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dental student at the dental clinic

Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (BSDH) Entry-Level

The dental hygiene program requires 53 credit hours of prescribed general education and prerequisite courses. The 53 credit hours may be completed at any accredited college or university. Required courses should not be taken under the Pass/Fail option; the Dental Education Admissions Committee must approve any exceptions.

The student must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale to be eligible for consideration. Courses completed at institutions other than Indiana University must show a grade of C or higher to be accepted as transfer credit by Indiana University Admission's Office. All applicants must complete all required prerequisite courses and receive a minimum grade of C to eligible for the program.

  1. Applicants must first make application to IU Northwest if not previously admitted by an Indiana University campus. (Courses cannot be transferred without making application to IU Northwest)
  2. Applicants must complete the Dental Hygiene Application online.  Applications are available online at   All applications must be submitted no later than February 1 for entry into the class beginning in the fall semester of that year.  A separate application must be submitted to each campus the student is interested in attending.
  3. Items that must be submitted to the Dental Hygiene Admissions Committee by February 1 include:
  • Official high school transcript
  • Official college and university transcripts (This includes transcripts to be sent for course work completed by February 1)
  • Online Dental Hygiene Application
  • Proof of IU Northwest acceptance (if not currently attending an Indiana University campus)

In February, upon receipt of the dental hygiene application and other supporting materials, applicants are required to attend the Dental Hygiene Applicant Open House. The applicant will be notified of the Open House by e-mail during February.

Class size for the dental hygiene program is limited and each year there are more qualified applicants than can be accepted. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to consult with a Dental Education Program Advisor for pre-dental hygiene advising.

Criteria for Selection of Class

Selection of dental hygiene students is based upon, but is not limited to, successful completion of program prerequisites, number of college credit hours satisfactorily completed, college cumulative GPA, prerequisite GPA, high school rank, applicant Open House attendance, and an individual appraisal of the applicant's established record and potential for development.

Seven-Year Limit

Required sciences, including Human Biology, Anatomy & Physiology I & II, Microbiology, and Chemistry must have been completed within seven (7) years prior to the semester in which a student begins the professional coursework of the dental hygiene program.

Dental Hygiene Career Options

The dental hygienist is a licensed member of the dental health team and is concerned with the prevention of diseases of the oral cavity. The dental hygienist completes a professional college program that entitles the graduate, upon successful completion of national, regional, and state board examinations, to perform specific preventive treatments; to expose and process dental radiographs (x-rays); to provide oral hygiene education; administer local anesthesia; and/or to participate as a dental health professional in federal, state, or local public health clinics, and educational programs.

IU Northwest currently offers a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene entry-level and a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene Degree Completion.  

Students interested in pursuing a dental hygiene degree should consult the Dental Education Program Advisor at IU Northwest at (219) 980-6770 or [[dmarcini]] for an advising appointment.

Curriculum for Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene – Entry Level

The Dental Hygiene curriculum, which is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), leads to the Bachelor of Science degree, and consists of a total of four years of study with 120 college credit hours; two years of general education and prerequisite coursework followed by two years of professional study.  Upon completion, graduates are eligible for licensure to practice dental hygiene.