School of Dentistry

Dental Hygiene Entry Level, Bachelor of Science

According to the The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations. The population growth combined with the increasing rate of retention of natural teeth will continue to stimulate the need for dental hygienists. Dental hygienists are licensed health care professionals that specialize in preventing oral health problems and diseases with the primary responsibility of treating and educating patients in the control and prevention of oral diseases.

Table of Contents

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How to apply
What makes a successful applicant?
Essential functions needed
Admission by transfer
Contact information

    Timeline for application/admission process

    • October 26 - December 31 - Application period in the year prior to the desired admission. 
    • October 26 - January 15 – Submit all transcripts to ADEA DHCAS.  School begins interviewing applicants.
    • December 31 - Deadline for submitting the application
    • January 15 – Deadline for submitting all transcripts from all schools attended
    • February –  April : Applicant interviews
    • May – Applicants notified of acceptance
    • July 1– Fall semester begins

    What makes a successful applicant?

    • Admission to the dental hygiene program is highly competitive. Successful applicants are those who show evidence of consistently performing well academically and having extracurricular interests and achievements.
    • Applicants are reviewed and granted interviews based on consideration of the following factors in no particular order or weight:
    • Bilingual language ability
    • Employment history
    • Letters of recommendations
    • Dental experience job
    • Public/community service in volunteer-related areas
    • Awards, honors, and leadership in academics
    • Graduation from another accredited healthcare-related program 
    • Communication/written skills
    • Hometown or county of residence that has been designated a medically underserved and/or health professions shortage area, with particular emphasis on South Texas.
    • Previously selected alternate for the dental hygiene program

    Essential functions

    All dental hygiene students must perform certain essential functions in order to successfully complete the curriculum.

    Cognitive functions: All students must be able to solve problems, using the ability to understand and retain knowledge derived from readings, lectures, and demonstrations. Students must be able to use reasoning, to analyze and to integrate learned material and apply principles to new problems.

    Sensory and motor skills: All students must be able to observe patients and simulations and gain patient information to be used in diagnosis. They must possess sufficient vision, hearing, and physical abilities in order to obtain a patient history, perform a physical examination and provide patient care. Students must have adequate stamina to manipulate dental equipment appropriately and to perform in class, clinic and laboratory settings during long hours.

    Communication skills: All students must be able to effectively communicate with patients, peers, staff, and faculty. Students must be able to demonstrate respect and understanding of emotional, social and cultural issues.

    Professional and behavioral skills: All students must demonstrate the capacity for sustained function under stress and to respond appropriately to unpredictable circumstances. Furthermore, students must demonstrate high ethical standards and professional behavior when interacting with patients, fellow students, faculty, staff and the public.

    Admission by transfer

    Admission by transfer is available on a very limited basis. The purpose is to provide the opportunity for placement in this institution to highly qualified transfer students from U.S./Canadian dental schools who have a definite need for location in this institution. The number of positions available is limited to any unfilled spaces within a class.  

    If a current UT Health dental hygiene student is seeking to transfer to another dental hygiene program, course transferability would be determined by the program to which the student is transferring. 


    • Is an entrance exam required?
      An entrance exam, ACT, or SAT is not required.
    • Do I need to complete all prerequisite courses before I apply to the program?
      Up to 6 credit hours of prerequisites may be in progress during the spring semester prior to admittance with all science courses completed by the prior fall semester.  The 6 credit hours must be completed and transcripts submitted by June 1.
    • How do I find out the status of my application?
      Upon successful completion of the ADEA DHCAS application, ADEA DHCAS will verify all courses taken as indicated on the application and transcripts submitted.  Only applications with the ADEA DHCAS status of “verified” will be sent to UT Health San Antonio’s dental hygiene program for admission consideration.  A verified status means that the application has been completed to include submitting all transcripts from every college or university attended, references, and shadowing experience.
    • Will all verified applicants be invited for an interview?
      The DHAC will review the applicants who have been verified by ADEA DHCAS and will invite those applicants who meet program requirements for an interview.  Up to forty applicants can be invited for an interview. 
    • Is an interview required?
      Only applicants who are invited to the interview will be considered for admission.  Applicants who are invited for an interview will be notified via email. Applicant interviews are granted on a competitive basis and are conducted February through April. If you are invited to interview, you will be notified two to three weeks in advance of the interview date. You will be required to confirm your attendance as instructed in the invitation letter.
    • What will happen on the interview day? 
      Faculty members will conduct the interview. You will take part in a required written essay and have the opportunity to meet with current dental hygiene students. 
    • How will I be notified of acceptance?
      Acceptance letters will be sent via e-mail around May. You will be required to submit a letter of intent to secure your spot in the class.  Up to four unranked alternates will be chosen and will receive a letter stating their alternate status.  Alternates will be contacted should someone decline their acceptance into the program.  
    • How many students are admitted into the entering class?
      Up to 30 students can be admitted for each entering class at UT Health San Antonio campus, and up to 8 students will be admitted at the Laredo regional campus.
    • What is the average overall GPA and prerequisite GPA?
      For the entering class of 2023, the overall average GPA was 3.6.
    • How do I schedule an appointment with an advisor?
      We do not have advisors. If you have a question about prerequisites please contact your undergraduate college’s or university's pre-dental hygiene advisor.
    • What scholarship opportunities are available?
      Dental hygiene scholarships are made available once the student has begun the program.  The scholarships are made available throughout the two years of study.  
    • Do you require any supplemental fees or applications?
      Besides the fee for the ADEA DHCAS application, a fee of $60 must be sent to UT Health San Antonio - Dental Hygiene in the form of a check or money order.  
    • Do you have more questions about applying?

    Application and Fee

    How to Apply

    1. Send official transcripts from every college or university you have attended and mail transcripts to ADEA DHCAS.  International applicants must have transcripts from foreign universities evaluated by a professional firm.
    2. A centralized application center is used to process the dental hygiene school application to UT Health San Antonio. Applications may be obtained from The American Dental Education Association Dental Hygiene Centralized Application System(ADEA DHCAS).  To begin the ADEA DHCAS application, the applicant must first apply for a dentpin.  Applications are accepted between October 26 and December 31 of the year preceding anticipated matriculation.
    3. Shadowing a dental hygienist in a clinical setting is required.  Applicants are asked to observe at least a total of sixteen hours.  An applicant should shadow a hygienist so that they can witness the various responsibilities a hygienist has in the work environment.  Applicants can choose to complete more than sixteen hours if they wish. Click here to download the shadowing form
    4. Upon completing the application submit $60 to UT Health San Antonio - Dental Hygiene in the form of a check or money order with the same name as you used for the ADEA DHCAS application and include a print out of the first page of your application. This will allow your payment to be matched with the correct applicant.
      Please send $60 fee to:
      UT Health San Antonio
      Periodontics - Division of Dental Hygiene, MC 7904
      Attn: Martha Browning
      7703 Floyd Curl Dr. 
      San Antonio TX 78229
    5. TOEFL score (Test of English as a Foreign Language) – Required only of international applicants from countries where English is not the native language; minimum score of 68 (Internet), 220 (computer), or 560 (paper) is required.

    Contact information

    For questions regarding admissions to our program, please email or call 210-567-3810.