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Dental Hygiene Admission Requirements

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

To be considered for admission into the program, students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Complete university admission requirements to include submission of official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  2. Have a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA for all college coursework (including transfer work and excluding developmental courses) and be in good academic standing
  3. Complete required prerequisite courses for the dental hygiene program with a minimum of C or higher in each course before the application deadline
  4. Take the Psychological Services Bureau (PSB) Health Occupations Aptitude Examination
  5. Submit Dental Office Observation Verification Form (Verification forms may be used for two years after the dates of observation.)
  6. Students may not attempt any course more than twice and be eligible for admission into the dental hygiene program.

NOTE:  The application process for the dental hygiene program requires a criminal background check. Licensure in Arkansas also requires a state and federal criminal background check.

Admission into the dental hygiene program is competitive. Students who meet the minimum criteria identified above are eligible to apply for admission. 

  1. Application Deadline – May 20 for fall entry into the program
  2. Eligible students must apply for admission to the advising coordinator for the College of Health, Education, and Human Sciences before the application deadline.

Selection is based on the following weighted system:
 

Phase One: Ranking Score

  • 40% - Quality points earned for prerequisites on the dental hygiene degree plan (College credit through CLEP or AP for a course will not be used for ranking purposes.)
  • 30% - Score earned on the PSB Exam
  • 30% - Cumulative GPA
NOTE: If applicants have identical ranking scores, priority will be given to the student with the highest cumulative GPA. The top 25 applicants after Phase One of the selection process will proceed to Phase Two.

Phase Two: Interview
Interviews will be conducted by a dental hygiene selection committee. Candidates will be evaluated based on overall professionalism, oral and written communication skills, and ability to meet the program requirements.
 

The panel will select a maximum of 16 students that demonstrate the potential to:

  • Succeed in the program
  • Meet the didactic and clinical rigors of the program
  • Demonstrate the necessary interpersonal skills to work as a team and interact with clients of varying ages and backgrounds
  • Complete the National Board and clinical licensure examinations
  • Be a viable part of the healthcare and dental fields

To meet the expected student learning outcomes for the dental hygiene program, the student must be able to meet the following performance requirements:

  • Motor skills/physical health: Students must possess sufficient physical ability and health to adequately acquire technical skills for the practice of dental hygiene that includes: specific diagnostic procedures; manipulation of hand instruments and air-driven instruments utilizing fine motor skills; hand and eye coordination; superior hand and finger dexterity; operating dental equipment; providing basic life support if needed; lifting or assisting patients into the dental chair if needed; ability to sit or stand for long periods; ability to work on average 8 hours per day or more; the ability for repetitive motions utilizing hand, arm and shoulders for the performance of the various oral hygiene procedures. This list provides some but not all possible abilities that the student must possess to provide safe treatment for patients.
  • Sensory/Observation Ability: Students must have visual acuity, either corrected or normal, with the ability to read syringes, labels, instructions, and various equipment utilized by the dental hygienist. The student should also be able to see with normal color spectrums to differentiate different color-coded equipment and supplies. The student must have an auditory function that is sufficient to understand normal speaking voices without viewing the speaker’s face and take/hear blood pressure with a stethoscope.
  • Communication: Students must possess the ability to communicate effectively through reading, speaking, and writing with patients, peers, and faculty to provide effective patient care. Communication encompasses speaking as well as reading and assimilating information. The student should have sufficient speaking skills as well as the ability to engage in conversation. Communication skills are essential for gathering pertinent information throughout the dental hygiene process of care and to gather information for evidence-based practice. Students must be able to write clearly and legibly, providing concise information for documentation on all patient treatment records.
  • Cognition/Intellectual/Conceptual: Students must possess the ability to use analytical/critical-thinking skills to draw conclusions or solve problems, to organize, analyze, and make information useful by employing mathematics, and to use technology as a learning resource and for information management. Students should be able to follow appropriate sequences for delivery of dental hygiene care and to multi-task as needed to complete processes in a timely fashion.
  • Behavioral/Social: Students must possess maturity and emotional stability to provide the patient with effective and safe care. Demeanor should be friendly, positive, and reassuring regardless of the situation. Additionally, students must demonstrate good judgment, compassion, and respect for varying ages, conditions, and ethnicities. Appropriate behavior is demonstrated by the ability to respond to suggestions in a positive manner, being flexible and responsive to modifications deemed necessary, prompt completion of patient-related responsibilities, and effective rapport with patients, peers, and faculty. Students’ behavior should also demonstrate compliance with all procedures and policies as well as maintaining standards of academic integrity.

