Admission to the Dental Hygiene Program


School of Dentistry

Office of Student Affairs and Admissions
501 South Preston Street Room 234
Louisville, Kentucky 40292

Phone: (502) 852-5081

Admission Requirements

The School of Dentistry offers the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene.

Admission into the Dental Hygiene program is a tiered process: Lower and Upper Divisions. Students apply to the UofL Lower Division to complete general education and program pre-requisite courses on the Belknap Campus. Students  must apply to the Dental School Upper Division to complete the professional component of the Bachelor of Science Dental Hygiene Degree Program on the HSC Campus.

All applicants should refer to the information included in the University of Louisville catalog relative to general admission policies. Admission to the Lower Division does not guarantee admission to the Upper Division. Admission to the Upper Division is competitive.   

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Admission to the Lower Division

Students may be admitted directly to the UofL Dental Hygiene Program Lower Division (pre-professional) if the minimum admission standards and university deadlines are met. Applications must be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and are available online. Students admitted to the Lower Division may also qualify for the program's Guaranteed Early Admission to the Professional Program. Information regarding early admission and general admission standards are found below and online.

Admission in Good Standing

There are three options to meet admissions standards to UofL Lower Division in good standing. To be admitted in good standing, beginning freshmen and transfer applicants with less than 24 hours must meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum cumulative high school grade point average of 2.8 along with a minimum ACT Composite of 21 (SAT 1060)
  • Minimum cumulative high school grade point average of 3.0 along with a minimum ACT Composite of 20 (SAT 1030)
  • Test Optional admissions to lower division requirements are a minimum high school grade point average of 2.8 and a comprehensive review of high school transcript, including grades and course curriculum rigor.
    1. Factors considered: completion of Algebra II, grades earned in other math classes, honors classes.

University of Louisville Students Changing Majors

Students who have completed at least one semester in another college/school of the University earning a grade point average of at least 2.8, and have a cumulative grade point average of 2.8 or above for all college coursework may apply to the Lower Division Program in Dental Hygiene. They must complete an online change major application in ULink.

Students admitted through this process must be advised before registering for courses in their first semester in the dental hygiene lower division pre-professional curriculum.

Transfer Students

Transfer applicants with 24 credit hours or more must have a college cumulative  grade point average of 2.8 or higher to be admitted to the Lower Division in good standing.  Students transferring into the Lower Division must submit ACT or SAT scores when applying.

Transfer Grade Acceptance

The University of Louisville recognizes appropriate course work completed at other accredited universities and colleges and accepts that work according to the principles set forth in the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers Transfer Credit Practices and state law. Transfer credit hours that are college-level, academic in nature, and earned at appropriately accredited institutions will be accepted and posted as credit hours earned (i.e., with no grade or quality points) and will be accepted as credit toward degree, consistent with program requirements in the Dental Hygiene Program. All graded transfer credit hours, however, will be used for Upper Division admission purposes.

Transfer Equivalency Determination

Courses that meet general education and program requirements may be transferred under course equivalencies established in the Office of Transfer Services. It is the student’s responsibility to read the catalog, student handbooks, and official notices (e.g., University of Louisville School of Dentistry Dental Hygiene Program website and emails) to be informed about credits, requirements, and to abide by the regulations of the University and the School of Dentistry.

Early Admission to the Upper Division

Each year, the dental hygiene admissions committee may reserve space in each dental hygiene upper division cohort for offers of early admission.  Matriculation is conditional upon the successful completion of program prerequisites and maintenance of specific academic criteria given at time of conditional acceptance. Students must still complete admission requirements of the upper division, including completion of the DHCAS application to the upper division. Students forfeiting their conditional offer of early admission may still apply for admission to the upper division with the traditional competitive applicant pool. Students interested in early admission to the upper division are encouraged to contact the program academic counselor for more details on how to apply.

Admission to the Upper Division

Admission to the Upper Division is competitive. Admission to the Lower Division does not guarantee admission to the Upper Division. To be considered for admission, applicants meeting the below minimum requirements may be eligible to apply. Advising to evaluate applicant readiness is encouraged for all students and required for freshman students. Applicants meeting the minimum academic requirements are not guaranteed admission to the program.

Course Requirements

  • Minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA (based on all college courses completed at accredited post-secondary institutions, as listed on all official transcripts).
  • Have completed or be in the process of completing 55 credit hours of degree applicable courses, including specified general education and program pre-requisites. Students must have courses completed prior to the start of the professional program. Transfer students are encouraged to review course equivalency for verification.
  • Earn a C or higher in required science courses (including Nutrition). Science courses (including Nutrition) must have been completed within the last 10 years at the time of application to Upper Division.  

Additional Admission Requirements

  • Dental Hygiene Professional Application through the ADEA Dental Hygiene Centralized Application Service (DHCAS), available online at
  • Application deadline is January 15 and only complete applications, including all required materials, will be reviewed for admission.
  • Required DHCAS materials include:
    • ACT/SAT Scores
    • Documentation of at least 20 hours of dental hygiene observation
    • Response to personal statement(s) addressed within application
    • Letters of recommendation submitted directly from recommender including two (2) from instructors, one of whom must be science, and one (1) from a personal/work/community reference. 
    • Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions
    • Altus Suite. All applicants are required to complete Altus Suite as part of the application. Altus Suite consists of a two-part online assessment of non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics. Altus Suite will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening. In implementing Altus Suite, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process. To complete Altus Suite visit to create an account and complete the following assessments:
      • Casper - 60-90 minute online, open-response situational judgment test (SJT)

University Application Requirements for Admission

  1. Transfer students not currently enrolled in UofL must also complete the UofL undergraduate application, specifying dental hygiene (DHL) as a major selection (if admitted, transfer students will be moved to DHU).
  2. UofL students not enrolled in DHL must submit a change major form, specifying DHL for the designated Fall semester.
  3. UofL DHL students need only submit application through DHCAS.
  4. TOEFL scores for applicants whose first language is not English. Because command of the English language is essential for successful professional school study, non-native English speaking applicants, regardless of citizenship, must demonstrate their English proficiency through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Preference is given to candidates with a minimum score of 100 and with listening and speaking section scores at 26 or above. The institution code for submitting TOEFL scores to the UofL School of Dentistry is 5933.  Students who have graduated from a high school in which English is the primary language and/or has completed a minimum of 30 credit hours in a fully accredited U. S. college or university qualify for a waiver of the TOEFL requirement.

Applicants must comply with the minimum technical standards for admission and matriculation with or without accommodation and the immunization requirements for all Health Sciences students. Compliance with the immunization requirements for all Health Sciences students is mandatory.

Immunizations requirements have been established to safeguard the health and well-being of patients, students and all health care workers and can be found on the Campus Health website.

Upper Division Transfers from Another Dental Hygiene Professional Program

The University of Louisville School of Dentistry considers Upper Division Dental Hygiene transfer students (coming from professional study in another dental hygiene program) on a case-by-case basis. Only individuals who are in good standing at their present dental hygiene school (or were in good standing when they left) are considered to be eligible as a transfer student. Upper Division transfers students will be required to meet with the program director for academic review and recommendation.