The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene has two entry options. One is designed for students who wish to complete course work toward the bachelor's degree beginning with their freshman year, and the other is designed for individuals who are graduates of accredited dental hygiene programs, licensed and interested in earning the bachelor's degree. The curriculum will enable the graduate to assume positions of responsibility in a variety of alternate care settings, and also create positions to meet the demands of future health care needs. The Health Policy and Administration Concentration curriculum offers a required core of dental hygiene and general education courses (select courses offered via distance learning). Students with a current dental hygiene license have the flexibility of completing the remaining degree requirements on either a full-time or part-time basis.
Students will take six credits within the concentration area in addition to the dental hygiene core courses and required baccalaureate courses. Curriculum will be based on individual needs.
About the curriculum
View the classes you will be attending in the College Catalog.
Accreditation & Industry Connections
The associate degree program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of APPROVAL (without reporting requirements). 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 60611-2678. The Commission’s web address is: http://www.ada.org/en/coda
Advanced positions in the field of dental hygiene, legislative aide, lobbyist, insurance review specialist, dental health consultant, office manager, marketing representative, public health hygienist, and special population provider.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for dental hygienists was $74,070 in May 2017. The top 10 percent earned more than $101,330.
Industries with the highest published employment for this occupation are:
|Industry||Employment||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage|
|Offices of Dentists||200,710||$36.04||$74,970|
|Offices of Physicians||1,940||$33.34||$69,350|
|Outpatient Care Centers||1,420||$35.43||$73,690|
|Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)||790||$28.66||$59,610|
Statistics reported in May 2017
Special Admissions Requirements
Acceptance into this competitive major is based on an admissions ranking process. To view details on acceptance criteria, testing requirements, performance expectations, and the admissions ranking system, consult the Dental Hygiene special admissions information. Curriculum sequence for this option will be individualized. Candidates for the Dental Hygiene program must possess the Technical Standards required of a dental hygienist.
All general education courses that meet College requirements will be eligible for transfer according to College policy. At least 36 credits of the final four semesters of the student's profile must be satisfied by Penn College courses. Courses taken more than 10 years ago will be evaluated to determine if they meet current course requirements.
International health credentials/licensure, sciences courses, and most math courses will not be accepted to satisfy requirements of this major. Please see additional information for international students applying to the School of Nursing & Health Sciences majors.
Tools, Uniforms & Supplies
You are required to have a uniform for lab classes. It is recommended that you purchase three uniforms.
Uniforms and tools are available for purchase through The College Store.
Clubs & Activities
Student American Dental Hygienists' Association (SADHA)
Notice of Conviction
Child abuse clearance and criminal background checks are required by some agencies involved in fieldwork and/or capstones. Agencies can bar students from their sites if a criminal record exists or a positive drug test is noted. By virtue of contract for Penn College students to be at clinical sites, agencies have the right to ask for random drug testing. Inability to gain clinical or fieldwork or intern education experiences results in inability to meet program objectives and outcomes. For additional clarification, students can speak with their program director.
Dental Hygiene Advisory Committee
- Ms. Lou Anne Barnhart, RDH, '81, Dental Hygienist, Loyalsock Dental Associates
- Ms. Lillian J Caperila, RDH, BSDH, M.Ed, Manager, Professional Education & Dental Hygiene Relations, Premier Dental Products Company
- Ms. Bridget Dorsey, RDH, Dental Hygienist, Field Sales Consultant, Henry Schein Dental
- Dr. JoAnn R Gurenlian, RDH, PhD., President, Gurenlian & Associates
- Dr. Henry T Hsu, Diplomate, American Board of Periodontology
- Dr. Carl Jenkins, DDS, General Dentist
- Mr. David Tule, RDH, '80, Dental Hygienist, Bryden & Kessel Family Dentistry
Advisory committees, which act as recommending bodies to the faculty and administration, consist of in-field professionals who act as partners in the development of curriculum. Their curricular and equipment advice as well as their industry connections and internship opportunities are invaluable to our students and to the growth of our institution.