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Pre-Dental Hygiene

Program Information

Admission into a dental hygiene program is based on scholastic record, demonstrated aptitude and interest and a personal interview conducted by the departmental admissions committee. Students apply to the professional program on the MCV campus through Undergraduate Admissions (www.ugrad.vcu.edu/apply/apply_mcvcampus.html) in the fall of the year preceding the year of desired admission. For example a student planning to start the program in fall 2013 should apply in fall 2012.

Advising Information

Pre-requisite course work

ALL pre-requisite coursework needs to be completed by end of spring semester of the desired year of admission. NO pre-requisite coursework during the summer – no exceptions! Elective or other courses (non required) can be taken during the summer.

Writing and English (Composition and Rhetoric) – 9 Credits

(3) UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I
(3) UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II
(3) UNIV 200 Writing and Rhetoric Workshop II

Mathematics – 4 credits

  • Students may be required to take the Math Placement Test.
  • Students may test out of this requirement on the math placement test.

(3) MATH 151 Pre-calculus

Statistics – 3 credits

  • Depending on the results of the mathematics placement test students may have to take MATH 141 Algebra and Applications prior to taking STAT 210.
  • Business Statistics is not acceptable.

(3) STAT 208 or STAT 210

**Please review the statistics requirement for your major to determine whether you should complete STAT 208 or STAT 210.

Biology – 16 Credits

  • VCU requires 16 credits in Biology.
  • BIOL 151 and BIOZ 151 or BIOL 152 and BIOZ 152 can be used in place of BIOL 101 and BIOZ 101.
General Biology – 4 credits

(3) BIOL 101 – Biological Concepts
(1) BIOZ 101 – Biological Concepts Laboratory

Human Anatomy and Physiology – 8 credits

(3) BIOL 205 Human Anatomy
(1) BIOZ 205 Human Anatomy Laboratory
(3) PHIS 206 Human Physiology
(1) PHIZ 206 Human Physiology Laboratory

Microbiology – 4 credits

(3) BIOL 209 Medical Microbiology
(1) BIOZ 209 Medical Microbiology Laboratory

Chemistry – 4 credits

(3) CHEM 101 General Chemistry I
(1) CHEZ 101 General Chemistry Lab I

*The prerequisite for CHEM 101 is MATH 151 Precalculus Math.  Although MATH 151 is not required for admission to the Dental Hygiene program at VCU, it is required in order to register for CHEM 101 and therefore functions as one of the elective classes.

Humanities – 3 credits

ENGL 215 Readings in Literature

HIST 201 The Art of Historical Detection

HUMS 250 Reading Film

PHIL 201 Critical Thinking About Moral Problems

WRLD 203 Cultural Texts and Contexts

WRLD 230 Introduction to World Cinema

Sociology – 3 credits

(3) SOCY 101 General Sociology

Psychology – 4 credits

(4) PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology

Speech – 3 credits

(3) SPCH 121 Effective Speech

Visual/Performing Arts – 3 credits

Electives – 12 credit

  • In addition to the coursework listed above, applicants must have enough elective credits to total 60 semester hours.
  • Students should consult with their academic advisor prior to registering to determine which electives are appropriate.
  • Students can take general education courses in areas that are not specified in the list of prerequisites. See your advisor for more details

