Bachelor of Science - Dental Hygiene - Clinical Entry Level Program

Bachelor of Science - Dental Hygiene
Clinical Entry Level Program

The Division of Dental Hygiene at the UMKC School of Dentistry offers two routes to a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene:

Frequently Asked Questions  

Q. Why should I get a B.S. degree in dental hygiene at UMKC?
There are many aspects of UMKC that make it an excellent place to pursue your dental hygiene studies. Location in a dental school provides a wealth of resources and opportunities to interact with a nationally known faculty, work with a diverse patient population and work along side dentists and dental students. In addition, you can take advantage of the School’s other rich physical and educational resources such as a dental library, large clinic, community rotations and outreach programs and student organizations. The Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene expands your professional opportunities beyond the private dental office and offers personal growth. To help prepare you for those expanded options, the curriculum at UMKC allows you explore different career choices during the final semester. Each student can select an elective practicum in research, community dental hygiene, teaching or care of the special needs patient.

Q. How does your school rate?
The UMKC School of Dentistry and the Division of Dental Hygiene are proud of their Tradition of Excellence that began more than a century ago by meeting the oral health care needs of our patients. In addition, we have maintained a strong commitment to dental education and research. These three elements – service, dental education and research have earned the school a national reputation. As a result, we continue to attract and graduate exceptional men and women who go on to make significant contributions to the dental and dental hygiene professions. You can learn more by reading About the School.

Q. What are the admissions requirements?
The admission requirements are listed at the following link the B.S. Entry-Level Program. Admissions are selective and require more than having completed certain courses or attained a specific grade point average. Other factors include: academic credentials, letters of evaluation, a personal interview, motivation and other information submitted by the applicant.

Q. How do I apply for the Entry Level Dental Hygiene program?
A. Apply online @ You MUST select the subplan of “Want To Be Dental Hygienist” and fall semester as the start semester.

Q. What courses must be completed before I can be considered for admission?
In general for the Entry-Level Program that prepares you to enter dental hygiene studies, the division accepts transfer credits (grade C or above) from institutions which are substantially equivalent to those offered at UMKC. Expected coursework would include: college level communication skills, mathematics, biological and physical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, humanities and a range of electives.
To view prerequisites for the dental hygiene program following this link: Prerequisites for the B.S. Entry-Level Program.

Q. How much will a dental hygiene education cost?
Detailed estimates of annual fees and expenses can be found on pages on this site for the dental hygiene program  - - Entry-Level Program.

Q. I live outside of Missouri. Is there a chance I can be accepted?
Although we do have a commitment to the residents of Missouri, qualified applicants from other states will be considered for admission. Contact the staff at the Division of Dental Hygiene for information unique to your situation. 816/235-2050 or e-mail Division of Dental Hygiene.

Q. What about financial aid?
The Financial Aid pages contains information on assistance that may be available or you can call or write to:
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Financial Aid and Scholarships Office
5115 Oak St.  AC101
K.C. MO  64110

In addition to the University and federal financial aid opportunities, the Division of Dental Hygiene has numerous scholarship sources available to dental hygiene students who meet the financial and academic requirements.

Q. What is a typical day like at dental hygiene school?
. Classes being in late August and continue for 5 consecutive semesters with several holiday and semester breaks. Normal hours are 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM for most students. The core of our curriculum focuses on a ‘hands-on’ approach to dental hygiene education. The coursework emphasizes preventive care that is uniquely designed to meet the needs of dental hygienists working in the real world. The Division of Dental Hygiene programs offers a wide variety of educational experiences from the classroom to the laboratory and clinical training in the Patient Care Clinic.

Q. Do you have student housing available?
For help and advice with on and off-campus housing – call the University Center at 816/235-1412 or e-mail Student Housing.

Q. Is it possible to work part-time while attending school?
Yes, although the faculty does encourage you to limit your part-time employment due the academic demands of the curriculum. This is especially important during the first year of the program.

Q. What kind of job can I expect to get after graduation?
A. Licensed dental hygienists command good salaries and are in high demand in a wide variety of settings, in particular the general dentistry practices and the periodontal specialty offices. Job opportunities and salary vary by geographic area. The Student programs officeat the school maintains a list employment opportunities for dental hygienists.

