Dental school applicants' use of website information during the application process.

Heiko Spallek, Ken R. Etzel, Brion S. Maher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The University of Pittsburgh's School of Dental Medicine (SDM) is a medium-sized, private, state-related dental school. As other schools have done recently, the SDM made a substantial effort to upgrade its website in 2003. Internal satisfaction and anecdotal data notwithstanding, there is no measure of the website's usefulness in attracting applicants. We designed an anonymous survey of twenty-one questions in an effort to better understand what kinds of information sources our applicants used to make their application decisions; which information they perceived as useful during each phase of the overall application process; how they ranked our website compared to those of other dental schools that they considered; and what they thought could make our website better. Our study supports the notion that applicants rely in part on dental school websites during the application process. Data from this study point to the areas that are of most interest to applicants when they visit a dental school website. This information could help dental school administrators determine the effort they should spend on their school's website as an advertising and recruitment tool. We recommend that dental schools make the most important application-related information and criteria easy to find.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1359-1367
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)

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