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Improving oral health

The A.S.-to-B.S. Dental Hygiene program at the University of South Dakota is a degree pathway designed for individuals who have graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Dental Hygiene or who are currently enrolled in any program in the United States that is accredited by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Dakota. This program will assist dental hygienists obtain a baccalaureate degree, which is now being considered and recommended as entry-level by the profession.

Individuals enrolled in this BS degree pathway will transfer their dental hygiene curricula en bloc to USD. Additional courses required by the SD Board of Regents and the University in subjects such as English, Humanities/Fine Arts, Social Sciences will be taken. In addition, each student will complete 5 DHYG courses covering topics of leadership, inter-professional practice, collaborative dental hygiene practice, inclusive patient care, and current trends in dentistry.

This pathway does not impact or replace the traditional B.S. degree in Dental Hygiene that has been offered at USD for many years. Applicants to this program must show enrollment in or graduation from a CODA-accredited dental hygiene program. Graduation from USD with a Bachelor’s Degree is contingent upon satisfactory completion of all B.S. degree requirements plus an A.S. degree from the CODA-accredited dental hygiene program.

A.S. in Dental Hygiene to B.S. in Dental Hygiene

Dental hygienists provide clinical services in a variety of settings such as private dental or corporate dental practice, community health settings, nursing homes, hospitals, prisons, schools, faculty practice clinics, state and federal government facilities and Native American reservations. In addition to clinical practice, there are career opportunities in education, research, sales and marketing, public health, administration and government. Many of these positions require a baccalaureate degree.


All students entering this BS degree pathway must successfully complete or have graduated from an accredited dental hygiene program. The agency responsible for accrediting these programs is the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation. The BS degree completion portion of this program does not require separate accreditation.

Admission Requirements:

In order to be considered for the A.S. to B.S. Dental Hygiene program, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Unconditional admission to the University of South Dakota (i.e. the student does not hold probationary status)
    Undergraduate Application
  2. Must submit official transcript indicating graduation from a CODA accredited dental hygiene program with an associate’s degree.
  3. If currently enrolled in CODA accredited dental hygiene program, must submit official transcript and letter from Chairperson or Program Director indicating satisfactory standing in program with the likelihood of graduation.
  4. Must submit official transcript from AS degree granting institution.
  5. Must submit a clean Criminal Background Check required of all SHS students.
  6. Must complete application to the program through the USD Dental Hygiene Department
    AS-BS in Dental Hygiene Program Application

How to Apply

How you apply depends on the type of student you are:

First Time Students:

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Transfer Students:

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Returning Students Applying for Readmission:

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For more information about the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene, contact USD Online at 605-658-6200 or by e-mail at

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