Institutional Program Policies

General and Admissions Information

Admission Philosophy: The Department of Dental Hygiene is committed to ensure an educational program of excellence to its students. Therefore, admission to the Dental Hygiene program is considered on a competitive basis. The committee is charged with the responsibility of reviewing the applicants and accepting those who possess the finest credentials based on the listed admission requirements mentioned below. Two other areas are also considered in the admissions process:

  • ACADEMIC APTITUDE:  Students entering the program must hold a strong educational base and the ability to understand the basic sciences. 
  • PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES:  Dental hygiene is regarded as a "people profession".  The capability to communicate, provide and obtain cooperation from others is a necessity.  The ability to manage stress and ownership of high ethical standards with the ability to implement these standards is a desirable quality. 

After the application deadline of January 15th, March 15 and May 15 candidates are interviewed individually by members of the Admissions Committee the spring prior to the fall semester for which admission is being requested.


APPLICATION MATERIALS:  The required admission materials for the Associate Degree must be completed and returned to the Department as an all-in-one packet, which includes the following materials:

  • LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION: one letter (does not have to be confidential) should be presented from the science teacher, at the college level, describing the applicants' potential for success in the Dental Hygiene Program.  If the applicant has had a long period of absence from an academic program, references from an employer, counselor, or other community leader, who knows the applicant, may be considered as a substitute.
  • COPIES OF TRANSCRIPT(S):  High School and College is recommended.  Official or Unofficial transcript acceptable.
  • COPY OF TSU TRANSCRIPT:  Official or unofficial acceptable. 

Admission, Progression/Retention, Readmission Requirements

Students must be accepted into the University and be advised by the Dental Hygiene Department faculty to ensure students are completing the required courses for the AAS and BS degree programs.

All high school and college deficiencies, developmental, remedial, courses and pre-requisite courses must be completed before being admitted to the AAS and BS degree programs.  Students are admitted on a space available basis.

Admissions Policy

Students who meet the admissions requirements for the Dental Hygiene Program must complete the admissions process. 

  1. The required admission materials for the Associate Degree Dental Hygiene Program are a completed Department of Dental Hygiene application; with copies of the following information attached and turned in to the department in an all-in-one packet:

    • One letter of recommendation from a science teacher describing the applicant's potential for success in the dental hygiene curriculum.  If an 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.

    • Copies of transcripts from all other institutions.

    • Copy of current TSU transcript.

    • TSU admission letter for new and newly re-admitted students.

    • One character recommendation.

    • A brief autobiographical sketch in the applicant's hand writing.

    • Submission of the Student Health Services Medical History Questionnaire Form to The Department of Dental Hygiene.

    • A personal interview.  Interviews may be arranged for applicants who live beyond 300 miles of the University.

  2. The Department of Dental Hygiene will begin accepting applications September 30 through January 15.  It is advisable to send the entire application packet at one time during the application period.     

  3. The Admissions Committee will consider students who have submitted completed application materials by the first application cycle January 15, the second cycle March 15 or by the third application cycle May 15.  A ranking system is used which considers the number of required general courses completed.

  4. Applications received after each application cycle deadline (January 15, March 15, & May 15) will not be considered.   It is advisable to send the entire application packet at one time during the application period.  Applicants will be contacted or mailed a letter of incomplete application after the deadline and their materials will not be held.  Students who are not admitted may re-apply for the next academic year.

  5. Students who are admitted into the program must have a health examination indicating the following required immunizations:  Hepatitis B, Tetnus, MMR.  Evidence of a negative Tuberculosis skin test is also required.

  6. Students who are admitted into the program must show evidence of current CPR certification in order to attend dental hygiene clinics.

  7. Students who are admitted into the program must expect expenses in addition to the university's tuition and fees.  This amount covers instruments and other supplies needed for clinical courses These monies are paid directly to vendors. Click here for Estimated Costs. 

Progression/Retention Policy

Grades less than "C" earned in dental hygiene courses are considered non-passing. Students are required to maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 for each academic year. Students who earn a non-passing grade in a dental hygiene course(s) are unable to progress.  Dismissal from the program may result from documented poor studentship.

Recommendations for advancement are the charge of the Dental Hygiene Evaluation Committee, which meets following mid-term and the final examination periods.

Students who have been dismissed from the Dental Hygiene Program are eligible for reconsideration only under extenuating circumstances.

Students who earn a non-passing grade in any supporting science course or any Dental Hygiene Course will not be permitted to take the next sequential course(s).

Students will be dismissed from the professional program for either of the following:

  1. Failure to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above.

  2. A grade of less than "C" in two (2) or more major field courses.

  3. A grade of less than "C" in two (2) or more clinical experiences.

  4. A grade of less than "C" in a course that has been repeated.

  5. Withdrawal from any Dental Hygiene course or failure to register for any semester without prior written approval from the Department.

Readmission Policy

A student who earns a failing grade in a Dental Hygiene Course and wants to re-apply must do so, in writing, to the Program Director for re-entry at least six weeks before the beginning of the semester re-entry is requested.  An updated transcript is required.  Re-admissions are based on previous performance in dental hygiene courses, faculty recommendations, and available faculty and clinical resources.  There is no guarantee that any student will be re-admitted.

A student who earns a second failing grade in any dental hygiene course at TSU cannot continue in the program.

Students who withdraw from the program may be reviewed (one time only), by the faculty to determine, on an individual basis, if they are eligible for re-admission to the program.