Dental Hygiene Parent Page: Academic Programs id: 14815 Active Page: Dental Hygieneid:14817

Dental Hygiene, B.S.D.H.

The University of Oklahoma Dental Hygiene Program is designed to educate and prepare students for careers in dental hygiene. The College emphasizes the comprehensive care model that allows both hygienists and dental students to work together in clinical patient care to simulate a real-life dental practice.

The program consists of a minimum of 60 hours of prerequisite coursework from The University of Oklahoma, or any other accredited university or college, and in addition, two years of dental hygiene curriculum. After completion, graduates will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene and will be eligible to take examinations for licensure to practice as registered dental hygienists.


How long does the dental hygiene program take?

Our baccalaureate degree dental hygiene program requires a minimum of 120 semester hours of coursework, including specific prerequisites. The 60 hours of prerequisite coursework can be completed in two academic years. If accepted to our Dental Hygiene Program, students attend an additional two years to complete their degree.

Is it possible to work part-time while enrolled in the dental hygiene program?

No. There are very heavy demands made on students' time. Attendance is mandatory and classes, labs and clinics are often scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  In addition, there is a significant amount of required study and at times, projects that are very time consuming.

What is the deadline for admission?

The deadline for application submission is Jan. 15 of the year in which the applicant wishes to begin the program.

What college should a prospective student attend?

In-state or out-of-state applicants are afforded equal opportunity for admission.  All prerequisite courses must be from accredited institutions and transfer correctly to our program.  To see OU Transfer Equivalencies, click here. Applicants with questions regarding classes transferring to our program, please contact  

Beyond required courses, are there any other courses that will improve my chances of getting into the program?

Beyond the necessary prerequisite courses, no other coursework in a particular area is given preference. Areas for additional study should include courses that are of interest to the applicant. Some suggestions for courses that may improve one's knowledge for any health-related career might include medical terminology, immunology or other biologic science courses, education or behavioral science courses, research, or any number of other courses that relate to a higher degree of knowledge.

Are online courses accepted?

Prerequisite courses may be taken online, as long as they transfer correctly to our program. Please use the Course Equivalency Table to determine course transferability.  To see OU Transfer Equivalencies, click here. Applicants with questions regarding classes transferring to our program, please contact



Are dental assistants given preference as applicants?

They are not.  Applicants may be able to gain valuable information about the desirability of a career in dental hygiene as well as a better overall understanding of dentistry by working as a dental assistant. However, dental hygiene requires a different knowledge and skill set from those of dental assisting.

What if I still need prerequisite courses when I apply?

Foundational Prerequisite Courses must be completed or in progress during the spring semester of the year in which admission is sought. If the applicant is accepted into the program, original, official transcripts are required by OUHSC Admissions and Records, prior to June 15, verifying courses are complete and a grade of a C or better has been earned. 

Foundational Courses Include:  English II, Statistics, Chemistry, Human Physiology, Human Anatomy, Microbiology, Nutrition, Psychology


Non-Foundational Prerequisite Courses must be completed by August 15 of the year in which admission is sought. If the applicant is accepted into the program, original, official transcripts are required by OUHSC Admissions and Records prior to August 15, verifying courses are complete and a grade of a C or better has been earned. 

Non-Foundational Courses IncludeEnglish Comp I, Public Speaking, Foreign Language, U.S. Government, U.S. History, CAS 1523, CAS 1533, or CAS 1543, Artistic Form, Western Culture, World Culture, and 3-hour Upper Division General Education Course.

When will I know if I will be invited for an interview?

Interviews take place in March.  We interview 75 applicants, so not all applicants that apply will receive an interview.  All communication from our program is handled through email.  Please note that If we don’t receive a response to our interview request by email, we will reach invited applicants by phone, so there is no need to call our office to check on the status of your application.

I interviewed for the program. When will I know if I have been accepted?

Our Admissions Committee aims for its decisions to be made by mid-April. Candidates are notified of their application status by email as soon as possible after the new class is selected. 

Why wasn't I selected for this year's class?

The top reasons applicants aren't selected are as follows:

  • Total Cumulative Undergrad GPA may not be competitive

  • Science GPA may not be competitive or possibly may have several courses still outstanding.  Science Courses:  General Chemistry, Human Physiology, Human Anatomy, Microbiology & Nutrition

  • ACT Score may not be competitive

  • Interview score may not be competitive

  • Several Foundational Courses may still be in progress

  • Foundational Courses may not be complete or in progress

  • Several withdrawals or failing grades on transcripts
  • We encourage applicants to review the statistics for past students accepted to our program to determine if their application is competitive.

How can I improve my application for the next admissions cycle?

  • Retake foundational and/or science courses in which you did not do well
  • Examine your knowledge of the dental hygiene industry and practice interview skills to prepare for the next interview cycle
Many applicants who were not successful during the first admissions cycle have reapplied and gone on to be some of our best students and graduates – so don’t give up.  Decide whether or not you are willing to do what it takes to become a more competitive applicant.  We look forward to receiving your application to The University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, Dental Hygiene Program! 

Why the University of Oklahoma for Your Education in Dental Hygiene?

An OU dental hygiene baccalaureate degree allows entry into positions in teaching, administration, public health and corporate positions that no other dental hygiene program can compare to. With its distance education possibilities, the program allows students who are unable to relocate, remain near their home.

The program is conveniently located at the OU Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City and is also available at three satellite locations via distance technology. 

  • Tri County Technology Center in Bartlesville, OK
  • Southern Oklahoma Technology Center in Ardmore, OK
  • Western Technology Center in Weatherford, OK


First-Year Courses


Head and Neck Anatomy

General/Oral Histiology

Dental Morphology

Clinical Dental Hygiene Theory I

Clinical Dental Hygiene I

Oral Diagnosis

Oral Radiography I

Preventative Dentistry

Periodontics I


Pediatric Dentistry


Geriatric Dentistry

Clinical Dental Hygiene Theory II

Clinical Dental Hygiene II

Oral Radiography II

Dental Materials Science

Dental Hygiene Research Methods

Ethics and Jurisprudence

Periodontics II

Applied Dental Materials

Second-Year Courses


Oral Pathology

Clinical Rotation I

Dental Hygiene Process of Care

Clinical Dental Hygiene III

Pain Control

Community Health Issues

Periodontics III


Clinical Rotation II

Advanced Clinical Dental Hygiene Practice

Clinical Dental Hygiene IV

Practice Management

Senior Capstone Seminar

Community Health Practicum


Program Director
Donna F. Wood, RDH, MS, MEd, PhD
Associate Professor & Program Director
Dental Hygiene Program
Department of Diagnostic and Preventive Sciences

Admissions & Advisement
Karen L. Rucker
Student Program Coordinator
Dental Hygiene Program 
Department of Diagnostic and Preventive Sciences

The University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry
Dental Hygiene Program 
Department of Diagnostic and Preventive Sciences
1201 N. Stonewall Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK  73117
Phone: 405-271-4435


The Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association accredit this program.