Admission requirements

Diploma in Dental Hygiene (DDH)

Before June 1 of the year of expected entry to the DDH program, applicants must have completed at least 30 credit hours of university study, including at least six credit hours in introductory biology and six credit hours in an approved writing course.

A writing course is defined as a "writing intensive" course by the applicant's university. Alternatively, an English course(s) or any course requiring a significant amount of written work that is evaluated for composition, structure, spelling, and grammar (as indicated in the course outline), would be acceptable, provided it is approved by the admissions committee.

Applicants are also strongly encouraged to complete at least three credit hours in introductory chemistry. Other recommended courses are vertebrate anatomy, vertebrate physiology, and courses selected from the humanities and social sciences.

Selection of accepted candidates is primarily based on academic performance in the required classes and overall academic standing in university. The admissions committee may make use of non-academic factors in the selection process, including additional information submitted by applicants.

Bachelor of Dental Hygiene (BDH)

Applicants to the one-year Bachelor of Dental Hygiene degree completion program must have completed a Diploma in Dental Hygiene from an accredited program in Canada or the United States, and must be licensed or eligible for licensure to practise dental hygiene in Nova Scotia.

Also, applicants must have completed at least five full-year (or 10 one-term) university level courses by May 30 of the year of expected entry to the degree completion program.

In compliance with Dalhousie University degree regulations, all students must complete at least 45 credit hours at Dalhousie to be granted a degree. The Bachelor of Dental Hygiene classes equal a total of 30 credit hours. Therefore, students who have not completed at least 15 credit hours and/or a Diploma in Dental Hygiene at Dalhousie will be required to complete 15 credit hours of elective classes before the Bachelor of Dental Hygiene degree can be awarded.

School of Dental Hygiene Affirmative Action

The School of Dental Hygiene is committed to increasing the number of qualified dental hygienists who belong to the African Nova Scotian or Aboriginal peoples of the Atlantic region.

Applicants from these groups who have completed the entrance requirements by May 30 of the year of expected entry, have achieved a B average or higher in a full course load (five courses per semester) in their most recent year of university study, and have acceptable scores on all other admissions criteria for entry to the Diploma in Dental Hygiene program, will be admitted into the DDH program.

General application information

Applications must be made on the undergraduate application forms, and must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by March 15 in order to be considered for admission in the following academic year.

Applications must include academic grades by March 15 to be considered by the admissions committee. However, applications filed by the deadline can be completed any time up to June 1, and will be considered when completed if unfilled places remain in the entering class.

Preference will be given to residents of the Atlantic Provinces. While all applications will be reviewed by the admissions committee, the committee will decide on an annual basis if any positions will be offered to applicants who are not residents of the Atlantic Provinces. To qualify as a permanent resident of any province, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  1. Applicant’s parent(s), guardian, or spouse must reside in that province on a permanent basis; or
  2. If the applicant is independent of his/her parent(s) or guardian, he/she must have lived and worked on a full-time basis in that province (not attending school on a full-time basis) for a minimum of one full year; or
  3. An applicant whose parent(s), guardian, or spouse do not meet the residency requirements as a direct result of a recent employment transfer, either into or out of a particular province would be given the choice (either the province of immediate former or future residency) of his/her province of residence.

A new application form must be submitted each year in which application is made. Official transcripts in support of the academic record must be forwarded to

The Admissions Office
Faculty of Dentistry

Dalhousie University
PO Box 15000
Halifax, NS
B3H 4R2

by the institution or institutions at which the applicant completed pre-profession studies. If the applicant is still engaged in university studies, an interim transcript should be submitted. However, a final transcript must be forwarded on completion of these credits.

Applicants must ensure that all successful or unsuccessful high school and/or university attendance is indicated on the application form. Applicants to the Diploma in Dental Hygiene program must complete the dental hygiene supplementary information form, available in the application package, or from the School of Dental Hygiene or the Registrar’s Office, Dalhousie University.

An application will not be considered if the applicant has been required to withdraw from studies at any other school of dental hygiene at the request of the faculty of that institution, unless the application is supported by a recommendation from the director of that school.

Competitive applicants may be requested to make themselves available for an admissions interview or an orientation session.

On notice of acceptance to Dalhousie’s School of Dental Hygiene, applicants must make a tuition deposit with the Registrar before a specific date.

These regulations may be amended without notice by Dalhousie’s Faculty of Dentistry.

Health requirements

The nature of the programs in the Faculty of Dentistry involve students interacting with patients in a health care environment and places students in a position of special trust with patients. Therefore, all students must adhere to certain regulations, including but not limited to the following:

  • requirements for TB testing
  • immunization
  • CPR
  • criminal records and child abuse registry checks
  • clinic attire and clinical asepsis protocols

All requirements are outlined in the student Clinical Policy and Academic Policy manuals, provided to students at the beginning of each academic year.

Learn more about our health requirements [PDF - 168 KB]

Immunization and CPR Requirements

Acceptance into the Faculty of Dentistry’s clinical programs is normally conditional upon receipt of evidence of complete immunization as follows:

  • Tetanus, diptheria, pertussis (Td/Tdap)
  • Polio
  • Measles (Rubeola)
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Hepatitis B (including post-immunization antibody titres)
  • and Varicella.

Annual influenza immunization is required for all students during each year of study.  Students accepted to the program must have a current Level C CPR/AED (automated external defibrillator) course.

Applicants are required to complete the Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry Immunization/CPR Record [PDF - 94 KB] as a condition of acceptance to the program.

Transfer applicants

Specific guidelines for transfer applicants to the Dental Hygiene program

Transfer students are not normally admitted to the Diploma in Dental Hygiene program. In order to be considered for admission as a transfer student, applicants must have met the admission requirements to the DDH program, and submit a letter of recommendation from the director of their current program. Transfer students will be considered only under exceptional circumstances, if places are available in the program and if the curriculum of the current program closely matches the curriculum at Dalhousie.

International Students

Specific requirements for the Dental Hygiene program

The Faculty of Dentistry will consider applications to the Diploma in Dental Hygiene program from individuals who have received their former education outside the Canadian educational system. Such applicants will be required to fulfill specific criteria:

  • If the applicant’s first language is not English, he/she must complete an English language proficiency test such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 580, computer-based score of 237, or iBT score of 90 (students must achieve 4.0 on the essay or TOEFL writing test); or IELTS score of 6.5; or MELAB score of 81; or CAEL score of 70; or CanTest score of 4.5.
  • Original supporting documents from previously completed education must be provided, including class descriptions, and explanation of the grading system used, and class standings. If this documentation does not clearly indicate completion of the prerequisite classes at a competitive level, the applicant must complete one year of prerequisite university study in North America.

Figure out how much university will cost

There’s a lot to consider when preparing for university but finances are a major factor that can impact your decision. Expenses vary depending on the lifestyle of the student and level of enrolment.

Funding sources

In preparing for university, you'll want to research all available sources of funding and develop a plan to finance your post-secondary education. Here are some sources to consider:

Scholarships and Bursaries through the Faculty of Dentistry

Dalhousie’s Faculty of Dentistry offers a great number of scholarship opportunities for students in the dental programs. Entrance scholarships are available for qualified candidates applying for their first year of study, while a variety of in-course scholarships are available for qualified candidates who apply during their upper years of study. In most cases, scholarship applications are not required. The Faculty of Dentistry also offers numerous bursaries to qualified students, based primarily on financial need. To learn more, please contact academic advising.