A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

Dental Hygiene, AS Off-Campus Program

The Admissions Office at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry is participating in the ADEA Dental Hygiene Centralized Application Service, known as DHCAS. To learn more about the DHCAS application process, visit www.adea.org. A supplemental application for LLUSD will also be required.

Dental Hygiene Program and Clinic
34280 Gateway Drive
Palm Desert, CA 92211

Dental Hygiene is an undergraduate program in the School of Dentistry that is largely focused on preventive oral health services and continuing care. The purpose of the Associate of Science off-campus degree program is to develop professionals in the Coachella Valley who are prepared for the current practice of dental hygiene and the future changes in dentistry. The A.S. clinical hygienist works in association with the dentist in primarily private-practice, industry, schools, public health and clinical military settings.

Admission Requirements

  • Competency in verbal and written English
  • 20 hours minimum of dental hygiene observation/shadowing
  • Dental Assisting experience is valuable, but not required
  • Completion of pre-requisite courses
  • A Minimum GPA of  2.5 is required, a 3.0 science GPA is recommended
  • Science courses must be completed within Five  years of admission
  • Courses must be a ‘C’ or higher to meet LLUSD transfer requirements
  • A Minimum of 23 semester or 32 quarter units of regionally accredited college coursework 
  • College of the Desert students given priority in admission process
  • Three letters of reference including: spiritual leader, science professor and employer
  • Official transcripts from all schools attended
  • A formal interview (by invitation only)

Associate of Science Prerequisites

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II—Two classes with labs
  • Microbiology—One class with lab
  • Chemistry—Introductory Inorganic, Organic & Biochemistry—One year with labs
  • College level Math—One class
  • Introduction to Psychology—One class
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Freshman English Sequence—One year
  • Speech—One class
  • Physical Education—Two activity classes
  • Personal Health or Nutrition—One class

Transfer Agreements

These DH transfer agreements are from common local and Seventh-day Adventist schools that students choose to attend for their prerequisite coursework. This is NOT a complete list of higher educational institutions from which we accept credits.  We only accept prerequisite courses from regionally accredited colleges and universities.  If your previous college is not listed you may contact us directly at admissions.sd@llu.edu or 909-558-4621.

How to Apply

All applicants must apply online at www.adea.org.


Q. Do I have to complete all pre-requisite courses before I can apply?

A. No. You may apply with courses in progress. An applicant may be accepted with a deficiency in one or more areas, but is expected to complete pre-requisites before beginning the Dental Hygiene program.

Q. Can I attend part-time or work while in the program?

A. No. This is a seven (7) quarter, full-time program and working is discouraged.

Q. What is the deadline to submit requested materials to the admissions office (i.e. transcripts, observation hours and recommendation letters)?

A. All materials should be in the admissions by early September.

National Board and Clinical Licensure Exams

Upon successful completion of the Dental Hygiene program, all students are required to pass the written National Board Exam and a State or Regional clinical licensure exam.

Financial Aid

A financial aid advisor and financial aid programs are available.  Please contact 909-558-4509 or email finaid@llu.edu.  Website information can be located at  http://www.llu.edu/ssweb/finaid.

International Students*

Students applying for or holding F-1 U.S. Student Visas are required by U.S. immigration regulation to secure sufficient funds for their first year’s tuition and fees (for 2011-2012 DH this is approximately $35,000) and provide documentary evidence of sufficient funds for their second year.
To satisfy this immigration requirement, LLUSD requires non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. permanent residents to pay the first year’s tuition and fees when they register for their first quarter.

*Acceptance of international students at the Palm Desert location is pending approval by the U.S. Department of Education.

Forms and Additional Information

Useful Links

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Dental Hygienists, Statistics on salary, job growth, and demand areas. 

Information on blood borne infectious diseases and possible work-related risks and injuries.

Education/career paths and national and state employment opportunities.


RDH scope of practice in California.

Disclaimer: The School reserves the right to modify or change admission standards or requirements at any time without prior notice and effective immediately. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and does not create any agreement or understanding or establish any rights or responsibilities whatsoever between LLU School of Dentistry and any student or prospective student.