Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene
Admissions Criteria

The dental hygienist is a member of the dental health team who provides educational, preventive and therapeutic oral health services.  Employment opportunities may be available in private dental practice, hospitals, public health agencies, educational institutions, and research.

Bachelor of Science degree in public health dental hygiene is offered for dental hygienists who desire career options such as: public health, teaching, research, business and marketing.  This degree is awarded upon completion of an additional 32 credit hours beyond the Associate of Science degree. 

Average Salary for a Dental Hygienist

Salaries for dental hygienists vary depending on location and type of practice.  The last reported survey from the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics dated 2012 shows that the median yearly salary for dental hygienists in Indiana was $63,390 and the median hourly salary was $30.48.  Also in 2012, according to America's Career InfoNet, the median annual salaries ranged from $65,600 (Indiana) to $70,200 (US). 

Pre-Dental Hygiene Curriculum

High School Course Recommendations

IUPUI supports the State of Indiana's Core 40 curriculum.  Therefore, students should complete Core 40 to be sure they satisfy the course requirements for regular admission to most programs. Academic preparation should include graduation from an accredited high school with four units of English and a combined total of at least nine units from the following three areas with representation in each: mathematics, science (biology and chemistry), and social studies or foreign languages.

Computer Literacy
Faculty members of Indiana University School of Dentistry Dental Hygiene Program expect dental hygiene students to use computers well enough to log on the Internet to access information (including some course content).
Expectations include the ability to search for dentistry related materials and to return to an interesting site by using bookmarks.  Students must have basic word processing skills and to be able to use word processing programs.  Students will also be expected to log on to an e-mail account to communicate with other students and faculty.  The program provides remediation in basic online research strategies.  On-site word processors are available at IUSD and the IUPUI libraries.
Gen-Ed Core
Beginning in fall 2013, all beginning first-year students at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) will complete 30 hours of general education course work (the IUPUI General Education Core) prior to graduation with either an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree. This course work is aligned with the Indiana Statewide Transferable General Education Core competency domains and once completed, will subsequently transfer to another Indiana state educational institution.

Required College Courses - One semester of each unless otherwise indicated:

English Composition (3)
-  Elementary Chemistry with Laboratory (a minimum of four (4) semester hours)
-  Human Anatomy (a minimum of three (3) semester hours)
-  Human Physiology (a minimum of three (3) semester hours)
-  Microbiology with laboratory (a minimum of four (4) semester hours – the       
   microbiology course must include immunology)
 Introductory Psychology (3)                                           
-  Introductory Sociology (3)              
-  Public Speaking (3) (Interpersonal Communications does not fulfill this requirement)
- One Arts and Humanities Course (Choose from approved list below.) (Recommended:  Ethics - PHIL-P120; Giving and Volunteering in America -PHST-P105)

Required College Courses - Can be taken at any time in the curriculum

- One Cultural Understanding course (Choose from approved list below.) (Recommended:  Spanish - SPAN-S131)
- One Analytical Reasoning course  (Finite Mathematics MATH-M118)
- One Statistics course (Elementary Statistics Method 1 - STAT 30100 or Statistics - PSY-B305
Please click on the following degree completion map for more information.  Degree Map
Beginning with the 2013 application process Advanced Placement courses will be accepted as meeting prerequisite requirements.
If you have any questions regarding acceptable courses, please contact IUSD Student Affairs.

Eligibility Requirements

  • A minimum college cumulative GPA of 2.50
  • A minimum science (elementary chemistry lecture and lab, microbiology lecture and lab, human anatomy and physiology) prerequisite GPA of 2.70.
  • All required science courses must have been completed within the past (7) seven years
  • All prerequisite courses listed above must be complete by the end of the spring semester of the year in which students wish to enter the program. 
  • Personal Statement
  • Observation at two (2) separate Dental Offices for a minimum of 8 hours total
  • Completion of Dental Hygiene Applicant Orientation 

Application Procedures Have Changed Beginning September 2013

  1. IUPUI Application  - Applicants who are not currently IUPUI students must submit an IUPUI application.  The online IUPUI application requires payment of a $55.00 application fee using a credit card at the time of submission.    Updated official transcripts must be sent to the IUPUI Admissions Office at the end of each semester/quarter of coursework.  If you are currently attending classes at another IU campus or department, you can select to transfer and you will not be required to pay this fee.
  2. 2014 DH Application -  IUSD is using a new centralized system through ADEA (American Dental Education Association), The system is referred to as DHCAS. The Indiana University School of Dentistry requires no application fee, but DHCAS does require a fee of $95.00.  However, this fee can be waived, if you qualify. 
  3. APPLICATION DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 1st . Note when applying you will need to have your college transcript(s) available to enter all college course work you have completed and plan to complete.  If college courses are not entered, your application will not be considered. The Student Records and Admissions Office will notify applicants by email as to the status of their application and additional information that may be required.
  4. Official College Transcripts:  DO NOT send official transcripts to the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs.  All transcripts must be entered through DHCAS.
  5. Dental Assisting Transcript: Are required from applicants who have or are attending a Dental Assisting program.
  6. Dental Hygiene Personal Statement  The personal statement is included as part of the electronic application and is required upon submitting the application.   Please explain why you chose to pursue a career in dental hygiene and how you have prepared for this field.  Describe any accomplishments you achieved, obstacles you cleared, or challenges you overcame that impacted your preparation for the dental hygiene program.  Please limit your statement to 500 words.
  7. Dental Hygiene Practice Observation Documentation   All applicants are required to observe practicing dental hygienists a minimum of 8 hours in two different private practice settings.  Each dental hygienist must document your observation by providing the following information on their office letterhead:  your name, date and time of observation and their signature.  You may upload your observation hours through the personal letters of recommendation section on the DHCAS application.
  8. Completion of the Required Dental Hygiene Applicant Orientation.  Applicants to the program must either attend the In-house orientation or complete the online orientation. Registration forms will be emailed to you after your application has been reviewed. 
IUSD requires Criminal Background Checks from all applications who receive offers of admissions. 
All questions concerning course prerequisites taken at various colleges and universities, credit transfer and admissions requirements should be directed to:  
Indiana University School of Dentistry 
Office of Admissions and Student Affairs
1121 W. Michigan Street, Room 105 
Indianapolis, IN 46202  
Telephone: (317) 274-8173    
Fax: (317) 278-9066

Nondiscriminatory Policy

Indiana University complies with all Federal Regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, age, or handicapped in matters pertaining to admissions, employment and access to programs. The University has an Affirmative Action Program and an Affirmative Action Office on each Campus to ensure compliance with these regulations. Persons with questions regarding discrimination should contact the Affirmative Action Office on their Campus.