Health Affairs Schools

School of Dentistry

3220 Old Dental Building, CB# 7450; (919) 537-3459


James Beck, Executive Associate Dean


The dental hygienist is an educator and motivator as well as a health care provider. As a practicing member of the dental health team, the hygienist is primarily concerned with the maintenance of oral health and the prevention of dental disease. Additionally, dental hygienists may assume professional leadership roles; participate in the development, implementation, and evaluation of community health programs; engage in research activities; or serve as consultants and assume managerial roles in certain types of dental care delivery systems.

The UNC School of Dentistry's dental hygiene program is the only dental hygiene program in North Carolina that offers a baccalaureate degree. The dental hygiene program is designed to prepare graduates for professional practice in a variety of settings, including the dental office, community settings, and institutional settings. At the undergraduate level, the School of Dentistry offers entry-level and advanced courses of study in dental hygiene. A baccalaureate degree or a certificate in dental hygiene is available to students entering the profession.

Program of Study

The degree offered is a bachelor of science with a major in dental hygiene. A certificate in dental hygiene also is offered. Students are subject to the academic requirements in place when they are admitted to the dental hygiene program; consequently, the requirements described in this bulletin particularly apply to students admitted to the school during the 2015–2016 academic year.

Admission to the Program

Applicants may be admitted for dental hygiene study after two years of college work, provided they meet requirements of the University and the Curriculum for Dental Hygiene. Personal interviews may be requested. To assure proper planning for admission, applicants should maintain close contact with the program during the application process.

Enrollment is limited, and applicants are accepted on a competitive basis. Admission to the University does not guarantee admission into the dental hygiene program. Selections are based on academic achievement with an emphasis on performance in science courses, character, knowledge of working with the dental team, and a sincere interest in dental hygiene as a professional career. For UNC–Chapel Hill students, application for admission to the program is usually made during the second year of General College study. Interested students should submit an online application, which can be accessed from ConnectCarolina at Apply Yourself ( Applicants who have previously attended UNC–Chapel Hill should complete the online application for readmission and submit official transcripts from all colleges since matriculation into UNC–Chapel Hill. Contact the dental hygiene office for specific information. For transfer applicants, all prerequisite dental hygiene coursework and General College courses taken at other institutions must be approved for transfer in advance by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Official transcripts from all schools attended (including high school) must be submitted.

Three letters of recommendation must be submitted with the application. Two of the letters should be from previous college course directors and one letter, a character reference. In addition, applicants must shadow in a dental office for a minimum of 20 hours. This requirement may be fulfilled through prior dental assisting experience.

Prior to being admitted and enrolled, all applicants will be required to present evidence of satisfactory completion of General College requirements and prerequisite hygiene courses required by the major. Applicants with a previous degree should contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to determine fulfillment of General College requirements.

Dental Hygiene Major, B.S.

All baccalaureate-seeking dental hygiene students must fulfill the General Education requirements. In addition to completing ENGL 105, a foreign language through level 3, a quantitative reasoning course (STOR 151 recommended), and a lifetime fitness course, dental hygiene students must fulfill the Approaches requirements and successfully complete at least five Connections courses, including global issues, experiential education, and U.S. diversity. Other specific requirements include the following courses:

Dental Hygiene Professional School Program

First Year Fall Semester (15 hours)

First Year Spring Semester (17 hours)

Second Year Fall Semester (17 hours)

Second Year Spring Semester (12–13 hours)

All course descriptions can be found in ConnectCarolina and in the UNC School of Dentistry Academic Catalog (

Certificate in Dental Hygiene

Applicants interested in the certificate program in dental hygiene may be admitted to the program without junior standing after completion of BIOL 252, EXSS 276, or PHYI 202; CHEM 101/101L and 102/102L (or BIOC 107 and 108); COMM 100, 113, or 120; ENGL 105; MCRO 251 or 255; PSYC 101; and SOCI 101 or 111. After completion of the basic professional program, a certificate in dental hygiene is awarded. Continued enrollment to complete the baccalaureate degree requirements is an option for the student.

Additional Information for the Dental Hygiene Programs

Upon provisional acceptance into the dental hygiene program, all students must provide an acceptable criminal background check and provide documentation of required immunizations, as well as varicella vaccine series and/or a positive quantitative titer, hepatitis B series (three shots) and a positive quantitative titer, and the two-step tuberculosis skin test (TST). The two skin tests must be taken within a 12-month period. Specific information is provided in the School of Dentistry Academic Catalog (

One of the consequences of the delivery of health care is the possibility of contracting infectious disease such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, herpes, or HIV. To minimize this risk, the UNC School of Dentistry has adopted an infectious control policy that requires wearing a clinical overgarment, protective safety eyewear, disposable gloves, and a mask when oral examinations and dental hygiene services are being provided.

Dental school fees are required that include instrument rental and other supplies needed for clinical care and the education of patients. Additional costs may occur for projects required in the curriculum.


Dental hygiene students have a primary academic advisor in the program offices located in the first dental building, known as Old Dental Building. Students are strongly encouraged to meet regularly with their advisor and review their Tar Heel Tracker each semester. The undergraduate dental hygiene program's director and the chair of the dental hygiene admissions committee work with current and prospective students by appointment (see "Contact Information" below). Further information on courses, undergraduate research opportunities, careers, and graduate programs may be obtained from the School of Dentistry Web site.

