Admission into the IPFW Dental Hygiene Program is competitive. Students must apply separately to IPFW and the Dental Hygiene Program.


February 1

All applications for admission into the IPFW Dental Hygiene Program must be received by the IPFW Department of Dental Education on or before February 1 of the year in which an applicant desires to enter the program. Late applications will not be accepted. Although the application is due February 1, applicants are given until May 31 to complete all prerequisite courses. Applications must include:

  • IPFW Dental Hygiene Program Application The application and required forms can be downloaded from the Applications & Forms tab above.
    NOTE: Copies of applications from other programs are NOT accepted.

  • IPFW Curriculum Information Form This can also be downloaded from the Applications & Forms tab above.
  • Official college transcripts from ALL colleges/universities attended*
    *NOTE:  IU, Purdue, and IPFW students can submit unofficial transcripts.
  • Observation Verification Form This can also be downloaded from the Applications & Forms tab above.  Completion of a one - four hour or two - two hour observations in a dental office, observing a dental hygienist providing patient care services is required for admission into the IPFW Dental Hygiene Program.

May 25

Final transcripts must be received by the Dental Hygiene Program no later than May 25 unless the course ends after May 20, but before June 1. No exceptions are given for prerequisite courses to be completed during summer sessions.

Microbiology BIOL 22000 must be completed with a "C-" or better by the end of the summer sessions before starting the professional program. Since Microbiology is not calculated into the prerequisite GPA for admissions, it may be completed during summer sessions. However, the student's acceptance is based on successful completion of Microbiology with a grade of "C-" or better prior to the beginning of the fall semester. 

Prior to entering the Dental Hygiene Program, other strongly recommended courses include:

  NUR 10600   Medical Terminology   3

Special Requirements

  1. Developmental or remedial courses cannot be used to fulfill prerequisite requirements. Developmental courses will not be calculated in a candidate’s GPA; i.e. MA 109, ENG W130 or ENG R150.
  2. A minimum prerequisite GPA of 3.0/4.0 is required for all applicants.  However, because admission into the program is competitive and the number of applicants exceeds the number of students selected for the program, completion of all courses with the prerequisite GPA of 3.5 or higher is strongly recommended. Meeting the minimum GPA does NOT guarantee a position in the program.
  3. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5/4.0 is required for all applicants. 
  4. Each year the sciences of chemistry, human anatomy, human physiology, and microbiology constitute a large portion of the Dental Hygiene National Board Examination.  Therefore, credits in these five courses must be completed within five years of admission into the program.  Credits in all other prerequisite courses will be accepted for 10 years.  Outdated courses must be retaken.
  5. Apply to the University and be admitted as a degree seeking student prior to May 25. See the IPFW Admissions website:
Selection Criteria

Eligible applicants are ranked according to their prerequisite grade point averages (GPA's). The average minimum prerequisite GPA of students accepted into the program during the past five years is 3.39/4.0.  For the past five years, the IPFW program has averaged approximately 69 applicants per year for the 30 positions we have.  If you have any questions, contact the Dental Education Office in Neff 150 at 260-481-6837 or email the Dental Education secretary at

Total Credits: 26

Corequisite course
NOTE: Microbiology (BIOL 22000) must be completed prior to beginning the Dental Hygiene professional program. Since Microbiology is not calculated into the prerequisite GPA for admission, it may be completed during summer sessions, just prior to admission into the dental hygiene program. However, the student’s acceptance is based on successful completion of Microbiology with a grade of C- or better prior to the beginning of Fall semester. Failure to complete this required corequisite course with a C- or better will result in the student being withdrawn from the professional program and their position given to the next qualified applicant. Microbiology taken more than five years prior to admission into the professional program must be retaken.

Class Selection Process

In the event of multiple applicants who have the same prerequisite GPA, they will be ranked within that prerequisite GPA level by their cumulative GPA.

  • Prerequisite courses must be completed by June 1 (except Microbiology Biol 22000) with a grade of “C-” or better. No exceptions will be given for completion of summer courses.  Both prerequisites and cumulative grade point averages (GPA's) are used to determine an applicant’s rank in the class selection process. Courses graded on a pass/fail option will not be considered.
  • Unless the course is described in the Bulletin in which you were accepted or its supplement as repeatable for credit, credit will be given only once for a repeated course, and only the most recent grade earned will be incorporated into GPA calculations. A maximum of two prerequisite courses may be retaken to improve the grades and GPA ranking.
  • The only Advanced Placement (AP) courses accepted by the program are English composition and psychology, if AP scores are 4.0 or higher. No other AP courses will be accepted.
  • Transfer courses accepted by IPFW as “undistributed” must be evaluated by the applicable department (i.e. chemistry or biology) before they are accepted as prerequisite courses.
  • Students who are returning to IPFW, after an absence of 5 or more years, are eligible for the Academic Renewal Option. This option must be exercised during the student’s first semester back at IPFW. Interested students should petition the program’s admissions committee, by contacting their academic advisor.

University Preference

Priority consideration will be given to students who have completed the required prerequisite courses at IPFW or another Indiana University or Purdue University campus.

Special Academic Regulations

In addition to completion of the required prerequisite and co-requisite courses, acceptance into the Dental Hygiene program is contingent upon an applicant’s ability to meet the following additional requirements:

  • Demonstrate compliance with the College of Health and Human Services Technical Standards.
  • Successful completion of a specified background check at student’s expense.
  • Submit military discharge papers, if applicable.
  • Pass a drug screening test, if applicable.
  • Complete Compliance Regulations for Students in Dental Education.

Tattoos and Head and Neck Piercings
The dental profession is extremely conservative. In clinical settings, tattoos and head and neck piercings are not considered acceptable in the health science professions. If students have tattoos that are noticeable, they must be covered by clothing. If they cannot be covered by clothing, students are required to cover tattoos with bandages. For clinical attire, all head and neck piercings must be removed, including plugs.


All students accepted into the Dental Hygiene program must attend both the College of Health and Human Services orientation and the Dental Hygiene orientation which occur on the same day in the summer.

Because of the experiential learning process used in all dental hygiene courses, attendance is essential and mandatory. Some evening hours are required for additional clinical experiences and professional association meetings.

Compliance: Physicals, Immunizations, TB, CPR, Background Checks, and Potential Drug Screening

Before beginning a Dental Education program, students must submit evidence that they have completed a recent (the summer before the program starts) physical examination, completed recent (the summer before the program starts) TB testing, Hepatitis B immunizations and titer, and hold a current CPR certification at the professional/ healthcare-provider level with the American Heart Association or American Red Cross.

Reapplying to the Dental Hygiene Program

If you are not selected for admission the first year you apply, a new application will be required for all subsequent years.  We strongly encourage you to schedule a meeting with a dental hygiene faculty advisor to review your application and GPA before applying again.  In general, students are encouraged to raise their prerequisite GPA's by retaking prerequisites courses before submitting a new application.  Contact the Dental Hygiene Program at 260-481-6837 for specific information about the reapplication process and/or to schedule an appointment with a dental hygiene advisor.

Criteria for Dismissal from the Dental Hygiene Program

A student who is dismissed from the program may appeal the decision to the Department of Dental Education. If the student is dismissed for failure to meet the university’s minimum academic standards, application for readmission must follow the procedures established by the university.

Dismissal from the Dental Hygiene Program may result from professional misconduct. Students who have been accepted to the program will receive a program manual at summer orientation that must be read before they start the program.

The College of Health and Human Services Academic and Professional Misconduct Appeals Policy and forms can be found at Student Resources