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Dental Hygiene

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There are a couple of paths available toward earning a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Dental Hygiene. This handout will focus on the pathway for students who, with no prior dental hygiene experience or education, intend to earn B.S. in Dental Hygiene. At The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Health Professions (UTHSCSA SHP), such students should seek admission to its “entry-level” B.S. in Dental Hygiene program and must complete two phases of education. The first phase is the completion of dental hygiene prerequisite coursework at an undergraduate institution. Then, after gaining acceptance to the entry-level dental hygiene program, students complete the second phase which consists of all upper-division dental hygiene coursework leading to a B.S. in Dental Hygiene. The following courses represent what courses should be taken at UTSA to fulfill the core and program prerequisites for entry into the UTHSCSA SHP Entry-level B.S. in Dental Hygiene Program. There is some variation in requirements for other dental hygiene programs. Thus, students are advised to consult individual programs for their specific and most current information.


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Required Areas of Study

UTSA Course

Grade/ Sem

Prerequisites/ Corequisites

UTHSCSA Core Curriculum-Must receive C or better

(6 hrs lecture)

WRC 1013



WRC 1023


WRC 1013

US History
(6 hrs lecture)

HIS 1043, HIS 1053 or HIS 2053



HIS 1043, HIS 1053 or HIS 2053



US Government
(6 hrs lecture)

POL 1013



POL 1133 or POL 1213



Visual/Performing Arts
(3 hrs lecture)

Any ART, AHC, MUS, or THR course

others considered on an individual basis



(3 hrs lecture)

Any “literature”, HUM, or PHI course

BIO 1033 and CLA 2323 also acceptable; others considered on an individual basis



College Algebra
(3 hrs lecture)

MAT 1023 or higher


Satisfactory performance on a placement exam

UTSA Prerequisites for Other Required BIO Courses

NOTE: These courses are not officially included among the program prerequisites for the UTHSCSA SHP, but are required before taking the other BIO prerequisites at UTSA (ie Anatomy, Physiology etc).

¹BIO 1404 or ²BIO 1233


¹Completion of or concurrent enrollment in MAT 1023, MAT 1073 or higher or STA 1053 (for non-BIO majors).  CHE 1003 or higher recommended by the UHPO; ²no prerequisite required

Program Prerequisites-Must receive C or better

(12 hrs lecture; 3 hr lab)

NOTES:  Most institutions offer combined Anatomy and Physiology courses while UTSA offers them as separate courses. Therefore, the courses should be completed at the same institution.

These courses are formerly known as AHS.

BIO 2083 Anatomy

BIO 3123 also acceptable


BIO 1404 or 1233*

BIO 2091 Anatomy Lab

BIO 3132 Lab also acceptable


BIO 1404 or 1233*; concurrent enrollment in BIO 2083 recommended

BIO 2103 Physiology

BIO 3413 also acceptable


BIO 1404 or 1233*

BIO 2111 Physiology Lab

BIO 3422 Lab also acceptable


BIO 1404 or 1233*; concurrent enrollment in BIO 2103 recommended

BIO 1053 Microbiology

BIO 3713 also acceptable


BIO 1404 or 1233 or consent of instructor

BIO 1061 Microbiology lab

BIO 3722 Lab also acceptable


BIO 1404 or 1233 or consent of instructor; concurrent enrollment in BIO 1053 recommended

BIO 2043 Nutrition

HTH 4533 also acceptable


BIO 1404 or 1233

(3 hrs lecture;1 hr lab)

CHE 1003

CHE 1103 or CHE 1143 also acceptable


MAT 1023 or higher recommended by the UHPO

CHE 1011 Lab

CHE 1122 Lab with CHE 1120 Lab Lecture also acceptable


Completion of or concurrent enrollment in CHE 1003

(3 hrs lecture)

STA 1053 or higher

PSY 2073 also acceptable


Satisfactory performance on placement exam

(3 hrs lecture)

PSY 1013



(3 hrs lecture)

SOC 1013



Computer Literacy
(3 hrs lecture)

CS 1033



(2 hrs lecture)

May not include developmental courses, work from technical institutions, or other coursework deemed inappropriate by the department.



Application Process

For the UTHSCSA Entry-level BS Program in Dental Hygiene, prospective students must apply online and the UTHSCSA SHP must have all supporting documents by the January 15 deadline for fall semester admission.  However, students are encouraged to apply closer to when applications for fall admission become first available on August 1. It should be noted that applicants are more competitive if they complete prerequisite coursework before the beginning of the spring semester.  Any courses that are still in progress must be completed and final transcripts submitted to the Registrar’s Office by June 1 prior to matriculation. Applicants must have an overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.5, prerequisite GPA of 2.7, and all program prerequisites completed with a grade of a “C” or better in order to be considered for admission.  However, the average GPA for accepted students is significantly higher.  Further information regarding admissions to the UTHSCSA Dental Hygiene Program is available at: 


Students are also encouraged to learn about other dental hygiene programs and their respective application processes.  Since there is not a centralized application service for dental hygiene programs, students are advised to consult individual programs for specific information.  To locate schools and programs across the country, please visit the website of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association at

Community Service/Volunteering/Shadowing

An integral part of dental hygiene preparation entails involvement in community service projects and volunteer work in a clinical setting.  These activities serve to familiarize prospective dental hygienists with the realities of everyday clinical practice as well as to underscore the role of dental hygienists and dental care in relation to broader community level concerns and issues.  The UTHSCSA Dental Hygiene Program has a required documentation form that must be printed, filled out appropriately and mailed to the HSC Registrar.  This form is titled, “Documentation of Experience,” and may be found at:  

A list of volunteer opportunities is available on the UHPO website (, and we will continue to update additional possibilities.  We do not, however, have a list available for shadowing experiences.  Students must exercise personal initiative and develop relationships that would allow them to have this direct contact with a dental hygienist in everyday clinical practice.