Dental Hygiene Admissions Process

The University of Pittsburgh Dental Hygiene Program subscribes to a rolling admissions policy that does not hold to a specific deadline when applicants must apply.  The Program offers admission to qualified applicants on an ongoing basis until the class is full.  One class of 36 students is admitted each academic year in the fall term.  It is therefore highly recommended that those seeking admission into the Dental Hygiene Program apply prior to November 1st.

Important Application Dates

November 1: Early admissions review for *Fall Applicant Seminar

February 1: Admissions review for *Spring Applicant Seminar

* Attendance at Dental Hygiene Program presentation and participation in a personal interview with dental hygiene admissions committee members.

Admission Requirements

  • High school diploma.
  • Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT I) scores.
    (in light of the ongoing challenges with access to SAT and ACT test centers, the Pittsburgh Campus has moved to a test-optional policy for Fall 2021 admissions.  Students applying to the Dental Hygiene Program will have the option to include or not include their SAT or ACT scores as part of their application submission.  Please document your decision (to include or not include the scores) on the application under the SAT I section.  Please note that in the absence of SAT/ACT scores, the Admissions Committee will rely more heavily on other admissions factors and once a student has made the decision to provide or not provide test scores, that decision cannot be changed. )
    • Individuals must achieve a combined score of 1200 or greater on the critical reading (verbal) and the quantitative (math) sections.
    • SAT Waiver Policy: In lieu of a minimum SAT I score of 1200, the Dental Hygiene Program will accept 24 post-secondary college credits with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.  This must include college algebra or a higher math course with a final grade of B or above.  Intermediate algebra is accepted.
    • An ACT Composite score of 24 or higher can be substituted for the SAT. 
  • High school or post-secondary chemistry with a lab component achieving a final grade of B (84%) or above.
  • High school or post-secondary biology course with a lab component achieving a final grade of B (84%) or above.
  • High school GPA of 3.0 or above.
  • Minimum combined GPA of 3.0 at all post-secondary academic institutions attended.
  • College level English Composition, Introduction to Sociology and Introduction to Psychology courses must be completed by the end of the summer term of the first academic year and the student must achieve a final grade of B- or better.  Students who do not meet this requirement will not be promoted to the second year.  It is strongly recommended  that these courses be completed prior to entry into the Program.
  • 15 hours of job shadowing with a practicing dental hygienist.
  • Results from personal interview with the Admissions Committee.
  • Results from written interview questions.
  • Results from a minimum of three professional references.
  • Applicant essay.
  • Completed Dental Hygiene Application Packet.

Application Materials

An application is considered complete and ready for review by the Admissions Committee when the following materials have been received:

  • Four-page Dental Hygiene Application (including personal essay)
  • University of Pittsburgh Admissions Data Form
  • $55 application fee (check or money order made payable to the “The University of Pittsburgh” is non-refundable and subject to change). Current University of Pittsburgh students are not required to submit an application fee.
  • Official high school transcript (sent directly from the high school to the address below)
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary academic institutions attended (sent directly from the institution(s) to the address below)
  • SAT I Scores/ACT Scores
  • Three completed Professional Reference Forms (teachers, employers, guidance counselors)
  • Completed Job Shadowing Form

Please submit all application materials to:

University of Pittsburgh
Dental Hygiene Program
3501 Terrace Street
B-82 Salk Hall
Pittsburgh PA 15261

Veteran Applicants

The University of Pittsburgh Dental Hygiene Program encourages applications from qualified men and women who have actively served in the United States military. Our goal is to make the transition from active duty to full-time college student as seamless as possible. Your first step towards applying to the Dental Hygiene Program would be to complete all application materials listed above. We encourage all veteran applicants to contact the University of Pittsburgh Office of Veterans Services as soon as possible to discuss their military educational benefits.

International Applicants

We welcome international students to apply to the Program and strive to make the application process as smooth as possible.  It is to your advantage to plan ahead and submit your application and required materials as soon as possible, especially if you are pursuing a visa. 

In addition to completing and submitting the application materials listed above, international applicants are required to submit an official credential evaluation of all international documents (e.g. transcripts, marksheets, certificates and examination results) from Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE). 

You may contact ECE at:

Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470
Fax: 414-289-3411

Citizens of countries where English is not the official language (including the Province of Quebec, Canada) are required to submit English language proficiency scores through TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo results. There are some instances where this requirement may be waived.  Applicants must submit scores that are less than 2 years old from one of the following:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

A TOEFL composite score of 100 or higher with subscores of 21 or higher is required for admission to the Dental Hygiene Program.   

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 

A IELTS score of 7.0 with subscores of 6.0 or higher is required for admission to the Dental Hygiene Program.


A Duolingo score of 120 or higher is required for admission to the Dental Hygiene Program.

Conditional admission is not an option for students applying to the University of Pittsburgh Dental Hygiene Program. International applicants must apply for admission, meet the criteria for acceptance, and be offered admission into the Dental Hygiene Program.

Financial Support

It is recommended strongly that international students review the Information Regarding Financial Support document prior to accepting a position in the Dental Hygiene Program.  It is important to understand all program costs associated with enrollment at the University of Pittsburgh since financial aid and scholarship options are not available to international students.

Procedure for Selection

The University of Pittsburgh Dental Hygiene Program subscribes to a rolling admissions policy. Interviews will be conducted until the fall term class is filled.

Once the Admissions Committee reviews the completed application and a student meets the minimum criteria for admission into the program, a personal interview will be scheduled.  Personal interviews are conducted during the Program’s Applicant Seminars which are offered in late fall and early spring. Out-of state applicants may be eligible for virtual interviews.

Essential Program Standards

Offers of admission are contingent upon the applicant's ability to fulfill the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine Essential Program Standards


After acceptance into the Dental Hygiene Program, students are required to complete the following.

1. Background Checks
The University of Pittsburgh Dental Hygiene Program requires all incoming first year students to complete and submit clearance forms. The following PA Act 153 clearances and background checks are required prior to matriculation; and as a condition of enrollment; PA State Police Criminal Record Check, FBI Criminal Record Check, PA Child Abuse. These forms must be submitted no later than the first day of fall term classes.

2. Immunizations
The University of Pittsburgh Dental Hygiene Program requires all incoming first year students to complete and submit a Physical and Immunization Record no later than the first day of fall term classes.

3. Infectious and Bloodborne Disease
Exposure to human bloodborne and/or other potentially infectious materials is probable or possible during the provision of patient care. Therefore, prior to entry into the program students must present evidence of HBV immunization or serologic evidence of protective antibody titer against hepatitis B virus disease (HBV) and successfully complete School of Dental Medicine training to prevent or minimize exposure. The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and the Dental Hygiene Program strictly follow CDC, OSHA and institutional guidelines to protect students and patients from potential harmful exposures. This includes compliance with institutional, local, state and federal regulations regarding bloodborne pathogens, ionizing radiation and hazardous materials.