Special Opportunities in Dental Hygiene

Departmental Involvement

Students are eligible to become members of the student American Dental Hygienists' Association, American Dental Education Association, American Association of Dental Research, American Association of Public Health Dentistry, and other specialty organizations. Student membership fees may be required.

Experiential Education

Students have the opportunity to participate in community-based clinical experiences as well as providing oral hygiene programs in the community. Service-learning opportunities are possible as an elective. Each semester students will be involved with hands-on experiences providing dental hygiene services. During the final semester of dental hygiene, students will participate in a three-week practicum. Due to the location of community sites, undergraduate students may need access to transportation. Expenses for travel are the responsibility of the student.


Certificate and baccalaureate degree graduates are eligible for dental hygiene licensure examinations at the state and national levels. Candidates must pass both the national and clinical board examinations in order to be granted a license to practice dental hygiene. Additional costs are associated with the examinations required for licensure. Some dental hygiene licensure examinations require background checks with fingerprint analysis.


The dental hygiene program accreditation status is approval without reporting requirements as determined by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Undergraduate Awards

Dental hygiene students are eligible for awards through the Spurgeon Dental Society in the School of Dentistry and the Dental Foundation of North Carolina. In addition, student awards are also available through the American Dental Hygienists' Association, American Association of Public Health Dentistry, American Dental Education Association, and other specialty organizations.

Undergraduate Research

Research opportunities are available at the undergraduate level for dental hygiene students. Students are encouraged to become involved in research activities pertaining to dental hygiene and dentistry. Student research grants are available through the university, professional organizations, and private industry.


The UNC School of Dentistry is currently the largest dental school facility in the nation. The dental hygiene program, located within the school, is equipped with state-of-the-art classrooms, case study rooms, laboratory (simulation and dental material labs), and clinical facilities. Koury Oral Health Sciences building houses research laboratories, student lockers, lounge areas with amenities, and Kirkland Auditorium. The UNC School of Dentistry also features an atrium with a media wall, social seating, and dining areas with a food court.

Graduate School and Career Opportunities

Upon satisfactory completion of the baccalaureate program, students are eligible for application to graduate programs in dental hygiene education, public health, and other areas. The UNC School of Dentistry offers a master of science (M.S.) graduate degree program in dental hygiene education to which graduates of the dental hygiene program may apply. Graduates also are eligible to apply for admission to the school's predoctoral dental curriculum provided they successfully complete the required program prerequisites.

The growth of the dental health care field assures an excellent employment outlook for the coming years. Courses of study provide comprehensive educational experience to qualified individuals for the practice of dental hygiene in accordance with the current and changing demands for health services and in accordance with the laws and ethics pertaining to practice.



Roland Arnold, Lyndon Cooper, Terrence Donovan, Gregory Essick, Eric Everett, Richard Gracely, Garland Hershey, Harald Heymann, Ching-Chang Ko, Jessica Y. Lee, Ralph Leonard, John Ludlow, William Maixner, Sally Mauriello, Ken May Jr., Valerie Murrah, Steven Offenbacher, Lauren Patton, Ceib Phillips, Luis Pimenta, Enrique Platin, Andre Ritter, Michael Roberts, Emile Rossouw, Gary Slade, John Stamm, Edward Swift, Ricardo Teles, Timothy Turvey, Donald Tyndall, Ray White, Aldridge Wilder, Rebecca Wilder, Robert Wright, Tim Wright, Mitsuo Yamauchi.

Associate Professors

Carlos Barrero, Silvana Barros, George Blakey, Lee Boushell, Alice Curran, Ingeborg De Kok, Kimon Divaris, Scott Eidson, Sylvia Frazier-Bowers, Albert Guckes, Carol Haggerty, Asma Khan, Lorne Koroluk, Mark Kutcher, Lewis Lampiris, Pei Feng Lim, Gary Lucci, Shaun Matthews, Michael Milano, Glenn Minsley, Shannon Mitchell, Andre Mol, Antonio Moretti, Andrea Neely, Ricardo Padilla, James Parker, Mary Pettiette, Rocio Quinonez, Glenn Reside, Eric Rivera, Allen Samuelson, Margot Stein, John Sturdevant, Flavia Teles, Ricardo Walter, Jennifer Webster-Cyriaque, David Zajac, Andrea Ferreira Zandona, Thomas Ziemiecki.

Assistant Professors

Sumitha Ahmed, Antonio Amelio, Eric Bair, Sun-Yung Bak, Sompop Bencharit, Jennifer Brame, Christine Downey, Derek Duggan, Ibrahim Duqum, Lynn Fox, Glenn Garland, Brent Golden, Matthew Hopfensperger, Lynne Hunt, Kenneth Johnson, Luisito Mendoza, Patricia Miguez, Thiago Morelli, Amy Nguyen, Tung Nguyen, Jonathan Reside, Lattice Sams, Anne Sanders, Lynn Smith, Shad Smith, Lisa Stoner, Peter Tawil, Inna Tchivileva, Carolina Vera-Resendiz, Alexandra Yarborough.

Contact Information

Questions concerning the program should be directed to the Student Services Manager, Dental Hygiene Programs, CB# 7450, 3220 Old Dental Building, (919) 537-3459. Web site: