The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is the only dental school in the United States where you can complete a four-year academic curriculum in just three calendar years. Our graduates develop the tools they need to adapt to an ever-changing world, where new skills and knowledge will be required to keep pace with advancing technology and the challenges faced by an increasingly diverse population. The outstanding clinical training our students receive has earned the Dugoni School national prominence, but technical instruction is just one part of what makes our school unique.

Our DDS program is built around a humanistic model of education that stresses the dignity of each individual and his or her value as a person. Students are referred to as "doctor" from day one, and faculty members are encouraged to act as mentors, not just instructors. In turn, students are expected to take responsibility for their education and practice the professionalism that will be required of them when caring for patients.

Other school hallmarks include the innovative Pacific Dental Helix Curriculum, which places a strong focus on active learning and critical thinking by integrating multiple disciplinary areas using small-group, case-based learning. We closely link foundational knowledge to clinical practice. From our state-of-the-art preclinical Simulation Laboratory to our small-group private practice model in the clinics, students learn what it takes to become "practice-ready" dental professionals trained for a rewarding career.

DDS '23 Stats

The thirty-six month curriculum leading to the degree of doctor of dental surgery begins in July and is divided into 12 quarters, each consisting of 10 weeks of instruction, one week of examinations and a vacation period of varying length (between one and four weeks).

During the first quarter, students practice use of dental instruments and materials, working position and posture using direct and indirect vision, and basic dental laboratory procedures. They also are introduced to study and test-taking skills and methods of time management that will assist them in succeeding in the professional curriculum.

In the first eight quarters, students take courses in the biomedical sciences, including: human anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology and microbiology. Those courses are followed by instruction in clinical topics such as the importance of saliva, tissue aging, nutrition, and infection control. Throughout the curriculum, students learn application of basic sciences to biomedical problems of dentistry using the scientific method of inquiry.

During the preclinical instruction in the first four quarters, students learn to work from a seated position in a state-of-the-art preclinical simulation laboratory and with a chair-side assistant in conjunction with pediatric dental practice. Students begin working with patients in their second year.

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Dugoni Academic Programs

Office of Admissions
University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry
155 Fifth Street
San Francisco, CA 94103