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Dental Education Information

Alejandra Montoya-RubalcavaPictured | Alejandra Montoya-Rubalcava | Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene | Syracuse, Indiana (hometown)
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The mission of the Division of Dental Education Dental Hygiene Program is to be a leader in providing high quality education, clinical experiences, and interprofessional collaborative opportunities to undergraduate students for future roles as oral health professionals.  The program is committed to excellence in the theory and practice of dental hygiene and in the development of competent, socially sensitive, culturally diverse, and ethically responsible professionals.

Program Goals

At the completion of the dental hygiene program students will be able to:

  1. Exhibit the highest level of professionalism.
  2. Deliver high quality patient care by the use of sound judgment, critical thinking skills, and evidence based decision making.
  3. Emphasize the role of the dental hygienist as a patient educator involved in community health engagement activities related to health promotion and disease prevention.

Program Objectives

To be able to fulfill the requirements of a Bachelor Degree in Dental Hygiene and promote the overall program goals, graduates of the Department in Dental Hygiene at IU South Bend will be able to:

  1. Apply didactic information through patient care.
  2. Demonstrate critical thinking through writing, speaking and listening.
  3. Adhere to the ethical, legal and professional codes of conduct expected of the dental hygiene practitioner.
  4. Evaluate the different career roles of the dental hygienist.
  5. Assess, plan, implement, and evaluate oral health community events that provide solutions to access to care and health education.


The program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements”. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. The Commission’s web address is: 

Professional Licensure and Certification Disclosure

The Dental Hygiene BS Degree curriculum follows the rules of the American Dental Association’s Commission of Dental Accreditation (CODA) in preparing students for a degree in dental hygiene. This degree prepares the graduate to complete professional licensure examinations. Indiana University South Bend Entry-Level Dental Hygiene BS Degree curriculum satisfies the educational requirements for graduates to apply for licensure, as well as local anesthesia certification in the state of Indiana. The School has not made a determination as to the sufficiency of its program to satisfy professional licensing or certification requirements of any other state or jurisdiction. Students should consult the Board of Dental Examiners in their state to confirm if the degree from IU South Bend meets the criteria for professional licensure in their state.

Contact information for the Boards of Dental Examiners can be found at

The Student’s Responsibility

All universities establish academic requirements that must be met before a degree is conferred. These regulations concern such things as curricula and courses, the requirements for majors and minors, and university procedures and policies. Each student is individually responsible for fulfilling them. Advisors and faculty are available to advise students on how to meet these requirements. If the requirements have not been satisfied, the degree will be withheld pending satisfactory fulfillment. For this reason, it is important for each student to be knowledgeable of all of the requirements described in the IU South Bend Undergraduate Bulletin and the Program in Dental Hygiene Academic Handbook.

Students are expected to comply with the:

  • Academic Regulations and Policies of Indiana University
  • Professional Codes of Conduct of the American Dental Hygienists' Association
  • Standards of Practice of the American Dental Hygienists' Association
  • Components of Professional Behavior of the IUSB Dental Hygiene Program
  • Dental Hygiene Program Handbook and Clinic Manual

Dental Hygiene

The IU South Bend campus offers the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (BSDH), entry level for those new to the field. The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Dental Hygiene Program is an agency member of the American Dental Educator’s Association and the American Dental Association.

General Information

Dental Hygiene is the study of the art and science of preventive oral health care including the management of behavior to prevent oral disease and promote health.

The BSDH program strives to offer a creative curriculum for meeting the current and future oral health needs of society. The curriculum prepares a generalist in professional dental hygiene and serves as a basis for graduate study. The purpose of the bachelor’s program is to produce graduates who think critically, are culturally, ethically, and legally competent; are effective, politically aware, communicators and coordinators of community resources; and are competent providers of health care, professional role models, and responsible managers. The curriculum focuses on health and wellness as well as alterations in states of wellness and viewing persons as part of their environments.

