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    Mar 03, 2024  
2010-2011 Georgia Health Sciences University Catalog 
2010-2011 Georgia Health Sciences University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene

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Career Information

Dental hygienists help people develop and maintain good oral health using concepts in preventive dentistry. GHSU’s program teaches counseling skills and the usual functions of the dental hygienist. The dental hygienist is a vital member of the dental health team.

Dental hygienists:

  • take and record dental and medical histories
  • perform oral examinations
  • assess dental hygiene treatment needs
  • scale and polish teeth
  • apply topical fluoride
  • prepare diagnostic casts
  • perform root debridement
  • expose and process dental X-rays
  • place temporary restorations
  • polish amalgam restorations
  • apply sealants
  • implement patient-education programs

Skills and Interests Suited to a Career in Dental Hygiene

Dental hygienists should be caring, enjoy being with others, have good communication skills, have some ability to teach and enjoy working with their hands.

Related fields include nursing, medical technology, radiologic technologies, occupational therapy and dental laboratory technology.

Career Opportunities

After successfully completing the National and State Board Dental Hygiene examinations, the dental hygienist is licensed to practice under the supervision of a licensed dentist in various settings. Employment opportunities include private dental practice, public health (governmental agencies, health agencies or special institutions), public school programs, industry and dental hygiene education. Dental hygiene offers opportunities for full-time or part-time employment.

Salary Information

The expected beginning salary range for GHSU graduates in clinical practice is $38,000–$45,000 per year.

About the Program

The program is a “2+2,” meaning the student completes the first two years at any accredited college or university of choice, and the last two years on the GHSU campus. All students begin the GHSU program fall semester of their junior year. The program includes classroom, laboratory and clinical education.

Admission Requirements

Admission is based on college grade point average, references and assessment of motivation and personal qualities needed to complete the program. A minimum 2.3 overall GPA on a 4.0 scale is required. References should be from individuals who can evaluate academic performance.

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit minimum TOEFL scores of 550 paper-based and TSE-P of 50.

Current certification in Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers and first aid is required prior to enrollment. Computer literacy is also expected.

Applicants are encouraged to visit the campus.

Technical Standards

In addition to demonstrating personal characteristics appropriate for a health professions career, students must satisfy general and specific technical standards. Visit standards.htm to review these requirements.

Financial Aid

GHSU participates in all federal student aid programs as well as state and private programs. GHSU helps students fund their education through grants, scholarships, loans, a service commitment program and/or employment.


Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association
211 East Chicago Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60611

How to Apply

This is a transfer program that requires applicants to attend another accredited college or university of their choice to complete the required core curriculum (see Courses to Take the First Two Years). Sophomores can apply for transfer admission to GHSU. Accepted applicants will transfer fall semester to begin the junior year. Although the GPA of most applicants will likely be higher, transfer consideration requires at least a 2.3 college GPA.

Applications should be received by April 1, but will be accepted until the class has been filled. Early application is encouraged.

Apply online at, or contact:

Office of Academic Admissions
170 Kelly Building–Administration
Georgia Health Sciences University
Augusta, Georgia 30912
Telephone: 706-721-2725

Courses to Take the First Two Years

The courses required to graduate from GHSU comprise a core curriculum divided into six categories (A-F). Options for completing these prerequisites for transfer to GHSU:

A. Essential Skills 9 semester hours  
English Composition I 3 hours  
English Composition II 3 hours  
College Algebra, Mathematical Modeling,
Trigonometry, Pre-calculus or Calculus
3 hours  
B. Institutional Options** 4-5 semester hours  
Introduction to Computers
Critical Thinking
Creative Writing
Health and Wellness
Medical Terminology
Any approved guided elective from Area F
C. Humanities and Fine Arts** 6 semester hours  
Foreign Language
Speech, Oral Communications
Drama, Art or Music Appreciation
Electives in Humanities and Fine Arts
D. Science, Mathematics and Technology 10-11 semester hours  
One four-hour laboratory science course (chemistry is required), one three-hour nonlaboratory science course and an additional three-hour course in science, mathematics or technology or two four-hour laboratory science courses (one chemistry course is required) and an additional three-hour course in mathematics, science or technology.


E. Social Science** 12 semester hours  
U.S. Government
Other History
Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups
Lower-division electives in Psychology and Sociology
F. Courses Appropriate to the Major 18 semester hours  
Speech* 3 hours  
Anatomy and Physiology I and II w/labs (recommended) or
other advanced
sciences related to health professions
8 hours  
Psychology* 3 hours  
Sociology* 3 hours  
Guided approved electives 1-10 hours  

A course in Microbiology is strongly recommended. Other options include Statistics, Educational Psychology, Child Psychology, Health Psychology, Consumer Behavior, Economics, Computer Science, Social Problems, Sociology of Aging, Gerontology, Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups, Methods in Social Research and Abnormal Psychology

* If this is taken in another area of the core, the hours would be taken in additional guided electives.

** If a student planning to transfer to GHSU from another school in the University System of Georgia has completed this area with courses taken there or at another institution from which GHSU accepts transfer credit, GHSU will accept the area as satisfied. A student planning to transfer from a school not in the University System of Georgia should choose from the list of courses.

Estimated Tuition and Fees

For estimated tuition and fees, please see the Tuition and Fees  section of this catalog.