Technical Standards

Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene

The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) has established the following list of technical standards for the programs of the Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene.

Candidates and students must be able to communicate effectively in both academic and healthcare settings. Candidates and students must show evidence of effective written and oral communication skills and must be able to communicate with patients in order to elicit and impart information.


The ability to participate in basic diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers and procedures is required. Candidates and students must have sufficient motor function to execute movements reasonably required to properly care for all patients and must be able to perform motor functions with or without assistive devices.


Candidates and students must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize. Problem solving, one of the critical skills demanded of healthcare professionals, requires all of these intellectual abilities. Candidates and students must be able to read and understand medical literature. In order to complete the specific Health Sciences program, students must be able to demonstrate mastery of these skills and the ability to use them together in a timely fashion in healthcare problem-solving and patient care.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

Candidates and students must possess the emotional health and stability required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the prompt completion of all academic and patient care responsibilities. The development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and other members of the healthcare team is essential. The ability to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice, flexibility, compassion, integrity, motivation, interpersonal skills, and concern for others are all required.


The student who successfully completes the academic and clinical components of the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene, Predental/Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene, or Fast Track Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program will be eligible to take licensure examinations. Successful completion of the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and a state or regional clinical examination are necessary for licensure. MCPHS provides education to students in accordance with the regulations set forth by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry. MCPHS may not be able to provide the education and/or certification necessary for eligibility for licensure in every state jurisdiction. The student is responsible for determining eligibility requirements for dental hygiene licensure in the jurisdiction in which they plan to practice and to obtain any additional education necessary for licensure in that jurisdiction.

Policy for Reentry and Content Validation after Non progression or Leave of Absence

Students attempting to return from non-progression in the professional curriculum or leave of absence must be cleared to return to classes by their Academic Dean and the Office of Student Affairs (if a medical leave of absence). Students who are not continuously enrolled in the sequence of undergraduate FSDH professional clinical courses for a period of two semesters or more must validate clinical knowledge and skills before they may reenroll in FSDH professional clinical courses. Validation testing will consist of competency testing to assess clinical and radiography skills related to direct patient care. Program faculty will provide guidance as to what competencies, content, and skills the student needs to review prior to testing, but it is the student’s responsibility to prepare for the testing. Students must pass validation testing at a minimum competency level of 75% in order to be eligible to reenter the FSDH professional clinical curriculum. Students may also opt to retake DHY 209/209L POC 1/Pre-clinic and DHY230/230L Radiology instead of undergoing validation testing.

A student who is unable to pass the validation testing at the 75% level will be given the option of retaking DHY 209/209L Process of Care I/Pre-clinic and DHY 230/230L Radiology. If a passing grade is obtained through validation testing or successful completion of DHY 209/209L and DHY 230/230L, the student may reenter the FSDH program on a space available basis. If the student does not pass the validation test and does not reenroll or pass DHY 209/209L and DHY 230/230L, they will be dismissed from the program. Reentry into the FSDH program is subject to clinical placement availability. (NOTE: There is no guarantee placement will be available at the student’s desired time of return.) This policy applies to all undergraduate dental hygiene programs.

Progression into Professional Phase of the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene - Boston

Accelerated BSDH Students: The minimum passing grade of C in Anatomy and Physiology (BIO 110 / BIO 210), Chemistry (CHE 110 / CHE 210), and Microbiology (BIO255) and an overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 are required to progress into the fall of Year II (professional phase) of the program. Predental BSDH Students: The minimum grade of C in BIO 151, 152, 110, 210, 255 and CHE 131, 132, and an overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 is required to progress into the Fall of Year III (professional phase) of the program. Students who achieve the minimum passing grade of C, but do not meet the minimum cumulative GPA for their respective cohort, may enroll in DHY 202 Dental Anatomy and DHY 204 Head and Neck Anatomy in the Year II/III fall semester but may not enroll in other professional courses. If DHY 202 and 204 are completed with C or better grades and a minimum cumulative and professional GPA of 2.5/3.0 are attained, the student may progress into the remaining Year II/III fall semester professional courses the following fall semester. This will result in a change in the year of graduation. Students who do not meet the minimum grade and GPA expectations at the end of the first year, or after attempting DHY 202 and DHY 204, will be dismissed from the program.

Dismissal from Program

Three grades below C in any combination of DHY courses results in dismissal from the program.

Progression within the Professional Phase of the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene

To progress within the didactic and clinical phase of the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program, students must achieve a final grade of C or better (> 75%). Obtaining a final grade below C in any professional course results in the student’s having to repeat the course. Progression through the program will be delayed (i.e., the student will be on non-progression status) because most professional courses are offered only once per academic year. A dental hygiene student may be placed on non-progression status only once during his or her tenure in the Forsyth Dental Hygiene program. A student who receives a second non progression status in a subsequent semester will be dismissed from the dental hygiene program.

Exposure Control Plan

MCPHS is dedicated to providing a safe workplace for employees and students. The Exposure Control Plan [PDF] is to establish the process for compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.