Our students are the driving force behind our program and who make coming to work fun for each one of our faculty. IU South Bend Dental Hygiene program becomes family for each of our students. Hygiene school is like no other program. Classmates and faculty are in it together and will work as a team. Students will receive our faculty's undivided expert attention.

Admission Policies
Predental Hygiene Program

Students are admitted as Health Sciences students while they are completing prerequisite courses for the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene. The student services staff of the Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences provides academic advising for all Dwyer College of Health Sciences students. Students can schedule an appointment with an advisor through the Student Appointment Scheduler (SAS) in One.IU.

After completing all prerequisite coursework, students will apply to the professional program. Enrollment in the professional program is competitive and interested students are encouraged to work with an advisor to assess their eligibility for admission and the competitive nature of the program admissions. 

Professional Program

One cohort of 20 students is admitted into the Dental Hygiene degree program each year to begin the course of study in the fall. Admission criteria is established by the adminstration and faculty of the Division of Dental Education. Applications and application materials are processed through the Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences Academic Advising Center. 

Evaluation of application materials is reviewed by the School of Applied Health Science Council. An application for admission to the Dental Hygiene degree program must be completed and returned to the Academic Advising Center by February 1 for best consideration. Applications will be accepted after the February 1 deadline. Late applications will be reviewed after consideration of all applications meeting the February 1 due date. Matriculation of late applicants to the program will be decided pending available cohort positions. 

Each applicant is evaluated on the basis of academic preparation and record. In the competitive process, applicants are scored and ranked based on the following: 

  • Application GPA
  • Science GPA
  • Essay score
  • Completion of General Education Coursework
  • GPA scores will be calculated by averaging all attempts of required coursework, including equivalent courses 

Criteria for Admission Eligibility

Students must

  • Be admitted or is eligible for admission to Indiana University. IU South Bend campus applications must be submitted to the IU South Bend Office of Admissions.
  • Submit required dental hygiene admission materials to the Dental Hygiene degree program.
  • Complete all prerequisite courses or their equivalent with a grade of C or higher in each course, unless otherwise specified.
    Prerequisite courses include:
    • ENG-W 131
    • PSY-P 103
    • SOC-S 161
    • SPCH-S 121
    • CHEM-C102
    • ANAT-A 210 or ANAT-P 261
    • PHSL-P 130, PHSL-P 204, or PHSL-P 262
  • Be able to complete all prerequisite courses by the start of the program. Preference will be given to students who have completed all coursework by the end of spring of the year of application.
  • Complete a 300-word typed response to a question as directed in the application materials. Contact the department for the questions.
  • Complete four hours of shadowing a dental hygienist

Academic Regulations

Students are expected to comply with the:

  • Academic regulations and policies of Indiana University, Professional Codes of Conduct of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, Components of Professional Behavior of the IU South Bend Dental Hygiene degree program, the Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences Student Policy and Procedures Manual, and the Standards of Practice of the American Dental Hygienists' Association.
  • Students admitted to the Dental Hygiene degree program should consult the program handbook and the clinic manual for updates and additional policies governing academic policies, procedures, and academic standing.

Academic Policies
  • Students must earn a grade of C or better in all required courses for the degree, including general education courses, and maintain a semester and overall GPA of at least 2.0. 
  • Students must follow the Dental Hygiene course sequence as outlined in the IU South Bend Degree Map for the BSDH. Failure to follow the sequence can result in delayed/denied admission to the next course sequence, including out of clinical progression status.
  • If a student does not successfully complete one of the critical program courses (DHYG-H 205, DHYG-H 215, DHYG-H 218, DHYG-H 219, DHYG-H 221, DHYG-H 250, DHYG-H 301, DHYG-H 302, DHYG-H 321, DHYG-H 420) or one of the radiology courses (DHYG- H 303, DHYG-H 305) with a grade of C or better, the student will not be eligible to continue in the clinical practice course sequence and their status will be changed to out-of-progression. Out-of-progression status will result in program dismissal until the student is approved for reinstatement. Out-of-progression students must follow the policies and procedures regarding reinstatement in order to complete the program. Out-of-progression students will work with the Dental Hygiene Program Director to develop an individualized plan for success. 
  • A student will be dismissed from the program if any two clinical, didactic, radiology courses or a combination of these courses are not completed with a grade of C or better. Withdrawing from a critical course is considered an unsuccessful completion of a course attempt. There are no options for reinstatement once dismissed due to multiple course failures.

