Dental Hygiene
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Characteristics of Successful Dental Hygiene Students

Applicants to the Dental Hygiene Program should have a well-rounded academic background with strong preparation in science courses such as biology and chemistry. The two-year program is a rigorous and challenging schedule of academic and clinical courses which requires a full-time commitment. In addition to time spent in lectures, labs and clinics each week, students must devote considerable out-of-class time to study, completion of assignments and preparation for various small group projects. Successful Dental Hygiene students demonstrate the following personal characteristics:

  • excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • disciplined, highly motivated and well organized;
  • strong study habits and test taking skills;
  • above average manual dexterity;
  • mature behavior;
  • able to adhere to ethical standards of conduct;
  • ability to accept constructive criticism;
  • able to work independently or in small groups;
  • ability to think critically; and
  • good stress coping skills.

Special Admissions Requirements/Prerequisites

The clinical Dental Hygiene course sequence begins in the fall semester. Admission is competitive and is limited to 60 students. Completed on-line applications and supporting transcripts from all high schools and colleges attended must be received in the North Campus Admissions Office by May 31 for consideration. Applications completed after the deadline, including courses taken after the deadline, will be evaluated on a space-available basis. Acceptance is contingent on satisfactory Accuplacer test results and satisfactory completion of any courses in progress. The on-line application may be found at The competitive, selective admission process has the goal of identifying highly qualified candidates who demonstrate the academic potential for successfully completing the Dental Hygiene Program.  Potential students are strongly encouraged to spend time in a dental practice or clinic to observe the patient care environment and confirm interest in a dental hygiene career. To be considered for admission to clinical Dental Hygiene courses, applicants must demonstrate scholarly achievement. The following minimum requirements must be met for evaluation and ranking of an application:

  • Reading and writing skills must be at the EN 110 level as determined by the Acccuplacer test results or equivalent.  Developmental courses must be completed prior to consideration for program entry.
  • Mathematics skills must be above the MT 006 level (basic algebra) as determined by the Accuplacer test results or equivalent. Developmental courses must be completed prior to consideration for program entry.
  • Cumulative grade point average must be at least 88% for current high school applicants or 3.00 for college applicants with grades of "C" or higher in general education courses required in the dental hygiene curriculum.
  •  Biology: at least 88% for high school within the past five (5) years or minimum grades of "C" in BI 147/148 (Survey of Anatomy & Physiology).
  • Chemistry: at least 88% for high school within the past five (5) years or minimum grades of "C" in CH 100/101 (Preparatory Chemistry) or higher level chemistry course.
  • Preferred and highly recommended: completion of general education courses, especially sciences, required by the dental hygiene curriculum with minimum grades of "C" and cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.

Academic Experiences of the Most Recently Accepted Class

  • The majority of students had completed general education requirements including English, Public Speaking, Psychology and Social Science.
  • 98% of students had completed Anatomy & Physiology I; 92% had completed Anatomy & Physiology II.
  • 90% of students had completed Microbiology.
  • The middle 50% of the class had a cumulative GPA in the range of 3.355 - 3.782.
  • The average cumulative GPA was 3.553.
  • 22% had a college degree.

Application Review Procedure

Completed online applications with all supporting high school and college transcripts are reviewed in a cascading process as follows:

  • cumulative grade point average
  • required science grades (A&P, Microbiology, Chemistry) - these receive double weight
  • required non-science grades
  • academic degrees earned
  • other degree credit science course with lab and/or higher level math course may be included as a tie breaker

If the number of qualified applicants exceeds the available entering class openings, points will be assigned to each of the five (5) academic criteria with required science courses receiving twice the weight of other courses. The most recent continuous academic record will receive primary consideration. Ranking scores can be increased by completing all general education requirements and earning high grades.

Final review of potentially qualified applications will be completed at the May 31st deadline and accepted candidates will be notified by letter in June. Exceptionally well qualified applicants may receive early acceptance. A limited number of applicants may receive alternate status. Applications received or courses completed after the May 31 deadline will be considered only on a space available basis.

Applicants not accepted to the two-year Dental Hygiene course sequence may be offered admission to the General Studies (250/DH) option. This will provide the student an opportunity to establish a competitive academic credential and meet Dental Hygiene admission requirements through an individually developed schedule of pre-requisite and required liberal arts and science courses based on the applicant's academic history and Accuplacer test results. Dental Hygiene Program advisors will provide academic advisement and tracking during required semester meetings. Admission to this preparatory track does not imply or guarantee admission to clinical courses.

Note: Meeting minimum entry requirements to clinical dental hygiene courses does not guarantee admission due to space limitations. Science courses taken more than five (5) years ago may not be accepted.

Did You Know?

ECC is a member of the State University of New York (SUNY) System, and is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Many of the professional curricula are also accredited by specialized agencies.


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