An increasing number of dental hygienists are choosing to pursue baccalaureate degrees to improve career opportunities and achieve personal and professional growth.
Advanced positions in the traditional field of dental hygiene await graduates, as do opportunities in related positions such as dental hygiene educator, legislative aide, health/patient advocate, insurance review specialist, public health hygienist, and health care manager.
The online dental hygiene major is designed to meet the increasingly complex and diverse schedules of practicing dental hygienists. You’ll have 24/7 access to course materials, giving you the freedom to work from anywhere at any time.
- Skills you can immediately apply to your current job
- Enhanced career mobility and responsibilities
- Skilled, experienced faculty
- Flexible curriculum, responsive to individual learning styles
- Engaging learning experiences through online collaboration with faculty and classmates
- Flexible, part-time option
- One-on-one support
- No campus visits required
- Complete in as little as two years (or less)
Why choose an online degree?
- Accessible online anywhere in the world
- Flexible scheduling – take classes on a part-time or full-time basis
- Continue to work and be at home with your family
- Transfer-friendly programs shorten time to complete your degree
- In-state tuition rate for all students, regardless of residency
- Same rigor as on-campus programs
- Regional accreditation plus professional accreditations by program (e.g., ACBSP, ATMAE, CAHIIM, CODA)
- One-on-one interaction with faculty
- Online tutoring
- Textbooks and course materials available for purchase online through The College Store
- Graduates can participate in Commencement
- Classes delivered asynchronously through P.L.A.T.O. (Platform for Learning And Teaching Online)
- No required campus visits
- Application/Major Code: BDO – view in catalog
- School: Nursing & Health Sciences
- Degree Type: Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
- Total Credits: 122
Out-of-State Resident Tuition
- Out-of-state students enrolled in an online degree program will receive the in-state tuition rate.
About the curriculum
View the classes you will be attending in the College Catalog.
Graduates of the Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene seek advanced positions in the traditional field of dental hygiene, as well as opportunities in related positions such as dental hygiene educator, legislative aide, health/patient advocate, insurance review specialist, public health hygienist, and health care manager.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for dental hygienists was $74,820 in May 2018. The top 10 percent earned more than $101,820.
Industries with the highest published employment for this occupation are:
|Industry||Employment||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage|
|Offices of Dentists||203,550||$36.43||$75,780|
|Offices of Physicians||2,230||$34.56||$71,880|
|Outpatient Care Centers||1,460||$36.31||$75,520|
|Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)||790||$29.33||$61,010|
Statistics reported in May 2018
Special Admissions Requirements
Curriculum sequence for this option will be individualized. Dental Hygienists seeking entrance must have (1) obtained a passing score on the Dental Hygiene National Board Examination, (2) graduated from an accredited dental hygiene program, and (3) a current dental hygiene license in any one state.
Students must have earned a grade of 'C' or better in courses to be transferred. A maximum of 44 credits in dental hygiene courses may be transferred from an associate degree level curriculum. Credits will be transferred as a block of credits, rather than as individual course credits. In addition, 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.
This major is subject to the transfer standards established by the College. The school dean must approve exceptions. Students desiring transfer into this bachelor-degree major must work closely with an adviser to choose appropriate, transferable courses to be eligible for selection.
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.
Clubs & Activities
Student American Dental Hygienists' Association (SADHA)
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.