Smile! Black Dental School Enrollments Are on the Rise

In last week’s edition, JBHE reported the persistence of racial segregation at U.S. dental schools. More than 40 percent of all black dental students are enrolled at just two of the 56 dental schools in the United States. Howard and Meharry, two historically black institutions, continue to educate a large segment of all black dental students.  

But there is some good news to report. Overall, black enrollments in dental school are up a whopping 33 percent from 2001. In 2001 blacks were 4.9 percent of all dental school enrollments. Today the figure is 6.1 percent.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Mississippi have all seen at least a five percentage point gain in black enrollments since 2001. Overall 33 of the 54 predominantly white dental schools for which we have data have posted an increase in their percentage of black enrollments. Only three dental schools have seen the percentage of blacks in their student bodies drop by more than 2 percentage points. They are the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Maryland, and the University of Missouri at Kansas City.


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