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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program from the University of Southern Indiana has a curriculum focused on coursework, hands-on experience in lab and clinical settings, and community oral health experiences. As the program covers a wide array of aspects of DH, students will be thoroughly prepared for work as licensed dental hygienists, educators, researchers, and more. Prospective students may apply to the program after completing prerequisite courses at USI. There are degree completion and accelerated tracks for students with non-traditional needs. Coursework will cover topics like Chemistry, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Psychology, Biostatistics, Public Health Care, and more.
Indiana University-Purdue University offers a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene with three different concentration areas: Dental Hygiene Education, Health Care Administration, and Public Health Dental Hygiene. Admission to the BS in Dental Hygiene program requires that students have already completed about 35 credits of prerequisites with at least a 2.7 GPA. There is no direct entry to the program for high school graduates, and those who already have an accredited DH education may apply to the degree-completion track. All students in the DH program, regardless of their focus area, will complete 65 credits in the core professional curriculum. 20 credits will then be dedicated to the selected concentration area. To view course maps and requirements, prospective students should contact the department.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City's Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene is a professional level program, admitting students after their second year of college when they have completed 60 credits with at least a 2.5 GPA. Those who have an accredited DH degree from another institution may also apply to the Degree Completion program at UMKC. Graduates from the program will be well-prepared for professional careers or further education, as the program's dedicated focus to research allows hands-on experiences that make students a more competitive candidate in the field. Alongside the research opportunities, UMKC offers students the ability to go out into over 30 community-based health centers and provide care through outreach programs.
Weber State University's Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program prepares students for a professional setting with clinical and technical skills as well as theoretical understandings of dental hygiene. The curriculum focuses on the biophysical and psychosocial aspects of dental hygiene to give students a fully encompassing knowledge of the discourse. The program supports and encourages the skills necessary for professional growth upon graduation by exploring topics such as leadership, moral ethics, and communication skills. Undergraduate students in the Dental Hygiene Department also have access to funds for the design and implementation of research projects. All applicants must have earned an AAS in Dental Hygiene which can be completed at WSU prior to continuing the BS degree.
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from the University of New Mexico prepares students for careers in education, sales, public health, management, and research. Admission is competitive with only 24 students beginning the five-semester curriculum each year after completing their pre-professional courses. While out-of-state applicants may apply, residents of NM receive preferential consideration. Once admitted, students will begin courses in Biomaterials, Pharmacology, and Pathology. There are courses dedicated to teaching research methodologies in the field as well. The curriculum emphasizes not only the importance of foundational knowledge in the theory and practice of the field, but also professionalism in dental hygiene including career development, research, and management skills.
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program at the University of Maine's Augusta campus is housed under the College of Professional Studies but accepts students directly from high school so long as they have completed certain courses with at least a C-. Transfer students may also apply. The DH program at UMA builds off of foundational and necessary coursework in Anatomy, Radiology, and related topics like Professionalism, to then place students in clinical settings for hands-on practice. Alongside clinical work, students will choose between completing an Expanded Pre-Clinical Functions course, a practicum, and an independent study in the field prior to graduation.
Youngstown State University's Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene is open to students who have completed all pre-dental hygiene courses at the university. Transfer students may apply as well. Upon completion of the prerequisites and 12 observation hours, students who are accepted to the professional-track dental hygiene program will take upper-division courses in Radiology, Pathology, Periodontology, and even Local Anesthetic Procedures. Students will typically begin the advanced DH courses the spring of their sophomore year after being accepted to program. YSU designed their program while keeping in mind that graduates may already have careers in dental sales, research, teaching, public health, and other healthcare systems.
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Health from Wichita State University is offered to those who already have an AAS degree as well as those who are traditional entry-level students. The curriculum is focused on preventative oral healthcare, evidence-based practice, and teaching students to value continuous improvement in their dedication to the field. Applicants to the degree are required to have completed all prerequisites with a 2.75 GPA and observed a DH clinical practice for at least four hours. Once admitted to the upper-division DH program, students will take a full-time schedule of daytime courses and eventually receive clinical experience through the on-campus dental hygiene clinic. Students may also work at other local medical clinics and begin building relationships with potential employers.
