Students interested in the pre-health major in dental hygiene must complete the two-year program requirements (a total minimum of 60 credits) for application to the Bachelor of Science degree program in dental hygiene offered by the VCU School of Dentistry. Applications to the program are normally submitted in spring of the sophomore year. Students planning to start the program in the fall would begin the admissions process during the fall semester of the preceding year. Students apply to the baccalaureate program through the American Dental Education Association Dental Hygiene Centralized Application Service in the spring of the year preceding entrance. All prerequisite course work should be completed by the spring of the year of desired admission.

Completion of the pre-health major in dental hygiene does not guarantee admission to the junior- and senior-year program for the B.S. in Dental Hygiene nor does it result in a college degree. Students must be admitted to and complete all program requirements to earn a baccalaureate degree in dental hygiene. Admission into the program is based on both academic and nonacademic qualities (work ethic, knowledge of the profession, motivation, compassion, integrity, communication skills, leadership and desire to contribute to society, resiliency, willingness to accept responsibility, and maturity). Students are strongly encouraged to consult with a UAA pre-health major academic adviser to learn about admission requirements that are specific to the program and to speak about alternate/parallel majors. For more information about the admission requirements and application deadlines for the B.S. in Dental Hygiene, visit the program’s website

Requirements for the pre-health major in dental hygiene

Students in the pre-health major in dental hygiene must complete the specific prerequisite courses outlined below, totaling a minimum 60 credit hours. The Dental Hygiene Program does not accept grades of D and all courses taken (repeated) are factored into the GPA. Please note that online math/science course are not acceptable. Science courses must be completed within six years of matriculation. Applicants who are non-native English speakers must have a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper), 213 (computer) or 80 (internet-based).

Students interested in the pre-health major in dental hygiene must complete biological concepts and laboratory, human anatomy (laboratory included), human physiology and laboratory, medical microbiology and laboratory, and general chemistry I and laboratory. The non-science prerequisites for the pre-pre-health major are: English composition (UNIV 111, UNIV 112 and UNIV 200), statistics, introduction to psychology, introduction to sociology, effective speech, a visual or performing arts course, humanities elective, and elective courses to complete the 60 credit-hour requirement needed to enroll in the dental hygiene degree program. DENS 101, although not required, is highly recommended.

The remainder of the 60 required credits can be chosen from any of the following areas of study: science, math, computer usage, first aid and CPR, and humanities. Science electives are strongly recommended.

Following a review of admissions credentials, eligible and competitive applicants will require an interview with the admissions committee. The department will contact the student/applicant to schedule the interview. Applicants are notified of committee decisions at the earliest possible date.

Changing to the pre-health major in dental hygiene from another major

Current VCU students who wish to change their major to the pre-health major in dental hygiene must meet the following criteria to be considered for the major:

  • Minimum GPA of 2.8
  • No more than 75 credits completed

Students who do not meet these requirements may see a pre-health adviser, but they will be referred for programming and not assigned to an adviser.

Prerequisites for the dental hygiene program

VCU courses
BIOL   101
BIOZ   101
Biological Concepts
and Biological Concepts Laboratory
4
BIOL   205Basic Human Anatomy4
BIOL   209
BIOZ   209
Medical Microbiology
and Medical Microbiology Laboratory
4
CHEM   101
CHEZ   101
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory I 1
4
PHIS   206
PHIZ   206
Human Physiology
and Human Physiology Laboratory
4
PSYC   101 Play VideoPlay course video for Introduction to PsychologyIntroduction to Psychology4
SPCH   121Effective Speech3
SOCY   101 Play VideoPlay course video for Introduction to SociologyIntroduction to Sociology3
STAT   210Basic Practice of Statistics 23
UNIV   111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I3
UNIV   112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II3
UNIV   200Inquiry and the Craft of Argument3
Humanities elective3
Visual or performing arts3
Electives to reach 60 credit-hour minimum requirement for entrance into the program12
Total Hours60
1

The prerequisite for CHEM 101 is CHEM 100 with a minimum grade of C or high school chemistry and a satisfactory combination of math SAT score and high school GPA. The math pre- or corequisite is MATH 151 (precalculus). CHEM 100 and MATH 151 can be used to count toward the elective requirements. 

2

The prerequisite for STAT 210 is MATH 131, MATH 141, MATH 151 or satisfactory score on the VCU Mathematics Placement Test within the one-year period immediately preceding the beginning of the course. 

Sample curriculum outline

Freshman year
Fall semesterHours
BIOL   101
BIOZ   101
Biological Concepts
and Biological Concepts Laboratory
4
MATH   151 Precalculus Mathematics 4
PSYC   101 Play VideoPlay course video for Introduction to Psychology Introduction to Psychology 4
UNIV   111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I Focused Inquiry I 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
BIOL   205 Basic Human Anatomy 4
CHEM   101
CHEZ   101
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory I
4
SOCY   101 Play VideoPlay course video for Introduction to Sociology Introduction to Sociology 3
STAT   210 Basic Practice of Statistics 3
UNIV   112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II Focused Inquiry II 3
 Term Hours: 17
Sophomore year
Fall semester
PHIS   206
PHIZ   206
Human Physiology
and Human Physiology Laboratory
4
SPCH   121 Effective Speech 3
UNIV   200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Visual or performing arts 3
 Term Hours: 13
Spring semester
BIOL   209
BIOZ   209
Medical Microbiology
and Medical Microbiology Laboratory
4
Humanities elective 3
Electives 8-9
 Term Hours: 15-16
 Total Hours: 60-61

Total minimum requirement (for admission to dental hygiene program) 60 credits