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Admissions and Objectives

Program Goals

  1. Comprehensively prepare dental hygiene graduates who are competent in the utilization and integration of knowledge and critical thinking skills related to general education, biomedical sciences, dental science, and dental hygiene science.
  2. Provide students with dynamic and diverse clinical opportunities that support the development of psychomotor and communication skills relevant to dental hygiene practice.
  3. Prepare graduates who demonstrate professionalism and ethical leadership in the delivery of patient-centered evidence-based care.
  4. Support students’ needs and development to help them fully reach their potential.
  5. Encourage student participation in community involvement to improve the well-being of others.
  6. Provide students with the skills necessary to advance the practice of dental hygiene through research, involvement with professional associations, and life-long learning.
  7. Collaborate with peers to scaffold learning opportunities within the dental hygiene curriculum.

Upon graduation, you will also be prepared to continue your education through graduate or professional programs.

Program Mission

The mission of the Dental Hygiene Program is to provide quality educational experiences in an evidence-based curriculum, patient-centered clinical care, and interprofessional community-based service. The program strives to comprehensively prepare competent graduates to enter any one of six designated roles of the dental hygienist as defined by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA): clinician, corporate, public health, researcher, educator, administrator, and entrepreneur. 


If you are interested in our program, you will need to complete the university application. Students applying to the Dental Hygiene program must also submit copies of their high school transcript and college transcripts to the Dental Hygiene program as well as to the University. All students are required to observe a dental hygienist for a period of two or more hours. Students enter the professional sequence of the curriculum upon successful completion of 32 hours of specific University Core and science courses. Students also have the opportunity to enter the baccalaureate degree program by alternative pathways.

Students may be admitted into the program as:

Freshman: Directly from high school. Prerequisites are met at SIU. Your professional sequence begins your sophomore year.

Sophomores: Can either take the prerequisites for the program from another college or university or take the prerequisites at SIU. Either way, 32 hours of prerequisites must be completed before entering the sophomore year.

We typically have 35 students entering the professional sequence in the fall of the sophomore year. Prior to entering the professional sequence of the program students must complete the following courses or approved substitutes: ENG 101 and 102-English Composition; MATH 108-College Algebra or 101-Contemporary Math; CMST 101-Speech Communications; PSYC 102-Introduction to Psychology; SOC 108-Introduction to Sociology; MICR 201-Elementary Microbiology; AH 241-Introduction to Physiology and Human Anatomy; HND 101-Food and Nutrition; AH 105 Medical Terminology; and CHEM 106-Chemistry and Society. Students must complete these courses with a grade of C or above in order to enter the professional sequence.

Degree completion: Any student having earned an Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene may apply for degree completion via the Capstone option. This guarantees completion of the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene in 60 hours additional hours of study or less.

Students are accepted into the professional sequence based on: high school GPA and rank in class; ACT/SAT scores; number of completed prerequisite courses; and college GPA.

Applications for admission are available in the fall (for example, applications for Fall 2018 are available in Fall 2017). You must apply by February 1st in order to receive full consideration for admission to the fall semester or the program that year.

All applicants must submit:

  • High school transcript to SIU (applies to applicants entering as freshmen)
  • College transcripts need to be sent to SIU at the end of the Fall semester with your most recent GPA and courses on it (not applicable to applicants in high school)
  • Send in your Spring Schedule to the department to be added with your application
  • Completed dental hygienist observation form

You may apply online. You may also call (618) 453-8869 or send an email to the Academic Advisor

Thank you for your interest in our program!

Policies on Infectious Disease Status and Infection Control

Preventing Transmission of Bloodborne Pathogens

The prevention of cross contamination and transmission of infection to all persons, including: patients, Dental Health Care Professionals (DHCP), faculty, students, and non-clinical staff is the professional responsibility of all dental personnel. The SIU Dental Hygiene Program has adopted policies and procedures that represent a comprehensive and practical infection control program, based upon federal guidelines (Center for Disease Control). A fundamental principle of an effective infection control program is to exercise care, precautions and effective control techniques that can keep infectious microbes within manageable limits of the body’s normal resistance to disease. Individuals at high risk of infectious diseases (HBV, HCV and HIV) among DHCP are those who perform tasks that might involve contact with blood, blood-contaminated body substances, other body fluids, or sharps should be vaccinated. Vaccination can protect both DHCP and patients from infectious diseases and whenever possible should be completed when DHCP are in training and before they have contact with blood. Compliance with these policies and procedures are an ethical obligation and responsibility of all participants in the delivery of care at the SIU Dental Hygiene Clinic.

Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health Care Setting—2003, 12/19/03

52(RR17); 1-61.

Adopted from Chabot Community College, November 2013.

SIU Dental Hygiene Student looks at XRays
School of Health Sciences | College of Health and Human Sciences | 618-453-7211 |