Hemenway Hall 200-B
2445 Campus Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8821
Fax: (808) 956-5707


K. Osada, RDH, MEd (Chair)—dental hygiene
M. Arucan-Masunaga, DDS—dental hygiene
P. Ching, RDH, MEd—dental hygiene
A. Colby, DDS, MS—periodontology/dental anesthesia
L. Fong, DDS, MS—periodontology
N. Fong, RDH—dental hygiene
P. Fujimoto, RDH, DDS—oral pathology
G. Lau, RDH, MEdT—dental hygiene
M. Lau, RDH, MEd—dental hygiene
K. Nakasone, RDH, MEd—dental hygiene
M. Oishi, DDS—dental materials, oral histology
P. Sunahara, RDH, MEd—dental hygiene
L. Yamada, DDS, MEd—periodontology

Degree Offered: BS in dental hygiene

The Academic Program

The Department of Dental Hygiene at UH Manoa offers the only baccalaureate dental hygiene educational program in the state. It offers the preparation required by dental hygienists to provide oral health care and education to the people of Hawai‘i, the continental U.S., and the Pacific-Asia region.

The bachelor of science in dental hygiene offers professional training, a foundation for personal and professional development, and preparation for graduate study. Students completing the degree in dental hygiene qualify for admission to the national and regional dental hygiene examinations for licensure to practice dental hygiene in private, public health, and other dental hygiene settings.


The dental hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, American Dental Association.

Each program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation must post the Notice of Opportunity and Procedure to File Complaints with the Commission on Dental Accreditation. A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission’s policy and procedures for submission of complaints may be obtained by contacting the Commission at: 211 East Chicago Avenue; Chicago, Illinois 60611; Tel: 1 (800) 621-8099, ext. 4653.


Department of Dental Hygiene
Hemenway Hall 200-B
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8821
Email: uhmdh@hawaii.edu

Academic advising is provided by faculty of the Department of Dental Hygiene. Potential applicants as well as students in need of advising should call for appointments.


All enrolled dental hygiene students are advised to meet with a faculty advisor regarding their progress toward their degree to ensure that all requirements are met at least two semesters before the scheduled graduation date.

An application for graduation must be submitted with a degree fee to the Cashier’s Office, QLCSS Room 001. This should be processed during the first three weeks of the semester the student intends to graduate.

Honors and Awards

Dental Hygiene Faculty Award

An outstanding dental hygiene student who has maintained high scholarship and made contributions to the department is recognized by the faculty of the Department of Dental Hygiene at graduation.

Undergraduate Study

The Department of Dental Hygiene’s undergraduate program provides two pathways to the bachelor of science degree:

  • High School Direct Entry into Dental Hygiene (HS-DEDH) Pathway
  • Traditional Dental Hygiene Pathway

Applicants are strongly advised to attend an informational session at the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene before submitting an application to the program. For more information, please visit the SONDH website at dentalhygiene.

High School Direct Entry into Dental Hygiene (HS-DEDH)

For high school graduates

This pathway is designed for high school seniors and provides an opportunity for admission into UH Manoa and the Dental Hygiene program directly after high school graduation. The student admitted to the Direct Entry in Dental Hygiene (DEDH) program is given reserved seating in a cohort-based learning community of 18-19 credits of prerequisite course work and begins dental hygiene courses as a sophomore and graduates with the BS degree in 4 years. Students may add course work to their learning community, but not omit courses.

Admission Requirements

To qualify for admission to the Dental Hygiene Program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Minimum Exam Scores
    SAT: Evidence Based Reading and Writing–560 and Math–540 or
    ACT: Reading–22 and Math–22
  2. Minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 at the end of the junior year of high school.
  3. Top 40% of the high school graduating class.
  4.  Interview with the Dental Hygiene Admission Committee.

Continuation Requirements

With successful completion of the freshman year including prerequisite dental hygiene course grades the student is automatically admitted to the BS in dental hygiene program. In order to retain status as a Direct Entry Dental Hygiene Program student, the following conditions must be met:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in all freshman year college cours work
  • Minimum grade of C in all program course work

*Note: Admission to DEDH will not be deferred. Students wanting to begin the dental hygiene program at a later time will follow the regular admissions requirements.

Students Who Don’t Meet the Admission Requirements For The DEDH Program

If a student is interested in the dental hygiene program but is not eligible for the DEDH program, the student can enter UH Manoa as a pre-dental hygiene student and apply in fall for the freshman year for admission to the traditional dental hygiene pathway.

Application Deadline and Requirements

January 5 (Fall admission only)

Applicants must submit transcripts, if applicable, and photocopy of grades if enrolled in courses at any community college or other university during the summer immediately preceding the semester of entry to the program.

