Schools & Divisions

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

Responsibilities of the Dental Hygienist

The dental hygienist is a primary oral healthcare professional who has graduated from an accredited dental hygiene program in an institution of higher education, licensed in dental hygiene to provide education, assessment, research, administra­tive, diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic services that support overall health through the promotion of optimal oral health.

Although state regulations vary, the dental hygienists’ responsibilities may include

• performing oral healthcare and risk assessments that include the review of patients’ health history, taking and recording vital signs, dental and periodontal charting, oral cancer screening, and evaluation of oral disease/health

• evaluating a patient’s current health status including all medications

• performing an extraoral and intraoral examination and oral cancer screen­ing

• completing a comprehensive dental and periodontal charting that includes a detailed description and evaluation of the gingiva (gums) and periodontium (supporting structures)

• developing a dental hygiene diagnosis

• exposing, processing, and interpreting dental radiographs (x-rays)

• removing biofilm and calculus (soft and hard deposits) from teeth both coronally and apically to (above and below) the gingival margin (gumline) using dental instruments

• applying caries-preventive agents such as fluorides and sealants to the teeth

• administering local controlled and sustained release antimicrobial agents

• administering pain control agents such as local anesthetic 

• providing patient education on biofilm control and home care protocol by incorporating tech­niques and products that will become part of an individualized self-care oral hygiene program

 • counsel and coordinate tobacco cessation programs

• educating patients on the importance of good nutri­tion for maintaining optimal oral health

Dental Hygiene Admission Procedures

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.

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

Click here for the PDF version.

IUN Bulletin

Click here to go to IUN Bulletin Homepage.