Skip to content


Applying to the Dental Hygiene Program

When do I apply to the dental hygiene program? +

Students are accepted into the dental hygiene program once per year in the fall semester. You may apply at any time after September; however, your application is not complete until after your final, official transcripts (including grades for fall) are received by DHCAS. You should wait until the end of the fall semester, after fall grades have been posted, to request your transcripts. Always follow up to make sure you transcripts are received prior to the application deadline. Transcripts must be received by DHCAS by the Feb. 1 deadline.  Consideration will not be given to late transcripts, so it is advisable to send them to DHCAS as soon as fall grades have posted.

I applied to the dental hygiene program before, but did not get accepted. If I want to apply again, do I need to submit another application? +

Yes - You will need to submit all new documentation, using DHCAS.

If I am not accepted into the dental hygiene program, can I be accepted to VCU for another program? +

No – if you are not accepted into the dental hygiene program and wish to enter a different program at VCU, you must apply to that program separately.

When will I know if I have been admitted into the program? +

Applicants will be notified of acceptance by e-mail no later than April 30.

Can I enroll in dental hygiene courses anytime? +

No – courses in the dental hygiene curriculum can only be taken by students enrolled in the two year program at the VCU School of Dentistry. 

I am an international student. How do I apply? +

International students must apply through DHCAS.  Applicants with foreign transcripts must have them evaluated before being sent to ADEA DHCAS. Foreign evaluated transcripts are required in order for the application to be considered complete. ADEA recommends applicants use World Education Services ( or Educational Credential Evaluators ( ADEA DHCAS does not verify coursework and does not use grades from international transcripts in computing ADEA DHCAS GPAs.

Once you are admitted to the program, you will need to contact the Office of International Admissions at (804) 828-6016 to make sure all required information is submitted for enrollment at VCU.


What is a competitive GPA for the dental hygiene program? +

The average overall GPA for students entering our program in 2015 was 3.41 and math/science GPA of 3.51.

A grade of "D" is not acceptable as prerequisite for this program. VCU will not transfer any grade below a "C"; however, all courses taken are factored into the GPA.

Do I have to complete my prerequisites before applying to the program? +

No; however, all prerequisites must be completed by the end of the spring semester in the calendar year that you are applying. Some colleges do not include courses in progress on the transcript. If you are taking prerequisite courses during the spring semester and those courses do not appear on your transcript, please submit proof of enrollment to in the form of a "screen capture" of your university's eServices page indicating your name, the institution and course(s) and the start and end dates for each. Please do not "copy and paste" from the screen, as this can be manipulated and is not considered valid proof.

Can I transfer to VCU to complete my prerequisite course work? +

Yes. You may apply to the university as a non-degree seeking student. Please note that degree seeking students have priority over registration options, leaving the non-degree seeking student limited in the courses available.

How is my GPA calculated for math/science and overall? +

We break down the requirement and calculate GPA in the manner and categories described below:

  • We total the math/science credits and we total the quality points for those credits, then divide the number of quality points by the number of math/science credits, which is your math/science GPA. 
Can I take my pre-requisite courses at a Virginia community college? +

Yes – the first two years can be taken at a community college as long as the courses are transferable. Please refer to the admission requirements and follow the instructions provided on how to use the course equivalencies section of the VCU Transfer Guide.

Does VCU accept College Board credit for Advanced Placement tests? +

Yes. VCU accepts credit for AP tests and duel enrollment courses. AP tests scores of 3, 4 or 5 will, depending on the test, be considered for advanced standing and credit for the corresponding courses at Virginia Commonwealth University.

If admitted, you will be required to provide a clean copy of the AP Student Grade Report to the Dental Hygiene office. Final determination of credit will be made after test results have been received and evaluated by the Transfer Center. Credits awarded are counted as credits earned toward the degree, but are not included in the student’s VCU GPA.

Dual enrollment courses: Qualified students who have taken college-level work while still enrolled in a secondary school may receive academic credit. Courses taken as dual enrollment courses will be treated as VCU courses or transfer credits according to the evaluation guidelines.

I am an out-of-state student; what prerequisites do I take and how do I know if VCU will take these courses? +

For questions regarding the transferability of courses taken at a university other than VCU please refer to the admission requirements and follow the instructions provided on how to use the course equivalencies section of the VCU Transfer Guide, which now includes other universities and colleges in addition to the Virginia Community College System and Richard Bland College.

English is not my first language. Must I take a TOEFL? +

TOEFL scores may be required for applicants whose native language is other than English. Please refer to the English proficiency requirement on the admission requirements page.

Program details

How long is the dental hygiene program? +

The dental hygiene program is two years (four semesters) after completion of two years of prerequisite course work. Students enter in their junior year.

Is it possible to work part-time while attending school? +

Yes, although the faculty does encourage you to limit your part-time employment due to the academic demands of the curriculum.

What is a typical day like at the dental hygiene program? +

Hours each day may vary, but generally the courses run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The core curriculum focuses on a hands-on approach to dental hygiene education. During your senior year you will be assigned to overnight extramural rotations sites such as Lynchburg, Northern Neck and Danville.

The first semester begins on the last Monday in July or the first Monday in August, depending on the academic calendar for that year. All semesters are conducted on a strict full-time schedule.

There are no night classes, no summer courses (clinic extends beyond the normal spring semester) and no online courses available for this program.

Applicants and accepted students

Is financial aid available for this program? +

Check with the financial aid department at your college or university for more information.

The School of Dentistry Office of Financial Aid can help with financial aid issues for students who have been accepted to dental hygiene program at the VCU School of Dentistry. If you need financial assistance to help pay for prerequisite course work, you need to visit the financial aid office of the institution where you are enrolled or plan to enroll to take those courses.

I do not live in the City of Richmond and do not want to live in campus housing. What are my options? +

There are several options available to students who would prefer to live off-campus or commute into the city. Information about off-campus housing can be found at the VCU Off-Campus Student Services website. You may also want to check out the Greater Richmond Transit Company for information about city commuting.

What are the computer requirements as a student in the Dental Hygiene Program? +

Students are required to purchase a School of Dentistry-issued laptop. This laptop will come preloaded with standard software used at the School of Dentistry and compatible with all of our educational technologies and electronic clinical processes.


Why should I get a B.S. degree in dental hygiene at VCU? +

There are many aspects of VCU that make it an excellent place to pursue your dental hygiene career. Being integrated within a dental school provides a wealth of opportunities to interact with a nationally- known faculty, work with a diverse patient population and work alongside dentists and dental students. As part of the course of study and community education, students travel to off-campus extramural rotation sites to provide clinical care.

Do you have open house dates? +

The VCU Dental Hygiene Program holds information sessions for all of those interested. We review basics of the program, as well as admissions requirements and the application process. Although access to clinic areas is limited to patients, faculty, students and staff in accordance with OSHA guidelines, we will be able to tour the dental hygiene offices and classrooms.

Please contact if interested in attending an open house session.

Virginia Commonwealth University
School of Dentistry
Lyons Dental Building
520 North 12th Street, Fourth Floor
Box 980566
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0566
Contact us