University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center 

College of Dentistry 

Stephen K. Young, D.D.S., M.S., Dean
1201 N. Stonewall Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1214
Phone: (405) 271-5444
FAX: (405) 271-3423

Dental Hygiene 

The dental hygienist (RDH) is a licensed primary health-care professional, oral health educator, and clinician. The dental hygienist works closely with and under the supervision of a dentist. Most dental hygienists are employed in a dental office; however, dental hygienists can be found in numerous other settings; long-term care facilities, hospitals, corporate health facilities, school systems, research centers, state and federal agencies, and public health clinics. The responsibilities of a dental hygienist include preventive services that promote or maintain oral health and clinical treatments designed to arrest or control oral disease. Quality dental hygiene care requires critical thinking to assess the patient’s needs, determine a dental hygiene diagnosis, develop individualized patient care, implement dental hygiene treatment, and evaluate outcomes of dental hygiene treatment. 

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that employment prospects for dental hygiene are expected to remain excellent and one of the fastest growing occupations through the year 2016.  There is considerable freedom for dental hygienists to select work days and hours. 

Bachelor of Science Degree Program 

The Department of Dental Hygiene baccalaureate degree program has been educating outstanding dental hygienists since 1971. The main campus is located within the College of Dentistry at the OU Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City and distance education sites are located at: 1) Tri County Technology Center in Bartlesville, OK; 2) Southern Oklahoma Technology Center in Ardmore, OK; and 3) Western Technology Center in Weatherford, OK. The North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, and the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association accredit the program. 

The mission of the Department of Dental Hygiene (DDH) is to improve the health of Oklahomans and shape the future of dentistry by developing highly qualified dental hygienists through excellence in education, patient care, research, community service, faculty, and facilities. 

The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree requires at least 60 hours of prerequisite coursework and two years in the dental hygiene curriculum, totaling a minimum of 128 undergraduate credit hours. Prerequisite courses may be taken at the University of Oklahoma or another accredited university or college. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take written and clinical examinations for licensure to practice as registered dental hygienists. In addition to working in clinical practices, the baccalaureate RDH may be employed in educational, research, government, and corporate settings. 


Admission to the Dental Hygiene Program is competitive. Selection is based on the applicant’s post-secondary academic record, life experiences, and potential for success in a baccalaureate program. New students are admitted for the fall semester only. Oklahoma residents are given preference, but well-qualified non-residents are also considered for admission. All application materials must be submitted by January 15th of the year in which admission is sought. To be considered for admission, students must meet the following requirements: 

  1. Be in good standing with the last college or university attended. 
  2. Take the ACT or SAT and provide individual component scores and composite score. 
  3. Have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale with a grade of C or better on all required coursework. 
  4. Have a minimum of 60 semester hours of coursework from an accredited college or university. 
  5. Ideally applicants should have completed the FOUNDATIONAL coursework (see prerequisite courses) before the January 15 application deadline. Acceptance is based upon completion of foundational coursework by the end of the spring semester prior to admission, and completion of the remainder of the prerequisite courses by the time the fall semester begins. 
  6. Spend a minimum of 40 hours observing a dental hygienist. 
  7. Submit a completed University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center application online that includes the prioritized site(s) for which the applicant wishes to be considered. 
  8. If English is the student’s second language, a minimum score of 100 (internet-based), 250 (computerized), or 600 (paper) is required on the national standardized Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination. 
  9. An offer of acceptance into the program is contingent upon meeting the required “C” in all remaining prerequisite coursework and a cumulative GPA of 2.5. 


The following completed courses completed are required (with a minimum of a “C” grade) and must be included within the minimum 60 semester hours of study. The course names and numbers are those of the University of Oklahoma. Any exception or substitutions must be approved by the program director or college dean or be listed in the Official Course Substitution Guide of the University of Oklahoma. 

CORE AREA 1: Symbolic &Oral Communication 
ENGL 1113, Principles of English Composition I 
ENGL 1213, Principles of English Composition II 

Foreign Language* — High School, two years; or, College, two courses 
COMM 1113, Principles of Communication, or 
COMM 2613, Public Speaking 
COMM 2513, Introduction to Statistics, or 
PSY 2003, Understanding Statistics 
ECON 2843, Elements of Statistics 

CORE AREA 2: Natural Science 
ZOO 2234, Human Anatomy or 
ZOO 2255, Human Anatomy 
CHEM 1315, General Chemistry 
HES 2823, Introduction to Nutrition 
MBIO 2815, Introduction to Microbiology 
ZOO 2124, Human Physiology 

CORE AREA 3: Social Science 
PSC 1113, Government of the United States
PSY 1113, Elements of Psychology 
SOC 1113, Introduction to Sociology 

CORE AREA 4: Humanities 
HIST 1483, U.S. History 1492 to 1865, or 
HIST 1493, U.S. History 1865 to Present 
Understanding Artistic Forms (three hours)* 
Western Civilization & Culture (three hours)* 
Non-Western Culture (three hours)* 
Approved upper-division general education course (three hours)* 

*Indicates additional general education courses required for students beginning their college education in fall of 1990 or after and those who have not earned an Oklahoma bachelor's or associate's (excludes applied science) degrees. 

