ADEA Survey of U.S. Dental School Applicants and Enrollees, 2010 Entering Class

U. S. Dental School Applicants and Enrollees, 2010 Entering Class (ADEA AADSAS Application Cycle 2009-10)

The annual survey of applicants conducted by the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) collects data on selected characteristics of applicants and first-time enrollees of entering dental school classes. Produced since 1976, the annual ADEA applicant reports aim to assist health professions education advisors, dental educators, and members of the broader dental education community in better understanding the characteristics of dental school applicants.

U. S. Dental School Applicants and Enrollees, 2010 Entering Class (ADEA AADSAS Application Cycle 2009-10)

Executive Summary & Tables

U. S. Dental School Applicants and Enrollees, 2010 Entering Class (ADEA AADSAS Application Cycle 2009-10)

Abstract: Over the past two decades, interest in dentistry in the United States has shown a steady period of growth. There were 12,001 individuals who applied to the 2010 entering class of U.S. dental schools, up from 7,700 in 2000, an increase of 55%. The number of first-time enrollees was 4,947. Men continue to comprise the majority of applicants and enrollees; however, the percentages of women have increased with 15 dental schools enrolling 51% or more women in their entering class. The 2010 underrepresented minority (URM) applicants comprised 13% of both the applicant and first-time enrollee pools, and the percentage of URM enrollees of URM applicants was 40%. Of all enrollees, fifty-one percent of enrollees earned a baccalaureate degree in biological science or chemistry/physical sciences. Regardless of major fields of study, the percent rates of enrollment exceeded 30%.

The annual applicant analysis conducted by the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) provides data on selected characteristics of applicants and first-time enrollees of entering dental school classes. Produced since 1976, the annual ADEA applicant reports aim to assist health professions education advisors, dental educators, and members of the broader dental education community in better understanding the characteristics of dental school applicants. This year's report reflects characteristics of individuals applying for entry to the 2010 class.

Of the 12,001 applicants in 2010, 41% were enrolled, totaling 4,947 first-time enrollees. Over the last two decades, interest in dental education in the United States has shown steady growth. From 1990 to 2010, the number of applicants increased by 134%, for a 5% average annual growth rate. The overall increase in applicants, along with the opening of five new dental schools from 1997 to 2009, demonstrates that dentistry continues to be viewed as an attractive career option. Several key findings from the 2010 applicant and enrollee data follow:

  • The 2010 ratio of applicants to first-time enrollees was 2.4 applicants to one first-time enrollee.
  • Because of the significant growth in women dental students over the past years, 15 of 58 dental schools have 51% or more women first-time enrollees.
  • In 2010, underrepresented minority (URM)-Black or African American, Hispanic/Latino of any race, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander-students composed 13 percent of the overall applicant pool. For the 639 URM applicants who enrolled in 2010, the enrollment rate increased by 1% since 2009.
  • Fifty-two percent of first-time, first-year enrollees earned a baccalaureate degree in biological science or chemistry/physical sciences.