All documents, including the UH System application (apply.hawaii.edu) and Dental Hygiene application (high-school-direct-entry-in-dental-hygiene/how-to-apply), must be received by the Office of Student Services no later than the deadline. It is highly recommended that the UH System Application be submitted 4-6 weeks prior to the SONDH deadline in order to allow ample processing time in the Office of Admissions. Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted. For more information, please visit our website at nursing.hawaii.edu.

Traditional Dental Hygiene–BS in Dental Hygiene Pathway

For current UH Manoa and transferring college students

The Pre-Dental Hygiene designation is available for students planning to pursue program admission at UH Manoa. The Pre-Dental Hygiene designation does not guarantee admission to the dental hygiene program. A separate application and review is required for admission to the bachelor’s in dental hygiene program.

This baccalaureate dental hygiene pathway admits students to the bachelor of science program following completion of a minimum of 29 semester credit hours of prerequisite and the majority of general education courses.

Admission Requirements

To qualify for admission to the Dental Hygiene Program, applicants must complete the following requirements:

  1. Admission to UH Manoa
  2. Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5; inclusion of prerequisite science courses GPA
  3. Prerequisite courses or equivalents: PHYL 103/103L; BIOC 241; MICR 130/140L; FSHN 185; COMG 151; ENG 100; SOC 100; PSY 100
  4. Near completion of general education courses required for UH Mânoa graduation
  5. Recommend completion of PHRM 203; PSY 225 (or equivalent)
  6. Interview with the Dental Hygiene Admission Committee.

There is a path for those students interested in completing a baccalaureate degree, who have graduated from an associate degree or certificate program. To qualify, the applicant must complete the following requirements:

  1. Admission to UH Manoa
  2. Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5; inclusion of pre-requisite science courses GPA
  3. Minimum DH GPA of 3.0
  4. Passed the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination
  5. Completion of courses equivalent to: DH 361, DH 370, DH 389, DH 390/391
  6. Near completion of UH Manoa general education courses
  7. Interview
  8. Certified in the administration of intra-oral anesthesia (including regional blocks)

Application Period

December 1 through February 1 for the upcoming fall semester. Students are admitted only during the fall semester.

Transfer applicants from other universities and colleges/schools must complete the UH System Application form and submit the form to UH Mânoa Office of Admissions. Students enrolled as classified day students at UH Mânoa during the semester immediately preceding the semester of desired entry must complete the Curriculum

Transfer Request and the Department of Dental Hygiene application forms.
Applicants must submit transcripts, if applicable, and photocopy of grades if enrolled in courses at any community college or other university during the semester immediately preceding the semester of entry to the program.

Advanced Professional Certificate in Expanded Function Dental Hygiene in Pediatrics (EFDH)

The UH Mânoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene offers graduates from the Bachelor in Science Dental Hygiene Program an opportunity to expand their knowledge, improve oral health outcomes for children, and practice skills in the area of pediatrics with a focus on children 0-5 years of age. This 16 credit (450 clinical hours) full-time Expanded Function Dental Hygiene (EFDH) certificate program is a cohort-model designed to be completed in 9 months. Due to the rigors and scheduling of the program, students are advised not to be employed during the program.

Clinical experiences provide hands-on care of pediatric patients in the community using standard office dental equipment as well as mobile dental equipment in various community settings. EFDH graduates will gain a competitive advantage for employment opportunities in pediatric dental practices, school-based health centers, and other non-traditional sites.

Admission Requirements

Admission of students to the Advanced Professional Certificate in Expanded Function Dental Hygiene in Pediatrics program is based on completion of a bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene and specific written criteria, procedures and policies. Preference will be given to students currently completing their final year of the UH Manoa Bachelor Degree Dental Hygiene Program. It is highly recommended that students currently enrolled in the bachelor in science Dental Hygiene Program contact a dental hygiene advisor before graduation for information on the program.

Criteria include the following minimum requirements:

  1. Cumulative GPA: 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  2. Official transcript
  3. Individual interview
  4. Essay
  5. Licensure: current unrestricted Hawai‘i dental hygienist license

Application Deadline and Requirements

Students must submit applications to both UH Manoa Undergraduate Admissions ($70) and UH Manoa Dental Hygiene ($0).

Office of Admissions
University of Hawai‘i at Manoa
(808) 956-8975

UH Manoa Dental Hygiene
Kristine Osada, RDH, BS, Med
Department of Dental Hygiene Chair and Instructor
(808) 956-8821

Applications must be received by April 1 at 6:59 p.m. HST or 11:59 p.m. EST

Health Certification and Other Requirements

Prior to enrollment, accepted students must provide evidence of sound health and meet other requirements as follows:

  1. CPR Certification (BLS for Healthcare Providers Course);
  2. TB Clearance (Department approved);
  3. Immunizations for Tetanus/Diptheria/Pertussis (TdaP) and annual Flu vaccine;
  4. Laboratory evidence (positive titer) of immunity to Hepatitis B, Mumps, Rubeola (Measles), Rubella (German Measles) and Varicella (Chicken Pox);
  5. Health insurance; and
  6. Malpractice insurance of $1 million per incident/$3 million aggregate

All requirements must be cleared before registration by presenting photocopies of CPR certification, health insurance policy (card), titer results, Health Clearance Form (vaccination record), and TB clearance to the Department of Dental Hygiene. Students with prerequisite deficiencies may not register for or attend laboratory or clinical classes.

Students must take a tuberculosis screen test or chest x-ray as required. Dental hygiene students who have not taken a TB skin test within the last year must take the two-step TB test. CPR certification must be current.

Students are required to have health insurance. Student medical insurance plan information may be obtained through the University Health Services at (808) 956-8965.

Students enrolled in dental hygiene clinical courses have the potential for exposure to communicable diseases and may sustain injuries in the clinical setting. Limited emergency care will be rendered onsite. Students are financially liable for all care received, including emergency room charges.

Note: All certifications and requirements must be kept current for the duration of program enrollment.

Financial Consideration

Significant costs (e.g., professional education fee; purchase of instruments, supplies, uniforms, and books; examination fees, etc.) not related to tuition and housing are associated with dental hygiene education. The estimated additional cost over a period of three years in the dental hygiene program is approximately $14,000, excluding the professional education fee. Students are encouraged to make appropriate financial arrangements.

Varied Schedules

Dental hygiene students are expected to participate in clinical experiences at various scheduled times. Therefore, students must make time and arrangements to accommodate a modified daily schedule.

Continued Enrollment

The minimum academic requirements of UH Mânoa apply to all dental hygiene students. In addition, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 for all registered credit hours in dental hygiene courses to remain in the dental hygiene program.

BS in Dental Hygiene

Students must complete the following:

  • General Education Core requirements (see the “Undergraduate General Education Requirements” section in the Catalog)
  • Pre-requisite requirements
  • Dental Hygiene major requirements
  • Other major requirements and electives

General Education Core Requirements

  • See the Catalog

Pre-requisite Requirements

  • BIOC 241 Fundamentals of Biochemistry (3)
  • COMG 151 Personal and Public Speech (3)
  • ENG 100 Composition I (3)
  • FSHN 185 The Science of Human Nutrition (3)
  • MICR 130 General Microbiology (3) and MICR 140L Microbiology Laboratory (2)
  • PHYL 103/103L Human Physiology and Anatomy/Physiology and Anatomy Lab (5/1)
  • PSY 100 Survey of Psychology (3)
  • SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology (3)

Major Requirements

  • DH 231 Oral Anatomy and Tooth Morphology (2)
  • DH 231L Oral Anatomy and Tooth Morphology Lab (2)
  • DH 238 Basic Dental Hygiene I (2)
  • DH 238L Basic Dental Hygiene I Lab (2)
  • DH 240 Basic Dental Hygiene II (2)
  • DH 240L Basic Dental Hygiene Lab/Clinic (3)
  • DH 250 General Histology (2)
  • DH 251 Oral Histology and Embryology (1)
  • DH 28l Dental Radiography (2)
  • DH 281L Dental Radiography Lab/Clinic (1)
  • DH 361 Health Education and Promotion (2)
  • DH 366 General Pathology (2)
  • DH 367 Oral Pathology (1)
  • DH 369 Dental Materials (1)
  • DH 369L Dental Materials Lab/Clinic (1)
  • DH 370 Expanded Functions in Dental Hygiene (2)
  • DH 370L Expanded Functions Lab/Clinic (1)
  • DH 375 Clinical Dental Hygiene I (2)
  • DH 375L Clinical Dental Hygiene I Clinic (4)
  • DH 380 Clinical Dental Hygiene II (2)
  • DH 380L Clinical Dental Hygiene II Clinic (3)
  • DH 389 Pain Control and Local Anesthesia in Dentistry (2)
  • DH 390 Periodontology I (2)
  • DH 391 Periodontology II (2)
  • DH 473 Community Health (3)
  • DH 475 Advanced Clinical Dental Hygiene I (2)
  • DH 475L Advanced Dental Hygiene I Clinic (4)
  • DH 480 Advanced Clinical Dental Hygiene II (2)
  • DH 480L Advanced Clinical Dental Hygiene II Clinic (4)
  • NURS 363 Introduction to Nursing Research (3
  • PHRM 203 General Pharmacology (3)
  • PUBA 301 Health Care Administration (3) (UH-West Oahu)

For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to programsheets/.

DH Courses