Q. Is study help available for dental hygiene students?
  The Division of Dental Hygiene offers both academic and non-academic support services to help ensure the success of our students. The Center for Academic Development and Learning Center can provide a range of valuable resources to assist students with their learning skills, study habits and more.
The Office of Student Programs supports our students’ non-academic needs with such services as
Student Retention Policy – Students enrolled in the Division of Dental Hygiene at the University of Missouri – Kansas City are bound by the Standards of Scholarship of the School of Dentistry.

Q. Tell me a little about the faculty of the Division of Hygiene.
Our students benefit from a faculty that is both talented and experienced. The instructors have a broad range of expertise as clinicians and scientists. Each member of the faculty is focused on student success through individualized assistance and attention.

Q. I am past the traditional age for a college student, do you have anything for me?
Our student population consists of both traditional and non-traditional learners and they vary widely in age.

Q. How can I arrange to visit?
Please call our office at 816/235-2050 or e-mail the Division of Dental Hygiene.

Q. I still have some questions about my specific academic situation, who can I talk to?
You can call the Division of Dental Hygiene collect during business hours –

Admission Requirements and Program Prerequisites

Entry-Level Program – Admission Requirements
Admission to the Division of Dental Hygiene programs is selective and requires more than meeting certain course or grade point average requirements. The selection process takes into account a number of candidate factors including:

  • Academic credentials
  • Letters of evaluation
  • A personal interview
  • Motivation
  • And other information submitted by the candidate

Classes begin each year at the end of August. Formal applications for admission to UMKC and the dental hygiene program must be submitted no later than February 1 of the year the student desires admission.

A new dental hygiene application will be available in October. Please check back then.

Please email or call 816-235-2083 if you are unable to download the materials.
To request information about this program click here.
If you have advising questions or to contact an advisor, please email or call 816-235-2083

The basic requirements and credentials required for the process are:

  • Satisfactory completion of approximately academic two years of college (58 semester hours).Specific coursework must be completed before admission to the dental hygiene program and satisfy the general education Program Prerequisites listed below.
  • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5.
  • A college science grade point average of at least 2.5.
  • Transcripts all college course work.
  • Application to the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
  • Application for admission to the Division of Dental Hygiene.
  • Three evaluation and recommendation forms.
  • Personal interview with at least two members of the Dental Hygiene Admissions Committee. (Interviews are by invitation only and are scheduled after February for those students who have met the admissions criteria)

In addition, acceptance is contingent on submission of a criminal background check.

Profession Overview and Career Opportunities
The dental hygienist is a highly valued and integral part of the oral health care team. The licensed dental hygienist is able to practice in a variety of settings from the private and group dental offices to health departments, hospitals, health maintenance organizations, long-term care facilities, the armed services and government agencies.

Those dental hygienists that choose direct patient care may:

  • educate and treat patients in the control and prevention of oral disease  
  • expose and process dental x-rays
  • perform head and neck examinations
  • provide oral prophylaxis (dental cleaning) and local anesthesia
  • help patients avoid tooth decay through diet counseling and fluoride therapies
  • provide non-surgical periodontal therapy

Other dental hygienists choose to devote their professional lives to descriptive and clinical research or work as health educators in clinical and academic settings or utilize their administrative skills in dental practice management. 

For the past several decades, the employment demand for well-trained dental hygienists has been steady and vigorous. By all indications, this trend will continue into the future with UMKC Division of Dental Hygiene at the leading edge. The school maintains an extensive listing of job opportunities across the country and the faculty can provide valuable assistance in career decisions.

Also check out the Dental-Related links on this site for other resources devoted to oral health, dentistry and dental hygiene

Dental Hygiene Careers
While most registered dental hygienists work in private dental offices and clinics, dental hygienists may find careers in such settings as:

  • Private business or industry, federal, state and local health departments 
  • Public centers and hospitals for pediatric, geriatric or other groups with special needs
  • Research and educational programs for dental hygiene
  • Hospitals and health maintenance organizations  

Licensure Examinations
Prospective dental hygienists must successfully pass the written National Dental Hygiene Board Examination before legally practicing. This nation-wide examination is administered to dental hygiene students approximately one month prior to graduation. The student must also successfully complete a clinical examination and an examination in dental laws for each state in which you wish to be licensed. Once these examinations have been completed with passing scores, the student may apply for a license in any state.

