How Hard is it To Get Into UNC Dental School?

UNC receives a great deal of praise for being one of the greatest undergraduate universities in the country (especially for the price). What is assumed, however lesser known, is that Carolina holds the same esteem in the world of post-graduate degrees. One post graduate degree from UNC that is particularly impressive is the Dental School. Carolina’s four-year dental program offers 19 educational programs with a mere 82 spots for incoming students available annually.

82 spots per class is very different than Carolina’s undergraduate population of 18,000+. While the 2017 application pool for undergraduate was 40,792 applicants, dentistry annual applications sit at around 1500. This explains why Carolina’s highly ranked post-grad programs may not have as much street credibility to the average person, but maintain elite status within their respective academic spheres.

While Carolina is still ranked one of the best values for dental education in the country, first year tuition for N.C. residents is $50,590 and an even more incredible $83,790 for non-N.C. residents. The fact that undergraduate tuition is over $40,000 less in tuition a year, yet both are considered bargains, shows just how steep the price for dental school is. The average dental student will pay $270,000 in tuition alone for dental school, while Carolina students will pay closer to $200,000 all in for in-state residents.

The dental school has very different statistics than the undergraduate population when looking at the composition of its current students. For example, 90% of the UNC Dental students receive financial aid. Given the steep price of dental school, this is a big win for Carolina students who are already paying less than the average post-grad dental student. Additionally, 80% of the students are in-state with 23% of students representing underrepresented minorities.

The top competition for other post-graduate dental programs is steep but international. According to, Michigan and Harvard are the only two U.S. universities in the top 10 for dental programs. NYU rings in as the third highest rated U.S. School, with UNC coming in as the 12th best dental school in the world, and 4th in the U.S. Ironically, University of Washington and UCLA are right behind Carolina, showing how strong the U.S. public university system is within the dentistry post-graduate field.

The scale of the post-graduate side of the UNC is incredibly different than the undergraduate side even though they are both quite competitive. The UNC dental school is not only elite in the country, but in the world, further showcasing how truly impressive it is to be a Carolina Tar Heel at the post graduate level.

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