The UT Martin Pre-Dental Hygiene Plan is designed to prepare students for application to a dental hygiene program. By following the Pre-Dental Hygiene Plan recommendations, students will be eligible for admission into most Dental Hygiene programs; however, the prerequisite courses required for admission vary significantly from one institution to the next. The courses listed below are intended only as a guideline and students are strongly encouraged to review the requirements for their school(s) of choice as they vary from school to school. Additionally, the Pre-Dental Hygiene Plan is not a major and does not fulfill the requirements for a baccalaureate degree at UT Martin. The courses listed below are recommendations and are not required for degree completion unless also listed under the student’s chosen major.
There are several paths into the field of dental hygiene. An Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), Associate of Science (A.S.), or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree is considered entry-level and will provide entry to the professional practice of dental hygiene. There are also a few Masters degree programs which prepare graduates for careers as educators, administrators, and researchers. Some entry-level programs require a set number of prerequisite hours before students are eligible to apply to the dental hygiene program; others allow students to complete prerequisites while also taking dental hygiene classes. The pre-dental hygiene plan recommendations are based on the most commonly required prerequisite courses for entry-level (A.A.S., A.S., or B.S.) programs.
In general, students are not required to earn a baccalaureate degree prior to admission to a dental hygiene program; however, for students wishing to earn a baccalaureate degree from UT Martin prior to enrolling in a dental hygiene program, the Biology-Organismal Biology Concentration, Biology-Cell and Molecular Biology Concentration, and the Health and Human Performance: Exercise Science and Wellness majors include many of the courses listed below.
For most dental hygiene programs:
- Students are not required to earn a baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation.
- Applicants must demonstrate that all required course work will be completed with a grade of C or better prior to admission.
- Applicants are expected to have knowledge of the field from direct observations as part of their pre- professional experiences.
At a minimum, most Dental Hygiene programs require:
- 3 hours of sociology
- 4 hours of general chemistry
- 3 hours of English
- 4 hours of microbiology
- 3 hours of nutrition
- 3 hours of general psychology
- 8 hours of anatomy and physiology
Most dental hygiene programs are competitive, often admitting only 20-30 students per year. Additional courses in English, psychology, sociology, biology, math, Spanish, nutrition, computer literacy, or health and first aid are generally helpful. While not an exhaustive list, the following courses are strongly recommended for students considering applying to a dental hygiene program. Students should always check with their adviser and/or school(s) of choice before deciding which classes to take.