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Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene student learning with professor

The Dental Hygiene Program at UTHealth School of Dentistry (UTSD) 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, 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 in something else? Earn a Post-Degree Certificate in Dental Hygiene and expand your career options. BSDH students may also seek concurrent enrollment at UTHealth School of Public Health for a certificate or master's degree in public health.

The School of Dentistry's newest offering is a Master of Science in Dental Hygiene (MSDH).


Dental Hygiene Program at UTHealth Houston

The UTHealth School of Dentistry offers fully accredited programs leading either to a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (BSDH), a Certificate in Dental Hygiene (equivalent to an associate degree), or a Master of Science in Dental Hygiene (MSDH). Individual program prerequisites and requirements may be found on the tab for the program to which you are applying.

    • Entry-Level Dental Hygiene: Two programs are available for students interested in becoming dental hygienists.
      • BSDH Program: For students who have completed the 62 hours of prerequisite courses and want to earn a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (BSDH).
      • Post-Degree Certificate Program: For students who already have an associate, bachelor's, or higher degree and do not wish to earn a BSDH. Fewer prerequisite hours (34) are necessary for this program. NOTE: Students will be enrolled in the same dental hygiene courses as students in the BSDH program.
    • Bachelor of Science Degree-Completion:  For students who are already registered dental hygienists and wish to pursue a BSDH.
      • RDH-to-BSDH Program: Students who are not UTSD dental hygiene graduates must complete all 30 hours.
      • RDH-to-BSDH for UTSD Alumni:  Students who earned a dental hygiene certificate from UTSD need only complete 12 hours to attain the BSDH.
    • Graduate Programs
      • MSDH Program: For students who have a bachelor's degree (in any field) and a certificate or associate degree in dental hygiene.
      • Dual-Degree (BSDH/MPH) Program: For BSDH entry-level students who want to pursue a master's degree (MPH) or certificate in public health while enrolled in the School of Dentistry's BSDH program. An application is created once accepted into the BSDH program. 

Guide for Transfer Students

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. 

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.

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

UTHealth School of Dentistry at Houston Commitment to Equal Opportunity: The School of Dentistry embraces and enforces the nondiscrimination policy of its parent institution, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). The policy states that no person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity sponsored or conducted by UTHealth or any of its component academic entities on any basis prohibited by applicable law, including, but not limited to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or disability.

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

    Please review the policy before following the steps below.

    Student Criminal Background Check
    Please read through ALL the information. The answers to frequently asked questions are provided below, as well as information that you will need to know.

    • Once you have completed your application, please review the information you provided before submitting to avoid a delay in your background check.
    • If you have your phone or computer set to Auto fill, then you absolutely need to double check the information you entered.
    • If there is a problem with your application or additional information is needed, we will contact you using the email address that you provided. Please double check that you provided a valid email address. You are responsible for replying to our email when information is updated, as we will not be notified otherwise and your background check will not be started.
    • You will receive an email when your background check has been accepted. Your background check will usually begin processing within 1-3 business days; however, we cannot guarantee this time. Please complete the process as soon as possible to avoid exceeding the deadline.
    • 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.
    • Students with criminal activity or that have lived outside of Texas may take longer to process. Additional fees may apply for certain counties. We will contact you if an additional fee is required.
    • International students will take longer to process. The processing time varies per country. There will be an additional fee for all International background checks. This fee also varies per country. After reviewing your completed application, we will contact you with the fee amount and if any additional information is required.
    • If you have any questions, please e-mail Shannan Tighe.
    • Please do NOT call The Pre-Check Company.

    Step by Step Instructions for New Students

    • 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 credit card using the Submit Payment button.  
    • Click “yes” if you have paid and then Submit Now.
      • Your background check will not be started until payment is received.
    • Read through the Acknowledgements.  
      • Click Submit Now.
    • Provide your Identity Information.
      • If you do not have a middle initial, fill the space with a period.
        • Please do not put n/a, no middle name, etc. in the middle initial field.
      • If you do not have a former name, you can leave this section blank.
        • Please do not provide your current name again in this section.
      • 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 Residence 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 Next Section.
    • 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.
  • Immunizations

    Beginning late March our 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.

    You must document your immunizations through myUTH and upload supporting proof of all immunization requirements. To submit your immunization you will need to log into myUTH and select the Immunizations links under the “Holds and To Do’s” sections. Once you list required dates and submit your records, you will be asked to upload your immunization documentation. The system will only allow one upload but you will be able to upload multiple documents. Only load your immunization records into the online database once they are 100% complete. Any updates after this upload must be faxed into UTHealth which can extend the processing time.

    After you have logged and submitted all required information and it has been verified by Student Health Services, the immunization hold will be released. We recommend that you submit this information immediately to avoid any delays in your registration process.

    View Immunization Requirements. If there are any questions regarding immunization requirements, please contact Student Health Services at 713-500-5171.

    Please note:

    • You must submit a copy of the laboratory report on all titers.
    • Please submit your immunization record only when you have uploaded ALL of the required documents.
    • Your uploaded documentation must be legible.
    • We recommend that students keep a personal copy of their immunizations and titers for future needs.
  • Insurance

    Beginning late March our Registrar's Office will begin emailing your User ID and Password to access MyUTH (Student System). You will need this User ID and Password to either submit proof of your health insurance or confirm your participation in academic health plans.

    Health Insurance Requirements for All Students:

    The Board of Regents of The University of Texas System mandates health insurance (Texas Education Code Section 51.961) for all students enrolled in the UT System health components. As such, each UTHealth student who cannot provide evidence of continuing coverage under another approved plan will be enrolled in the student insurance plan with Academic HealthPlans and assessed a health insurance fee.

    Before being able to register for classes each semester, every student must complete the health insurance certification process through his/her MyUTH account. Through this process, students either provide proof of their own coverage or confirm their participation in Academic HealthPlans. 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 twelfth day of class for the Fall/Spring semester and the fourth 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 visit UTHealth Auxiliary Enterprises - Student Insurance for more information.