School of Health Sciences

Students who satisfactorily complete the ASDH program are eligible to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and any state or regional board dental hygiene examination in the United States. The professional sequence is designed to be completed in five semesters and requires an on-campus full-time commitment.  Graduates of this program who have passed the Regional Board and National Board are eligible for articulation with a bachelor program in dental hygiene.


Granted full approval by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.

Commission on Dental Accreditation
American Dental Association
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611-2678

Criteria for Admission

Admission to Georgia Highlands College does not guarantee admission to the dental hygiene program. Students must make a separate application to the dental hygiene program. All current application materials, procedures, and deadlines may be obtained by contacting the department at (706) 295-6760 or on the Web at

Applicants must have completed, with a grade of C or better, the following courses by the end of the spring semester in which they are applying: CHEM 1151K Survey of Chemistry I or CHEM 1211K Principles of Chemistry I, BIOL 2251K Anatomy & Physiology I, and BIOL 2252K Anatomy & Physiology II. The C or better in the science courses include both class and lab. All general academic courses must be completed with a grade of C or better. Because of the limited number of spaces available in the dental hygiene program, the dental hygiene admissions committee will evaluate records of all students who have applied for admission and have met the minimum requirements. The most qualified students will be selected. Students must complete all pre-requirements for program admission before entering the professional sequence. Students must retake BIOL 2251K Anatomy & Physiology I, BIOL 2252K Anatomy & Physiology II, BIOL 2260 Foundations of Microbiology /BIOL 2260L Foundations of Microbiology La, and Nutrition courses if those courses were taken more than six years before application to the dental hygiene program.

All records must be submitted by published application deadline to be considered for admission to the program. It is the responsibility of each applicant to make sure that his/her records are in order before the application deadline.

In addition to being admitted to Georgia Highlands College, applicants for admission to the dental hygiene program must meet all of the following minimum requirements:

  • Dental hygiene application
  • Personal statement
  • Proof of current GHC admission
  • Minimum 2.5 or higher GPA on Dental Hygiene core curriculum
  • Minimum of a 65 composite score on the ATI TEAS test. The TEAS must have been taken within one year of the application deadline. TEAS tests greater than one-year-old must be retaken. Only two attempts will be allowed per application cycle and will be verified by ATI TEAS.
  • Proof of attendance at one of the mandatory GHC Dental Hygiene Program/Admissions Information Session within 12 months of the application deadline. These sessions are held face-to-face in Heritage Hall. Dates of these sessions are published on the GHC Dental Hygiene Website.
  • Signed Acknowledgement of the GHC Bloodborne Pathogens Policy.
  • Three letters of reference (ideally from employers, dental professionals, educators, etc.)
  • Documentation of 30 hours of observation of a dental hygienist in 2 different general practice offices. A minimum of 15 hours in each office with a different hygienist. Applicant cannot be employed in either office.
  • Each dental hygienist observed must complete an observation evaluation form.
  • Completion of CHEM 1151K Survey of Chemistry I or CHEM 1211K Principles of Chemistry I, BIOL 2251K Anatomy & Physiology I and BIOL 2252K Anatomy & Physiology II with a grade of C or better by the end of the spring semester in which they are applying. This applies to both class and lab.
  • Official transcripts from all other colleges attended. Transcripts are to be submitted to Georgia Highlands college, not directly to the dental hygiene department.
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency:
    For applicants whose first language is not English and applicants whose language of instruction throughout secondary school was not English, proof of English language proficiency is required.
    • Note: TOEFL / IELTS may be waived using qualifying SAT or ACT scores, English 1101 or 1102 transfer credit, 4 units of college prep English earned at an accredited U.S. high school or qualifying placement testing scores.

Please see the website for detailed information on program admission criteria, dates of the Information Sessions, and the Bloodborne Pathogens/Infectious Disease Policy. For additional questions, please contact our office at (706)295-6760.

The records of all applicants who meet minimum requirements will be reviewed and the top applicants will be invited for an interview.

A letter of acceptance will be sent to those applicants admitted into the dental hygiene program. Additional information and forms will be sent to the applicant concerning necessary requirements after confirmation of the student’s intent to enroll.

A student who has been arrested or convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation may be admitted into the dental hygiene program at Georgia Highlands College. However, permission to obtain a Georgia license to practice dental hygiene rests with the Georgia Board of Dentistry.

Background Check and Drug Testing Policy

All dental hygiene students are required to submit to drug testing and a background check prior to beginning the dental hygiene program and annually while in the program. Students must receive a clear “negative” result for each drug test conducted during the program. Random testing and suspected drug abuse testing may be conducted throughout the program duration. Background checks and drug screenings are required through prior to clinical practice. Students are responsible for all costs associated with the procedures. (See Dental Hygiene Program Manual for Substance Abuse Policy and Procedures.)

Required Documentation

Once accepted to the dental hygiene program, students must provide the following:

  • Proof of 18 years of age prior to fall matriculation into the program.
  • All core classes completed with satisfactory grades prior to fall matriculation into the program.
  • Physical well-being as documented on the physician form and immunizations (hepatitis B, tuberculosis, varicella) form. The dental hygiene program may require additional proof of physical, visual, and/or mental well-being, including medical clearance for N95 respirator use.
  • Current (within 1 year) negative tuberculin screening. Documentation must remain current throughout enrollment. In addition, students will adhere to requirement(s) of agency used for assigned learning experiences.
    • Students who have been advised against tuberculin skin testing must maintain current documentation from Health Dept. or healthcare provider of TB risk assessment and completion of any recommended follow-up care.
  • Proof of two MMR injections or positive rubella, rubeola and mumps titers.
  • TDAP within the last ten years. (Note: if TDAP is greater than 10 years ago, must provide proof of the TDAP and a TD booster)
  • Two varicella vaccines or positive varicella titer (proof of disease is not sufficient).
  • Positive Hep B titer/declination form
  • Completion of annual influenza vaccine or signed declination form (if applicable for any off-site facility).
  • Proof of current certification by the American Heart Association in Basic Life Support throughout the program. (Heartsaver courses are not acceptable.)
  • Proof of health insurance coverage throughout program