Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene

Apply to the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program

The Indiana University School of Dentistry offers a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (B.S.D.H.) degree program with two tracks: health care administration, and public health dental hygiene. You must complete between 30 hours of prerequisite coursework at IU Indianapolis or another college or university before you can be admitted to the B.S.D.H. program—there is no direct admission for high school students.

If you complete your prerequisite coursework at another college or university, you must be admitted to IU Indianapolis before you can apply to the B.S.D.H. program.

Admission requirements

To be eligible to apply to the B.S.D.H. program, you must:

  • Have a cumulative college GPA of at least 2.7 (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Complete all prerequisite coursework by the end of the spring semester of the year in which you wish to enter the program. You must complete your prerequisite coursework at IU Indianapolis or another college or university— there is no direct admission to the B.S.D.H. program for high school students.
  • Earn a grade of C or higher in all prerequisite courses. All courses must have letter grades; no pass/fail courses are accepted.
  • Have a GPA of at least 3.0 in these prerequisite courses: chemistry of life, human anatomy, human physiology, and microbiology with immunology. All required science courses must have been completed within the past five years. Note: An applicant may repeat any prerequisite course one time and the higher grade will be used in GPA calculations considered for entrance to the B.S.D.H. program.
  • Complete a minimum of eight hours of observation of licensed dental hygienists in two different private practice settings.

Prerequisite coursework (30 credit hours)

  • BIOL-N 217 Human Physiology (5 credit hours) 
  • BIOL-N 261 Human Anatomy (5 credit hours) 
  • CHEM-C 110 Chemistry of Life and CHEM-C 115 lab (5 credit hours)
  • COMM-R 110 Public Speaking (3 credit hours)
  • ENG-W 131 English: Writing and Rhetoric (3 credit hours)
  • MICR-J 210 Microbiology and Immunology (4 credit hours)
  • PSY-B 110 Introductory Psychology (3 credit hours)
  • SOC-R 100 Introductory Sociology (3 credit hours)

Application criteria

The Dental Hygiene Admissions Committee uses a holistic review process to select a diverse group of qualified applicants for admission to the B.S.D.H. program. The committee will consider your academic record, personal interview, and exposure to the field of dental hygiene, as well as your motivation, character, personality, and ethics.


When reviewing your academic record, the Dental Hygiene Admissions Committee will consider your cumulative GPA, your science prerequisite GPA, your prerequisite GPA, and whether you have satisfactorily completed all prerequisite coursework.

The School of Dentistry does not give preference to IU graduates.

Step 2: Apply to the B.S.D.H. program

You will apply to the B.S.D.H. program through Dental Hygiene Centralized Application Service (DHCAS), an online application service managed by the American Dental Education Association. The DHCAS admission cycle will open mid-October 2024 and close on February 1, 2025. Only DHCAS-verified applications that have all required application materials and are submitted by the deadline will be considered.

ADEA provides resources to help applicants submit their DHCAS application such as tips for applying and the ADEA DHCAS Applicant Help Center which includes an overview of the application process and instructions. The ADEA DHCAS Program Finder helps applicants explore the profiles of all ADEA DHCAS participating programs and learn more details about the program requirements.

All application materials must be submitted via DHCAS. Do not send any application materials to the School of Dentistry. The deadline to apply for admission to the B.S.D.H. program is February 1 each year.

Required application materials include:

You must request official transcripts from each college or university you have attended, including dual credit hours taken in high school. When you fill out the DHCAS application, you will receive instructions for submitting your transcripts.

In 500 words or fewer, explain why you chose to pursue a career in dental hygiene and how you have prepared for this career path. Describe any accomplishments you achieved and any obstacles or challenges you overcame that affected your preparation for the B.S.D.H. program.

When you fill out the DHCAS application, you will receive instructions for submitting your personal statement.

We recommend that you shadow 2 dental hygienists for 4 hours each, in dental offices to understand the day-to-day practice of dental hygiene.
Documentation of dental hygiene shadowing consists of submitting the hours shadowed on dental office letterhead with the date and signature of the hygienist or dentist of the office.

When you fill out the DHCAS application, you will receive instructions for submitting documentation of your experiences.

Step 3: Personal Interview

All application materials must be submitted and verified by DHCAS before an interview can be scheduled. If you are selected for an interview, you will be notified by e-mail through DHCAS approximately two weeks prior to the interview date with the information necessary to join the interview. Interviews are conducted after spring break of the admission year.

You will be notified by email at the end of May if you’re accepted into the program. An official acceptance letter will follow in the mail. You are required to respond to the email by the deadline given in it.