Pre-Dental Hygiene

The Pre-Dental Hygiene Program provides an excellent academic foundation for applicants to the Dental Hygiene Program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).  Graduates of the Dental Hygiene Program must complete two years of courses through a pre-professional curriculum before they are admitted into the professional curriculum at UAMS.

Students in the Pre-Dental Hygiene Program must apply for admission to the Dental Hygience Program at UAMS.  If you have questions regarding the UAMS program you may call 501-686-5733.

UAMS Application Procedure


GPA                                  60%

ACT scores                      25%

Interview                         10%

References                      5%


Most UAMS dental hygiene students were admitted “in sequence” (high school 2 yrs at university before UAMS).  However, approximately 35% are non-traditional students.  Almost all scored 20 on the ACT and earned 3.4 overall GPA.


If application materials are received before February 1st, the application packet is reviewed and applicant is informed if anything is missing.  If the application is received after Feb. 1st, no confirmation will be sent and the applicant risks not making “the cut” if materials are missing.  Always apply early and confirm receipt of reference letters and test scores.

Only apply if GPA > 2.0.  A 3.0 is considered the minimum criteria.  Higher GPAs are more competitive.  Over 35% of applicants in 1996 had a GPA > 3.0.  A GPA at 3.4 or above is highly competitive.

ACT scores can be improved in one day, but most students ignore them or refuse to retake the exam.  Performance on the ACT reflects the student’s academic abilities and may reflect potential performance on national and state certification exams.  If > 20 ACT score, applicant meets the minimum criteria (higher scores are better).  If < 19, applicant is encouraged to retake test.  A score of 23 or above is competitive.

The dental hygiene program confers a SCIENCE degree.  Biology, math, chemistry, and computer courses are very important (A or B only, one C “tolerable”).  Applicants with similar GPAs are differentiated by their performance in the science courses.  Core social science courses are also important (interpersonal skills).  Electives have marginal impact.  Students should take electives that are fun.  If science grades are deficient (a C in chemistry or biology), the applicant should take science courses as electives.

Out-of-state applicants rarely are accepted (AR residents receive a high priority).

Work experience is very important.  Many applicants have more than 20 hours of experience in dental work setting.  Applicant with work experience in a dental or orthodontic office are viewed favorably.

The interview can impact a candidate’s admission.  Be prepared and schedule a “mock” interview with your advisor.

Approximately half of all admitted students were accepted on the first attempt.  Many students applies 2-3 times.

The UAMS Dental Hygiene Program is too competitive and selective to let someone “slide in”.  Proper planning BEFORE the application process will improve your likelihood of admission.

Required Courses

Chemistry –

CHEM 1450 College Chemistry I

Biology –

BIOL 1440 Principles of Biology I

Microbiology –

BIOL 2411 Microbiology in Human Affairs

Mathematics –

MATH 1390 College Algebra

Computer Science –

CSCI 1300 Introduction to Computers

US History or National Government –

HIST 2301 American Nation I or

HIST 2302 American Nation II or

PSCI 1330 United States Government and Politics

History of Civilization (2) –

HIST 1310 World History I and

HIST 1320 World History II

English Composition (2) –

WRTG 1310 Introduction to College Writing and

WRTG 1320 Academic Writing and Research

Fine Arts –

MUS   2300 Music Appreciation or

ART    2300 Art Appreciation or

THEA 2300 Theatre Appreciation

Humanities –

ENGL 2370, 2380, 2390 or

FYFS 1301 or

PHIL 1301, 2305, 2325, 2360 or

WLAN 2315

Psychology –

PSYC 1300 General Psychology

Sociology –

SOC  1300 Principles of Sociology

Communications –

SPCH 1300 Basic Oral Communication

Electives –

11 Hours of upper level (3000 or 4000 level) classes are required.  Electives are chosen by the student and approved by the advisor.