Pre-Dental Hygiene Curriculum

To print a copy of this information, click on the link : Pre-Dental_Hygiene

Predental Hygiene Curriculum 12/2017


The Major

The “predental hygiene curriculum” is just a list of courses that are required for admission to a baccalaureate dental hygiene professional program. It is NOT an academic major, a minor, or an emphasis area.


Even if you plan to apply to a dental hygiene program after taking only the courses required for admission (minimum of 60 hours for the program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center), you need to declare an academic major at USM.

Many students choose a major in one of the sciences (Biological Sciences, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Physics) but other majors are acceptable including those in the humanities, social sciences, or business. Students should select the major in which they feel the most comfortable and in which they would like to pursue a baccalaureate degree or in which they would like to work if they are not accepted into a dental hygiene program.


Students from the University of Southern Mississippi wishing to pursue Dental Hygiene in Mississippi apply to the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, typically after taking two years to complete a predental hygiene curriculum, at Southern Mississippi. A Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene offers a wider scope of employment than those who become Dental Hygienists through a community college dental hygiene program and stop with an Associate’s degree.


There is a separate program for current licensed Dental Hygienists that are seeking a baccalaureate degree in Dental Hygiene at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.  This separate advanced standing program is primarily an online program. The University of Southern Mississippi offers some of the prerequisite courses for that program. Please consult with UMMC Dental Hygiene program directly if you are already a Dental Hygienist.  Beginning freshmen or sophomore students in predental hygiene do not pursue the advanced standing online program.


Visit the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) web pages for more information about dental hygiene programs.

Link to main page:

Link to Careers and Education page:

Requirements for Applicants

The following list of Required Courses taken at USM meets the minimal requirements for admission to the two-year professional program in the School of Dentistry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson.

Link to UMMC School of Dentistry:

Link to Dental Hygiene program at UMMC:   


Preference is given to applicants who are legal residents of Mississippi. Out-of-state applicants will be considered only if there are positions available after all qualified Mississippi applicants are accepted.


Following satisfactory completion of all requirements for this two-year UMMC professional program, students will be awarded the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from the University of Mississippi.


Students must consult the specific admission requirements and application deadlines for the school(s) to which they plan to apply, including UMMC.

•          English composition (two courses, 6 hours)

•          general biological sciences with laboratory (1 course, 4 hours)

•          anatomy and physiology with laboratory (2 courses, 8 hours)*

NOTE:  it is highly recommended that USM students take introductory biology (BSC 110/L and BSC 111/L) prior to enrolling in anatomy and physiology

•          microbiology with laboratory (1 course, 4 hours)

NOTE: the prerequisite for BSC 380/L (Microbiology & Lab) is two semesters of introductory biological sciences (BSC 110&L, BSC 111&L)

•          general chemistry with laboratory (2 courses, 8 hours)

•          college algebra (1 course, 3 hours)

•          fine arts (1 course, 3 hours)

•          general psychology (1 course, 3 hours)

•          introduction to sociology (1 course, 3 hours)

•          speech (1 course, 3 hours)

•          humanities (2 courses, 6 hours)

•          nutrition (1 course, 3 hours)

•          advanced psychology [abnormal, adolescent, child, educational or developmental] (1 course, 3 hours)

•          medical terminology (1 course)

*One course in anatomy plus one course in physiology or combined anatomy and physiology courses for two courses total

Suggested Course Sequence & Strategies for Success

The suggested course sequence below is merely a guideline to complete the courses required for the UMMC Dental Hygiene program in a timely manner. Courses to fulfill the major must be worked into the student’s schedule.

 Students must consult the USM Undergraduate Bulletin, the USM Class Schedule Guide for each semester, and their academic advisor. Some courses may be offered in specific semesters (Fall or Spring only) or on a rotating cycle.



Fall                                                                              Spring

BSC 110/L OR BSC 111/L a                 4 h                   BSC 111/L OR BSC 110/L a       4 h

CHE 106/L                                         4 h                   CHE 107/L                               4 h

MAT 101 b                                         3 h                   ENG 102                                  3 h

ENG 101 c                                         3 h                   PSY 110 d                                 3 hr

1 required course e                            3 h                   1 required course e                    3 hr


a, The order in which students take the introductory Biological Sciences (BSC) courses does not matter; BSC 110/L covers molecular and cellular topics whereas BSC 111/L covers ecology and organisms.