A Foundational Grade Point Average (FGPA) is computed and used in the selection process. The FGPA is derived from the grades for the following eight required prerequisite courses: English II, Human Physiology, Human Anatomy, Microbiology, Statistics, Psychology, Nutrition, and General Chemistry. Averaged grade points will be used for courses retaken. It is important that as much of the foundational coursework as possible be completed in the fall semester prior to desired entry in order to have the strongest possibility of selection. 


Applicants are selected for interview on the basis of a calculated Academic Score, comprised of the Foundational GPA, last 60 hours of coursework GPA, Foundational Course Completion Status, and composite ACT score. 

Interviews are granted according to academic scores generated.  The interview session includes oral and written components. Oral interviews evaluate knowledge of profession, maturity, service, communication skills, and professionalism. A fifteen-minute writing sample is judged on grammar, spelling, conciseness, logic, articulation and depth of argument. 

Notification of contingent acceptance into the program is made in April for the class beginning in August. 


For detailed information regarding the dental hygiene program and admissions process, please visit our website at:

To obtain pre-advisement contact: 

Dental Hygiene Program 
P.O. Box 26901 
Oklahoma City, OK 73190-3044 
Telephone: (405) 271-4435; FAX: (405) 271-4785 

For questions about the online application contact: 

Office of Admissions & Records 
OUHSC, BSEB Room 200 
P.O. Box 26901 
Oklahoma City, OK 73190-3040 
Telephone: (405) 271-2359; FAX: (405) 271-2480 

For information concerning financial aid contact: 

Office of Financial Aid 
OUHSC, BSEB Room 241 
P.O. Box 26901 
Oklahoma City, OK 73190-3040 
Telephone: (405) 271-2118 

Doctor of Dental Surgery Program 


Dentistry offers the opportunity to blend science, human relations and technical skills into a satisfying profession. If you are considering a career in dentistry, we invite you to carefully consider the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. Our excellent training facilities, superb faculty and well-designed curriculum make for a dental education second to none.

From its inception in 1971, the College has established a reputation of educating its students to provide the highest quality of clinical care. The training program affords students with extensive opportunities to learn and develop competency through practice in both simulation and in patient clinic settings. Graduates develop the knowledge, technical skills, and clinical acumen necessary to assume roles as responsible health care professionals. 

In addition to its four-year program to prepare general dentists leading to a Doctor of Dental Surgery  (D.D.S.) the College offers postdoctoral residency and graduate programs in advanced general dentistry, orthodontics, periodontics, and oral and maxillofacial surgery.   An Advanced Standing Program for Internationally-trained Dentists is also available leading to a D.D.S. in 29 months. 


The four-year general dentistry curriculum integrates foundational studies in biomedical and dental sciences with pre-clinical and clinical experiences, and has a strong emphasis on comprehensive patient care. Significant opportunities for treating patients are a hallmark of the student’s training at the College of Dentistry and promotes development of strong clinical skills and excellent practitioners. Numerous opportunities for both community outreach and research activities are also available and strongly encouraged throughout the education experience.

The program is divided into traditional Fall and Spring semesters with eight-week summer sessions. The objectives of the program are to produce graduates who: 

Instruction is provided in the basic biological sciences, behavioral sciences, and clinical dental sciences. Clinical sciences are taught throughout the entire curriculum. As the student progresses through the program, increasing time and emphasis is devoted to supervised patient care. Behavioral sciences instruction, the management of dental practice and ethics and professionalism are incorporated throughout the curriculum. By graduation, the student is considered to be qualified to enter directly into the professional practice of dentistry.  In addition to completing the College of Dentistry curriculum, students must also pass regional and national examinations in order to receive a degree and become licensed for practice. The pass rate on such examinations for OU students is consistently high — well over 90 percent on the first attempt.

The first year of the curriculum is focused largely on foundational biological and clinical sciences that are relevant to dentistry. Courses in human structure, microscopic anatomy with emphasis on the oral-facial structures, biochemistry, and physiology provide the student with the understanding of the biological sciences important to the dentist. Instruction in the clinical sciences gives the student the knowledge of form, structure, growth, and function of the dentition, the importance of and the mechanisms to prevent dental disease, and some of the procedures used to restore diseased oral tissues to a healthy condition. The first of a series of courses on ethics, community dentistry, and evidence-based decision making are also offered in the first year. Students begin patient care in the first year by performing preventive dentistry and examination and diagnostic procedures. 

