May 30, 2024  
2023-2024 NOVA Catalog 
2023-2024 NOVA Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dental Hygiene, A.A.S.

Location(s): MEC

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CIP Code: 51.0602

NOVA Code: 1180

Purpose: The program is designed to prepare students to serve in a dynamic and growing health profession as members of the dental health team. After successful completion of the program, the student will be eligible to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and professional licensure examinations. Upon successful completion of the licensing process, the title “Registered Dental Hygienist” (R.D.H.) is awarded.

Transfer Information: Transfer is not the primary purpose of an A.A.S. program, but NOVA has articulation agreements that facilitate the transfer of this and other career-oriented programs to selected senior institutions. Students interested in transfer should contact a counselor or their academic advisor early in their program.

Admission Requirements: Applicants must do the following:

  • Comply with all general admission requirements for Health Sciences Programs.
  • Be eligible to sit for the licensure exam, which will require the student to present documentation of legal status in the U.S.
  • Pass BIO 141 -BIO 142 ,with a grade of “B” or higher prior to being admitted to the program (Please note: BIO 141 requires the completion of BIO 101, or NAS 2 or a placement test as noted at:
  • Pass BIO 150  with a grade of “B” or higher prior to being admitted to the program.
  • Pass ENG 111  and SDV 101  Orientation to Healthcare with a “C” or higher prior to being admitted to the program.
  • Be willing to repeat courses or to complete evaluative testing for credits earned more than ten years ago.
  • Review the competitive admission and deadlines for applications on the dental hygiene website at
  • Successfully complete and achieve satisfactory scores on the TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) test. Students may only take the test three times per year. The latest result must be within three years of application to the DNH Program.

Completion Requirements: All courses (including General Education courses) must be completed with a grade of “C” or better before taking the next course in the sequence and to satisfy graduation requirements (note: some prerequisite requirements may require a higher grade).

Special Program Requirements: The Virginia Board of Dentistry reserves the right to deny licensure to any candidate who has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude or the use of drugs or alcohol to the extent that such use renders him/her unsafe to practice dental hygiene. Any applicant who has been found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony must consult with the Dental Hygiene program director prior to admission.

Special Accreditation Status: The Dental Hygiene Program is accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of approval without reporting requirements. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312-440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission’s web address is

Bloodborne Pathogens and Infectious Diseases Statement: By nature of the profession, students accepted into the Dental Hygiene Program may be exposed to blood and body fluids while practicing dental hygiene skills or providing services during clinical, preclinical, and laboratory sessions. Policies and procedures have been established to ensure the working environment is safe in order to minimize disease transmission. Prospective students may request a copy of the policy on bloodborne infectious diseases by calling 703-822-6627.

Total 16 credits

Two Years

Total credits for the A.A.S. Degree in Dental Hygiene: 72 credits (includes 16 prerequisite credits)

BIO 141, BIO 142, and BIO 150 must be completed within 10 years at time of admission

1 See humanities/fine arts courses listed under General Education Electives . Elective should be selected with advice of a counselor or faculty
advisor to meet the requirements of the transfer institution.

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