USC University of Southern California


In 2009, the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC received full accreditation from the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

CODA, an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, reviews dental schools every seven years. Schools are evaluated against standards that establish expectations for the school’s mission, evaluation and planning, and educational programs, as well as its governance, resources, facilities, research, practice, faculty and students.

For accreditation, schools are required by CODA to conduct a self-evaluation and submit a self-study report detailing how the school meets each standard. A team of qualified peer reviewers conducts an on-site visit to validate the findings of the self-study. During the site visit, the team interviews school administrators, faculty, students, staff, and university officials. The team also inspects the school’s facilities, examines documentation corroborating the self-study and prepares a report of its findings. The report is reviewed by the CODA board responsible for granting accreditation.

The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry was most recently fully accredited in 2009.  In early 2015, the school submitted a self-study in advance of the comprehensive dental site visit scheduled for April 7-9, 2015.

Student Complaint Policy and the Commission on Dental Accreditation

Any enrolled student may contact the Commission on Dental Accreditation to file a complaint. This commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. A complaint is defined by the Commission on Dental Accreditation as one alleging that a commission-accredited educational program may not be in substantial compliance with commission standards or required accreditation procedures. The Commission on Dental Accreditation will review complaints that relate to a program’s compliance with accreditation standards. The commission is interested in the sustained quality and continued improvement of dental and dental-related educational programs but does not intervene on behalf of individual or act a court of appeal for individual matters of admission, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty, staff or students.

A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or commission’s policy and procedures for submission of complaints may be obtained by contacting the commission at: 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678 or by calling 312-440-4653.

The commission’s web address is:

Prior to filing a complaint with the commission, a student is encouraged to seek information and answers to question through established channels within the school of dentistry.

Complaints received by Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry enrolled students are kept on file in the office of student affairs. Questions about this policy or other accreditation issues may be directed to the associate dean for academic affairs & student life or the assistant dean for admissions, diversity & student life.