About the Program

Download the Dental Hygiene Brochure


The Department of Dental Hygiene, an educational program in the College of Health Profession at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, derives its purposes and functions from the established missions of the University and the College.

The mission of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is to provide excellent educational opportunities for students of the health care professions in a stimulating environment of basic and clinical research, integrated with the delivery of superb, comprehensive health care services. This four-pronged mission, which includes education, service, research, and patient care, is echoed in the mission of the College of Health Professions. The College offers education opportunities for students to prepare them as graduates to be effective and competent allied health professionals who can provide quality health care. Additionally, the College is committed to community and professional service, patient care, and research in a quest to address the health and health care educational needs of the state, and the sharing of this information with the scientific community.

The mission of the Department of Dental Hygiene is to provide high quality educational opportunities for qualified students to prepare them as graduates to assume and maintain the role of ethical, competent, and progressive professional practitioners. We are committed to providing a curriculum that facilitates instructional strategies that enhance student learning and provides graduates a learning environment that fosters a commitment to scientific inquiry, life-long learning, community service, and professional development. Additionally, we are dedicated to addressing the oral health care needs of the community by providing quality patient care, promoting community and professional oral health education through service activities, and contributing to the research base in order to advance the art and science of dental hygiene and the dental hygiene profession.

Educational Philosophy

The faculty are committed to creating an educational environment that is conducive to the development of dental hygiene professionals who are self-directed and who are capable of critical thinking, problem solving, and responsible decision making.  The dental hygiene program promotes an educational environment that is positive and supportive and is characterized by mutual respect among students, faculty, clients, and staff.  The primary role of the student within this educational environment is to acquire the knowledge, skills, and professional characteristics needed for planning, implementing, and evaluating dental hygiene treatment.  The patient/client must be informed, actively involved in treatment, and provided opportunities for comprehensive dental care.  The role of the faculty is to provide the translation and linkages of theory to clinical practice.  The faculty will provide guidance, role-modeling, information, and positive feedback.  The faculty will encourage student self-assessment and will also evaluate the process involved in performing clinical skills as well as the final outcome of dental hygiene treatment.

Degrees Offered

NOTE: 2017 is the last year the AS Degree will be offered.  Beginning with the class enrolling in fall 2018, the program will offer the BS Degree only.  Due to that change Western Civilization I and II and 6 hours of upper level electives are now program pre-requisites and must be completed prior to enrolling in fall 2018.  Applicants for fall 2018 are encouraged to attend a program information session or call the program at (501) 686-5734 for more information.

The dental hygiene program is a full-time, day program with one cohort of 34-36 students beginning each fall semester. It consists of four fall/spring semesters with one intervening summer session.  The program’s mission, goals, and clinical competencies/learning outcomes can be found on the department website.

Successful completion of all program requirements qualifies the student to apply for state, regional, and national examinations required for licensure.  Successful completion of the program does not ensure licensure.

Associate of Science Degree
The Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene consists of 39 semester credits of prerequisite course work and 68 credits in the dental hygiene curriculum for a total of 107 credits.  The AS degree will not be available to classes enrolling after fall 2017.

Bachelor of Science Degree
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene consists of the same 39 semester credits of prerequisite course work and 69 credits in the dental hygiene curriculum, plus 12 credits of additional course work for a total of 120 credits. These 12 additional credits must be completed prior to graduating from the dental hygiene program.  For those enrolling after fall 2017, these additional 12 credits must be completed prior to beginning the dental hygiene program.

B.S. Degree Completion
UAMS graduates with an associate of science degree in dental hygiene who have a valid bachelor of science degree plan must complete the requirements within the time limit.   See “Applicants for a Higher-Level CHP Degree Who Already Hold a CHP Degree or Certificate in the Same Discipline” in section 5.10 of the CHP catalog.


The Department enrolls one class each fall semester. The class capacity is 34 students.

Admission Factors

Admission to the program is competitive and based on the following criteria:

  • Academic achievement
  • Academic aptitude
  • Leadership and professionalism
  • Written and oral communication

Typical Course Schedule

The UAMS dental hygiene program is a full-time, weekday commitment.  Classes, laboratory sessions, and clinical sessions are scheduled Monday through Friday between the hours of 8am and 5pm. The Department does not offer evening classes. Portions of courses are web-assisted, but at the present time, the Department does not offer any totally on-line courses.

For more information, please call the Department at 501-686-5734.