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Admissions requirements

  • Admission to the program is based on scholastic record, demonstrated aptitude and interest and credential review conducted by the department admissions committee.
  • Two years of required prerequisites with a minimum or 60 semester hours are required.
  • Grades of “C” or better in all pre-requisite courses.
  • Science courses must be completed within six years of matriculation.
  • To successfully complete the dental hygiene curriculum, students are required to clearly communicate with faculty, students, staff and patients. Accordingly, applicants may be required to provide evidence of their proficiency in American English via standardized tests. To assure such competence, the Dental Hygiene Program requires any applicant whose native language is not English and who has been educated primarily outside of the United States to submit official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is accepted as an alternate exam of English language proficiency.  TOEFL/IETLS scores MUST BE SUBMITTED WITH YOUR APPLICATION. NO exceptions.
  • A minimum grade-point-average of 2.5 based on a four-point scale in the cumulative courses and a minimum GPA of 2.7 in the math/science and designated prerequisite courses GPA is required for admission.
    • The dental hygiene program is competitive. For the class starting in fall 2008, there were 140 applicants for 24 seats.
    • The average GPA for students admitted to the Dental Hygiene Program in 2006, 2007, and 2008 has been 3.66, 3.57, and 3.55, respectively (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Complete application package, including required transcripts, references and personal statement must be received by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions on the MCV campus (Sanger Hall, 1101 E. Marshall St.) on or before Feb. 15 (not postmarked by Feb. 15). Any application that does not meet the above stipulations will not be processed.
  • As part of the selection process, a candidate may be asked to participate in a personal interview process.
  • As an applicant to the Division of Dental Hygiene at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry, all accepted candidates, prior to matriculation, will be required to submit to a criminal background check (CBC). A final decision about matriculation will be made after a review of the applicant’s CBC. The rationale for performing criminal background checks:
    • to foster patient safety and well being.
    • to bolster the continuing trust of the public in the dental hygiene profession.
    • to ascertain the ability of accepted applicants and enrolled dental hygiene students to eventually become licensed dentist hygienists, and
    • to minimize the liability of dental schools and their affiliated clinical facilities.The criminal background check will not be a component of the application, interview, or selection process but will be a mandatory component of the pre-matriculation process. The final decision regarding matriculation of an applicant will be based on the self-reported information in the candidate’s application and information in the CBC report. Factors involved in the final decision may include, but are not limited to:* the nature, circumstances, and frequency of any reported offense(s).
    • length of time since the offense(s).
    • available information that addresses efforts at rehabilitation
    • the accuracy of the information provided by the applicant.The information obtained through a criminal background check will not become part of a student’s academic file and will remain confidential unless the findings result in an institutional action by the School of Dentistry.Only candidates offered class positions and alternate-list candidates will be asked to provide criminal background checks prior to matriculation. Candidates will be responsible for the cost of the CBC.

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Additional Requirements

  • Admission to the program is based on scholastic record, demonstrated aptitude and interest, and a credential review conducted by the department admissions committee.
  • Two years of prerequisites with a minimum or 60 semester hours are required.
  • Grades of “C” or better in all pre-requisite courses.
  • Science courses must be completed within six years of matriculation.
  • A minimum grade-point-average of 2.5 based on a four-point scale in the cumulative courses, and a minimum GPA of 2.7 in the math/science and designated prerequisite courses is required for admission.
    • The dental hygiene program is competitive. About 25 students are accepted each year.
    • The 5-year GPA average GPA (on a 4.0 scale) has been:
  • For information about GPA; English Language proficiency, TOEFL; IELTS ; Criminal Background Check (CBC) and answers to frequently asked questions, visit

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Application Information

Applicants apply and submit documentation electronically. The electronic portions of the application procedures (including letters of reference) must be submitted no later than midnight on February 15. In addition all transcripts must be received (not postmarked) in the office of Undergraduate Admissions on or before February 15.

Review and understand all information provided on the Division of Dental Hygiene website for in-depth information on the admissions process.

A completed application must include application for undergraduate admission and application fee; transcripts, Supplemental information (additional information; to be submitted electronically prior to asking your references to submit a recommendation for you) and two personal references from college-level math or science instructors (submitted electronically).

Further advice for collecting letters of recommendation and transcripts is available at www.ugrad.vcu.edu/apply/dental/Default.aspx

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Volunteer hours and health care experience

Volunteer hours are not required for admittance to the dental hygiene program. As a dental hygiene student, you will participate in several hours of volunteer/community service work. It is always a benefit to have some volunteer/work experience. It is recommended that students get some experience working in a dental office so they can learn more about the profession prior to making application.

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Interviews

Following review of admission credentials, some applicants may require an interview with the admissions committee. If an interview is needed, the department will contact you. Applicants are notified of committee decisions at the earliest possible date.

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DENS 101

Each spring the VCU School of Dentistry offers a one-credit course, DENS 101 Introduction to Dentistry. The course introduces undergraduates to the field of dentistry and helps them gain practical exposure to the field while pursuing pre-requisite course work. It is recommended that pre-dental students take this course in their freshman year or the spring semester directly after transfer into VCU.

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The Pre-Dentistry Club @ VCU

The Dental Club @ VCU is a student-run organization that assists students in the dental school application process by exposing them to the dental profession, as well as sponsoring events and programs to help students in the application process. Events include presentations from deans of admission and trips to dental schools to tour facilities and meet with faculty and students. Visit the club’s Web site to find out how to get involved.

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Helpful links

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