Clinical Promotion  

Critical courses listed below may only be repeated once, including withdrawing from a course. Students who do not successfully complete all required courses with a minimum grade of C by the second attempt are dismissed from the IU South Bend–CHS program of study. In addition to the policy and procedure outlined in the college and school level policies, students enrolled in the dental hygiene program who earned a grade of less than a C or withdrew from a course with the prefix DHYG or DAE must complete the course successfully by the second attempt. After the second unsuccessful attempt students will be permanently dismissed from the dental hygiene program.

In addition to the general academic policies, students must meet the following requirements to be promoted through the clinical course sequences:

Student will be promoted to the DHYG-H 218 Fundamentals of Dental Hygiene preclinical course upon the successful completion of:

  • CPR Certification no sooner than June 15
  • DHYG-H 205 Medical and Dental Emergencies
  • DHYG-H 321 Periodontics
  • MICR-M 250 Microbial Cell Biology (C– or higher)

Students will be promoted to the DHYG-H 219 Clinical Practice 1 upon successful completion of:

  • DHYG-H 218 Fundamentals of Dental Hygiene
  • DHYG-H 303 Radiology

Students will be promoted to DHYG-H 301 Clinical Practice 2 upon successful completion of:

  • DHYG-H 215 Pharmacology and Therapeutics–First Year
  • DHYG-H 219 Clinical Practice 1
  • DHYG-H 221 Clinical Dental Hygiene Procedures

Students will be promoted to DHYG-H 302 Clinical Practice III upon successful completion of:

  • DHYG-H 301 Clinical Practice II

Students will be promoted to DHYG-H 420 Advanced Clinical Procedures upon successful completion of:

  • DHYG-H 250 Local Anesthesia and Pain Control
  • DHYG-H 302 Clinical Practice 3
  • DHYG-H 333 Management of the Special Needs Patient

Withdrawal and Course Drop from the Dental Hygiene Program

Students who withdraw from the Dental Hygiene degree program and/or course once admitted into the clinical program can apply for reinstatement. Students who withdraw a second time are not readmitted or eligible for reinstatement. Students who are administratively withdrawn from the program are not eligible for reinstatement.

The student will be reinstated based on academic standing, potential for progress toward the degree, availability of resources to take on the additional student, and satisfactory completion of any conditions and/or faculty recommendations existing at the time of dismissal. Reinstatement depends on if there is the availability of at the time of clinical reentry.

Reinstatement to resume progression is dependent on space availability. In the event, multiple students are contenders for limited openings in the program, student overall GPA, program GPA, and programmatic success indicators will determine open position fulfillment. Program documentation and student submitted materials will be used to determine the reinstatement decision. Programmatic success indicators are the identified skills and abilities that relate to the essential abilities outlined for each program. If denied reinstatement the student may appeal according to the procedures outlined in the School of Applied Health Sciences Appeal Policy.

Attendance Policy

Due to the nature of courses, attendance and punctuality is mandatory. Students are expected to attend all lectures, discussion, lab, clinic, and other course or program related sessions, including IPE. Tardiness and absenteeism may result in dismissal from the program due to the need to meet minimum clock hours as established by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

2023-2024 Campus Bulletin
2022-2023 Campus Bulletin
2021-2022 Campus Bulletin
2020-2021 Campus Bulletin
2019-2020 Campus Bulletin
2018-2019 Campus Bulletin
2017-2018 Campus Bulletin
2016-2017 Campus Bulletin
2015-2016 Campus Bulletin
2014-2015 Campus Bulletin

Please be aware that the PDF is formatted from the webpages; some pages may be out of order.