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Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene student learning with professor

The Dental Hygiene Program at UTHealth School of Dentistry at Houston prepares students for careers at every level of the profession. Our students learn from nationally recognized faculty and study in state-of-the-art facilities in the world-renowned Texas Medical Center. 

Because we offer graduate and postgraduate programs in dentistry and the dental specialties, our dental hygiene students become accustomed to working side-by-side with other members of the dental team.

We offer a traditional Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree, as well as an online "RDH-to-BSDH" program that lets students work as they upgrade their credentials. Already have a degree? Earn a Post-Degree Certificate in Dental Hygiene and expand your career options. Another new option for motivated students is concurrent enrollment with UTHealth School of Public Health, with the goal of dual degrees (BSDH/MPH).


Dental Hygiene Program at UTHealth Houston

The Dental Hygiene Program is a fully accredited two-year program leading either to a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene or a Certificate in Dental Hygiene. Approximately 40 students are admitted each fall semester.

Information Sessions
Twice a year, the School of Dentistry hosts free information sessions (in May and October) to give potential students a chance to learn about the Dental Hygiene Program and ask questions about the admissions process, student financial aid, the curriculum, etc. Each session ends with a brief tour of the School of Dentistry. 

With the exception of applicants to the RDH-to-BSDH Program, all others are required to have a minimum of 20 hours of shadowing experience with a dental hygienist. Shadowing a dentist will not be accepted for any portion of the 20 hours. This experience will allow the applicant to observe the various facets of the dental hygiene profession.  Shadowing Form

Guide for Transfer Students

Skills & Essential Functions
To be successful, dental hygienists must demonstrate cognitive skills in critical and logical/analytical thinking as well as possess and demonstrate the psychomotor skills (fine motor dexterity and coordination) and observational skills (vision, hearing and tactile abilities) sufficient to master the clinical procedures essential in the treatment of dental disease. All individuals who apply for admission to UTHealth School of Dentistry at Houston, without exception, must be capable of performing essential functions; which are the basic abilities a student must possess to complete the curriculum. An applicant who cannot perform the following essential functions — either with or without reasonable accommodations — will not be considered for admission:  List of Skills and Essential Functions

Health Science Reasoning Test (HSRT)
With the exception of applicants to the RDH-to-BSDH Program, all others are required to take the Health Science Reasoning Test as part of the holistic application process. 

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
This test is required if the applicant did not attend high school in the United States. However, if the applicant holds an associate or higher degree from a U.S.-accredited institution, the TOEFL is not required.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Program Costs

Tuition and Fees (approximate)
For a detailed breakdown of tuition and fees, please visit the Office of the Registrar.

Financial Aid

The School of Dentistry has a variety of loan and scholarship funds. Funds may be available based on proven financial need and/or academic excellence. More information on financial aid may be obtained from:

Office of Financial Aid
P.O. Box 20036
Houston, TX 77225-0036

Gray Line

Accepted Students

  • General Information

    A few forms and processes need to be completed now that you have received your conditional offer of acceptance. Please complete these items as soon as possible, but no later than the specified deadline. All of these items must be completed for you to be registered as a first-year student in the fall. If you have any questions, contact the Office of Student Affairs at 713-486-4151.


    Keep an eye out for your invitation to New Student Orientation and the White Coat Ceremony, which usually takes place the Friday of orientation week. You'll need to RSVP for yourself and your guests.

    Official Transcripts

    All conditionally accepted students are required to send official transcripts of ALL college coursework previously completed to the Office of the Registrar prior to matriculation. Send final official transcripts to:

    Office of the Registrar
    P.O. Box 20036
    Houston, TX 77225-0036
    Deadline: May 31

    Mobile Device Policy

    All students are required to have a laptop that meets or exceeds these specifications. If you have questions about the computer requirements or the support offered, please contact:

    Patrick Finnerty - 713-486-4183
    Richard "Hal" Halpin - 713-486-4216

  • Criminal Background Check

    Complete the required Criminal Background Check by June 1. Please review the Policy before following the steps below.

