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Dental Hygiene

Career and Technical Program

Dental Hygiene
Dental Hygiene

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Application to the January 2023 Dental Hygiene Program closed August 4, 2022. The next program will begin January 2025 with the application cycle opening in June 2024. Prerequisite courses must be completed by July 2024 to meet the anticipated application deadline. A component of the next application will include observation hour requirements. The Observation Hour Requirement form will be available on the program website in January 2024.

The Dental Hygiene program prepares students for entry into the dental hygiene profession as licensed clinicians (Registered Dental Hygienist-RDH). Dental Hygienists provide preventive, therapeutic, restorative, and procedures to control oral disease and promote optimal oral health. The Dental Hygiene program includes instruction in dental anatomy, microbiology, and pathology; dental hygiene theory and techniques; dental materials; radiology; patient education and counseling; and office management and professional standards. Clinical education experiences are integrated throughout the curriculum and offer students the opportunity to gain competency through practice each semester.

Upon completion of this program, graduates will be eligible to take the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination (NBDHE), and the regional and or state clinical and local anesthesia examinations. Applicants are encouraged to contact the State Board of Dentistry in the states in which they wish to practice for individual licensing requirements.

Dental Hygiene is a competitive entry program. Students are admitted to the program every other year. The prerequisite course requirements are open to all students. The AAS degree may be obtained in a 24-month course of study following acceptance to the program. A minimum grade point average of B or 3.0 is required in all DENT courses, which includes BIOL 207 and PHAR 150.

Note: This program blends online theory, scheduled on-campus labs, and experiential learning in a dental clinic.

Program Accreditation

The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of initial accreditation. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission’s web address is:

Program Outcomes

New program - not applicable

Admission Requirements

Competitive Entry

  1. High school diploma or GED.
  2. 18 years old to participate.
  3. Application to the Dental Hygiene program.
  4. Minimum grades of C/2.0 must be earned in each of the required prerequisite courses listed below; however, application points will only be assigned/awarded for ‘C+’ or higher grades during the application process.
    Minimum Prerequisites Needed to Apply
    • BACT-250/250 Lab (General Microbiology)
    • BIOL-175/175 Lab (Human Biology) or
      BIOL-227/227 Lab (Human Anatomy and Physiology I)
      (NOTE: BIOL-227/227 Lab is required for all future program applications beyond the Spring 2023 program start!) 
    • CHEM-105 (General, Organic and Biochemistry or
      CHEM-102/102 Lab (Essentials of Organic and Biochemistry)
    • COMM-101 (Fundamentals of Oral Communication)
    • ENGL-101 (Writing and Rhetoric I)
    • MATH-123 (Math in Modern Society) or higher GEM 3 MATH
    • PSYC-101 (Introduction to Psychology)
    • SOC-101 (Introduction to Sociology)
  5. Minimum grades of B/3.0 must be earned in each of the courses listed below. These courses are part of the program curriculum but may be completed with the required minimum grade by the application deadline for purposes of additional program application points.
    Other Courses Assigned Points in Admissions Process
    • BIOL-207 (Concepts in Human Nutrition)
    • PHAR-150 (Introduction to Pharmacology)
  6. All lab science courses (BACT, BIOL, and CHEM) must be no older than 7 years at the scheduled program start date.
  7. A criminal background check and drug screening will be required upon acceptance. Violations may result in denied access to clinical sites and therefore inability to complete the program. For questions regarding specific violations, please contact the program director.


Health Professions Advisor
(208) 625-2320

Janis McClelland, RDH, BSDH, MSDH
Dental Hygiene Program Director/Assistant Professor
Health Professions Division
Winston Hall Room 130
(208) 929-4014


Program Guidelines