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Dental Hygiene

The UTHSC Dental Hygiene program strives to create a learning environment in which each graduate is instilled with the knowledge, skills and values to provide care to patients, along with a sense of responsibility to self, the community and the profession. The UTHSC Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Prospective Student Notice

Statement on Pass/Fail and S/NC Grades for Prospective and Newly Accepted Students: The changes COVID-19 has brought to higher education include some schools changing course grades to Pass/Fail type grading. The Admissions Committee encourages all students to choose a grade if possible–especially for prerequisites. If your school does not give you an option in the matter, please be prepared to provide documentation from your school’s Registrar or Academic Counselor that earning a grade was not possible.

Modification to face-to-face course instruction requirement: Science courses should be taken using face-to-face instruction if offered. We are aware that many applicants had their courses switched to online due to COVID19 and will certainly accept those taken in 2020 and Spring/Summer semesters of 2021. For science courses with labs taken Fall 2021 semester, be prepared to provide documentation from your school’s Registrar or Academic Counselor stating that the course and/or lab was not offered in a face-to-face format. 

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene. This program is fully accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation.

The UT dental hygiene program prepares students through didactic, laboratory, and clinical experiences to work as licensed dental hygienists.

The UTHSC dental hygiene program is a 2 + 2 program:

*During the second year of the dental hygiene program, students are required to participate in at least one week of a clinical rotation at a UTHSC facility in Union City. Housing accommodations are provided as part of the rotation.


The patients treated by dental hygiene students in the dental hygiene clinics are usually registered patients of the College of Dentistry who are receiving limited or comprehensive dental care through the under-graduate and graduate dental education programs. Most of our patients are recruited from the city of Memphis and the surrounding tri-state area which has a population of well over one million.

The program maintains the College of Dentistry’s primary patient recall system and provides regular ongoing preventative maintenance care in the dental hygiene clinic to a patient base of over 2,700 individuals. In addition to the dental hygiene clinic, students have scheduled clinical rotations to provide preventative services to patients seen in dental specialty clinics. Approximately 60% of all student dental hygiene clinical experiences are provided in UTHSC clinics.

  • The program will ensure graduates are able to provide appropriate planned education services through organized community efforts to promote health and disease.
  • The program will produce professional oral healthcare providers who competently deliver preventive, therapeutic, and educational oral health services in accordance with the ADHA Code of Ethics.
  • The program will provide graduates with the knowledge, values, and skills to use evidence-based decision making to provide comprehensive oral healthcare that will promote and achieve oral health.
  • The program will inspire graduates to enhance their practice of dental hygiene through professional activities and continuing education.

The campus is part of the largest health science center in the Mid-South, providing great potential for access to diverse population groups. Formal agreements have been reached between the university and several local clinics for student clinical rotations outside the program’s primary on campus teaching clinic. Specific learning objectives and experiences have been identified for such rotations.


Feb 15, 2024