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program from the University of Hawaii at Manoa admits students who have completed the necessary prerequisites and a majority of general education courses. The program provides students the knowledge to provide comprehensive and individualized patient care, with a strong understanding of theoretical dental knowledge and its best application. Application for direct entry into the DH program at UHM is offered to high school graduates. Those who are not eligible for direct-entry will apply for the pre-dental hygiene program and at the end of their freshmen year may apply to the professional program. Upper-division courses include Pain Control and Anesthesia, Periodontology, as well as hands-on clinical experiences.
The University of Wyoming's Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree is designed for pursuit after completing prerequisites and dental courses equal to an AAS degree in Dental Hygiene. Because of this, the BS in Dental Hygiene is referred to as an optional program after earning one's two-year AAS in Dental Hygiene at UW. Those who earn the AAS degree and then go onto their BS in Dental Hygiene will graduate with sought-after skills and experience for competitive employment opportunities. Courses in the optional BS program build upon the courses taken to receive the AAS including topics such as Pathology, Community Dental Health, Dental Hygiene, Office Practice, Periodontology, and more.
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program at Purdue University's Fort Wayne campus requires one year of prerequisites and then three years dedicated to intense dental hygiene study, consisting of didactic, laboratory, and clinical courses. Admission to the BS in Dental Hygiene degree is open to both traditional students and those with an AAS, looking for a degree completion program. Prior to admission to the DH program, there are prerequisites that must be completed whether that be at Purdue or another accredited university. Applicants must also have observed a dental hygienist providing service for a minimum of four hours. The professional DH courses include topics in traditional dental fields, as well as ethics, management, and public health.
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program at the University of Bridgeport is open to traditional entry-level students and those with an AAS in Dental Hygiene. Students who don't already have their AAS in DH and are applying as freshmen will be considered for admission to the Pre-Dental Hygiene program. The Pre-DH program refers to all prerequisites to be completed prior to the upper-division courses in Dental Hygiene. Those in the Pre-DH program will be encouraged to observe a registered hygienist prior to applying to the DH program. Once in the formal Dental Hygiene program, students will take courses covering Anesthesia, Periodontology, Pathology, Public Health, and Pharmacology.
Farmingdale State College offers both an entry-level Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree and an online degree completion program for those who already have an AAS in Dental Hygiene. The traditional four-year program at FSC not only trains students in the foundations of the field, but provides emphasis on the importance of related topics like teaching, research, and public health. Students will be prepared for their professional careers, further educational pursuits, or research opportunities with a curriculum that focuses on all technical and clinical aspects of the field and its theoretical framework. Course topics include Health Science Research, Oral Epidemiology, Gerontology, and more.
The Oregon Institute of Technology's Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program is for students who have completed at least one year of academic coursework to fulfill all prerequisites. These courses are often taken at Oregon Tech, nearby community colleges, or any other accredited institution. There are specific application requirements for transfer students. Students have the option of studying at the main campus in southern Oregon, or the campus in Salem, 45 miles from Portland. Upon graduation not only will students be prepared for licensure, but they will also have completed enough clinical hours during their time in the program to qualify for the Expanded Practice Permit in Oregon. Students will also benefit from four terms of community health outreach and even options for international experiences.
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree from Lake Washington Institute of Technology is a two-year program that students will typically begin in their junior year after completing all the prerequisites with a 2.5 GPA or higher. Admission is competitive, once students are enrolled they must take daytime courses only at a full-time schedule. TEAS scores and recommendation letters are required for admission, as are a total of 20 hours observing two different clinical settings. Only 30 applicants are accepted each year. The program's curriculum focuses on teaching DH skills that support graduates in communication, collaboration, and critical thinking necessary in the field. Students will graduate with clinical experience both at the LWIT dental clinic and other clinics in the greater Seattle area.
The College of Southern Nevada's Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree is offered to students who have already earned an associate's degree in DH, or have other forms of licensure in the field. Graduates of the BS program will be further qualified for competitive jobs both in their current field and in areas like public health and education. The program is offered online and part-time, designed with working students in mind. Courses may also be taken full-time. As students will be entering with certain prerequisites already completed, the bulk of the courses taken at CSN include topics in ethics, communication, research methodology, teaching methodologies, and more.
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene at Utah Valley University is only open to students who already have a two-year degree in dental hygiene. Students will take courses to amount to 120 credits, built off the credits already earned in the AAS degree. The program is designed to increase credentials and knowledge in the field for professional practice or to go onto advanced degrees and research. It is also designed specifically for students who are working as all courses are offered online. There is no clinical component in the Dental Hygiene curriculum offered by UVU. As applicants to the program may have a variety of courses completed via their AAS, the curriculum may change based on the student.
