University of the Pacific Arthur P. Dugoni School of Dentistry


San Francisco has been the home of the School of Dentistry since its incorporation in 1896 as the College of Physicians and Surgeons. In 1962 the College of Physicians and Surgeons combined with the University of the Pacific.


First year: During the first quarter students practice the use of dental instruments and materials, working position and posture using direct and indirect vision, and basic dental laboratory procedures. They are introduced to study and test-taking skills and methods of time management. Biomedical science instruction in anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, and microbiology is offered in the first 8 quarters, followed by multidisciplinary presentations of basic science foundations for clinical topics such as the importance of saliva, tissue aging, nutrition, and infection control. Second and third years: Students practice clinical dentistry for 15 hours per week, learning to provide comprehensive dental care under the direction of group practice administrators and multidisciplinary faculty from diagnostic sciences, periodontics, operative dentistry, endodontics, orthodontics, and fixed and removable prosthodontics. Oral and maxillofacial surgery, pediatric dentistry, and radiology are learned in respective specialty clinics. Fourth year: Advanced clinical dentistry and evaluation of new developments and topics that involve several disciplines are taught in conjunction with patient care. Rotation to extramural clinics provides management training that will increase efficiency in the delivery of high-quality dental care in a setting that resembles private practice more closely than the dental school clinic. Students are counseled about establishing a practice and applying for postgraduate education.

Unique Programs

The school has a program for the admission of qualified ethnic minorities, women, and members of underrepresented groups.


At least 3 years of college work, 90 semester credits, is recommended. Courses taken at a community college are acceptable if they are transferable as equivalent to predental courses at a 4-year college. Required courses in predental education must include the following: 4 semesters of biological sciences; comparative anatomy, physiology, or histology are strongly recommended; 2 semesters of general physics, 2 semesters of organic chemistry, or 1 semester each of organic chemistry and biochemistry and 2 semesters of English composition or speech. Additional recommended courses are cell biology, physiology, genetics, business, accounting, and economics, as well as fine arts, humanities, and social science courses. The admissions committee carefully considers each applicant’s scholastic record, scores on the DAT, the AADSAS essay, and letters of evaluation. Other personal attributes and qualities as well as demonstration of the applicant’s understanding of a career in the dental profession are also reviewed. Applicants who are offered the opportunity to enroll must complete planned coursework at a specified performance level. Acceptance to the School of Dentistry is provisional until all required admissions materials have been received and verified to be consistent with the information available at the time of a provisional acceptance.


A 9-story building was completed in 1967 for functional teaching of clinical dentistry and to conduct dental research. A 12-operatory dental clinic has served as the school’s major extended campus in southern Alameda County. The university also renovated a building near the school to help meet students’ needs for housing. The facility houses 126 residents in 66 apartments and also provides a contemporary dental technical laboratory, a physical fitness center, and study rooms for use by the residents.

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