Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene

Preparing You for a Variety of Dental Job Opportunities

The two-year entry-level Associate of Applied Science (AAS) program prepares the graduate for a variety of job opportunities.  A Dental Hygienist may render services in various health care delivery settings. These settings include private dental offices, public schools, public health programs, professional schools, hospitals or the armed forces.  The opportunity to practice in other nations is consistent with the increasing need for Dental Hygienists worldwide. 

TSU AAS Dental Hygiene Curriculum Map


In addition to University admission requirements, applicants to the two-year AAS degree program must meet the following program requirements to be considered for admission:

  1. A minimum high school average of 2.5  on a 4.0 scale.

  2. One year of high school algebra, biology, and chemistry.  If you were deficient in any of these courses we will accept one semester at the college level. 

  3. A minimum college average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

  4. A composite score of 19 or better on the ACT, or an equivalent score on the SAT (980).

  5. One semester of English composition at the college level.*

  6. One semester of Microbiology/Bacteriology at the college level.*

  7. Anatomy & Physiology I and II at the college level.* 

  8. General Chemistry I at the college level.*

  9. One letter of recommendation from a science teacher describing the applicant's potential for success in the Dental Hygiene curriculum.**

  10. One character recommendation describing the applicant's potential for success in a Dental Hygiene curriculum i.e., from coach, church member etc. 

  11. A brief autobiographical sketch in the applicant's handwriting.

  12. ATDH regisration conducted online. Benchmark range 300-350

  13. TOEFL EXAM (If Applicable) 
  14. A personal interview will be scheduled for the competitive applicants. (Critical Thinking Assessment Test to be administered)

  15. Once admitted into the program, a complete health examination report on the official forms provided by the Department of Dental Hygiene downloadable from this site.

  16. Once admitted into the program, a criminal background check will be required of all applicants.

*Anatomy and Physiology I and II and Microbiology/Bacteriology must have been taken within the last 5 years upon applying for the program.  All prerequisite courses and requirements must be completed and passed with a minimum grade of C or better for consideration for acceptance into the program.   Competitive candidates typically earn higher grades than the minimum required.

**If the applicant has had a long period of absence from an academic program, references from employers, counselors, or other community, leaders who know the applicant, may substitute for references from science teachers.

Admission into Dental Hygiene is required prior to enrolling in any Dental Hygiene Courses.

Accreditation Status

The Tennessee State University Dental Hygiene Associate of Applied Science Degree Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611, (312) 440-4653.

Telephone Numbers to Remember
(All numbers are in area code 615 and begin with prefix 963)

 Dental Hygiene


 College of Health Sciences






 Financial Aid


 Bursar's Office


 Residence Life


 Student Affairs


 Student Health Center


Direct correspondence to our Admissions Coordinator:

Prof. Gary-Lee A. Lewis

Tennessee State University is committed to the education of a non-racially identifiable student body.

Statement of Affirmative Action 

Tennessee State University, in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, or sex in any of its policies or procedures. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, persons needing assistance with these materials should contact the Department of Dental Hygiene.


View Bachelors Degree
NOTE:  Tennessee State University is voluntarily placing the Bachelor of Sciences Degree Completion (BSDC) program on Inactive Status in order to deliver the program through a fully online platform, pending approval from the TSU Board of Trustees.  As a result of this action, applications are no longer being accepted for the BS Degree Completion in Dental Hygiene. The program will graduate its last class in spring 2020.  Please monitor the website for updates related to the BS Degree Completion program. This program is still approved and accredited.

If you have questions please contact Prof. Gary-Lee A. Lewis, Department Chair at 615-963-5801. 

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webpage contact:
Dental Hygiene