May 22, 2022  
2012-2013 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2012-2013 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Catalog]

Dental Hygiene (A.S.)

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Program: A.S. in Dental Hygiene
Department of Dental Education
College of Health and Human Services

Neff Hall 150 ~ 260-481-6837 ~


The A.S. in Dental Hygiene program prepares students for a career as a dental health professional who specializes in educational, preventive, and therapeutic oral healthcare. The dental hygiene program involves one year of prerequisite courses and two years of dental hygiene courses, and combines didactic, laboratory, and clinical courses. The program offers a full-time curriculum that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, 211 E. Chicago Ave. # 780, Chicago IL 60611-6983, telephone: (312) 440-2500,

Dental hygienists who graduate with an Associates degree are required to take national, regional and state licensing examinations and are eligible to work in private dental offices, dental clinics and hospitals, public health facilities, and dental research facilities.


The student learning outcomes for the degree are as follows:

  • Demonstrate breadth of knowledge in principles of social sciences, basic and dental sciences.

  • Demonstrate proficiency in assessing, planning, treating, and evaluating oral conditions and diseases.

  • Interpret, evaluate and contribute to current dental research and apply that knowledge to demonstrate dental hygiene skills necessary for life-long learning.

  • Demonstrate the highest levels of personal integrity and professional ethics in the delivery of dental hygiene services.

  • Promote the dental hygiene profession through service learning activities, affiliations with professional organizations, and partnerships with the community.

  • Design, implement, and evaluate culturally congruent community oral health programs appropriate for the diverse, multicultural communities in northeastern Indiana.

  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills necessary to be responsible dental professionals and leaders in local, regional, national, and international organizations and communities.

  • Demonstrate proficiency in critical thinking, reasoning, questioning, and decision-making skills.

  • Demonstrate the written, oral, and multimedia skills necessary to communicate effectively in diverse professional and educational settings for multicultural audiences. 

Admission Criteria

Admission to the Dental Hygiene program is limited and competitive, and admission to IPFW does not confer acceptance to the Dental Hygiene program. To be admitted to the A.S. program, prospective dental hygiene students must first be admitted to IPFW as a pre-dental hygiene student, complete the prerequisite courses listed below (or equivalent courses at another accredited college or university), then apply separately to the Dental Hygiene program. Applications for acceptance into the Dental Hygiene program MUST BE received by February 1, for admission into the program in the following fall semester.

Prerequisite Courses

To apply for the A.S. in Dental Hygiene program, you must complete the prerequisite courses listed below by May 25 of the application year with a prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or higher:

Total Credits: 26

Corequisite course

NOTE: Microbiology (BIOL 220) must be completed prior to beginning the Dental Hygiene professional program. Since Microbiology is not calculated into the prerequisite GPA for admission, it may be completed during summer sessions, just prior to admission into the dental hygiene program. However, the student’s acceptance is based on successful completion of Microbiology with a grade of C- or better prior to the beginning of Fall semester. Failure to complete this required corequisite course with a C- or better will result in the student being withdrawn from the professional program and their position given to the next qualified applicant.

Class Selection Process

Applicants must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher for these prerequisite courses. Meeting the minimum GPA does NOT guarantee a position in the program. Applicants are ranked and accepted each year based on their prerequisite GPA, among other factors. Therefore, the GPA necessary for admission varies each year with the applicant pool. Admission is competitive and a prerequisite GPA of at least 3.6 or higher is recommended. In the event of multiple applicants who have the same prerequisite GPA, they will be ranked within that prerequisite GPA level by their cumulative GPA. Additional aptitude testing and/or personal interviews may be required as part of the class selection process.

Applications for admission into the Dental Hygiene program MUST BE received by February 1, for acceptance into the program in the following fall semester.

  • Prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of “C-” or better. Courses graded on a pass/fail option will not be considered.
  • Prerequisite courses may be repeated only one time, with the most recent grade used in the prerequisite GPA calculation. A maximum of two prerequisite courses may be retaken to improve the grades and GPA ranking.
  • Applicants may be required to complete subsequent aptitude testing or personal interviews during the class selection process.
  • Credits in human anatomy, physiology, chemistry and microbiology must be completed within five years of admission to the professional program. Credits in English composition, speech, psychology, and sociology will be accepted for 10 years. Outdated courses must be retaken.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) courses in English and psychology are acceptable, if AP scores are 4.0 or higher. No other AP courses will be accepted.
  • Transfer courses accepted by IPFW as “undistributed” must be evaluated by the applicable department (i.e. chemistry or biology) before they are accepted as prerequisite course.
  • Students who are returning to IPFW, after an absence of 5 or more years, are eligible for the Academic Renewal Option. This option must be exercised during the student’s first semester back at IPFW. Interested students should petition the program’s admissions committee, by contacting their academic advisor.

University Preference

Priority consideration will be given to students who have completed the required pre-dental hygiene courses at IPFW or another Indiana University or Purdue University campus.

Special Academic Regulations

In addition to completion of the required pre-requisite and co-requisite courses, acceptance into the Dental Hygiene program is contingent upon an applicant’s ability to meet the following additional requirements:

  • Demonstrate compliance with the College of Health and Human Services Technical Standards.
  • Successful background check at student’s expense.
  • Applicants who have served in the military must submit an official military transcript to receive transfer credit, if applicable.
  • Pass a drug screening test, if applicable.
  • Complete Compliance Regulations for Students in Dental Education.

Tattoos and Head and Neck Piercings
The dental profession is extremely conservative. In clinical settings, tattoos and head and neck piercings are not considered acceptable in the health science professions. If students have tattoos that are noticeable, they must be covered by clothing. If they cannot be covered by clothing, students are required to cover tattoos with bandages. For clinical attire, all head and neck piercings must be removed, including plugs.


Because of the experiential learning process used in all dental hygiene courses, attendance is essential and mandatory. Some evening hours are required for additional clinical experiences and professional association meetings.

Compliance: Physicals, Immunizations, TB, CPR, Background Checks, and Potential Drug Screening

The summer before starting the program, students must submit evidence that they have completed a recent physical examination and TB testing, started (and preferably completed) their Hepatitis B immunizations and titer, and hold a current CPR certification at the professional/healthcare-provider level with the American Heart Association or American Red Cross. Students must also complete the background check from the required provider at their own expense and complete drug screening test, if required.

Criteria for Dismissal from the Dental Hygiene Program

A student who is dismissed from the program may appeal the decision to the Department of Dental Education. If the student is dismissed for failure to meet the university’s minimum academic standards, application for readmission must follow the procedures established by the university.

Dismissal from the Dental Hygiene Program may result from professional misconduct. Students who have been accepted to the program will receive a program manual at summer orientation that must be read before they start the program. All students will be held to the academic and professional standards of behavior as outlined in the Dental Hygiene Policies and Procedures Manual.

The College of Health and Human Services Academic and Professional Misconduct Appeals Policy and forms can be found at

Program Requirements

After acceptance into the program, the requirements of IPFW (see Part 8 ) and Dental Education (Part 4) must be fulfilled, and satisfactorily complete the following courses:

NOTE: It is required that microbiology (BIOL 220) be completed prior to beginning the Dental Hygiene program. Microbiology taken more than five years prior to admission into the professional program must be retaken.

Total Credits: 64

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