Accelerated programs: Pathway to our nationally renowned dental program

University of the Pacific offers a pre-dental program to first-time freshmen, the accelerated Pre-Dental Advantage Program (3+3). in which you complete all pre-dental and general education requirements and the courses for the biological sciences or chemistry majors in just three years and three years of dental school. Optionally, you can apply to accelerate to the 2+3 program or spend more time in the undergraduate portion by switching to the 4+3 program.

When you complete the program, you will earn both a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of the Pacific (Stockton Campus) and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry (San Francisco Campus). 

dental camp participants
High School Students Considering Dental Careers

Are you a current high school student who is considering a career in dentistry? Consider applying for one of our accelerated programs at University of the Pacific to earn your BS and DDS.

Through the 3+3 program, students can complete all pre-dental and general education requirements and the courses for the biological sciences or chemistry majors in just three years (six regular semesters). Course credits from the first year of dental school can be used to earn a bachelor's degree, and upon completion of the third year of dental school you will earn the DDS degree. Students admitted to the pre-dental advantage program who fulfill both academic and non-academic requirements are guaranteed an interview at the Dugoni School:

  • Complete all pre-dental program course requirements and dental school prerequisites
  • Maintain an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.05 or above in coursework from Pacific and other institutions, BBCP (biology, biochemistry, chemistry, and physics), and Science
  • Achieve Dental Admissions Test exam scores of 18 or above in all categories
  • Submit a completed dental school application, including three letters of evaluation from two Pacific science faculty and one dentist, by September 1 of the application cycle
  • Complete at least 40 hours of shadowing a general dentist

The Pre-Dental Advantage Program’s default path consists of three years of undergraduate preparation and three years of dental school. However, you can apply to accelerate to the 2+3 program, or spend more time in the undergraduate portion by switching to the 4+3 program.

The 2+3 program provides the minimum foundation in pre-dental education through two years of study on the Stockton campus for a select group of highly qualified students. At the end of the summer after your first academic year, if you meet the criteria listed below and receive approval from your pre-dental advisor, you will take a second year of classes in Stockton and apply to the Dugoni School of Dentistry, where you will be strongly considered for an interview.

High School Preparation

Talk to dentists or shadow them at work to see if this profession is a good fit for you. The path toward a career in dentistry will require extensive dedication which you can deliver if you feel comfortable with your choice. 

College courses are best taken in college after the high school experience has been completed. High school students may be interested in anticipating some college education, however, in order to facilitate their adjustment to college or to save money by satisfying college course requirements. 

Advanced courses taken while in high school can sometimes interfere negatively with the college curriculum. The items below categorize courses by the type of interaction that they have with the curriculum of the Pre-Dental Advantage Program. 

  • Green light classes. AP, IB or college courses taken in high school (early college) may be used to satisfy requirements of the general education portion (except science) of the Pre-Dental Advantage Program, as long as they can be transferred as equivalent to courses at Pacific that satisfy such requirements. This equivalence can be verified at the ROAR webpage. Courses in chemistry and biology may be a good preparation for college when they do not articulate with a Pacific course or when they articulate with Pacific courses that have code numbers lower than BIOL 51 for biology (ex: BIOL 41) or lower than CHEM 25 for chemistry (ex: CHEM23).
  • Yellow light classes. AP, IB or early college classes are acceptable for physics courses that articulate with PHYS 23, 25, 53 or 55 but it is recommended that physics be taken instead at Pacific.
  • Red light classes. AP, IB or early college classes cannot be used to reduce the number of chemistry and biology courses taken while in the Pre-Dental Advantage Program. If you complete a core biology or chemistry course before enrolling at Pacific, you will be required to take a more advanced course in those subjects at Pacific. If you have already taken or want to take these courses, you should inform your undergraduate admission counselor at Pacific and request the transfer of your courses to Pacific. This is necessary to avoid conflicts that could interfere with your registration and financial help. While we appreciate your interest in pursuing college-level courses prior to coming to Pacific, we strongly recommend that you avoid the core science courses, unless you want to replace them with more advanced chemistry and biology courses at Pacific.
  • Notice that other DDS programs may require physics, math or psychology to be taken at a four-year college.
  • Students interested in the 2+3 option need to satisfy three GE categories (other than science) with courses from work completed before starting at Pacific (AP, IB or Early College courses).

