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WKU Dental Hygiene Admissions Criteria

In order to be considered for admission in the Program of Dental Hygiene at Western Kentucky University, students must complete the following requirements:



The two-year Dental Hygiene program begins a new class each fall.  The Program of Dental Hygiene has a separate application for admission than Western Kentucky University.  Program of Dental Hygiene applications are due no later than December 1.  All prospective applicants should also apply to Western Kentucky University with submission of current transcripts no later than December 1.  

ACT/SAT Scores

The typical successful applicant has a composite ACT score of 23 or higher.  ACT scores below 17 will not receive points on the Admission Rubric.  A similar conversion will be made for students who submit SAT scores. 

Non-traditional students who do not have ACT/SAT scores may still apply.  These students must have both science prerequisites (BIO 207/208 and BIO 131) complete by the end of the fall semester in which the student is applying. 

Visit the Application Checklist page for more detailed information. 

College GPA/Credit Hours

Applicants seeking admission must have completed, or be scheduled to complete, at least 14 hours of college credit hours by the end of the fall semester prior to the student beginning the Program.  The minimal GPA required to apply to the program is 2.8. The typical successful applicant has an earned GPA of 3.5. 

Completion of Prerequisite Courses

  • Anatomy & Physiology (Bio 131)
  • Microbiology w/ Lab (Bio 207/208)
  • Psychology 100
  • English 100     

The required prerequisite courses for application to the Program are to be included in the 14 hours if applying as a freshman.  In the event that Anatomy & Physiology OR Microbiology will be taken in the Spring semester after the application period, admission into the program would be conditional upon satisfactory completion of the course.  All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher.  If A&P and/or Micro have been taken more than once, grades will be averaged.

Job Shadowing

Documentation of 15 or more hours of observation of a dental hygienist in a private practice office.  


Candidates who possess the highest academic qualifications necessary to be successful in the program will be granted an interview. Because of the nature of the program and the necessity to work closely with faculty, patients, and students, the interview is of key importance in the admission process. To earn a score of 5 on the interview portion of the admissions process, a candidate must be able to: speak knowledgeably about the profession, clearly articulate reasons for pursuing this career choice, possess the ability to communicate clearly, and display professional deportment. Candidates who fail to achieve a mean rating of 3.5 (on a 5 point scale) on the interview will not be admitted to the program regardless of academic qualifications.

A note on admission

Admission is limited and inherently competitive. Applicants' ACT/SAT scores, college GPA, Bio 131 grade, and Bio 207/208 grade are considered on a competitive basis along with granted personal interviews as warranted based on the previous considerations.  In the event of more qualified applicants than available slots, preference will be given to currently enrolled Western Kentucky University students who have earned a minimum of 14 hours at WKU. There are no restrictions regarding age, sex, race, religion, or marital status.  Candidates for admission must be eligible for dental hygiene licensure and capable of fulfilling clinical practice requirements.  Notification of status will be sent by the beginning of April.

Expectations as a Dental Hygiene Student

Various courses in the dental hygiene curricula require students to serve as patients in the instructional process.  This means you may be divided into groups to learn certain skills by practicing techniques/procedures on each other.  If you have a medical condition/allergy that would prohibit you from receiving treatment such as local anesthesia, nitrous oxide, tooth scaling, dental impressions, etc., please notify the program director immediately.  This information will be handled confidentially.  


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 Last Modified 1/14/19