USC University of Southern California

Admission Requirements

Dental Hygiene Program

Are you ready to apply to the Ostrow School of Dentistry’s Dental Hygiene Program? Applicants must have completed prerequisite coursework and meet other criteria in order to begin the Dental Hygiene program.

Required Prerequisite Coursework

  • General anatomy and lab (1 semester) – coursework equivalent to USC EXSC 301L
  • General biology and lab (1 semester) – coursework equivalent to USC BISC 120Lg or 220L
  • General chemistry and lab (1 year) – coursework equivalent to USC CHEM 105aLg & 105bLg
  • English composition (1 year) – coursework equivalent to USC WRIT 130 or140
  • General psychology (1 semester) – coursework equivalent to USC PSYC 100
  • Introduction to sociology (1 semester) – coursework equivalent to USC SOCI 200m*
  • Introduction to speech (1 semester) – must be a transferable course
  • General nutrition (1 semester) – must be a transferable course
  • General physiology (1 semester) – must be a transferable course
  • General microbiology (1 semester) – must be a transferable course

* USC’s Sociology 150 meets the requirement for category VI and the diversity requirement.
† Current USC students should contact the Office of Admissions for course numbers.

  • All prerequisite coursework taken at universities other than USC must be equivalent in content to the required USC course in order to be transferable.
  • A limited amount of prerequisite coursework may be in progress at the time of the application. However, prerequisite coursework must be completed before an applicant begins the Dental Hygiene program.
  • At least one course in each of the USC general education categories I, II, III, and V and one course to fulfill the diversity and lower-division writing requirement must be completed or in progress by the time of application.
  • USC requires a minimum of three years of high school math, including advanced algebra with a grade of C or better, or intermediate algebra at the college level with a grade of C or better.
  • The Dental Hygiene program has no foreign language requirement.
  • All preparatory coursework must have been taken from an accredited college or university in the United States. No foreign coursework will be accepted.
  • Grades of C- or lower are NOT acceptable in fulfillment of prerequisite courses. Grades of pass/no pass also are not acceptable.
  • Coursework from schools that offer accelerated programs in the sciences is generally not acceptable. Most coursework from four-year institutions is transferable.
  • Online coursework will be accepted for general education and prerequisites, but not for any science courses that require a lab.
  • Technically or vocationally related courses will NOT be accepted. Examples of unacceptable courses are dental assisting courses, dental technology courses, secretarial science, or any other technically or vocationally related courses.
  • The Dental Hygiene curriculum begins in August of the junior year. Limited enrollment in USC general education coursework may be completed during the summer preceding enrollment in the dental hygiene curriculum.

If you need additional assistance determining which courses are transferable, the articulation officer at your college may be able to help. Or for more information, visit the USC Office of Articulation website. The USC Office of Articulation determines what undergraduate coursework taken elsewhere is transferable to USC.