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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 LSUHealth School of Dentistry (LSUSD) is done on a competitive basis. Each admissions committee is charged with reviewing and accepting applicants who possess the best credentials. Selections are based on the criteria set forth below in Section 2. Committed to diversity and service to underserved populations, the committee encourages applications from qualified candidates who represent all backgrounds and those from underserved areas who want to return or remain to care for these communities. Specifically, LSUSD looks to encourage those from the Acadiana area and Rapides Parish or those obtaining their prerequisites in these parishes hoping to remain. After review of all applications during the spring semester, the most competitive candidates are invited for personal interviews with the admissions committee. At the completion of personal interviews, application scoring is tabulated and interviewed applicants are contacted regarding the outcome.

CLASS SIZE:  The admissions committee selects up to 38 students from an annual applicant pool of approximately 140-175. Pending CODA approval of an additional LSU Alexandria educational site 6 students will be selected to attend classes and clinic sessions at that site. Please select your desired location and alternates from the boxes on the Resident verification form when submitted.

RESIDENCY:  Applicants must be a Louisiana resident for admissions to the Program in Dental Hygiene. For more details on residency requirements, please click here. Questions about residency should be addressed to the Registrar of the LSUHealth:  504-568-4829.

Admissions Requirements and checklist:  These links provide downloadable checklists and logs to help applicants stay organized and on track. Please consider using these:
Pre-requisite Check list Click here:  Prereq Check List
Admissions Check list Click here:  Admissions Check List
Dental Hygiene Shadow/Experience's Log Click here:  Dental Hygiene Shadow/Experience's Log

Admissions opens November 1st, for the following academic year. Application materials for admission to LSUSD are processed in two parts and each part has a separate fee. (see link above to an available checklist for admissions) Those parts are as follows:

Part 2: Supplemental package

Part 1:  The Dental Hygiene Program at LSUHSC School of Dentistry participates with the ADEA Dental Hygiene Centralized Application Service, known as ADEA DHCAS. ADEA DHCAS will charge users a fee. Please see their website for that fee amount which is subject to change. Applicants interested in our program should apply to the entry-level Dental Hygiene program online using the ADEA DHCAS application. To access this process visit www.adeadhcas.org. It is the applicant's responsibility to monitor the status of their application through ADEA DHCAS. If there are questions regarding your application with ADEA DHCAS call (617) 612-2045. The website provides both an email address (accessible via the website) as well as this phone number for follow up if needed.

    All sections of the application as supplied online by ADEA DHCAS must be completed by the applicant by the last business day of December by 4:00 PM CST to allow time for verification by ADEA DHCAS by February 1st.
    Each applicant is required to submit two letters of reference through ADEA DHCAS. 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. A maximum of (3) are accepted. See the ADEA DHCAS website for information on this process.
    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.
  • ATDH Test Results
Part 2:  The supplemental packet: This packet requires a separate fee. This fee is $50.00. The packet will not be processed without payment. This packet includes the following:
    $50.00 Non-refundable application fee paid online through the LSUHSC Fee Payment Portal
    To download this form click here.
    A recent color or black-and-white photograph must accompany the Resident Verification Form, affixed to the upper left hand corner.
  • COPY OF DRIVER'S LICENSE (front and back)
  • DRAFT CARD STATUS(males only)
    Copy of your current Draft Card status you can print a copy off the internet at www.sss.gov
    Mail Part 2 A-E to:
    Office of Student Admissions
    1100 Florida Ave., Box 28
    New Orleans, LA 70119
    Official ACT scores must be submitted to our office from ACT using the School’s ACT School Code which is is 1601. No photocopies accepted. It is the students' responsibility to contact the ACT Office at 319-337-1313 for permission to release these scores as part of your supplemental packet. The ATDH exam will prompt you to select a school to send the scores to. Select LSU and ADEA DHCAS

    Mail Part 2 Information not sent by ACT or ATDH to:
    Office of Student Admissions
    1100 Florida Ave., Box 28
    New Orleans, LA 70119

The Office of Admissions informs applicants of receipt of their supplemental fee and packet via email notifications through DHCAS. It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that all items for both parts of the application process are received by the last business day of December, 4:00 PM CST. This deadline must be met in order to be considered for admission. An applicant will not be considered for an interview or admission until the application is complete. Application submissions must be completed by the last business day of December, 4:00 pm CST or they will not be considered for admission.

A minimum of 60 semester hours (outlined below) of academic coursework must be completed.


Prerequisites by College
Pre-requisite Check list Click here:  Prereq Check List

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   TOTAL:  60
  • These classes must be from a college or university whose institutional accreditation is recognized by the US Department of Education prior to registration in the Dental Hygiene Program.
  • Students may apply for the Dental Hygiene program before completing all classes.  However, all required courses must be successfully completed by the end of May for the Dental Hygiene class starting in August.
  • All prerequisites must be completed within 10 years of application.
  • 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. (Due to COVID 19, IN PERSON FORMAT is waived from Spring 2020-Fall 2021).
  • Non-academic courses (i.e. bowling, dancing…) or courses for a specialized field of study (i.e. pharmacy, nursing…) are not acceptable.
  • Successful completion of required courses is defined by a grade of C or above.

2. 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 GPAThis 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 a common data point that a can be used to compare all applicants. A minimal acceptable composite score must be at least a 20 or above to be considered for admissions. Super scores can be considered.
  • REFERENCES Applicants are required to submit two references, (SEE SECTION 1 OF APPLICATION) one must be from a college professor who has instructed them in the classroom. These written statements should provide the committee insight into the applicant's aptitude, character and abilities both as a student and person.
  • PERSONAL ESSAY This should provide the committee with insight of the applicant's connection and commitment to the profession of dental hygiene. (Submitted through ADEA DHCAS)
  • CONTINUED ACADEMIC INVOLVEMENT:  In addition to GPA, the committee considers the intensity and trajectory of course work as well as gaps, withdrawals and level of courses taken. Length of time since the applicant's last academic experience is also considered

2. PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES Since dental hygiene is regarded as a "people profession", possession of certain soft skills is evaluated through the interview process. The ability to communicate and obtain cooperation from other individuals is a must. The 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 teach and educate their patients as well as the ability to be taught and receive feedback in very close one on one settings. These criteria are assessed by:

  • PERSONAL INTERVIEW:  The 50 or so applicants deemed most academically competitive by the Committee Chair will be invited to interview with the Admissions Committee.
  • REFERENCES:  The reference letters submitted to DH CAS are designed to help the committee evaluate these traits and are reviewed by the committee prior to interviews.
  • DENTAL EXPERIENCE 80 hours:  80 hours of dental experience through work in a dental office, shadowing a dental hygienist or volunteering in a dental setting is required. Applicants that are invited for interviews will be asked to provide a copy of the Dental Hygiene Shadow/Experience log (see link below) when they arrive for the interview or via email should interviews continue on line. (that determination has not yet been made). Dental Hygiene Shadow/Experience's Log Click here: Dental Hygiene Shadow/Experience’s Log

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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