Academic Standards
Attendance – Regular attendance at all classes and clinical sessions is required during the professional program. The student is responsible for familiarization with all classroom and clinical requirements and assignments.

Academic Honesty – The Division of Dental Hygiene assumes that all students are enrolled to learn; therefore, any cheating is basically at variance with the purposes of the student and this institution. Any dishonesty detected in a course (including during examinations or in submitting plagiarized material) may result in an F grade in the course, and may be cause for dismissal or suspension from the Division of Dental Hygiene.

Student Retention Policy – Students enrolled in the Division of Dental Hygiene at the University of Missouri – Kansas City are bound by the Standards of Scholarship of the School of Dentistry.

Repeated Courses – A dental hygiene student who wishes to repeat a course must submit a course repeat form to the UMKC Registrar's Office no later than the end of the fourth week of the term if that repeat is to be included in grade point average calculations. Students who are repeating a course must have prior approval of the director of the Division of Dental Hygiene.

Advanced Placement – The general examination offered by the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) will not be acceptable for degree credit. However, credit received through specific or subject examinations will apply toward a bachelor of science degree in dental hygiene. Even though hours of credit may be received in natural sciences, it is preferred that an applicant to the dental hygiene program complete specific science prerequisites.

Financial Aid
Financial Aid Office
4825 Troost Avenue
Kansas City, MO 64110

Occupational Exposure and Infectious Disease Precautions 
Instruction in dental hygiene requires communicable disease precautions against exposure to blood or body fluids. Blood and body fluids are defined as blood, saliva, other body fluids containing visual blood, human tissue or organs other than intact skin.  In accordance with OSHA Regulation CFR 1910.1030, the School of Dentistry developed a written occupational exposure control plan for bloodborne infectious diseases and distribute same to employees and students. Students are encouraged to be immunized against infectious diseases, such as mumps, measles, rubella, and hepatitis B, prior to contact with patients and/or infectious objects or materials, in an effort to minimize the risk of infection to patients, dental personnel, and themselves. If an applicant has specific questions regarding our policies regarding infectious diseases, they can contact the Program Director, Kim Bray at

UMKC and the School of Dentistry sponsor some additional sources of financial aid:
There are a limited number of Chancellor’s Non-Resident Awards available on a competitive basis across all academic units. These awards are designed for new (less than six hours of credit previously earned at UMKC), full-time students. The award pays in full the non-resident educational fees (the difference between the Missouri resident fees and non-resident educational fees) for the fall and winter semesters. 

In addition to the University and federal financial aid opportunities, the Division of Dental Hygiene has numerous scholarship sources available to dental hygiene students. Students must meet financial and academic qualifications. Please contact the division director for more information.

Fees and Financial Assistance
Information on fees are available from the UMKC Catalog at this link and financial aid and scholarship assistance can be obtained at this link.

Students’ Right-to-Know Statement
In accordance with Public Law 101-542, UMKC reports 71% of its first-time freshmen return the second year. However, the UMKC  School of Dentistry reports 96% of its first-time dental students return the second year. The UMKC Police Department publishes an annual campus report on personal safety and crime statistics. The report is available at the UMKC Police Department Office, 213 Student Services Building, 4825 Troost Building  

Statement of Human Rights
The Board of Curators and UMKC are committed to the policy of no discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, age, national origin, disability, or Vietnam Era Veterans’ status. The Affirmative Action Office, 356 Administration Center, 5115 Oak St., is responsible for all relevant programs. Call (816) 235-1323 for information. People with speech or hearing impairments may contact the University by using Relay Missouri, 1 800 735-2966(TT) or 1 800 735-2466 (Voice).

Dental Hygiene-Related Links:
Oral Health Care Associations & Organizations
American Dental Hygienists’ Association
American Dental Association
American Public Health Association
Academy of Periodontology
World Health Organization
Learn about MPH Programs
Public Health / MPH Online: Pre-Professional Experience Resources
Public Health / MPH: Online Job Resource

Procter & Gamble
Colgate Toothpaste & Dental Care

Other links of interest
Information about Kansas City is available here.
Maps and directions to the School of Dentistry can be found here.
School of Dentistry Academic Calendar (2016-2017)
UMKC General Catalog Links