Since 1896 the School of Dental Medicine has been educating students to take their places among the best dental practitioners, researchers and educators in our region, across the country, and even around the world. Our accomplishments reflect the dedication and success of each member of the School of Dental Medicine family.
We are proud of our long tradition as innovators in dental medicine. Our first female student was admitted 117 years ago, and today more than half of our vibrant and diverse first-year pre-doctoral class is women. We nurture in our students a strong foundation in the biological, behavioral and clinical sciences and a belief in the importance of professionalism and life-long learning.
Half a century ago we pioneered the specialty dental care that we now deliver in our fully equipped Center for Patients with Special Needs. The school’s general dental clinics and 11 specialty clinics play an integral role in improving the oral health of the patient population of southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond. Some patients travel hundreds of miles to access the high-quality care our clinics provide every day.
Our researchers expand the horizons of knowledge and are internationally renowned for their groundbreaking developments in the areas of craniofacial genetics and craniofacial regeneration. We are identifying genes that contribute to complex human phenotypes, and are using tissue engineering to heal wounds and restore function and appearance to defects of the face and skull.
Every day, the positive contributions of our faculty, staff, residents and students demonstrate their commitment to our mission of advancing the future of dental medicine through teaching, research and service.
The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine is the dental school of the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt). It is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. It is one of Pitt’s six schools of the health sciences and one of several dental schools in Pennsylvania. It is closely affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The School of Dental Medicine accepted 3.6% of applicants for the class of 2016, a record low for the school's entire history.
It is located in Salk Hall on Pitt’s campus. Each year, between 70 and 80 students graduate from Pitt’s D.M.D. program.
Admission into the School of Dental Medicine is highly competitive. Eighty incoming students were accepted out of 2,200 applications submitted. Total mean college GPA of incoming students in 2017 was 3.74 (science 3.67); academic average DAT score was 21.6.
Dr. Bernard J. Costello is the School of Dental Medicine’s current dean as of 2018.
Founded as the Pittsburgh Dental College, the school was organized and chartered simultaneously with its establishment as a department of dentistry at the Western University of Pennsylvania, the former name of the University of Pittsburgh. The School of Dental Medicine welcomed its first class of 119 freshmen that September. The school grew quickly and moved into increasingly larger facilities. Under the leadership of Dean H. Edmund Friesell, the Dental College was renamed the School of Dentistry when it became an integral part of the university when the university assumed charge of the Dental Department and property following the implementation of an agreement on October 5, 1905. By the 1920s, the dental school was reported to be, for at least a time, the largest in the world.
The School of Dental Medicine has occupied its current space in Salk Hall, which was converted from a former municipal hospital facility to house Pitt’s dental and pharmacy schools, since 1967.
Noteworthy events in School of Dental Medicine history:
The Pittsburgh Dental College admitted its first female student, Ms. Mary L. Glenn, in 1898. In 2008-09, 34 percent of the students in the School of Dental Medicine’s entering freshman class were women. The School of Dentistry awarded its first master's degree in dentistry to Nora E. Murry in 1935. The School of Dental Medicine now awards advanced degrees in 10 different disciplines. In 1963, the school graduated its first class of dental assistants. Pitt’s dental hygiene program is the only such program in the state of Pennsylvania that is part of a major university and accredited dental school and affiliated with a medical center. In 1965, five of the dental school’s chairs were dedicated to the treatment of children with disabilities. Today, the School of Dental Medicine bears the reputation of leadership and innovation in treatment of patients with special needs. The Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) degree replaced the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1967 and the school was renamed the School of Dental Medicine to reflect the profession’s evolution.