Program Requirements 

The Pre-Dental Advantage Program is only available to students entering college for the first time. Prospective students apply using our undergraduate application and select the pre-dental major. 

To advance into the Pacific’s Doctor of Dental Surgery Program, admitted undergraduate pre-dental students must take courses in sequence at Pacific, maintain minimum GPAs and pass a formal interview for the Dugoni School of Dentistry (includes a writing sample).  

All applicants are encouraged, and admitted students are required, to carefully read and agree to the Technical Standards of the Dugoni School. It is also highly recommended that all applicants review the Dental Board of California license requirements. 

  1. Completion of CHEM 025, CHEM 027, CHEM 121, CHEM 123, BIOL 051, BIOL 061, CORE 001, CORE 002, COPD 093, and courses that satisfy 5 different GE categories (excluding Scientific Inquiry) and the diversity requirement. The GE courses can be transferred from work previous to college.
  2. GPA and DAT (Dental Admission Test) scores above the minimum marks published by the Pre-Dental Program. Currently, the following GPAs are considered, and each must be 3.7 or higher: Overall GPA (all coursework); Pacific GPA (all coursework at Pacific); BBCP GPA (all biology, biochemistry, chemistry, and physics); Science GPA (all science coursework at Pacific). DAT must be taken by September 1 of your sophomore year, and currently, you must earn an Academic Average score of 25 or above.
  3. Completion of all academic and non-academic requirements and submission of an application to the DDS program at Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry.
  4. Submission of a completed Program Change Form to the Office of the Registrar signed by the pre-dental advisor. Before advancing to the Dugoni School, admitted students must complete the undergraduate requirements of the BS in Biological Sciences or BS in Biological Sciences with department honors, except for the DS and BMS courses, which will be taken within the DDS program.

Pacific reserves the right to change criteria for students entering in subsequent years. Students selected for an interview are not guaranteed admission to the Dugoni School. 

  1. meet all course requirements for the pre-dental programs, including Grade Point Average standards (3+3 and 4+3 pathways: 3.05 or above; 2+3 pathway: 3.70 or above)
  2. students in the 3+3 and 4+3 pathways must achieve scores of 18 or above in all categories on the Dental Admission Test (DAT); 2+3 students must achieve an Academic Average score of 25 or above
  3. successfully complete an interview at the School of Dentistry
  4. file a competitive and complete AADSAS application by September 1
  5. submit the $75 application fee
  6. obtain at least three letters of evaluation from two science faculty and one from a dentist
  7. complete 40 hours of shadowing at a dental clinic


The undergraduate program is expected to take three years, but you can adjust your timeline after the first year. If you choose to continue to the DDS program at Pacific’s Dugoni School of Dentistry, you can complete the graduate portion in three years. 


You will benefit from small class sizes, versatile university resources and many layers of support. During the first semester, you will have weekly meetings with the Pre-Dental Program Advisor to go over all aspects of pre-dental preparation. Our student-run Pre-Dental Society and one-on-one consultations with a faculty adviser create opportunities to better prepare for dentistry and community service.


Upon completion of the undergraduate portion of the program with satisfactory performance, you will have a guaranteed interview to the Dugoni School of Dentistry and will be well prepared for admission to other top dental schools in the U.S. Upon completion of the entire program, students earn both BS and DDS degrees facilitating further specialization.

Helena Chochanski
Student Voice
Helena Chochanski ’22, ’25

“Pacific has really helped me prepare for a career in dentistry and dental school, both professionally and academically. The classes are taught at such a high level, I know I have a good foundation in my sciences so that when I go to dental school, I won't be starting from zero. And there are a lot of clubs and organizations here that stress professionalism, a career in dentistry. They’ve given me chances to volunteer and actually experience what it's like to be a dentist.” 

Pre-Dental Society

This student-run organization provides opportunities for students to meet dental school faculty and students as well as practitioners active in the field. It offers volunteer opportunities, mock DAT exams, PAT and interview workshops, trips to the Dugoni School of Dentistry and a comfortable atmosphere where all students interested in dentistry can socialize and learn more about the field. 

Pacific Pre-Dental Society