Effective Fall 2021

The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene has two entry options, pre-licensure and post-licensure. This one is designed for the traditional student who is not licensed as a dental hygienist and wishes to complete coursework 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 healthcare needs. Major-related courses at the 300 level and above are completed via distance education. Additionally, the support courses in the final two years of the curriculum may also be taken via distance education.

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

Anyone desiring entrance into this major must first gain admission to Penn College. Acceptance into this selective admission major is based upon additional requirements beyond College admission. Details are available on the Selective Admission Criteria and Process webpage.

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.

Laptop Computer Required  

  • Windows 10 or higher, macOS 11 or higher (recommended). 
  • Intel Core i5 or i7 (generation 10 or higher) processor (recommended). 
  • 8+ GB RAM (recommended).  
  • 250+ GB Solid State Disk (SSD) drive (recommended). 
  • Laptop must include a webcam and microphone (required). 
  • Laptop must include a wireless network card (required). 
  • Broadband Internet connection when working off campus (required). 
  • Additional plug-ins may be required (Information Technology Services Service Desk available for assistance). 
  • Chromebooks and other devices running ChromeOS are prohibited

Remediation Strategies

All incoming students must meet placement requirements in math. Students are expected to remediate any deficiencies as explained in the College Catalog (see https://www.pct.edu/catalog/admissions-policy).

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 healthcare environment.
  • effectively communicate in diverse settings utilizing a variety of methods.
  • demonstrate an understanding of cultural diversity and the importance of cultural competence.
  • 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.

The following grading system applies to all dental (DEN) courses in this major. There is no rounding of grades:

A= 90-100
B= 80-89.99
C= 75-79.99
F= 74.99 and below


First SemesterCreditsNotesLectureLab/ClinicalM/SType
FYE101First Year Experience 1.50 1.50 SREQ
DEN103Dental Hygiene I 42 6 MREQ
DEN104Preventive Dentistry 21.50 1.50 MREQ
DEN109Orofacial Anatomy 33 MREQ
DEN108Oral Histology 11 MREQ
BIO115Human Anatomy & Physiology I 43 3 SREQ
ENL111English Composition I 33 SREQ
Second SemesterCreditsNotesLectureLab/ClinicalM/SType
DEN123Dental Radiology 32 3 MREQ
DEN126Dental Hygiene II 52 9 MREQ
DEN130Introduction to Periodontics 22 MREQ
DEN211Oral Health & Nutrition 22 MREQ
BIO125Human Anatomy & Physiology II 43 3 SREQ
BIO201Microbiology 43 3 SREQ
Summer SessionCreditsNotesLectureLab/ClinicalM/SType
MMMMath Elective (MTH151 or Higher) 3 SMMM
Third SemesterCreditsNotesLectureLab/ClinicalM/SType
DEN204Pharmacology 22 MREQ
DEN216Dental Hygiene III 62 12 MREQ
DEN214Dental Materials & Specialties 32 3 MREQ
DEN202General & Oral Pathology 22 MREQ
DEN212Periodontics II 11 MREQ
Fourth SemesterCreditsNotesLectureLab/ClinicalM/SType
DEN220Community Dental Health 22 MREQ
DEN224Dental Law & Ethics 1Writing Enriched Requirement1 MREQ
DEN227Dental Hygiene Theory & Practice 51 12 MREQ
DEN240Techniques in Pain Control 21 3 MREQ
SPC101Fundamentals of Speech 33 SREQ
CSC124Information, Technology & Society 33 SREQ
SSPCore Social Science Perspective 3 SSSP
Fifth SemesterCreditsNotesLectureLab/ClinicalM/SType
DEN301Issues in Professional Dental Hygiene 3Writing Enriched Requirement3 MREQ
DEN307Dental Practice Management 33 MREQ
MGT115Principles of Management 33 SREQ
SSPCore Social Science Perspective 3 SSSP
Sixth SemesterCreditsNotesLectureLab/ClinicalM/SType
HTH325Healthcare Delivery Systems 33 MREQ
DEN303Dental Public Health 33 MREQ
DENDirected Dental Hygiene Elective 3 MDEN
MTH159Statistics for Health & Behavioral Sciences 33 SREQ
Seventh SemesterCreditsNotesLectureLab/ClinicalM/SType
DEN447United States Health Policymaking 33 MREQ
ARPCore Arts Perspective 3 SARP
HIPCore Historical Perspective 3 SHIP
ENL121English Composition II 33 SREQ
ENL201Technical & Professional Communication 33 SREQ
Eighth SemesterCreditsNotesLectureLab/ClinicalM/SType
DEN495Dental Hygiene Capstone 33 MREQ
PSY111General Psychology 33 SREQ
OEAOpen Elective 3 SOEA
HTH415Introduction to Global Health 3Cultural Diversity Requirement &
Science, Technology and Society Requirement
PPCProven Professional Credential or Associate's Degree  SPPC

The actual sequence of courses may differ based on the student's need for developmental courses, date of selection into the program, and full- or part-time status in the final two years.

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: http://www.ada.org/en/coda