35 Best Bachelor's Degrees in Dental Hygiene

Updated November 22, 2022

Do you think that a person's smile is their defining feature? Do you love to improve the lives of others? If so a career in Dental Hygiene may be right for you! The US Bureau of Labor reports that the job outlook for Dental Hygienists from 2016-2026 will grow by an impressive 20 percent. While ...

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Do you think that a person's smile is their defining feature? Do you love to improve the lives of others? If so a career in Dental Hygiene may be right for you!

The US Bureau of Labor reports that the job outlook for Dental Hygienists from 2016-2026 will grow by an impressive 20 percent. While the typical entry-level education for dental hygienists going directly into the practicing field is an associate's degree, earning a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene is a way to guarantee career growth and opportunities in many more settings than just the clinic. Undergraduate Dental Hygiene programs prepare students for not only clinical practice, but it also shapes their curriculum to meet the growing needs of public dental health advocacy.

Almost all programs incorporate aspects of dental hygiene outside of the direct theory and practice. This includes courses in public health, community outreach, preventative care, and more. The skills accompanying this foundational knowledge focus on the importance of leadership, management, and ethics, as dental hygienists will often be responsible for the care of underserved populations. Most programs will provide students the opportunity for hands-on experience through on-campus clinical experience with real patients, or community outreach and education programs. A Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree will not only further one's credentials as a dental hygienist, as many entering these programs are already practicing, but ensures that students have opportunities outside of the clinic to put their knowledge to important use.

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Top 35 Best Bachelor's Degrees in Dental Hygiene

  1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Chapel Hill, NC



    The University of North Carolina's Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program prepares students for not only professional work in the field, but to become educators of public health. The curriculum focuses on potential leadership roles, career development, and skill implementation, as well as the foundational and in-depth aspects of dental hygiene. Admission is competitive and students must complete all prerequisites prior to admission. Course topics include Dental Hygiene Theory, Radiographic Interpretation, Special Care in Dentistry, Current Concepts in Periodontics, and more. All students will complete a community-based service learning course as well, giving them hands-on practice. Students are highly encouraged to participate in research opportunities at the university level with professional organizations and private industries.

  2. Texas A&M University-College Station

    College Station, TX



    The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program at Texas A&M University is a competitive program, open to students who have completed at least 60 credits of prerequisites and proven their dedication and ability to succeed. Graduates will be prepared for careers in private dental practices and clinics, public health settings, education programs in schools or other community settings, hospitals, and even corporate health facilities. The program's curriculum prepares students for all of these opportunities with a focus in extensive clinical and technical training as well as research methodologies and leadership skills. Courses include Local Anesthesia and Nitrous Oxide, Gerontology, Oral Radiography, Comprehensive Care, and Professional Ethics.

  3. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

    Ann Arbor, MI



    The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program offered by the University of Michigan is a competitive program where students may apply to the pre-dental hygiene track right from high school but may not be admitted to the professional-level program. Admitted students will enter the program as sophomores, and most incoming students have a GPA of at least 3.5 in all previous coursework. The program beginning in May of 2019 is run over two years and six consecutive semesters. Coursework is focused on ethical and professional behavior, comprehensive oral health care, scientific methods, research in the field, and community health outreach. Students will receive training in pain control and local anesthetics. Prospective applicants are highly encouraged to have an academic advising meeting.

  4. Ohio State University-Main Campus

    Columbus, OH



    Ohio State University's Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene is designed for students who are already working as dental hygienists. It is a selective program, with applicants needing to have already graduated from a CODA accredited dental hygiene program with a GPA of at least 2.7, and be a licensed Dental Hygienist or be eligible for licensure. Once students meet these requirements they will benefit from a flexible online curriculum dedicated to expansive knowledge in periodontology, research methodologies, and the skills necessary for leadership roles in the field. Specialization areas are available in Expanded Functions, Dental Hygiene Education, or an Individualized Program.

  5. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

    Minneapolis, MN



    The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from the University of Minnesota is an accelerated DH program designed to allow students to graduate in three years instead of four. It is a year-round program that includes summer terms. The first year will be dedicated to prerequisite coursework and after it is completed students may continue onto the professional-level courses in topics like Biochemistry, Pathology, Microbiology, and Nutrition. Students will also be trained in Anesthetics and Pain Control, allowing for more licensure opportunities. The program offers many hands-on experiences through a number of learning clinics where students may provide care for populations who otherwise wouldn't have access to that care.

  6. West Virginia University

    Morgantown, WV



    West Virginia University's Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program accepts students provisionally and once they have completed all prerequisites satisfactorily they'll be further admitted into the professional-level program. The curriculum combines a liberal arts foundation with an in-depth and comprehensive study of the field and its professional aspects. The program is a total of 136 credits, surpassing the BS requirement of 120. Students will complete two summer semesters after their sophomore and junior year to fulfill clinical studies and rotations. Course topics include Periodontics, Clinical Teaching Methods, and Anesthesiology. Graduates from the program have gone onto careers in clinical settings, administrative roles, educational programs, and more.

  7. Northern Arizona University

    Flagstaff, AZ



    Northern Arizona University's Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene is a professional-level program that students may apply to after completing prerequisite coursework either from NAU or another accredited institution. Admission is competitive with GPA being a critical factor. While applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.0, most students who are admitted have a from 3.4 to 3.6 earned in prerequisite courses. Coursework combined with fieldwork experience will give students a thorough and all-encompassing study of the field, from theory to practice. Course topics are divided into four categories: Dental Science, Community Health, Professional, and Clinical.

  8. University of Southern California

    Los Angeles, CA



    The University of Southern California's Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene is a competitive program. It remains popular because it provides students an extensive foundational knowledge in preparation for professional careers or the pursuit of graduate study. Applicants must have completed all prerequisite courses earned either from USC or another accredited institution. The curriculum imparts special emphasis on health promotion, disease prevention, and the communal dedication expected of a dental hygienist. Students will practice technical skills in clinical settings and raise oral health awareness through education in community health programs.

  9. Ferris State University

    Big Rapids, MI



    Ferris State University's Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program is for students who already have an associate's degree in the field and wish to further their credentials. The program is fully online. Students graduate with sharper clinical and technical skills in the practice, exposure to research in the field, as well as leadership and management skills. The curriculum is made up of general courses, research courses, and then specialized career courses based off of the prospective focus interest chosen by the student. Courses to accompany those credits already earned in an AAS degree include Dental Hygiene Informatives, the Instructional Role of the Dental Hygienist, Gerontology in Dental Hygiene, and a capstone course.

  10. New York University

    New York City, NY



    New York University's Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program is open to entry-level students with no college credits, transfer students, and those who already have an AAS in Dental Hygiene and are looking for a degree-completion program. The BS in Dental Hygiene program is a traditional four-year degree where students will typically take prerequisite courses their first year and then begin honing in on more advanced dental courses their sophomore year. Course topics include Ethics, Oral Health Education, Pain Management, Pathology, and Microbiology. All students will be required to complete two internships prior to graduation. These internships allow students to choose a focus area such as education, research, public health, or management.

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