Dental Hygiene FAQs

Southern Illinois University



Dental Exam


Is it important to have an A.A. or A.S. before entering the program?

No, this has no bearing on our admissions decisions. Decisions are based on high school GPA, ACT and SAT, and/or college GPA. It takes three years to complete the professional sequence after the prerequisites are met, unless you are entering our degree completion program as a registered dental hygienist with an associate degree from an accredited dental hygiene program.

Will my classes transfer?

Contact your advisor to see which courses transfer into our prerequisites. The three courses applicants may encounter difficulties in transferring to meet our prerequisites are chemistry, nutrition, and anatomy. Applicants must make sure their four hours of chemistry include laboratory work and that their anatomy coursework covers all body systems (integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, hematocardiovascular, lymphoimmune, respiratory, genitourinary and reproductive).

When will I know if I have been admitted?

Admission decisions begin in early February. Letters of acceptance or denial will be sent out in the following weeks. To expedite our decision, ensure all necessary documents have been submitted (application, transcripts, ACT scores and observation form). Applications will not be considered until all necessary materials are received. The Dental Hygiene program needs a copy of your high school transcripts even if the University does not.

What are the advantages of a bachelor degree dental hygiene program?

Students are provided with the opportunity for an excellent education and a successful professional career. One major advantage we offer is the student's experience in our outstanding University environment. All the benefits of a four-year institution are at each student's disposal. Additional preparation in the provision of periodontal care and an internship in caring for rural health special need and geriatric populations are provided in the curriculum. Senior students gain dental hygiene teaching experience in a practicum rotation in labs and clinics. Integration of the dental hygiene professional courses over a three-year period allows the student extra supervised clinical practice prior to graduation.

I am a dental assistant. will I receive special consideration for admission?

Dental assistants are evaluated exactly the same as any other applicants: based on GPA in high school and college, and ACT/SAT scores.

How much does it cost?

Customary SIU tuition charges apply to the Dental Hygiene program. Additional expenses for instruments, supplies, uniforms, S-ADHA membership and continuing education courses fees also apply. Students are required to pay costs associated with drug testing and background checks. Many of these expenses need to be met the FIRST week of the fall semester. See Costs Page for more information.

Are all dental hygienists female?

No. Current statistics indicate 98% of dental hygienists are women but we encourage men to apply.

Is selection competitive? How can I enhance my chance for admission?

Selection is competitive. Each class has only 36 spaces to fill. We receive more applications than spaces. If you are denied admission as a freshman, taking the required prerequisites and doing well in them will increase your prospects for admission as a sophomore.

How many spaces are available for Freshmen?

Usually, 12 students are admitted as freshmen. The remaining 24 students will then enter as sophomores, filling the rest of the class.

When are the classes offered? Do you have any weekend or night courses?

Classes are typically offered once a year. See the Course Sequence page to see what classes are offered each semester. Classes are held between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Off-campus experiences may take place outside of this timeframe. This can change from year to year so it should not be used to plan schedules for semesters not listed.

How do I get to Carbondale?

Carbondale is located off Illinois Route 13. Route 13 is accessible from Interstate 57. Take Illinois 13 west to Carbondale. From the St. Louis area, take Interstate 64 to Illinois Route 127. Take Illinois 127 South to Illinois Route 13. Follow Illinois 13 east into town. The SIU Visitor Information page contains more information regarding the city and how to get here.

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