Click here to view the estimated expense sheet. Applicants requiring financial aid should seek assistance through the UAFS financial services. Information on financial aid can be found here.

Students admitted into the dental hygiene program must submit the following additional documentation before fall entry:

Science courses taken more than five years before entering the program will be evaluated on an individual basis by the executive director of the dental hygiene program and the dean of the College of Health, Education, and Human Sciences. See your advisor for more information and to request a science course evaluation. 
 
The dental hygiene program is competency-based. To continue in the program, a student must maintain a 75 percent average in clinical performance and 75 percent through each didactic course.
 
A student dropped for academic or any other reason may apply for readmission if in compliance with the UAFS Student Academic Progress Policy as outlined in the course catalog. A student who discontinues the dental hygiene sequence for academic or any other reason must petition for readmission to the dental hygiene program. The readmission requirements are found in the Dental Hygiene Program Clinical Policies and Procedure Manual. (link to Readmission Criteria & Policy pdf -- I've attached it here as a word doc BUT it includes several links that will no longer work once our new site is launched. We need to review and update these!) The student is not guaranteed a position for readmission. A student who is readmitted is accountable for the degree requirements in effect at the time of readmission.
 
A grade of C or better is required in ALL courses applicable to the Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene. 

To earn a dental hygiene degree, a student must earn a grade of C or better in all required courses applicable to the dental hygiene program; earn a minimum of 2.00 cumulative GPA in all course work required for the major, and earn a minimum of a 2.00 cumulative GPA on all work attempted at the university. The student must meet with the advising coordinator to complete the graduation application one year before intended graduation. 
 
After being granted the Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene, the student is eligible to sit for the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination to become a registered dental hygienist. 
 
To apply for licensure in the state of Arkansas, the student must be a graduate of a dental hygiene program accredited by the American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The UAFS dental hygiene program meets this requirement. 

 

Completion Program (A.A.S. to B.S.)

To be considered for admission into the program, students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Complete university admission requirements to include submission of official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  2. Have a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA for all college coursework (including transfer work and excluding developmental courses) and be in good academic standing
  3. Complete required prerequisite courses for the dental hygiene completion program with a minimum of C or higher in each course before the application deadline
  4. Students may not attempt any course more than twice and be eligible for admission into the dental hygiene program.
  5. All science courses must have been completed with a lab requirement
  6. 88 hours of previous coursework including dental hygiene coursework will be required as pre-requisite courses in the subjects listed on the degree plan

NOTE:  The application process for the dental hygiene completion program requires a criminal background check. Licensure in Arkansas also requires a state and federal criminal background check.

Admission into the dental hygiene program is competitive. Students who meet the minimum criteria identified above are eligible to apply for admission. 

  1. Application Deadline – May 20 for fall entry into the program
  2. Eligible students must apply for admission to the advising coordinator for the College of Health, Education, and Human Sciences before the application deadline.

Selection is based on the following weighted system:
 

Phase One: Ranking Score

  • 40% - Quality points earned for prerequisites on the dental hygiene degree plan (College credit through CLEP or AP for a course will not be used for ranking purposes.)
  • 30% - Score earned on the PSB Exam
  • 30% - Cumulative GPA
NOTE: If applicants have identical ranking scores, priority will be given to the student with the highest cumulative GPA. The top 25 applicants after Phase One of the selection process will proceed to Phase Two.

Phase Two: Interview
Interviews will be conducted by a dental hygiene selection committee. Candidates will be evaluated based on overall professionalism, oral and written communication skills, and ability to meet the program requirements.
 

