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Admissions Information

Jane Walsh, RDH, JD, Program Director of Dental Hygiene
Telephone: 504-941-8156
Fax:  504-941-8154
E-mail: jwals2@lsuhsc.edu

Admission to all programs at the LSUHSC School of Dentistry is done on a competitive basis. The admissions committee is charged with the responsibility of reviewing the applicants and accepting those who possess the best credentials. The committee attempts to select the best possible students based on the criteria set forth below while at the same time seeking a diverse student population. During the month of April, the most competitive candidates are interviewed individually by members of the admissions committee. At the completion of all the interviews, a meeting is held to act on their applications. The earliest date for notification of acceptance is mid May.

CLASS SIZE: For the Program in Dental Hygiene, the admissions committee selects up to 32 students for the program in New Orleans and 6 students for the program in  Lafayette. The applicant pool consists of approximately 140-175 students.

RESIDENCY: To be admitted to the Program in Dental Hygiene, you must be a Louisiana resident. For more details on residency requirements, please click here. If you have questions about residency, they should be addressed to the Registrar of the LSUHSC Health Sciences Center by calling 504-568-4829.

Admissions Requirements

Application materials for admission to LSUSD may be obtained online November 1st of the year prior to year of application.

The Dental Hygiene Program at LSUHSC School of Dentistry is currently participating in the ADEA Dental Hygiene Centralized Application Service, known as ADEA DHCAS. Applicants apply to the entry-level Dental Hygiene program online using the ADEA DHCAS application. To learn more about the ADEA DHCAS application process, visit www.adeadhcas.org.

The LSUHSC School of Dentistry Office of Admissions must receive a completed verified application from DHCAS by February 15th of the year of application. It is the applicant’s responsibilities to provide the following material to DHCAS in a timely manner to ensure verification and completion by the February 15th deadline in order to be considered for the admissions process.

All sections of the application as supplied online by DHCAS must be completed by the applicant. 

To download this form click here.

A fee of $50.00 must accompany the Resident Verification Form. The fee must be paid by check since our business office is unable to accept cash. Make Check Payable to LSUHSC.  

A recent color or black-and-white photograph must accompany the Resident Verification Form, affixed to the upper left hand corner. 

Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended by the applicant must be sent to the ADEA DHCAS Transcript Processing Center, P.O. Box 9129, Watertown, MA 02471. These materials should come directly from the Registrar of the institution. 

Official ACT scores must be submitted to our office from ACT. It is the students responsibility to contact the ACT Office at 319-337-1313 for permission to release scores to LSUHSC. The ACT School Code is 1601. No photocopies accepted. 

Each applicant is required to submit two letters of reference. One is required from a college professor who has instructed them in a course. The other letter should either be from an additional teacher, beyond the one required, or non-teachers, such as dentists, co-workers, etc. These reference letters should be submitted through DHCAS, a maximum of (3) are accepted.

The Office of Admissions attempts to inform applicants of the status of their application. Upon receipt of the application, an e-mail is sent informing the applicants of its arrival. An e-mail indicating “application complete” will be sent when that status is achieved. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure that all items are received by the February 15th deadline in order to be considered for admission. An applicant will not be considered for an interview or admission until the application is complete. Applications not completed by February 15th will not be considered for admission.

CREDIT HOURS A minimum of 60 semester hours of academic coursework must be completed at a college or university accredited by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) prior to registration in the Dental Hygiene Program. Non-academic courses (i.e. bowling, dancing…) or courses for a specialized field of study (i.e. pharmacy, nursing…) are not acceptable. Pre-requisites by college are listed on the dental hygiene web site under the heading Prerequisites by College. Applicants may contact the Program in Dental Hygiene for a specific list of the courses required for the college or university they are attending. 


College Requirements
You must complete a minimum of 60 hours of college work to be considered for admissions. You must have successfully completed:

Academic Electives -5 hours Fine Arts -3 hours Psychology -3 hours
Biology -13 hours Gen. Chem. -6 hours Sociology -3 hours
Math -6 hours Humanities -9 hours Speech -3 hours
English -9 hours    

Students may apply for the Dental Hygiene program before completing all classes.  However, all required courses must be successfully completed by May for the Dental Hygiene class  starting in August. Because of their foundational significance, all science courses must be taken within 5 years of application and through an in-person and not on-line format. All other prerequisites must be completed within 10 years of application and may be on-line.

Admissions Criteria

Two major areas are considered in the admissions process:

1. ACADEMIC ABILITY LSUSD considers dental hygiene to be a profession with a solid scientific basis. Students entering this educational program must possess a strong educational base and the ability to comprehend the basic sciences to build on this existing knowledge. The following information is utilized to determine the intellectual ability of the applicants: 

  • OVERALL GPA This numeric factor is calculated on the basis of ALL academic college work attempted. In other words, if a student makes an F in a course, which is subsequently retaken with a grade of B, both the F and B will be used in calculating the GPA. In recent years a 3.2 overall GPA has been the minimum necessary for a competitive application.
  • SCIENCE GPA Many studies have shown that science GPA is one of the best indicators of academic success in professional school. This average is calculated from the grades achieved in biological sciences and chemistry. In recent years a 3.1 science GPA has been the minimum necessary for a competitive application.  
  • ACT SCORES The American College Test (ACT) is a standardized exam, which acts as the “great equalizer” for applicants from different colleges. The ACT enables the committee to directly compare applicants to one another. A competitive composite score must be a 20 or above.  
  • REFERENCES Applicants are required to submit two references, one must be from a college professor who has instructed them in the classroom. These written statements give the committee insight into the applicant’s characteristics both as a student and as a person.
  • PERSONAL ESSAY Thisprovides the committee with insight of the connection and commitment the applicant has to the profession of dental hygiene.
  • CONTINUED ACADEMIC INVOLVEMENT:  Because of the difficulty of the program, the committee considers as well the length of time since the applicant’s last academic experience.

2. PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES Since dental hygiene is regarded as a “people profession,” possession of the ability to communicate and to provide and obtain cooperation from other individuals is a must. Ability to manage stress and possession of high ethical standards are also considered to be desirable qualities. In addition, those interested in a career in dental hygiene should determine whether they have the commitment and flexibility required to succeed in the profession. These criteria are assessed by:

  • PERSONAL INTERVIEW Each applicant deemed by the Committee to be competitive academically is invited to the dental school for a personal interview with the Admissions Committee. 
  • REFERENCES The reference letters are designed to evaluate these traits. 
  • DENTAL EXPERIENCE Experience/shadowing in a dental setting is STRONGLY encouraged and is considered by the committee. This experience will better enhance the applicant’s understanding of a dental hygienists’ job responsibilities and is an indication of their commitment to the dental field.

Want More Information?

Jane Walsh, RDH, JD, Program Director of Dental Hygiene
Telephone: 504-941-8156
Fax:  504-941-8156
E-mail: jwals2@lsuhsc.edu


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Last Update 5/2017