Dental Hygiene Program Requirements

Admission Information and Requirements

Students are admitted to the Dental Hygiene Program once a year with classes beginning in the Summer term. Program applications are usually accepted early Spring term in January. The dental hygiene program is limited enrollment accepting 16 students annually.  The Dental Hygiene Program consists of both classroom, laboratory, and clinic experiences. Completion of all or part of the general academic courses required for the degree does not guarantee acceptance into the program. However, priority is given to applicants who have completed the most required hours of coursework toward the degree by the end of the Fall term preceding the year for which the applicant is applying. If there are more qualified applicants than seats available in the program, the primary criteria for selection is the GPA of the general education courses required by the program. The secondary selection criteria will be previous dental experience and/or observations in a dental practice (see admission rubric below). Applications will be reviewed and the admission decision communicated to the student via the SCF student e-mail account. Students not accepted may reapply for admission the following year.  The non-refundable application fee for program admission is valid for three consecutive application cycles.  The fee will need to be paid again after three application cycles have passed.   

In addition to the admission requirements of the College, the following are minimum requirements for admission to the Dental Hygiene Program:

  1. Earned a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 or better in ALL general education courses required by the program towards the degree, and a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 to meet graduation requirements.
  2. Satisfactory completion of any remedial coursework needed to be eligible for college level courses. NOTE: Prerequisite courses may be required for ENC 1101 and MAC 1105. These prerequisites MUST be taken PRIOR to entry into the Dental Hygiene Program. Consult the course descriptions in the online Catalog at for additional information.
  3. Prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or better by the end of the Fall semester prior to the year in which the student is applying for acceptance to the dental hygiene program.

Prerequisite courses:

BSC 2085C - Anatomy and Physiology I

CHM 1020C - Chemistry for Everyday Life (formerly CHM 1022) or higher level

Mathematics - Choose from Area II, A.S.

(MAC 1105 College Algebra or STA 2023 Elementary Statistics preferred)

  1. A minimum grade of "C" is required in all courses applied toward the Dental Hygiene degree.
  2. A completed application submitted to the Dental Hygiene program during the acceptance period. Detailed application instructions are published late in the Fall Semester.
  3. Submission of a "what if" degree audit during the application period.
  4. Submission of required documentation for dental experience or observations. (See detailed application instructions).
  5. There is a non-refundable application fee due at the time of application to the program.  Please pay the application fee at the Cashier's Office, Building #1 on the Bradenton Campus or via the MySCF electronic payment system. (A separate application is required for admission to the College.) The application fee is good for three consecutive application cycles.  After three cycles the fee is required to be paid again. 

Note: Letters of Recommendation are not required for application, and will not be considered as a part of the admission process.

The Dental Hygiene Program is a limited enrollment program. Completion of all or part of the required academic courses does not assure acceptance into the program. However, priority is given to applicants who have completed the most required hours of coursework at the time of application. If there are more qualified applicants than seats available in the program, the GPA of the general education courses required by the program will be the determining criteria for acceptance into the program along with any previous dental experience as outlined in the detailed application instructions.

Dental Hygiene Program Admission Criteria

Academics:  Previous Achievements



Completion of Required General Education Courses with GPA of: 4.0-3.7


Completion of Required General Education Courses with GPA of: 3.69-3.4


Completion of Required General Education Courses with GPA of: 3.39-3.0


Completion of Required General Education Courses with GPA of: 2.9-2.75


Completion of Required Pre-requisite Courses without all 36 credits completed and GPA above minimum 2.75


*Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree earned (student can only receive credit for highest degree)


*Awarded only on highest degree conferred                                               

Total points (6 max possible)

Experience: Dental / Allied Health Field



In past 6mo – Observe CRDH for minimum of 40 hours (use SCF form & verification required)


1 -3 years of FT dental employment experience (includes dental specialties; use SCF form & verification required)


4 or more years of FT dental employment experience (includes dental specialties; use SCF form & verification required)


Student can only earn a point for observation or employment, not both. 

*Part-time employment not considered.

Total Points

(2 max possible)

Points from Section A:

Points from Section B: 

Total Points Earned:


In instances where more than 16 students qualify for program admission, overall GPA will be utilized to rank students for the 16 available positions in the program. 

Points / Very Highly


Points / Highly


Points / Recommended

Points / Low



Points / Not


Score of  7

Score of  6

Score of  5

Score of  4

Score of  3

or below

 Once accepted (not prior to acceptance), the following are required: background checks; CPR certification (the program organizes the cpr class); and health and drug screenings to meet local health care agency regulations. Based on the results of these checks and screenings, students may become ineligible for program admission. Continuation in the program is based on acceptable background checks and drug screenings along with acceptable results from random/ongoing screenings. Clinical facilities may limit or prohibit students with positive drug screen results or criminal histories from participating in clinical experiences, thus making the student ineligible to continue in the program. Students are responsible for all fees incurred with these checks and screenings.

As a student enrolled in a Nursing & Health Professions Program, you will complete program requirements in various community-based health care facilities that may expose you to environmental hazards and infectious diseases such as but not limited to Tuberculosis; Hepatitis B; Measles, Mumps & Rubella; and COVID-19. As such, clinical facilities maintain specific health requirements for students to participate in clinical rotations, fieldwork experiences, practicum, and preceptorships.

SCF is highly recommending that every Nursing & Health Professions Student be vaccinated against COVID-19 to meet these clinical requirements similar to existing vaccination requirements for other communicable diseases. Inability to complete required clinical programming due to vaccination status may impact a student’s ability to complete program requirements, thus delaying progression in the program and/or result in a student being unable to complete the program.

Additionally, if an applicant has been convicted, had any adjudication withheld, or has been charged with the commission of a felony or misdemeanor, the applicant will need to get approval from the Florida Board of Dentistry to take the licensure examination upon completion of the Dental Hygiene Program. (Please see the Licensure Requirements tab for more information.)

Progression Requirements

Dental hygiene is a profession in which performance may be determined to be less than safe, may cause harm or unnecessary discomfort to patients. Therefore, it is imperative that standards be maintained which insures safety of care for the patient and the effectiveness and competency of the dental hygiene student. The student must:

  1. Complete the required Dental Hygiene courses in each semester as outlined below.
  2. Achieve a "C" or better in each course including prerequisite and co- requisites
  3. Successfully complete all course, clinic and laboratory requirements, including patient completion requirements, skill evaluation/competencies, and class assignments as outlined in the class schedules in the program and co-requisite courses.
  4. Adhere to ethical and professional behavior as outlined in the Health Professions and Dental Hygiene Handbook.

The Dental Hygiene Program participates in ongoing activities to maintain accreditation, at the highest level, with the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the  American Dental Association.

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