BSC 110/L and BSC 111/L are prerequisites for BSC 380/L (Microbiology and lab), which is a prerequisite for the dental hygiene program.

b, Placement in mathematics (MAT) courses depends on the student’s ACT mathematics subtest score. Consult the prerequisite for the MAT course in which you plan to enroll. If you plan to get a B.S. degree at USM also, calculus is required for most majors in the College of Science and Technology (CoST), but is not required for the dental hygiene program or for majors outside of CoST.


c, Placement in English Composition courses depends on the student’s ACT English subtest score.

  • ACT English subtest score 16 or below:  ENG 99E (Expanded Composition Studio) and ENG 100E (Composition I Expanded)
  • ACT English subtest score 17-19:  ENG 100E (Composition I Expanded)
  • ACT English subtest score 20 or above:  ENG 101 (Composition 1)


d, Required courses include those in the General Education Curriculum and in the major and/or minor, as well as those required for the dental hygiene program.

•          one (1) Fine Arts course (select from ART 130, DAN 130, MUS 165, THE 100)

•          two (2) Humanities courses (select from HIS 101, HIS 102, PHI 151, REL 131); if a student is pursuing a B.S. degree from Southern Miss, one Humanities must be a history course.

•          PSY 110 (General Psychology). Take this in Year 1.

•          SOC 101 (Understanding Society)

•          CMS 111 (Oral Communication)

•          MLS 201 (Medical Terminology) note USM offering is a 2 credit hour course.


Strategy for Success


•          Students should focus on doing well in their studies, particularly the required science and math courses.

•          Students could start getting some hands-on exposure by observing/shadowing a licensed or registered dental hygienist in a clinical setting.




Fall                                                                              Spring

BSC 250/L OR BSC 251/L e                 4 h                   BSC 251/L OR BSC 250/L e       4 h

BSC 380/L                                         4 h                   NFS 362                                  3 h

1 required course d                             3 h                   3 required courses d                 8-9 h

Advanced Psychology course f              3 h                  


e, The order in which students take BSC 250/L and BSC 251/L does not matter.


f, Recommended Advanced Psychology courses are Abnormal Psychology (PSY 436), Adolescent Psychology (PSY 372), Child Psychology (PSY 270), Educational Psychology (PSY 374), Developmental Psychology (PSY 275). The prerequisite for all upper level PSY courses is PSY 110.


Strategy for Success

•          Students continue to do well in their studies, particularly the required science and math courses.

•          Students must get hands-on exposure by observing/shadowing a licensed or registered dental hygienist in a clinical setting

The Application Process

The application process should begin late in the Fall Semester or very early in the Spring semester of the second year (February 15 deadline).for entry into the program that starts in the summer of that year.

•          Applicants must complete a minimum of 60 hours of academic credit (exclusive of physical education, military science, dogmatic religion and vocation courses) from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning. Twelve hours of the science courses and 24 of the non-science courses must be completed prior to Feb 15 application deadline.

•          To complete the required 12 hours science +24 hours non-science before spring of the second year and 60 hours by the end of Spring of the second year, students often have to take courses in the summer semester between the first and second years.

•          Have successfully completed (grade of C or better) the minimum prerequisite course requirements listed above.

•          Applicants must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.50 on a 4.0 scale.

•          All grades, including failing grades and grades on repeated courses, are used in calculating the pre-admission GPA.

•          Complete 8 hours of observation of licensed or registered dental hygienists in two separate clinical settings.

•          Submit ACT scores.

•          Complete an interview with the Admissions Committee.

•          Complete a hands-on dexterity exercise

•          Must meet the technical standards of the program

The Interview

Students are advised to practice their interview skills BEFORE attending their first interview.

  • Dress professionally and act professionally at your interview.

For More Information about a Career in Healthcare, Contact the Preprofessional Office

The Healthcare Preprofessional Office is located in Bobby Chain Technology Building (TEC) Room 103.


Phone number:   601.266.4741


Mailing address:

Healthcare Preprofessional Office
College of Science and Technology
118 College Dr., #5165
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001


Preprofessional Advisor:        

Ms. Michelle Templeton