Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
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2019-2020

Pre-dental hygiene

College of Humanities and Sciences

 
Program description

Students interested in the pre-health major in dental hygiene must complete the two-year program requirements (a total minimum of 60 credits) for application to the Bachelor of Science degree program in dental hygiene offered by the VCU School of Dentistry. Applications to the program are normally submitted in spring of the sophomore year. Students planning to start the program in the fall would begin the admissions process during the fall semester of the preceding year. Students apply to the baccalaureate program through the American Dental Education Association Dental Hygiene Centralized Application Service in the spring of the year preceding entrance. All prerequisite coursework should be completed by the spring of the year of desired admission.

Completion of the pre-health major in dental hygiene does not guarantee admission to the junior- and senior-year program for the B.S. in Dental Hygiene nor does it result in a college degree. Students must be admitted to and complete all program requirements to earn a baccalaureate degree in dental hygiene. Admission into the program is based on both academic and nonacademic qualities (work ethic, knowledge of the profession, motivation, compassion, integrity, communication skills, leadership and desire to contribute to society, resiliency, willingness to accept responsibility, and maturity). Students are strongly encouraged to consult with a UAA pre-health major academic adviser to learn about admission requirements that are specific to the program and to speak about alternate/parallel majors. For more information about the admission requirements and application deadlines for the B.S. in Dental Hygiene, visit the program’s website.

Career opportunities

Dental hygienists provide education and clinical services to promote optimal oral health. They provide treatment to help prevent gum disease, tooth decay and other oral health problems. While they most typically work in private dental offices and clinics, dental hygienists also may find employment in health departments, hospitals, nursing homes, school districts, corporate settings, military services, correctional facilities or dental education facilities. This flexible career allows hygienists to choose to work anywhere from one to five days per week.

Dental hygienists in a clinical role assess, diagnose, plan, implement, evaluate and document treatment for prevention, intervention and control of oral diseases, while practicing in collaboration with other health professional. Corporate dental hygienists are employed by companies that support the oral health industry through the sale of products and services. Community Health programs are typically funded by government or nonprofit organizations. These positions often offer an opportunity to provide care to those who otherwise would not have access to dental care. Research conducted by dental hygienists can be either qualitative or quantitative. Quantitative research involves conducting surveys & analyzing the results, while qualitative research may involve testing a new procedure, product, or theory for accuracy or effectiveness. Dental Hygiene educators are in great demand. Colleges and universities throughout the U. S. require dental hygiene instructors who use educational theory and methodology to educate competent oral health care professionals. Corporations also employ educators who provide continuing education to licensed dental hygienists. Dental hygienists in administrative positions apply organizational skills, communicate objectives, identify and manage resources, and evaluate and modify programs of health, education and health care.

Change of major requirements

Current VCU students who wish to change their major to the pre-health major in dental hygiene must meet the following criteria to be considered for the major:

Minimum GPA of 2.8. No more than 75 credits completed. Students who do not meet these requirements may see a pre-health adviser, but they will be referred for programming and not assigned to an adviser.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Dental hygienist
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Educator/Instructor
  • Healthcare Administrator
  • Public Health Specialist
  • Researcher
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 151
Science required
  • 3-4 additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.8
Department name:
University Academic Advising
Building/room location:
Hibbs Hall, First Floor
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 827-8648
Email:
prehealthadv@vcu.edu