The second year builds on this foundation and includes content on the processes of oral and systemic diseases through conjoint courses in pathology, oral pathology, microbiology, immunology, and pharmacology.  Several pre-clinical courses occur that are designed for the student to develop the technical skills for dentistry in a safe and controlled environment.  Additional advanced instruction in the clinical disciplines is provided and the student spends more time providing faculty-supervised patient care.   

In the third year, more than half of the student’s time is spent in the provision of dental care to patients. At the same time, he or she continues to receive instruction in biological, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences. Students work in collaborative groups to provide high-quality care, practice effective management principles, and assist each other in professional growth and development. 

The final year concentrates extensively on patient care in a team-based comprehensive care approach. Significant time is also devoted to the correlation of the basic, behavioral, and clinical sciences, as well as the effective and efficient delivery of dental services. Each student also participates in off-campus externships that are designed to provide experiences in treating patients from diverse backgrounds and exposure to other models of healthcare delivery. Extensive emphasis is given to comprehensive patient care and the teamwork and leadership involved in the provision of dental health services. 


Instruction takes place in the modern 112,000-square-foot Dental Clinical Sciences Building, and other affiliated sites on the OUHSC campus.  The Dental Clinical Sciences Building provides excellent facilities and equipment for clinical instruction, including modern, well-equipped operatories for students to deliver patient care.  The College utilizes an electronic patient record system and digital radiographic imaging.  A remodeling project underway will create specific areas for patient-centered, team-based comprehensive care.  Preclinical instruction is conducted in a state-of-the-art laboratory designed to simulate working at chairside, thus facilitating the student’s transition from the laboratory to the treatment of patients.  The Dental Clinical Sciences Building has three 88-seat lecture rooms and several multipurpose classrooms in addition to laboratories and faculty offices. Student space is ample and includes locker rooms, a faculty-student commons, several lounges, and meeting spaces.


Minimum pre-dental education requirements include 90 semester hours and the following prerequisite courses (minimum semester hours in parentheses): Biological Science w/lab (16); Inorganic Chemistry w/lab (8); Organic Chemistry w/lab (8); Physics w/lab (8); Biochemistry (3); English (6); General Psychology (3). A grade of “C” or higher is required for all prerequisite courses. In addition, applicants must complete at least 100 hours of observation and/or work experience in a dental clinic or dental laboratory environment. 

At least 75 semester hours and most (if not all) of the prerequisites and dental observation hours should be completed prior to submitting an application. In recent years, well over ninety percent of the entering class has completed a baccalaureate degree or an equivalent number of credits. 


Application to the four-year general dentistry program is made through the American Dental Education Association’s (ADEA) centralized application service, which is known as the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). Along with AADSAS application, the following documentation is provided to the application service: 1) official transcripts from each higher education institution attended, 2) scores from the Dental Admission Test (DAT), and 3) letters of recommendation from a dentist and a pre-professional advisory committee. 

A separate OU Supplemental Application must also be submitted directly to the College of Dentistry to complete the application process.  This application is found on the College of Dentistry website.  The deadline for submitting both the AADSAS application and the OU Supplemental Application is October 1.

If an applicant has taken the DAT multiple times, the Admissions Committee will consider the DAT report with the highest overall academic average.


Applicants with strong credentials and competitive applications are invited for a personal interview with individual members of the Admissions Committee. It is well understood that intellect and academic achievement alone are not sufficient criteria for selecting the most qualified applicants. Hence, interviews are conducted to assess the applicant’s motivation, career choice process, character, maturity, communication skills and record of service and volunteerism. Scheduling for interview begins in October and continues through January. 

The Admission Committee meets in late November to select the entering class. The selections are forwarded to the Dean for final approval. Each applicant is notified as soon as a final admission decision is made but not before December 1. Those offered admission are asked to submit a non-refundable advanced tuition deposit in order to reserve a position in the class.


The learning experience is formatted around a cohort model in which a class of 50-56 entering students progresses through the entire program together. Approximately 12 positions in each entering class are reserved for out-of-state residents.


Students may apply for financial aid by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). OUHSC’s Title IV Code required for the FAFSA is 005889. Based on the FAFSA information the HSC Financial Aid Office can determine the aid for which the student qualifies.

For further information, contact: 

Office of Financial Aid 
OUHSC, SU 301 
P.O. Box 26901 
Oklahoma City, OK 73126-3040 
Telephone: (405) 271-2118 


Prospective students and their families are welcome and encouraged to visit the College of Dentistry.  With advance notice it is usually possible to arrange a meeting with the Assistant Dean for Admissions and a tour of facilities with a dental student. 

University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry 
Office of Admissions 
1201 N. Stonewall Ave. 
Oklahoma City, OK 73117 
Phone: (405) 271-3530 
Fax: (405) 271-3423


This program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association and is one of 64 accredited dental schools in the United States.

May 2013