Application opens Nov. 1, 2019 and is due Jan. 15, 2020.

Dental Hygiene Application Process

All applicants must apply through the Dental Hygiene Centralized Application Service (DHCAS). DHCAS information, including application forms and instructions, is available on the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) website at

In order to be considered for the Dental Hygiene program at  The University of Oklahoma, your application must be received and verified by the DHCAS. The deadline for submission is January 15 of each year. 

Please Note: It is the applicant's responsibility to monitor the status of their application and make certain the application reaches the "verified" status. Applications not reaching a verified status will not be forwarded to our program for consideration.

In addition, a separate OU Supplemental Application must be electronically submitted to the Office of Admissions at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center at Both your ADEA DHCAS application and your Supplemental OU Application must be received no later than January 15th in order to be considered for admission.

Required Materials


1. The following items are submitted to DHCAS according to their instructions: The ADEA DHCAS Dental Hygiene Application is available beginning November 1:

  • Official Transcript(s) -  Official transcripts from each college or university attended, showing all coursework attempted and completed.
  • ACT or SAT -  Individual component scores and composite scores are required.
  • Personal Statement -  For instructions regarding the required personal statement, please use this link ADEA Personal Statement
    (You will need to scroll down to the Personal Statement section).
  • 40-Hour Observation Verification -  Documentation of industry observation of a practicing dental hygienist for a minimum of 40 hours - Click to download 40 Hour Observation Verification Form
  • Two Letters of Recommendation ( all letters must be on letterhead and signed by the writer )
  • Optional: If you have completed the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), please upload a copy of the certificate to the ADEA DHCAS Application site.

 2. TOEFL Exam (Test of English Foreign Language

Who should take the TOEFL Exam? 


The minimum test scores for applicants to the Dental Hygiene program are as follows:

  • Paper Based TOEFL: 550
  • Internet Based TOEFL: 79
  • Diploma from US Highschool
  • Four-Year Bachelors Degree from a U.S. Institution

3. Transcript Evaluations by World Education Services (WES):

All applicants with foreign credentials are required to submit official documents to WES for a course-by-course evaluation.

More information regarding International admission is available at OUHSC Admissions  and then clicking on "Prospective Students."


How long does the dental hygiene program take?

A baccalaureate degree requires a minimum of 120 semester hours of work, including specific prerequisites. The sixty hours of prerequisite coursework can be completed in two academic years. Once in the program, students have an additional two years in the dental hygiene program.

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 approximately 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 coursework must be from accredited institutions.

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.

Can I take my general education courses online?

Yes. If you would like to take these courses online, please refer to:

Are dental assistants given preference as applicants

No. 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 different knowledge and skill sets 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 accepted to the program, original, official transcripts are required by Admissions and Records, prior to June 15, verifying courses are complete and a grade of a C or better has been earned.


Non-Foundational Prerequisite Courses must be completed by Aug. 1 of the year in which admission is sought. If accepted to the program, original, official transcripts are required by Admissions and Records prior to Aug. 15, verifying courses are complete and a grade of a C or better has been earned.

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

The interview process occurs in early spring. You will be notified by email if you are invited to interview. 

Please note that not all applicants will be advised of an interview at the same time, as interviews take place on three separate dates.

What is the most important factor in deciding whether or not an applicant is admitted?

One of the best predictors of future academic success is past academic performance. For that reason, the academic record of applicants is weighted rather heavily in the initial placement of applicants. A Foundational Grade Point Average (FGPA), last 60 hours Grade Point Average (L60GPA), ACT score, and Foundational Course Completion Status are used to compare applicants' academic qualifications.

What is a FGPA?

A GPA computed to evaluate all applicants using the same prerequisite foundational courses that are critical for the dental hygiene program--especially those courses whose content is heavily used throughout the dental hygiene curriculum. The FGPA uses the averaged grade for the following eight required courses.

  • English II
  • Human Physiology
  • Human Anatomy
  • Microbiology
  • Statistics
  • Psychology
  • Nutrition
  • General Chemistry I

Why a FGPA?

We compute a FGPA in order to be fair to all applicants, regardless of previous college experience. The reasons for FGPAs are twofold; to allow a fair comparison of all applicants regardless of how many semester hours completed and to provide a means for an individual to improve academic performance in key courses that can be reflected significantly in the applicant's credentials. If FOUNDATIONAL courses have been taken through Advanced Placement or CLEP, the courses fulfill the FOUNDATIONAL prerequisite requirements, but are not calculated into the FOUNDATIONAL GPA.

When will I know if I have been accepted?

The Admissions Committee aims for its decisions to be completed by mid-April. Candidates are notified of their status as soon as possible after the class is selected.

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

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

  1. Foundational GPA is not competitive
  2. Last 60 hours GPA was not competitive
  3. ACT score not competitive
  4. Incomplete foundational coursework
  5. Missing too many courses to be able to complete in time for fall admission
  6. Inappropriate dental hygiene shadowing experience: observation of a dentist does NOT qualify, nor does working in a dental office qualify as observational experience.

If I am not selected, how can I improve my prospects for the next class?

  1. Retaking foundational courses in which you did not do well, or which you took some time ago. Remember that we use the FGPA heavily for admissions decisions and that GPA can be improved!
  2. Doing whatever you can to improve study and test-taking skills. This will help you in learning better and improving your GPA.
  3. Examining your knowledge of dental hygiene, including shadowing a dental hygienist. You really do need to know what you're getting into--Dental hygiene is well worth the effort if it is truly what you want to do.
  4. Reevaluating your personal motivation.
  5. Reevaluating your commitment to becoming a dental hygienist.
  6. Reevaluating your qualifications as a competitive applicant.
  7. Deciding whether or not you are willing to do what it takes to be competitive. Many applicants who were not successful the first time have gone on to be some of our best students…and graduates; so don’t give up!!


Karen Rucker
Student Program Coordinator
College of Dentistry
Dental Hygiene Program
P.O. Box 26901
Phone: (405) 271-4435