The panel will select a maximum of 16 students that demonstrate the potential to:

  • Succeed in the program
  • Meet the didactic and clinical rigors of the program
  • Demonstrate the necessary interpersonal skills to work as a team and interact with clients of varying ages and backgrounds
  • Complete the National Board and clinical licensure examinations
  • Be a viable part of the healthcare and dental fields

To meet the expected student learning outcomes for the dental hygiene program, the student must be able to meet the following performance requirements:

  • Motor skills/physical health: Students must possess sufficient physical ability and health to adequately acquire technical skills for the practice of dental hygiene that includes: specific diagnostic procedures; manipulation of hand instruments and air-driven instruments utilizing fine motor skills; hand and eye coordination; superior hand and finger dexterity; operating dental equipment; providing basic life support if needed; lifting or assisting patients into the dental chair if needed; ability to sit or stand for long periods; ability to work on average 8 hours per day or more; the ability for repetitive motions utilizing hand, arm and shoulders for the performance of the various oral hygiene procedures. This list provides some but not all possible abilities that the student must possess to provide safe treatment for patients.
  • Sensory/Observation Ability: Students must have visual acuity, either corrected or normal, with the ability to read syringes, labels, instructions, and various equipment utilized by the dental hygienist. The student should also be able to see with normal color spectrums to differentiate different color-coded equipment and supplies. The student must have an auditory function that is sufficient to understand normal speaking voices without viewing the speaker’s face and take/hear blood pressure with a stethoscope.
  • Communication: Students must possess the ability to communicate effectively through reading, speaking, and writing with patients, peers, and faculty to provide effective patient care. Communication encompasses speaking as well as reading and assimilating information. The student should have sufficient speaking skills as well as the ability to engage in conversation. Communication skills are essential for gathering pertinent information throughout the dental hygiene process of care and to gather information for evidence-based practice. Students must be able to write clearly and legibly, providing concise information for documentation on all patient treatment records.
  • Cognition/Intellectual/Conceptual: Students must possess the ability to use analytical/critical-thinking skills to draw conclusions or solve problems, to organize, analyze, and make information useful by employing mathematics, and to use technology as a learning resource and for information management. Students should be able to follow appropriate sequences for delivery of dental hygiene care and to multi-task as needed to complete processes in a timely fashion.
  • Behavioral/Social: Students must possess maturity and emotional stability to provide the patient with effective and safe care. Demeanor should be friendly, positive, and reassuring regardless of the situation. Additionally, students must demonstrate good judgment, compassion, and respect for varying ages, conditions, and ethnicities. Appropriate behavior is demonstrated by the ability to respond to suggestions in a positive manner, being flexible and responsive to modifications deemed necessary, prompt completion of patient-related responsibilities, and effective rapport with patients, peers, and faculty. Students’ behavior should also demonstrate compliance with all procedures and policies as well as maintaining standards of academic integrity.

Click here to view the estimated expense sheet. Applicants requiring financial aid should seek assistance through the UAFS financial services. Information on financial aid can be found here.

Students admitted into the dental hygiene program must submit the following additional documentation before fall entry:

Science courses taken more than five years before entering the program will be evaluated on an individual basis by the executive director of the dental hygiene program and the dean of the College of Health, Education, and Human Sciences. See your advisor for more information and to request a science course evaluation. 
 
The dental hygiene program is competency-based. To continue in the program, a student must maintain a 75 percent average in clinical performance and 75 percent through each didactic course.
 
A student dropped for academic or any other reason may apply for readmission if in compliance with the UAFS Student Academic Progress Policy as outlined in the course catalog. A student who discontinues the dental hygiene sequence for academic or any other reason must petition for readmission to the dental hygiene program. The readmission requirements are found in the Dental Hygiene Program Clinical Policies and Procedure Manual. The student is not guaranteed a position for readmission. A student who is readmitted is accountable for the degree requirements in effect at the time of readmission.
 
A grade of C or better is required in ALL courses applicable to the Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene. 

To earn a dental hygiene degree, a student must earn a grade of C or better in all required courses applicable to the dental hygiene program; earn a minimum of 2.00 cumulative GPA in all course work required for the major, and earn a minimum of a 2.00 cumulative GPA on all work attempted at the university. The student must meet with the advising coordinator to complete the graduation application one year before intended graduation. 
 
After being granted the Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene, the student is eligible to sit for the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination to become a registered dental hygienist. 
 
To apply for licensure in the state of Arkansas, the student must be a graduate of a dental hygiene program accredited by the American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The UAFS dental hygiene program meets this requirement.