May 11, 2021  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

Dental Hygiene (B.S.)

61 Major Hours, 120 Degree Hours

Admission Requirements:

Application for admission to the USD Dental Hygiene professional program is required. Applications are scored based on GPA, ACT composite score, recommendations, and an interview; up to 32 students are selected annually. Application materials are due by February 1 prior to the fall semester of the year for which a student is applying.

Application materials may be found on the Department website at They include an application form, Technical Standards form, 3 recommendation forms, ACT composite score, dental office observation/experience, and transcripts.

Pre-admission Requirements, Including Department Specified General Education Requirements (50 hours)

Prerequisite courses must be completed prior to admission into the professional curriculum. These courses may be taken at other institutions; however, it is important to obtain approval from the Department Chairperson prior to taking these courses off campus in order to ensure their transferability. Students should apply for selection into the program by February 1 prior to the fall semester of the year they desire entry. Students must consult department advisors for assistance with their schedules. An asterisk (*) denotes courses that will be used in scoring application.

General Education requirements (9 hours)

  • Arts and Humanities fulfilling SGR Goal #4  (6 cr.)-3 credit hours must be in Fine Arts and 3 credit hours must be in Humanities.
  • Advanced Composition Course in addition to ENGL 101, SGR Goal #1  (3 cr.)

Four-Year Program Guides and Costs

USD encourages students to take 15 credits per semester or 30 credits within the year in order to graduate in 4 years. To help students complete their academic degree program in four years, we provide a sample academic plan. Please work with your academic advisor to confirm your plan.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will intentionally engage with diversity in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions leading to opportunities for equal access to participation in educational and community programs for all members of society.
  2. Students will be able to assess their own ethical values and the social context of problems, recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings, think about how different ethical perspectives might be applied to ethical dilemmas and consider the ramifications of alternative actions.
  3. Students will design, evaluate, and implement a strategy to answer an open-ended question or achieve a desired goal.
  4. Students will interact with other students and evaluate the effort put into team tasks, interactions with others, and the quantity and quality made to team discussions.
  5. Students will comprehensively explore issues, ideas, artifacts and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion, and combine or synthesize existing ideas, images or expertise in original ways reflecting a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking.
  6. Students will demonstrate knowledge that is fundamental to the discipline of dental hygiene.
  7. Students will demonstrate clinical skills acceptable to the discipline of dental hygiene.
  8. Students will demonstrate appropriate professional demeanor and ethical reasoning.

Courses or Programs Leading to Professional Licensure or Certification

The University of South Dakota as of July 1, 2020, cannot confirm whether any particular course or program meets educational prerequisites for professional licensure or certification in states other than South Dakota. If you are planning to apply for licensure/certification in a state other than South Dakota after completion of your program, contact the academic department offering your major or CDE at 605.658.6152 or by email at USD is working to comply with these requirements and will provide up-to-date information as it becomes available.

If your learning placement course (internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, etc.) or your online course will be taken outside South Dakota, please reference the State Authorization webpage below.

Information about State Authorization & Professional Licensure