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School of Dentistry

Dental Hygiene Program
Department of Periodontology and Dental Hygiene
Office: Dental Hygiene Program
Telephone: (313) 494-6660

School of Dentistry Office of Admissions
Telephone: (313) 494-6650
Fax: (313) 494-6659
P.O. Box 19900 Box 38
8200 W. Outer Drive
Detroit, Michigan 48219-0900


Dean: H. Robert Steiman
Associate Deans: Pamela Zarkowski, Mert Aksu, S. Pamela Herrera, Frank R. Pink
Faculty: K. Shepherd, Director; M. Coleman; J. Kwapis-Jaeger, J. Luxmore, D. Mattana; K. Neveu; B. Purifoy-Seldon, K. Werth.


The Philosophy and Goals of the Dental Hygiene Program reflect those of the University and the School of Dentistry. The Philosophy encompasses the areas of teaching, service and scholarship.

The teaching philosophy of this Program is to prepare students who strive for excellence and ethical conduct in the provision of comprehensive dental hygiene care. A state of the science curriculum integrates the biophysical, clinical, and psychosocial sciences and facilitates the development of a knowledge-based practitioner. Patient care focuses on the individual needs of each patient and actively involves the patient in the treatment process to promote positive, long-term changes in health status. To prepare the dental hygienist for a dynamic interdisciplinary health care system, both didactic and clinical experiences explore practice in a variety of settings and with culturally diverse patients of all ages and health status. An atmosphere of mutual trust and respect increases the opportunity for instructor evaluation of student performance and improves the quality of feedback. Student self-evaluation is encouraged as a step toward becoming a practitioner who continually appraises the quality of his/her patient care. The student advising and remediation program allows for individualization of the curriculum and promotes intellectual growth. The challenging, collegiate atmosphere fosters the development of dental hygienists who are intellectually curious, critical thinkers and lifelong learners. The exposure to the humanities provides the student with the flexibility to adapt to societal change and to contribute to the community.

The Dental Hygiene Program has a service philosophy to the University, the School of Dentistry, the students, the public and the profession of Dental Hygiene. The educational program graduates competent dental hygienists who are engaged in health care, education, research and professional leadership nationwide. The provision of quality patient care is of primary importance in the dental hygiene teaching clinics at the School of Dentistry and the various community sites. Continuing education in changing concepts of dental health care is offered to health care professionals. A commitment to the education of the public and the profession is demonstrated by student and faculty involvement in community and professional activities.

The scholarship philosophy is to conduct educational and clinical research to further develop the body of dental hygiene knowledge. This philosophy is facilitated by a commitment to the professional development of each faculty member. Faculty keep current and exchange instructional methodologies and research findings through oral presentations and written publications.


The School of Dentistry at the University of Detroit Mercy offers: a Certificate Program, a Baccalaureate Program and a Degree Completion Program. Since the program is a unit of the School of Dentistry, students gain exposure to all aspects of dental hygiene and dentistry. Graduates of the programs are eligible to take dental hygiene licensing examinations in any of the 50 states, the Provinces of Canada and the Registered Dental Assistant Examination in Michigan.


The Dental Hygiene Program at the School of Dentistry is accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Admission Criteria

Students may be admitted to any one of the three phases of dental hygiene education: Pre-Dental Hygiene; Clinical Dental Hygiene; and Degree Completion.

Pre-Dental Hygiene Admission

Above average high school students will be admitted into the School of Dentistry as pre-clinical dental hygiene students. This acceptance does not guarantee admission to the clinical phase of the Dental Hygiene Program. The acceptance does offer the benefit of placement tests and the expertise of a Dental Hygiene advisor to ensure selection of appropriate courses and presentation of your credentials for evaluation by the Dental Hygiene Admission Committee. In order to be admitted as a freshman, applicants must meet the general entrance requirements of the University.

Clinical Dental Hygiene Admission

Thirty-two students are admitted to the professional phase of the Dental Hygiene Program in June of each year. Students who are in the process of completing prerequisite requirements, either at the University of Detroit Mercy or another university, college or community college, may compete for admission to the Dental Hygiene Program. Applicants are evaluated on the basis of scholarship and standardized test scores where applicable. All courses are taken at the Dental School on a full time basis. In addition to the course requirements for admission, the Admissions Committee looks favorably upon the following achievements:

• College GPA of 2.7 or better.

• Science GPA of 2.7 or better.