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Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning for your first year, and to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Remember that MATH 151 is a pre- or co-requisite to CHEM/CHEZ 101. Review other pre-requisites on the University Bulletin.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond’s many museums and parks.
  • Apply to live in one of VCU's four Living-Learning Programs.
  • Get involved and meet new friends through VCU Student Government or one of over 450 student clubs and organizations.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Learn about your study abroad options by visiting a study abroad fair and attending a First Advising Session in the Global Education Office.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter at @vcuomsa for programs, events, resources and other ways to engage.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Need a job to help pay for school? Apply for a federal work-study (FWS) job on- or off-campus through the VCU Career Services and Handshake.
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers in your field of study.
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.  
  • Explore Career Pathways for Healthcare on Career Services’ website.
  • Build a LinkedIn profile with Career Services, connect to at least 10 people, and check out the VCU alumni page.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Learn about and take a service-learning class.
  • Explore admission requirements for other Dental Hygiene programs throughout Virginia.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Join a student organization such as Operation Smile at VCU, Global Brigades, United2heal, or the Dental Club, and connect with your campus and local community.  
  • Volunteer in the community to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA).
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect or Alternative Spring Break.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café!
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Create a draft of your resume and come to drop-ins at VCU Career Services to have it reviewed.
  • Volunteer with local healthcare and non-healthcare organizations such as Missions of Mercy, Give Kids A Smile, CrossOver Ministry, or Church Hill Activities & Tutoring.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Conduct an informational interview or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Create a draft of your personal statement and meet with a Career or Academic Advisor to have it reviewed. Learn how to market yourself on this document and with an elevator speech.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Go to an Application Workshop with Pre-Health Advising to learn more about the Dental Hygiene Application.
  • Apply to the Dental Hygiene program by the February 1st deadline! Discuss all components of the application with your advisor.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Create and complete a community-engaged research project.
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions.
  • Apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break, and other campus-wide leadership and service events through University Student Commons and Activities.
  • Attend a Wellness Resource Center program.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Review your major’s study abroad advising sheet and the list of courses other students have taken to find a study abroad program that will work for you.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Go to an Open House for Dental Hygiene to meet professionals and students in the department.
  • Take on a leadership role in a student organization or club or go deeper in your service opportunities.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Learn how to cope with stress and adapt to a fast-paced, changing work environment by utilizing VCU’s Artfulness and Mindfulness resources.
  • Understand your interests and career goals by taking an assessment with VCU Career Services, such as the Strong Interest Inventory - free of charge!

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Make sure you complete a minimum of 60 credit hours for entrance into the program. Reference the Pre-Dental Hygiene Bulletin for all requirements. Obtain a C or higher in all courses by the end of the semester.
  • Go to your professors’ “Office Hours” to discuss research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Serve in a leadership role or as a board member of a local community organization.
  • Consider applying for a year-long service opportunity after graduation through programs like VCU AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year.
  • Participate in VCU Arts Qatar Day and apply for the Qatar Leadership Exchange.
  • Challenge yourself through a Group Exercise class or an Outdoor Adventure Program trip or activity.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Consider becoming a diversity ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Become a mentor for the Multicultural Connections and Advisement Program (MCAP).
  • Experience VCU’s richness of diversity by attending VCU’s annual Intercultural Festival.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and career events throughout the year to explore your interests.
  • Participate in a mock interview at VCU Career Services.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Join professional associations as a student member and attend their conferences. Consider the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA), National Dental Hygienists' Association (NDHA), and Virginia Dental Hygienists’ Association (VDHA).
  • Make a list of your skills and prepare to articulate them to the Dental Hygiene Department on a resume and in an interview.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

Pre-dental hygiene

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
No concentration
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Semester 1
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning for your first year, and to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Remember that MATH 151 is a pre- or co-requisite to CHEM/CHEZ 101. Review other pre-requisites on the University Bulletin
Experience Semester 2
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café
  • Conduct an informational interview or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Create a draft of your personal statement and meet with a Career or Academic Advisor to have it reviewed. Learn how to market yourself on this document and with an elevator speech.
Semester 3
  • Go to an Application Workshop with Pre-Health Advising to learn more about the Dental Hygiene Application.
  • Apply to the Dental Hygiene program by the February 1st deadline! Discuss all components of the application with your advisor.
  • Go to an Open House for Dental Hygiene to meet professionals and students in the department.
  • Take on a leadership role in a student organization or club or go deeper in your service opportunities.
Excel Semester 4
  • Make sure you complete a minimum of 60 credit hours for entrance into the program. Reference the Pre-Dental Hygiene Bulletin for all requirements. Obtain a C or higher in all courses by the end of the semester.
  • Go to your professors’ “Office Hours” to discuss research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.