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program at Dixie State University is considered a two-year upperclassman program, which is started only once students have completed prerequisites and general education requirements. Students are trained in both the theoretical knowledge behind dental hygiene as well as the clinical skills that applies to these foundations including anesthetic procedures. Only 20 students are accepted to the competitive program each year. Applicants must have recommendation letters, pass an admissions exam, and provide a Dental Observation/Employment Form proving they have either formally assisted in the field or participated in unpaid observation. The curriculum will train students in conducting field research, navigating healthcare systems, and more.
Pennsylvania's College of Technology offers its Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree to students who have already graduated from accredited DH programs as well as entering freshmen. The program covers all aspects of the field to prepare students for careers in a variety of settings. Course topics accompanying a focus in Dental Hygiene include Psychology, Pharmacology, Pathology, and Microbiology. The curriculum also requires a concentration in Health Policy and Administration, made up of courses in general education and in dental hygiene. This will provide students the knowledge necessary to pursue career opportunities as public health hygienists, special populations providers, insurance review specialists, and more.
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program at the University of New England provides students with a liberal arts foundation that is then used in the application and practice of dental hygiene theory. The curriculum focuses not only on critical thinking but also ethical-decision making and leadership. This foundation is perfect for preparing students for both professional and educational opportunities post-graduation. The program is open to those who already have an associate's degree in Dental Hygiene or traditional entry-level students. Those who begin at UNE will finish their first two years at the Biddeford campus. The latter two years consist of intensive dental hygiene courses, including 12-16 hours a week providing care to patients at the Portland, ME campus.
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program at the University of New Haven prepares students for hygienist certification and licensing as well as graduate school opportunities, including their own Master of Science in the field. The traditional four-year program can be entered directly at the beginning of the student's undergraduate study. In addition, there is also an online degree completion program for those who already have associate's degrees. The curriculum prepares students with experience in modern digital radiology and dental labs, as well as using cutting-edge virtual instruction programs. Students will benefit from the knowledge and field experience of faculty members who are registered DH's and have earned advanced degrees in the field.
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene at Eastern Washington University is an entry-level program with an online BS degree completion for those already working as licensed dental hygienists. Courses for the Dental Hygiene major begin in the fall term of a student's junior year, after the completion of all prerequisites and the final acceptance into the program. Prerequisites in chemistry, nutrition, anatomy, and physiology prepare students for the advanced courses in radiology, periodontology, pharmacology, and restorative dentistry. The upper-level part of the program is taught over five consecutive semesters, including one in the summer that lasts eight weeks. Upon graduation, students will be thoroughly trained in the application of theoretical, experiential, and empirical knowledge of the discipline.
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program at Indiana University's South Bend campus is available in two tracks: a Degree Completion program for those who are already licensed hygienists with only an associate's degree and a traditional track program for entry-level students. Students must apply to the dental hygiene program separate from application to IU South Bend, but only after completing all prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better. Required upper-division courses marking the start of the major include Evidence-Based Decision Making, Local Anesthesia and Pain Control, Radiology Lecture, Preventative Dentistry, and many more. The program is learner-centered, emphasizing the importance of a hands-on and activity-based curriculum. All students will complete a capstone course.
West Liberty University's Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program consists of 62 upper-division courses focused on anatomy, radiography, nutrition, evidence-based dentistry, pharmacology, and more. Those admitted to West Liberty must further apply to the Dental Hygiene program, and admission will grant them access to prerequisite courses. Prerequisites include courses in Psychology, Sociology, English, and the sciences. Once these courses are completed, the bulk of the professional-track program will begin. All students will complete a research project in their senior year and participate in clinical labs. Students will have access to current educational and dental technology with the on-campus clinic which has 24 dental operatories and nine patient treatment rooms.
The University of Detroit Mercy's Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree is a professional program that students will begin in their junior year after completing the required prerequisites. It is a full-time and two-year program with an anticipated Monday through Friday, 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM schedule. This also includes a summer semester. As the program is housed in the university's School of Dentistry, students will benefit from participating in courses taught by Hygiene Experts and Dental faculty. The program incorporates training in all aspects of the field, gaining hands-on experience through Service Learning opportunities to provide care to patients. Through these opportunities, many have participated in Elementary, Middle, and High School oral health education, given dental health education presentations to special-needs populations, and more.
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