Admission requirements

Dental Hygiene students

For information regarding prerequisite courses at VCU, refer to the VCU University College pre-dental hygiene program information.

Two years of liberal arts study with a minimum of 60 semester hours of transferable quality academic course credits are required. Click on a course subject for a brief description of the types of courses required for this program.

The generic list of courses below will be helpful to you when choosing prerequisites and electives. If the courses you have taken or plan to take match closely with the brief descriptions provided, they will most likely transfer, as long as they are from an accredited institution.

Prerequisites for Admission 

Ensuring that all prerequisite coursework be completed no later than the spring semester of the application year is solely the responsibility of the applicant. A grade of "D" is not acceptable as prerequisite for this program. VCU will not transfer any grade below a "C"; however, all courses taken are factored into the GPA.


A minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 and a Math/Science GPA of 2.70 will make the applicant competitive.  A holistic application review is employed.  Applicants must demonstrate the ability to succeed in advanced science courses.  In recent years the average overall GPA of admitted applicants is 3.7 and the average math/science GPA for admitted applicants is 3.6.

Technical skills

In order to successfully complete the dental hygiene curriculum at VCU, students must meet nonacademic criteria for motor, sensory/observation, communication, cognitive and behavioral abilities, as listed in the School of Dentistry Technical Standards.

Transfer Credits

The VCU transfer guide now includes other universities and colleges in addition to the Virginia Community College System. Once you select which school you attend, you will click on the “Course Equivalency Tables” tab on the left hand side of the screen. Use the prerequisite list to compare courses on the course equivalencies list and you should have no problem choosing the right courses for this program.

When choosing elective courses, make sure any courses you have taken or you are considering taking, are on the course equivalencies list. These elective courses do not have to be equivalent to anything specific at VCU, but they must be on the list and may simply be indicated as "elective" in the right column. Higher level courses in the same equivalency discipline may not be transferable.

If you do not see your school on the transfer guide course equivalencies list, please contact the VCU Transfer Center at (804) 827-1349 for specific guidance.

Course work completed in the Dental Hygiene Program at VCU may or may not transfer to another institution and is at the discretion of the program or institution.

English proficiency

To successfully complete the dental hygiene curriculum, students are required to communicate clearly (in English) with faculty, students, staff and patients. To assure such competence, the Dental Hygiene Program requires any applicant whose native language is not English and who has been educated primarily outside of the United States to submit official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores.

Applicants are required to submit an official TOEFL or IELTS score. The test must have been taken within the past two years (exempt if you have successfully completed 60 or more transferable semester credits at a two- or four- year postsecondary institution in the U.S., to include the full freshman English.

The Dental Hygiene Program does not conditionally admit applicants who have not met the requirement for proof of English proficiency. For more information visit the VCU Global Education Office.


VCU’s dental hygiene program minimum TOEFL score requirements are 550 (paper) or 80 (internet-based). For more information about TOEFL testing, visit the Educational Testing Services website.


VCU’s Dental Hygiene Program minimum IELTS score requirement is 6.0.