Background checks

As an applicant to the dental hygiene program at the VCU School of Dentistry, all accepted candidates will be required to submit to a criminal background check prior to matriculation. A final decision about matriculation will be made after a review of the applicant's CBC.

The rationale for performing CBCs is to:

  • Foster patient safety and well being
  • Bolster the continuing trust of the public in the dental profession
  • Ascertain the ability of accepted applicants and enrolled dental hygiene students to eventually become licensed as dental hygienists
  • Minimize the liability of dental schools and their affiliated clinical facilities.

The information obtained through a CBC will not become part of a student's academic file and will remain confidential unless the findings result in an institutional action by the School of Dentistry.

It is anticipated that background reports will be honored for the duration of the student’s enrollment in the program if the student has not had a break in the enrollment. Students are required to complete this process upon re-entry in the program subsequent to a leave of absence, program separation or program withdrawal greater than thirty consecutive days.

All students must also report any felony or misdemeanor convictions which occur during or after matriculation within ten business days of the conviction to the senior associate dean for academic affairs or the senior associate dean for student services. Conviction of or failure to report a disqualifying criminal offense may prevent a student from completing required clinical training experiences and/or result in dismissal or suspension from the program.  It is the responsibility of the student to provide documentation of the final adjudication to the aforementioned administrators. For more information regarding the background checks please read the School of Dentistry Policy for Conducting Criminal Background Checks.

Only applicants admitted to the Dental Hygiene Program at VCU will receive an email from Certiphi Screening - A Vertical Screen Company to complete the process for background checks. You must have a DENTal Personal Identifier Number (DENTPIN®) to proceed with the background check. If you do not have one, please go back to your DHCAS application and follow the direction for accessing a DENTPIN. Please follow the instructions provided in the email. All background checks must be completed by May.

Drug screening

Drug screening is required by the extramural affiliates. The School of Dentistry may require drug screening to enrolled students; however, at this time drug screening of DH3/DH4 and D3/D4 students is necessary to participate in required off-campus rotations.

In the event of an adverse drug screening report, the student will be barred from clinical participation and as a consequence, could be at risk for not fulfilling degree program requirements. Identification of such students will enable appropriate assessment, indicated treatment and follow-up retesting.

In all instances, students are responsible for the cost of the screening and retesting.