• Above average results on the ACT or SAT examination.

Degree Completion Program Admission

Students who have previously received a Certificate in Dental Hygiene from the University of Detroit Mercy or an Associate of Science with a dental hygiene major from another college/university or community college and would like to complete their Bachelor of Science Degree may apply for admission. They must meet the following requirements:

• Graduation from an accredited Dental Hygiene Program

• An overall GPA of 2.5 or above in academic course work

• Completion of the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination

• A current license to practice.

Transfer Students

The dental hygiene program gives full consideration to students who wish to transfer from any accredited college or university. Students may transfer into the pre-dental hygiene, clinical hygiene, or degree completion portion of the program. Students who have already completed applicable courses will receive transfer credit. A maximum of 96 credit hours may be transferred from a four-year college or university. A maximum of 63 credit hours may be transferred from a community college, however, some colleges and community colleges have articulation agreements with UDM and an additional number of transfer credit hours can be accepted. Since the academic standing of each transfer applicant is appraised on an individual basis, students are encouraged to consult with an advisor from the Dental Hygiene Department.

Certificate Program Requirements

A candidate for the Certificate in Dental Hygiene must complete minimum quality point averages within the following areas:

• required pre-requisite courses

• required dental hygiene courses

Baccalaureate Program Requirements

A candidate for the Bachelor’s degree must complete a minimum of 126 semester hours, minimum quality point averages and senior residency within the following areas:

• required pre-requisite courses

• required dental hygiene courses

• required core curriculum courses

• any elective courses necessary

Required Pre-Requisite Courses

The following must be completed before beginning the clinical phase of the program. Notice: Pre-requisite courses may be subject to change. Please consult the Dental Hygiene Program for current requirements.

BCS 254 Principles of Human Anatomy I

BCS 255 Principles of Human Physiology

BIO 120/121 General Biology I/Lab

CHM101 Inorg/Org Chemistry

CHM102 Org/Biochemistry

ENL131Academic Writing

ENL 235, 245, 265 Choice of one

PYC 100 Introductory Psychology

SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology

CST 101 Fundamentals of Speech

BCS 241 Microbiology (NOT required but Strongly recommended)

Required Dental Hygiene Courses

Notice: The Dental Hygiene curriculum is subject to change. Please consult the Dental Hygiene Program for the complete and current curriculum.

BS 808 Biomedical Basis to Patient Care

BS 811 Gross Anatomy

BS 812 Head & Neck Anatomy

BS 813 Physiology

BS 814 Microbiology

BS 815 General Histology

BS 816 Oral Histology

BS 818 General Pathology

BS 821Nutrition

BS 823 Pharmacology

BS 825 Oral Pathology

CL 814 Clinical Dental Hygiene I

CL 815 Clinical Dental Hygiene II

CL 826 Clinical Dental Hygiene III

CL 827 Clinical Dental Hygiene IV

CD 821 Concepts in Community Health

CD 822 Community Oral Health Education

CD 823 Community Program Practicum

DH 809 Biologic Basis to Soft Tissue Disease

DH 810 Dental Hygiene Care I

DH 811 Dental Hygiene Care II

DH 813 Radiology

DH 814 Strategies for Prevention of Oral Diseases

DH 815 Dental Materials

DH 817 Dental Anatomy

DH 818 The Child and Adolescent Patient

DH 819 Orthodontics

DH 820 Clinical Seminar

DH 821 Special Patient Care

DH 822 Board Review

DH 823 Periodontal Therapy I

DH 824 Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues

DH 828 Scientific Literature

DH 830 Periodontal Therapy II

DH 831 Temporomandibular Joint Pathology & Facial Pain

DH 832 Introduction to Ethical and Legal Issues

DH 833 Management of Dental Hygiene Care

DH 835 Scientific Presentations

DS 811 Physical Assessment

DS 820 Pain and Anxiety Control

Required Degree Completion Courses

The following course work is required of any transfer student into the degree completion program:

University Core Classes:

MTH 101 College Algebra

CIS 100 Intro to Computers

PHL 100 Intro to Philosophy

RS 100Intro to Religion

An Additional Philosophy or Religion




Dental Hygiene Core Classes:

BS 822Topics in Microbiology (offered to Degree Completion Students only)

DH 824 Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues

DRD 800 Research Design and Interpretation


Electives include any additional courses necessary to bring total hours taken to 126 credit hours. This coursework may include an independent study in the student’s particular area of interest.


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