Post Certificate in Dental Hygiene

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.

Students are subject to the academic requirements in place when they are admitted to the dental hygiene program; consequently, the requirements described in this catalog particularly apply to students admitted to the school during the 2022–2023 academic year.

All course descriptions can be found in ConnectCarolina.

Admission to the Program

Applicants may be admitted for dental hygiene study after completion of an associate of arts or associate of science degree and the dental hygiene prerequisites, provided they meet requirements of the University. 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.

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 that includes 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.

If admitted to Carolina, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will complete a course-by-course analysis of all coursework and provide a complete report before the enrollment deadline. Transcript analysis will not be completed for prospective students until after admission. It is critical that the most current rules are applied to each situation, and these may change from the time of application to the time of enrollment.

Prior to being admitted and enrolled, all applicants will be required to present evidence of satisfactory completion of prerequisite courses required by the major. Applicants with a previous degree should contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to determine fulfillment of General College requirements. Specific admission requirements on the prelicensure and graduate programs in dental hygiene can be obtained by calling the dental hygiene office at (919) 537-3474 or online at our website.


Applicants interested in the certificate program in dental hygiene may be admitted to the program without junior standing after completion of:

Complete one of these options:3-4
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Physiology
and Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory H
Human Physiology
CHEM 101
CHEM 102
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry I
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory I
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry II
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory II F
or BIOC 107
BIOC 108
Introduction to Biochemistry
and Introduction to Biochemistry
Select one of the following:3
Communication and Social Process
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Public Speaking
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Interpersonal and Organizational Communication H
ENGL 105IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric3
MCRO 251Introductory Medical Microbiology4
PSYC 101IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Psychology F3
SOCI 101IDEAs in Action General Education logo Sociological Perspectives H3
or SOCI 111 Human Societies
Total Hours27-28

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.


FY-Launch class sections may be available. A FY-Launch section fulfills the same requirements as a standard section of that course, but also fulfills the FY-SEMINAR/FY-LAUNCH First-Year Foundations requirement. Students can search for FY-Launch sections in ConnectCarolina using the FY-LAUNCH attribute.

After completion of the basic professional program, a post-certificate in dental hygiene is awarded. Enrollment to complete the baccalaureate degree requirements is an option for the student with a certificate or current baccalaureate degree.

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. See "Immunization Requirements" details in the Compliance section. 

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 Adams School of Dentistry has adopted an Infection Control Policy that requires the wearing of a clinical overgarment, disposable gloves, a mask and protective safety eye covering when oral examinations and dental hygiene services are being performed.

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.

See the program page for special opportunities

Program Faculty

Jennifer Brame, Director, Dental Hygiene Program and Program Director, Graduate Dental Hygiene Education Program
Lattice Sams, Assistant Director, Dental Hygiene Program
Roland Arnold, Roxanne Dsouza, Bruce Gitter, Jennifer Harmon, Elizabeth Kornegay, Linda Levitch, Shannon Mitchell, Ricardo Padilla, Tiffany White

Clinic Adjuncts

Judy Adkins, Susan Buchenberger, Chimere CollinsStacy McCauley, Mariola Steinbicker, Catherine Seifert.

Information Relevant to the UNC Adams School of Dentistry Experience

Immunization Requirements

The State of North Carolina immunization requirements and the UNC Adams School of Dentistry immunization requirements for dental hygiene and doctor of dental surgery students are listed below. Documentation of all is required with application.

State Requirements

  • Three DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), Td (tetanus, diphtheria), or Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) doses. (This fulfills the primary series requirement.)
    • One Tdap booster after completion of the primary series that did not include a Tdap, and then a Td vaccine every 10 years thereafter.
  • Three polio (unless greater than 18 years of age).
  • Two measles (rubeola), two mumps, one rubella (two MMR doses meet this requirement) or positive titers.
  • Hepatitis B series (not required for individuals born before July 1, 1994). See school requirements below.

