Dental Hygiene (BDE)

(Effective Fall 2017)

The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene has two entry options. This one is designed for students who wish to complete course work toward the bachelor's degree beginning with their freshman year. 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 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 online (BDO) on either a full-time or part-time basis. Curriculum will be based on individual needs.

Career Opportunities

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.

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. 

Special Equipment Needs

Upon admission to this major, additional expenses will be encountered for uniforms, personal protective equipment, and instruments. Refer to the list of tools, uniforms, and supplies

Transfer Procedures

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.

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:
  • develop skills and commit to lifelong learning to maintain competence in an evolving healthcare system
  • apply critical thinking and evidence-based decision making skills in a health care environment
  • effectively communicate in diverse settings utilizing a variety of methods
  • demonstrate an understanding of cultural diversity and the importance of cultural competence, and
  • expand their role and career opportunities beyond clinical dental hygiene

Performance Standards

Students must earn a minimum grade of 'C' in each dental hygiene (DEN) course through semester four. Failure to do so will result in termination from the major.


First Semester Credits
FYE101 First Year Experience 1  
DEN103 Dental Hygiene I 4  
DEN104 Preventive Dentistry 2  
DEN107 Orofacial Anatomy 3  
DEN108 Oral Histology 1  
BIO115 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4  
ENL111 English Composition I 3  
Second Semester Credits
DEN123 Dental Radiology 3  
DEN126 Dental Hygiene II 5  
DEN130 Introduction to Periodontics 2  
DEN211 Oral Health and Nutrition 2  
BIO201 Microbiology 4  
BIO125 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4  
Summer Session Credits
MMM Math Elective (MTH151 or Higher) 3  
Third Semester Credits
DEN204 Pharmacology 2  
DEN216 Dental Hygiene III 6  
DEN214 Dental Materials and Specialties 3  
DEN202 General and Oral Pathology 2  
DEN212 Periodontics II 1  
PSY111 General Psychology 3  
Fourth Semester Credits
DEN220 Community Dental Health 2  
DEN224 Dental Law and Ethics 1  Writing Enriched Requirement
DEN227 Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice 5  
DEN240 Techniques in Pain Control 2  
CSC124 Information, Technology, and Society 3  
SPC101 Fundamentals of Speech 3  
FIT Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1  
SSE Social Science Elective 3  
Fifth Semester Credits
DEN301 Issues in Professional Dental Hygiene 3  Writing Enriched Requirement
DEN307 Dental Practice Management 3  
MGT115 Principles of Management 3  
SSE Social Science Elective 3  
Sixth Semester Credits
HTH325 Health Care Delivery Systems 3  
DEN303 Dental Public Health 3  
DEN Directed Dental Hygiene Elective 3  
MTH160 Elementary Statistics with Computer Applications 4  
Seventh Semester Credits
DEN447 United States Health Policymaking 3  
ART Art Elective 3  
HUM Humanities Elective 3  
ENL121 English Composition II 3  
ENL201 Technical and Professional Communication 3  
Eighth Semester Credits
DEN495 Dental Hygiene Capstone 3  
FIT Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1  
OEA Open Elective 3  
HTH415 Introduction to Global Health 3  Cultural Diversity Requirement &
Science, Technology and Society Requirement
PPC Proven Professional Credential  

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.


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:


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