Colleges and Schools for Aspiring Orthodontists: How to Choose

The majority of postgraduate orthodontist programs are designed as 2-year programs, with an optional year of study available to part-time students. However, there are a few 3-year programs; prospective students should ensure a program’s timeline fits with their academic and career goals.
10 Schools with Orthodontic Programs
These schools offer programs for aspiring orthodontists:
College/University Location Institution Type Degree Offered Tuition (2018-2019)*
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private Doctoral $74,974 (first year – 2019-2020)
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Doctoral N/A
Boston University Boston, MA 4-year, Private Doctoral $80,000 (first year – 2019-2020)
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private Doctoral $88,127 (first year – 2019-2020)
University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL 4-year, Public Doctoral $40,489
University of Iowa Iowa City, IA 4-year, Public Doctoral $32,154 (first year)
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Public Doctoral N/A
Tufts University Medford, MA 4-year, Private Doctoral $130,718 (total program tuition and fees) (2016-2017)
Harvard University Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private Doctoral $58,050 (2016-2017)
Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ 4-year, Private Doctoral $45,000
Source: *School websites
School Selection Criteria
Consider these important aspects when selecting an orthodontic program:
Get more information about curriculum offerings, which can include classroom instruction, research and hands-on practice.
Find out whether the school works in conjunction with an orthodontic practice where students can complete on-site internships, or if the school has an on-site facility.
Learn whether students are required to teach undergraduate or graduate level classes.
Look at the faculty roster, noting the number of part-time and full-time professors and whether they are practicing orthodontists.
Orthodontic Program Overview
Postgraduate orthodontic programs prepare students for a specialized dentistry career. Besides their cosmetic work with braces and retainers, they also treat patients with jaw disorders, cleft palates and other dental irregularities. Programs train students in all areas of orthodontics, including the business aspects of establishing and running a private practice. Upon completion of an orthodontic degree program, graduates must pass the National Board Dental Examinations (NBDE) exam in order to obtain licensure in the United States.
At a dental school where students can take coursework and get practical training in orthodonti
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