The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is a nationally renowned institution of higher learning. We are committed to providing a world-class dental education for our students and comprehensive, affordable patient care for adults and children in a humanistic environment.

Our school is highly regarded for its:

  • Humanistic model of education that respects the dignity of each individual and fosters limitless potential for growth;
  • Accelerated year-round predoctoral program where students are able to complete four academic years of instruction in three calendar years; and
  • Innovation in dental curriculum, including comprehensive patient care and competency-based education.
original school location
What We Are

Founded in San Francisco in 1896 as the College of Physicians and Surgeons and eventually becoming part of University of the Pacific in 1962, the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is committed to providing a student-centered educational program and the highest quality oral health care in the Bay Area.

Student volunteers at Senior Smiles
Who We Are

The magic of the Dugoni School is in its people:

  • 550 students and residents
  • 507 faculty (69 full-time; 217 part-time, 221 adjunct)
  • 221 staff/administrators
  • 8,000+ living alumni

A program dedicated to excellence

  • ]The only dental school in the United States with a decades-long track record of offering a year-round, accelerated three-year DDS program.
  • Nationally-renowned for its humanistic model of education that respects the dignity of each individual and fosters limitless potential for growth
  • Offering degrees or certificates through seven academic programs

  • Doctorate of Dental Surgery programInternational Dental Studies program
  • Graduate Orthodontic program
  • Advanced Education in Endodontology
  • Advanced Education in General Dentistry
  • International General Dentist Educator program
  • Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program

Commitment to quality patient care

  • University-run clinics in San Francisco and Union City as well as extramural sites throughout Northern California

  • Provides approximately $500,000 of uncompensated dental care on an annual basis and another $10 million of care at substantially reduced prices to help make care more accessible to the culturally and socio-economically diverse population of the San Francisco Bay Area

  • Approximately 118,000 patient visits per year; 28,000 active patients
Viewbook cover detail
Dugoni School Viewbook
Get an Inside View

You’ll find a world of opportunities as a member of the Dugoni School family. Check out our new viewbook and see what our students have to say about their experience!


Year in Review

The Dugoni School family makes a difference in the lives of thousands of people each year, and we are fulfilling our purpose of helping people lead healthy lives. Our Year in Review report highlights just some of the great happenings over the last year across our academic programs, clinical services, research, community outreach and other areas.

year in review


Our Purpose is to Help People Lead Healthy Lives

We grow and inspire a diverse community of learners through our humanistic culture. Building on a distinguished tradition, we provide exceptional education; offer personalized quality patient care; support collaborative research; and foster commitment to service.


Improving Health and Wellness through Innovation in Programs, Partnerships and People

The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is an innovative and renowned leader in health and wellness. As a leader, our programs prepare healthcare providers for current, future and evolving practice models. The Dugoni School integrates inter-professional education with patient care, keeping humanism at its core. We educate beginning and established healthcare professionals for an array of career paths.

Signature partnerships support our programs and enhance health, education, research, and service. Partnerships reduce tuition dependence and create opportunities for students, faculty, and staff development.

Powered by its people, the Dugoni School sets the standard for humanistic education and leadership that serve the needs of its students, patients, alumni, the organized profession, and the public.

Core Values

We commit to the following values to support the defining characteristic of our education model — Humanism.

By accentuating the positive, setting high standards and respecting the individual, we provide the best possible learning, working and healthcare environment for every member of our community.

Courage — being willing to take risks, doing what is right not easy

Empowerment — supporting and inspiring individuals to fulfill their potential

Excellence — achieving the highest quality in all that we do

Innovation — imagining and applying bold, creative approaches

Integrity — exemplifying the highest personal and professional ethical principles

Leadership — inspiring through vision and challenging others to effect positive change

Learn more about how the school's purpose, vision and values are reflected in the Dugoni School's strategic plan, Transforming the Future of Oral Health Education.

Defining Humanism

Our view of humanism is based upon honest communication of clear expectations along with positive support for diligent effort. Although kindness is valued, humanism is not interpreted to mean softness, weakness, or superficial niceness. In fact, humanism places great responsibility on each member of the dental school community. In order for this approach to work, faculty members must be models of the profession’s highest standards, and they must teach in a way that encourages and energizes students. Students, in turn, are expected to set very high standards, to work hard, and to take personal responsibility for their own learning process.

Examples of humanistic student-faculty interaction at the Dugoni School:


  • Good work ethic
  • Constructive feedback
  • Maintaining confidentiality
  • Addressing the issue
  • Celebrating achievement
  • Excellence
  • High ethical standards
  • Professional responsibility
  • Increasing independence
  • Attainment of competence


  • Minimum effort
  • Authoritarian behavior
  • Public criticism
  • Ignoring the problem    
  • Dwelling on the negative
  • Expedience
  • Ethical compromise
  • Avoiding responsibility
  • Continued dependence
  • Tolerance of inability

The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is the only dental school in the United States with a decades-long track record of offering a year-round, accelerated three-year DDS program. Our challenging, year-round academic program prepares graduates to provide excellent quality dental care to the public and to enter a changing world that will require them to be lifelong learners.

The 36-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). Our DDS program combines basic biomedical, preclinical, and clinical science subjects with applied behavioral sciences, offering students the opportunity to grow into well-rounded doctors who treat patients with skill and compassion.

The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry prides itself on producing excellent clinically trained dentists. 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.

Our students begin their clinical instruction on their first day of dental school. The students learn from the beginning that excellent patient care involves technical skills, communication skills and a humanistic viewpoint. Because of this approach to education, our graduates are in very high demand by both practicing dentists and graduate programs.

Our school is a pioneer in competency-based dental education — an approach that replaces the traditional system of clinical requirements with experiences that ensure graduates possess the skills, understanding and professional values needed for the independent practice of general dentistry. The school's comprehensive patient care program is based on the concept of private dental practice where the student assumes responsibility for assigned patients' treatment, consultation and referral for specialty care.

The competency-based clinical model consistently produces one of the highest pass rates on initial licensure examinations and there is a sense of community that honors the potential in all individuals. The outstanding clinical training our students receive has earned our school national prominence.

Dentists from all over the country come to the Dugoni School to learn advanced techniques and to further their understanding of dentistry. Every year, the dental school hosts many continuing education programs for practicing dental professionals. Even the best dentists come to our school to become better.

Bridge Builders
Diversity and Inclusion

We remain deeply committed to promoting and maintaining a civil community that facilitates opportunities for shared understanding and expression of individual and collective truths. Moreover, we resolve to maintain a community that is respectful of all persons despite differences in age, citizenship, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, geographic origin, language, marital status, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.

Dean Nadershahi
Nader A. Nadershahi, DDS, MBA, EdD
Message from the Dean

You'll find a world of opportunities at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. Through clinical experiences, research, community service and leadership opportunities, you'll grow both as a person and as a professional. You'll learn more about the important connections between oral health and overall health, and study with leading experts in the field.

PHCC campus entrance
Pacific Health Care Collaborative

Now being constructed in Sacramento, and capitalizing on the strength of Pacific’s three health professional schools, this groundbreaking initiative will combine dental and medical services in a teaching and learning environment.

Dean Dugoni with Golden Gate in background
Remembering a legend
Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni ’48

Read about the remarkable life of our Dean Emeritus Dr. Dugoni (1925 – 2020) who inspired thousands through his life of service, leadership and excellence.

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