    Directions for Student Criminal Background Check

    Go to Pre-Check and click on "Apply Here." Once you enter the application, please complete the following steps:

    • Fill in your contact information. The application is based on your e-mail address, so if you need to apply again for another background check, you will need to use a different e-mail address.
    • Pay the $44 fee via PayPal to or by credit card. Make sure you write down your transaction number.
      • If you are using someone else’s PayPal account or credit card, please add a note to your payment or e-mail Shannan Tighe with your name and the name you paid under.
    • Click “yes” if you paid and then Submit Now. Your background check will not be started until payment is received!
    • Read through the Student Qualify Information section and provide your Transaction Number from your payment. Click Submit Now.
    • Read through the release and then click Next Section.
    • Provide your Identity Information.
      • You do not need to provide a driver’s license number or issue state.
      • If you do not have a middle initial, fill the space with a period.
      • If you do not have a Social Security Number, fill in 000-00-0000.
    • Click Next Section.
    • Complete the Current Residence Section.
    • Click Next Section.
    • Complete the Previous Address Section.
      • If you do not have a prior address, you can leave this section blank.
    • Click Next Section.
    • Complete ALL of the Criminal Record Information.
    • Click Next Section.
    • Electronically sign the Student Release for Background Investigation.
    • Click Submit Now.
    • Complete the Non-United States Residency form.
      • Please note: It is not assumed that you are, and have been, a resident of the U.S. for at least 6 months. All applicants are required to complete this form before your background check can be accepted.
    • You will receive an e-mail when your background check has been accepted. If there is a problem, The Pre-Check Company will contact you. Your background check will be processed within 3 business days. Please do not contact The Pre-Check Company for the status of your background check. The completed background check will be sent directly to the school; you will not receive notification when it is completed.
      • Please note: International students and students with criminal activity will take longer to process. Please allow enough time for these to be completed before your deadline date. Additional fees may apply and will be requested once your application and initial payment of $44 is received.
    • If you have any questions, please e-mail Shannan Tighe .
    • Please do NOT call The Pre-Check Company.
  • Immunizations

    Beginning in late March, the Registrar's Office will begin emailing your User ID and Password to access MyUTH (Student System). You will need this User ID and Password for the link below.

    In order for UTHealth incoming students to register, you must provide verification of immunizations before classes start in August. As of January 2015, we require all immunizations to be entered through our new online database. Once this form is submitted, Student Health Services will verify and release your immunization hold so you can complete registration.

    The form may be found at or download the Immunization Record form.

    Helpful Tips:

    • Only load your immunization records into the online database once they are 100% complete. The system will only allow one upload. Any updates after this upload must be faxed into UTHealth, which can extend the processing time.
    • We encourage students to complete this upload of records into the online database in May to allow plenty of time for UTHealth to evaluate and process records in order to release your registration hold.
  • Insurance

    Texas Education Code Section 51.961 authorizes a governing board to require health insurance of students enrolled in health institutions. The University of Texas System, Board of Regents voted Nov. 8, 2001, to include this requirement beginning with the 2002-03 academic year.

    Students are automatically assessed an insurance charge to their student fee bill for Mega Life Health Insurance. To waive this fee, you are required to show proof of current health insurance coverage through another provider by completing the information below before the 12th day of class for the Fall/Spring semester and the 4th day of class for the Summer semester of every academic year. Failure to provide this information before the deadline will result in forfeiting your option to waive the health insurance coverage and associated fee. Please note that it is not necessary to submit the waiver every semester, as after submitting the waiver in the Fall and/or Spring semester, the insurance fee will be removed from your bill for the remaining academic year. Please do not complete this form if you are purchasing Mega Life Health Insurance as assessed on your student fee bill.

    For further instructions on accessing myUTH to submit your proof of insurance or confirm participation in Academic HealthPlans, please review the Insurance Certification Instructions.