefl score..? wat else wud b a requirement.. i want to do a post grad in dentistry in any department or and advanced standing program? as 4 letters of recommendation.. wud it b acceptable if i get it from my college dean or ne other professor.. or a hospital administrator who is not a dentist???? wat exactly should i write in a statement of purpose?? thanx a lot once again... :D

  48. hi thanx.......for d useful information
    i would like to shud i get this much loan........

  49. hi thanx a tonne for d useful info......
    i would like to know what other courses do these universities prvide other than dds in dentistry after bds

  50. hello,
    i am a dentist from india.i have a score of 88 in NBDE part GPA is 3.49.
    i went through the list of Top 10 Best Dental Schools to Apply To For Foreign or Internationally Trained Dentists.
    i will not be able to pay for my fees without a loan.can i apply for scholarship and what is the requirement for the same?i can get a loan of $50,000 only against my house.i have not taken the TOEFL exam as i am not sure if i will be able to pay for my education.please help.thank you

  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

  52. hi my stats r 93/3.7/100 and i hav applied according 2 ur list in usc ,upenn and bu.people r saying i shud apply to more school.wt shud i do according to u???which is the safest option 4 me?

  53. what about TEXAS? is there any school in texas where international students can get in easily..please reply me.thanku so much

  54. hi i'm in my 4th year in dental school,i would like to ask if the university of toronto have seats for international students and is the admission for it easy. Looking forward to your reply.Thanks a bunch

    Awesome blog btw

  55. Extremely helpful .. thank you!

    There's something I am struggling with these days. I just moved to the US a couple of months ago, and am now getting ready to start studying for NBDE 1. I was checking out a few application pages for DDS programs, and their application dates are due in August.

    I am not sure if I will have enough time to prepare for NBDE 1 (3.5 to 4 months). Is it better to give more time to prepare for NBDE and take it at a later time, and then wait almost a whole year to apply to programs, or better to step up the studying, take the NBDE a month or so earlier, and apply by the late date of application this year??

    Would be extremely grateful if you could tell me what you think .. as I am sO confused!!

  56. Hi, i got admission in kornberg Temple university! I had scored 87. I want to ask about the crime rate. Does it really matter? Also why didn't you enlisted this university in top 10?

  57. Hello there. I am currently a 3rd year undergraduate student and unfortunately my gpa is very low (reason=new to the country I am here only 4 years so when I entered university I could barely speak English-)). Therefore now I am trying to find a way around this problem so I am considering starting it all fresh at new university. Do you think this can correct my situation? (and of course I will be working extra hard there to get all A's). I would really appreciate your comment. Thank you.

  58. I got my results and got 84 in part 1 . what are my chances to get an admit?

  59. Though provided still I would request for detailed information for entering MS/MSD programs in US.

  60. hey i am a dental student from india ... m here with a question that if i plan to sit for the nbde part1 next year which is the best month to write the exam takin the admissions into consideration

  61. Hey,, What would happen if someone got a low score say, less than 85, in nbde part 1?
    I just gave my part 1 and waiting for results but very anxious. Just want to know if there are any alternatives...

  62. Hello! I love this post! the best!
    I also would like to know if all these universities put a lot of emphasis in the GPA because mine is a bit less than 3.0 Is there any of these universities that would accept a student with less than 3.0 GPA?

    thanks a lot for the info

  63. Hey. My name is Simran. I had a few questions, it would be great if you can help me. I have been a US citizen for about 5 years now. I went to India to do my BDS(Bachelors in Dental Surgery) because I was offtrack here and wanted to get away from my society. Can you help me with the following questions:

    1. My exam is Dec 8, 2011. Do you think I have a chance to get in for 2012? If so, which colleges?

    2. Is there any preference for US citizens?

    3. My GPA is low, 2.5 is comprehensive and 3.05 is best. What do you think I need to get on the NDBE part 1 exam? Meaning to have a solid case.

  64. Simran. Admissions for the 2012 session have pretty much ended, your best bet is to apply in February to university of Colorado.
    The only place with preference for US Citizens is University of chicago illinois, every where else gives equal placement to all depending on the scores. Yes your GPA is on the low side, you should try to score above an 87 or higher on your part 1, also to compensate for your low GPA you would have to do alot of volunteer work in dental offices.

  65. This comment has been removed by the author.

  66. hi..i scored 78 in nbde part 1.can you tel me what should i do next?i very dissapointed wit my scores

  67. Top 10 Nation.

    Your blog is really good indeed. I found very useful your information, the rankings, the reasons about why is so good Boston, among other articles. In fact, as you can probably imagine, I want to continue my studies, in Boston. For several reasons I like this place, the culture, the education level of the people there, the history, the quality of life, etc. For that reasons (and more), nowadays I am dealing with all the necessary steps to achieve my goals (DAT - NBDE, getting as much information as I can about the programs, etc.).

    I am thinking in apply with the DAT to Harvard, and with the NBDE I to Boston and Tufts, in this order. You can probably ask, why I am not considering more Universities? after all you recommend at last 10. And the answer is simple, with the DAT I can apply for Australia too (another great country) and there are the 10 applications. In addition, why I am not thinking in other states?, because I know Boston and I like it, and there I can work under a Limited License.

    I will appreciate any suggestions that you can provide me. For example, how hard it is to get admitted in Harvard and what can I do to increase the probability to succeed on that.

    Congratulations, not many blogs are excellent as yours.

    Doctor Iván Pizarro
    Dental Surgeon
    Santiago, Chile.

  68. Hello,I really find this blog very informative. I completed my BDS in 2009. I have a work experience of over 2 years. I plan to shift to The US next month.I intend to take the NBDE by the end of the year or early next year.Do the admissions happen just once a year during the fall in the univ at the US? Is it true that there will be no part 1 and 2 from now on?

  69. What is better ? To give toefl in India or in USA/ Does it have any effect in score?

    plz reply.

  70. I really appreciate it. That's a helpful information and a great encouragement for all my fellows,Internationally Trained Dentists and for me particularly. Thank you very much and may God Bless you guys!

  71. hi my stats are 81/3.6/106 i graduated in 2010 and have been volunteering for more than a year and now i am starting a preceptorship program. last year whn i applied i didnt get any calls. what can i do more and how do you think my chances look.... plz reply need your help

  72. Hi.. Your blog is very informative and helpful. Thanks a lot for that. Here's my question, I have completed BDS which is an undergraduate dental course and MDS in orthodontics ( post graduate course) from India and recently got my green card. Is there any possibility for me to directly do a post graduate program in orthodontics and start my practice in US. Thanks

  73. Hello
    Thank you so much for the info
    I wanna ask something
    My GPA after ece is 2.07 and i am so afraid that it will not be enough to be accepted in the universities so is that possible? And if i wanna increase my chances do you advise me to take the DAT?
    Thanx again

  74. Q : i have taken NBDE Part I in 2013 " after the policy changed to pass/fail" what am I supposed to do now when most of the dental schools require a scored Part I ??? Was it my fault that the exam rules have changed!!!

    Thank you,

  75. Hi
    Very good compilation of information.
    I want to ask something
    Is GRE required for admissions?


  76. Hello there!
    I graduated in 2009.
    Part I :87
    Part II: Pass
    GPA: 3.43(comprehensive)
    TOEFL: 108
    Certificate in Social Epidemiology
    Exterrnship in Dentistry from one of the top Canadian universities.
    Dental work and volunteer experience both in Canada and my home country
    Still not a single interview call...applying for the third time in a row.
    I just don't have the Greencard! Is visa and marital status so important??


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