UNC Adams School of Dentistry Requirements

  • Varicella vaccination series (two shots) or a positive titer.
  • Hepatitis B vaccination series (three shots) and a positive hepatitis B antibody (HBsAb) quantitative titer. (Please make sure your physician does not order a qualitative titer.) Ideally, a titer is recommended one to two months after completion of the series for proof of immunity to hepatitis B but can be checked at a later date.
  • Two-step tuberculosis skin test (TST) or a TB blood test (IGRA). DDS and DH students report to Campus Health and follow the testing procedures required. Advanced Dental Education students report to Employee Health and follow the testing procedures required.

The matriculating student is required to submit an official certificate of immunizations that is signed by an authorized healthcare provider. Immunization documentation is to be submitted to both UNC Campus Health Services (CHS) and to the UNC Adams School of Dentistry through eMedley and Connect Carolina by a published and specified date. CHS will notify students who are not in compliance with the state immunization requirements noted above. Individuals who have not met the state immunization requirements after 30 calendar days from the first date of attendance will be administratively withdrawn from the University by the University Registrar. See the UNC Campus Health website.

Students with deficiencies in the additional immunization requirements of the school will be notified of the deficiencies by the UNC school's director of clinical compliance. The school will work with students to meet these additional requirements. The failure to comply with the school’s requirements after consultation with the director of clinical compliance and the agreed-upon resolution schedule will result in administrative withdrawal from the school.

Additional Requirements


  • Influenza vaccine not earlier than September 1.
  • Tuberculosis screening.
  • Verification of health insurance. UNC–Chapel Hill requires all eligible students to have health insurance (see the UNC Campus Health Student Health Insurance website.) Students are required to waive with existing creditable insurance each semester or they will automatically be enrolled in the UNC System Student Health Insurance Plan, which is administered by Student Blue/BCBS of NC. To waive or enroll/renew, visit the Student Blue website.


  • American Heart Association certified CPR for Healthcare Providers training. Documentation of current certification is required of the matriculating student and is to be submitted through eKeeper. (Note that the school requires in-person CPR skills assessment.)

Infection Control: One of the consequences of the delivery of health care is the possibility of contracting an infectious disease such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, HIV, or herpes. To minimize this risk, the school has adopted an Infection Control Policy that requires the wearing of a clinical overgarment, disposable gloves, a mask, and protective eye covering when oral examinations and dental procedures are being performed. NOTE: COVID-19 has adjusted these requirements and additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may be required.

Infectious Disease Status

Students engaged in patient care activities are required to know their tuberculosis and hepatitis B (HBV) status, and are encouraged to learn their hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV status. State regulations require health care workers, including students, who perform surgical or dental procedures or who assist in such procedures in a way that may result in an exposure of patients to their blood, and who know themselves to be infected with HIV or HBV, to report their status to the state health director. See UNC's policy.

Late Registration

University regulations require students who do not register before the first day of classes in any semester or summer session to pay an additional fee of $20 for delayed registration. Any student who believes that she/he can show sufficient justification for the delay may petition for a refund by completing a form, which can be found online, and outlining the reason for delay. This form must bear the approval of the dean of the UNC Adams School of Dentistry.

Awarding of Degrees and Certificates

To be awarded a degree or certificate, students must satisfactorily complete all requirements of their respective program.

Class and Clinic Attendance

Regular class and clinic attendance is a student obligation. No right or privilege exists that permits a student to be absent from any given number of sessions.

Patient Care Responsibilities

Students are granted the privilege of participating in the patient care system of the UNC Adams School of Dentistry and are expected to provide care consistent with our person-centered philosophy. Patients are a central part of the health care team and are involved in the planning of their care. It is the responsibility of the dental student to provide patients with the information needed so they make informed decisions about their treatment. The dental student has the responsibility to provide high-quality, evidence-based care to all their assigned patients in a timely manner and to uphold the ethical responsibilities as outlined in the school's Code of Professional Conduct and its Technical Standards.

Current academic policies and procedures can be found online. However, policies are subject to change at any time. The manual provides guidelines for governing the UNC Adams School of Dentistry educational programs and advises students, faculty, and staff of academic policies and procedures related to the respective programs.

UNC Adams School of Dentistry

Visit Program Website

385 South Columbia St., CB# 7450, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7450

Academic Affairs: (919) 537-3347

Student Services (919) 537-3474

Laura Ornelas

Interim Dean

Edward Swift Jr.