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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 reviewing and accepting applicants who possess the best credentials. Selections are based on the criteria set forth below. LSUSD is committed to diversity and service to an underserved population. 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 the Acadiana area and Rapides Parish or those obtaining their prerequisites in these parishes hoping to remain. 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. The earliest date for notification of acceptance is February.

CLASS SIZE:  The admissions committee selects up to 38 students from an annual applicant pool of approximately 140-175 students. After CODA approval of an additional LSU Alexandria educational site (anticipated in January of 2022), 6 of the selected students will attend classes and clinic sessions at that site. Please select the appropriate location option 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 LSUHSC Health Sciences Center:  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 (Waived due to Covid 19, DH,DDs interview required)

Application materials for admission to LSUSD must be provided to the program in two parts. They may be obtained online November 1st of the year prior to year of application. Each part has a separate fee for processing. (see link above to an available checklist for admissions)

Part 1:  The Dental Hygiene Program at LSUHSC School of Dentistry participates with the ADEA Dental Hygiene Centralized Application Service, known as ADEA DHCAS. Applicants interested in our program should apply to the entry-level Dental Hygiene program online using the ADEA DHCAS application. To learn more about the ADEA DHCAS application process and their fee, 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, the website provides both an email address as well as a phone number for follow up if needed.

    All sections of the application as supplied online by DHCAS must be completed by the applicant by December 31st to allow time for verification by DH-CAS by February 1st..
    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. See the 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.
Part 2:  The supplemental packet:  A second fee, $50.00 must accompany the supplemental packet. This packet includes the following:
    To download this form click here.
    $50.00 Non-refundable application fee paid online through the LSUHSC Fee Payment Portal
    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. 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.

The Office of Admissions informs applicants of the status of their application via email notifications through DHCAS. 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 December 31st 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 December 31st 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 accredited by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) 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. (IN PERSON FORMAT waived due to COVID 19).
  • 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 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, (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.
  • 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:  Due to COVID 19 applicant experience will be considered but the requirement for hours will be waived until further notice. Instead, applicants will be asked to speak with a local hygienist or dentist and ask a series of 3 questions of the candidate's choosing that pertain to their interest in the profession of dental hygiene. Applicants that are interviewed will be asked to discuss these questions with the interview committee. Experience/shadowing in a dental setting is still highly recommended if possible as 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.

Dental Hygiene Shadow/Experience's Log Click here:  Dental Hygiene Shadow/Experience’s Log (not required during COVID-19) but hours still asked for on DH CAS application and should be entered if appropriate.

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 6/2016