The purpose of this study was to examine gender differences and other predictors of postgraduate plans among U.S. dental students. A national sample of dental students was surveyed in their first and fourth years of dental school. Female first-year students were less likely than male students to express interest in specialization in endodontics and oral surgery. Fourth-year students who had a dental school mentor, a high GPA, and encouragement from significant others were more likely to apply for postgraduate training. Gender and first-year interest in dental specialization did not affect the likelihood of applying for postgraduate training in the fourth year. Female fourth-year students were more likely to predict that they would be an associate in a practice five years following graduation. The results suggest that mentoring and faculty encouragement are important influences on dental students' plans for postgraduate education.