Jul 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Dental Hygiene, B.S.D.H.

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Academic Foundations and Core Curriculum - 42 semester hours

(See Academic Foundations and Core Curriculum - 42 semester hours )

Requirements for a Major in Dental Hygiene - 120 semester hours

The Dental Hygiene Department offers the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree (BSDH). The curriculum consists of (1) the dental hygiene prerequisite courses and the University core curriculum taken during the freshman and sophomore years (54 hours) and (2) the dental hygiene courses (66 hours) taken during the junior and senior years, after acceptance into the Dental Hygiene Program. Acceptance into the University does not constitute acceptance for admission into the Dental Hygiene Program. Entrance into the Dental Hygiene Program is competitive and limited to the number of clinical positions available in the M.S.U. Gaines Dental Hygiene Clinic (18). A new class is accepted each April for entry into the program the following fall semester.

The Dental Hygiene Program is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. Completion of degree requirements enables the graduate to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and the State Board Clinical/Jurisprudence Examinations for licensure. The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners has set guidelines and criteria regulating the eligibility of persons with criminal convictions, mental illness, and/or chemical dependency to obtain a license to practice dental hygiene in the state of Texas. All applicants applying for licensure must complete a Fingerprint Criminal Background Check before submitting an application for initial licensure. (Detailed information is available from the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners - http://www.tsbde.state.tx.us - Texas Occupations Code, Title 3, Chapter 263.) A student who has concerns in this area is encouraged to contact the Dental State Board in the state in which he/she wishes to practice early in his/her academic career. Dental hygiene is classified as a Category I level (high-risk) profession for blood-borne pathogens, according to OSHA standards.

A person with certain musculoskeletal conditions may have difficulty performing the daily activities required in the profession of dental hygiene. These include, but are not limited to, degenerative conditions or injuries to the neck, back, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and/or hands. Examples: herniated or bulging disks, chronic rotator cuff symptoms, and carpal tunnel syndrome. It is strongly recommended that individuals with any of these conditions be evaluated by their physician prior to pursuing the dental hygiene degree.

Admission Policies

To be considered for admission, the following basic requirements must be met by candidates on or before April 1 (for the following fall’s entering class):

  1. Be eligible for admission to M.S.U.
  2. Submit a dental hygiene application and most recent transcripts depicting completed courses, as well as courses in progress, directly to the MSU Dental Hygiene Department with the $25.00 application fee. Dental Hygiene applications can be downloaded from the MSU Dental Hygiene website at http://www.msutexas.edu/academics/hs2/dental/.
  3. Present a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a minimum science GPA of 3.0 for BSDH prerequisite and core academic courses.
  4. Provide documentation of work experience or 20 hours of observation in a dental office. The documentation form can be downloaded from the MSU Dental Hygiene website listed in #2 above.
  5. Complete the Test of Essential Academic Skills V for Allied Health (TEAS V for AH) with an average score of 63% or higher on the five scored areas in the Reading and English & Language Usage sections. Exams may be taken only two times within a six month time frame. Contact MSU Testing Services at 940-397-4676. Only TEAS V for AH will be accepted, no exceptions. Exams can be taken at sites other than MSU.
  6. Successfully complete the following courses prior to entering the Dental Hygiene Program. Recommended degree plan can be downloaded from the Dental Hygiene website listed in #2 above.  May apply to program while enrolled in prerequisite courses.

Additional Course Requirements (and core curriculum specifics) for a BSDH degree (39 hours)

Eleven (11) of the following thirteen (13) courses are required prior to entering the Dental Hygiene Program:

Applicant Selection Procedures

Due to the limited availability of clinical positions, the selection process for admission into the Dental Hygiene Program is based upon a ranking system. The Dental Hygiene Program Admissions Committee will evaluate all applications and rank them according to designated point values for the following criteria:

  • GPA of prerequisite courses (cumulative GPA and science GPA)
  • Number of prerequisite and core courses completed with a grade of B or better
  • Number of prerequisite and core courses in progress at application deadline
  • Number of prerequisite courses taken at MSU
  • Previous dental-related experience
  • Dental Hygiene Program Application
  • Performance on the Test of Essential Academic Skills V for Allied Health (TEAS V for AH)

For additional information on application procedures, admission requirements, and applicant ranking computations, visit the department website at: http://www.msutexas.edu/academics/hs2/dental.

Progression Policy

Dental hygiene courses must be taken in the sequences prescribed. The lack of satisfactory completion of such courses in sequence will result in suspension from the program until the courses can be repeated. Requirements are as follows:

  1. A student must attain a grade of 75 (C) or above in each of the dental hygiene major courses.
  2. Failure to attain a minimum grade of 75 in any course will prevent the student from progressing in the program until the course(s) can be repeated. Dental hygiene courses are offered only once per academic year; therefore, failure of a course(s) will require a student to sit out for a full year.
  3. A student who fails to achieve a grade of 75 in any of the dental hygiene courses may repeat the course only once with the approval of the BSDH Program Admissions Committee. Failure to achieve a minimum grade of 75 when repeating a dental hygiene course results in dismissal from the program, and the student may not reapply to this Dental Hygiene Program.
  4. Failure in any two (2) dental hygiene courses (either the same course twice or two different courses) renders the student ineligible for progression in this dental hygiene program and will result in the dismissal of the student from the program.  The student may not reapply to this dental hygiene program.
  5. A student who withdraws from the Dental Hygiene Program and/or the University must go through the dental hygiene admissions process again to be readmitted.
  6. The BSDH Program Admissions Committee reserves the right to make exceptions to the above due to extenuating circumstances.

Additional Requirements

Students MUST provide documentation of the following prior to October 1st of the first semester in which they are in the dental hygiene program.

  1. An eye examination within the preceding six months.
  2. Health insurance.
  3. Documentation of state and program mandated immunizations (See Dental Hygiene website for documentation criteria).

Transfer Policies

Only students transferring from an accredited dental hygiene program will be considered for admission with advanced standing. Transfer students will be considered on a space available basis and must meet the following criteria:

  1. Transfer students must meet the admission requirements of the University and the Dental Hygiene Department.
  2. Students must submit an application to the MSU Dental Hygiene Department by April 1 for the following fall admission.
  3. Progression requirements for these students are identical to those of the MSU dental hygiene students.
  4. Students wishing to transfer dental hygiene courses from another dental hygiene program must meet the following criteria:
    1. Dental hygiene courses to be transferred were completed at a CODA accredited dental hygiene program.
    2. A grade of B or better was earned in all dental hygiene courses.
    3. A written statement from the Dean or Chair of the previous program must accompany the application form. The statement must indicate that the student is in good academic standing and is eligible for readmission to the program from which he or she is transferring.
    4. Documentation on dental hygiene courses the student would like to transfer into the MSU Dental Hygiene Program must be submitted in a well-organized notebook to the Chair of the department. A copy of the letter of good standing must accompany the notebook, as well as a copy of the admission application. The faculty of record for selected courses will review the packet for equivalency to MSU dental hygiene courses.
    5. All potential transfer students are reviewed by the Dental Hygiene Admissions Committee, which will make recommendation, regarding admission and placement.
  5. Transfer credit will be evaluated according to University policy.
  6. Transfer students must earn 31 semester credit hours in 3000/4000 level courses at MSU.

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