Professional Entry-Level

In this highly-regarded program, you complete your requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree while gaining hands-on experience in dental hygiene. This is a full-time program, which takes two years to complete as you work through the curriculum in consecutive semesters, including two summer terms. The program begins in the summer semester of the year in which you are accepted.

This program is offered on TWU's Denton campus.

The BS in Dental Hygiene prepares graduates to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and the Clinical State Board Examination and to apply for a license to practice through the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners. If you are a resident of another state, contact our department to determine whether our program fulfills requirements to apply for licensure in your home state.

Careers & Salaries

Having a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene provides a variety of career paths, including:

Salary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The American Dental Hygienist Association provides more information on dental hygiene career opportunities.

Why Dental Hygiene at TWU?

We are one of the few universities in Texas to offer an accredited bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. In addition to learning from experienced and caring professors, you will gain hands-on experience in our on-site where you will practice evidence-based decision making and critical thinking.

Our program also highlights alternative practice and careers, expanding your career opportunities after graduation. Additionally, you will learn about oral health from a global perspective.

Smiling woman with long brown hair

TWU stands out because it is affordable and offers a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene. I'm getting a great education that will lead to many career options.

Nicole Holstein, DH Professional Entry-Level Program '18

Program Requirements

This program requires 60 credit hours of coursework, following successful completion of 60 hours of specific core and foundational prerequisites.

  • Immunizations: You must submit documentation showing all required immunizations are current to Student Health Services at TWU. Immunizations must also remain current throughout enrollment. Without immunizations, you will not be able to participate in required externships, clinical rotations or client interactions on campus.
  • Background check: Before beginning the dental hygiene program a criminal background check is required and provided by TWU. In addition, some externships and clinical rotation sites require additional background checks that are your responsibility to complete at your expense. Inability to participate in clinical experiences will hinder or preclude a student from either entering into or continuing in the program.
    • If you have you had a conviction or had deferred adjudication for a felony or misdemeanor offense (not a traffic ticket), contact the dental board to determine whether or not you will be eligible for licensure.
  • Drug Screening: A drug screening is required before beginning the program. Most externships and all clinical rotation sites also require drug screenings. Drug screening is done through a designated third party at the student's expense. Any student with a non-negative drug screen result or any student who refuses the test will either not be admitted into the dental hygiene program or could be dismissed from the program.
  • CPR Certification: You must hold CPR/AED certification that is valid for the entirety of your time in the program. A copy of your CPR/AED certification must be submitted to the dental hygiene department by the first day of class. Typically, CPR/AED certification is offered during the dental hygiene orientation for students accepted into the program. Students should also be familiar with TWU’s Bloodborne Pathogens Policy.
  • Citizenship Status: Although your citizenship status may not affect acceptance into the TWU dental hygiene program it may affect your ability to become licensed as a hygienist and to practice in the United States after you have completed the program if you are not a U.S. Citizen.

Full program requirements are listed in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Admission Requirements

Please review the admissions requirements listed below carefully. If you do not meet these requirements, you will not be considered for admission into the Professional Entry-Level Program.

  • A cumulative college GPA of at least 3.0
  • Completion of Dental Hygiene Foundational Courses with a grade of C or higher. These foundational courses MUST be completed before applying to the Dental Hygiene Professional Entry Program:
    • English Composition I
    • English Composition II
    • Anatomy & Physiology I (or Anatomy I) + Lab
    • Anatomy & Physiology II (or Physiology I) + Lab
    • Microbiology + Lab
    • Nutrition
    • Statistics
  • Completion of the foundational science courses and chemistry within the past five years
  • Good standing with the college/university last attended
  • Completion of at least 45 credit hours of required courses before applying to the program, with a plan for completing all prerequisite and core work prior to the first fall semester in the professional-entry program

For questions regarding transfer equivalencies, please contact your academic advisor. You may also visit the Texas Common Course Numbering System Webpage to compare course numbers between schools.

How To Apply

  • Apply to TWU by Dec. 15 to meet the program application deadline (if not currently attending)
    • You must submit all transcripts to Admissions Processing to be fully accepted into the university
    • Your program application will not be considered until copies of all transcripts have been received and reviewed by the Office of Admissions Processing, which may take several weeks
    • Acceptance into TWU does not indicate admission into the Dental Hygiene Professional Program
  • After acceptance to TWU, complete the online Professional Entry-Level Program Application
    • Applications are accepted between Nov. 1 and Jan. 10 for summer entry.
    • Mail an official paper copy of any transcript that includes Fall 2018 grades by Jan. 10 to the Department of Communication Sciences and Oral Health, Dental Hygiene Professional Entry-Level Program, P.O. Box 425737, Denton, TX 76204
    • To access the program application you must be fully accepted to the university, have set up your Pioneer Portal account and be logged into your TWU Google account. For technical questions, contact the TWU Service Desk.
  • Items needed to complete the program application include:
    • Course names and dates for all foundational prerequisite and Texas core curriculum courses*
    • Names of all colleges and universities you have previously attended and the dates attended*
    • One page letter describing any life experiences you believe will make you a better dental hygiene student and dental hygienist. Include your name and TWU ID number at the top of the document. This will be uploaded in section 10 of the application and must be in a document or PDF format.
    • Optional: If you have previously applied to this program and would like to let us know what you’ve done since your last application to make yourself a better candidate, attach a separate statement with your comments. Include your name and TWU ID number at the top of the document. This will be uploaded in section 4 of the application and must be in a document or PDF format.

*It is highly recommended you have official copies of your transcripts from all previously attended colleges/universities in front of you while completing the application. Answers to these questions will come directly from your transcripts.

Selection Process

  • A foundational grade point average (FGPA) is computed using an applicant’s grades in the foundational courses. Both the cumulative GPA and the foundational GPA will be considered in making selections.
  • Competitive applicants will be invited for a personal interview with members of the Selection Committee. Invitation to an interview does not guarantee the applicant a place in the program but serves as a part of the selection process. All expenses of the interview are the responsibility of the applicant. Notification of interview invitation will be made by Feb. 15.
    • Both knowledge of the role that the professional dental hygienist plays in health care, specifically oral healthcare and awareness of the professional code of ethics of dental hygiene, is critical during the interview process. This knowledge can be gained through individual research and study prior to the interview. Information regarding the professional code of ethics of dental hygiene is located here: American Dental Hygienists' Code of Ethics.

Note: Selected students join a cohort for the professional-entry program, starting each summer.

For More Information

Penny Tomlinson
Admissions Coordinator
Office: MCL 821


TWU’s dental hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements.” The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.

Program Goals

  • Accurately analyze total patient care assessment data, develop a comprehensive plan of action, apply evidence based implementation measures, and evaluate patient outcomes utilizing professional values and ethics. (Patient Care and Teaching)
  • Effectively assess, implement and evaluate the oral health needs of community based programs. To promote and support service activities that are essential to the profession of dental hygiene and to the public. (Service)
  • Effectively evaluate and analyze scientific literature as a basis for evidence based practice. (Research, Patient Care & Teaching)

Page last updated 12:33 PM, November 26, 2018