(Effective Fall 2017)

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 course work toward the bachelor’s degree beginning with his/her 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. The curriculum offers a required core of dental hygiene and general education courses (select courses offered via distance learning).

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.

Recommended High School Subjects

Because of the strong emphasis on science in this major, applicants are encouraged to complete one year of high school biology, two years of high school algebra, and one year of chemistry with a laboratory.

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. 

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 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.


First Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
FYE101 First Year Experience 1 .50 1.50 S REQ
DEN103 Dental Hygiene I 4 2 6 M REQ
DEN104 Preventive Dentistry 2 1.50 1.50 M REQ
DEN107 Orofacial Anatomy 3 2.50 1.50 M REQ
DEN108 Oral Histology 1 1 M REQ
BIO115 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4 3 3 S REQ
ENL111 English Composition I 3 3 S REQ
Second Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
DEN123 Dental Radiology 3 2 3 M REQ
DEN126 Dental Hygiene II 5 2 9 M REQ
DEN130 Introduction to Periodontics 2 2 M REQ
DEN211 Oral Health and Nutrition 2 2 M REQ
BIO201 Microbiology 4 3 3 S REQ
BIO125 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4 3 3 S REQ
Summer Session Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
MMM Math Elective (MTH151 or Higher) 3   S MMM
Third Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
DEN204 Pharmacology 2 2 M REQ
DEN216 Dental Hygiene III 6 2 12 M REQ
DEN214 Dental Materials and Specialties 3 2 3 M REQ
DEN202 General and Oral Pathology 2 2 M REQ
DEN212 Periodontics II 1 1 M REQ
PSY111 General Psychology 3 3 S REQ
Fourth Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
DEN220 Community Dental Health 2 2 M REQ
DEN224 Dental Law and Ethics 1 Writing Enriched Requirement 1 M REQ
DEN227 Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice 5 1 12 M REQ
DEN240 Techniques in Pain Control 2 1 3 M REQ
CSC124 Information, Technology, and Society 3 3 S REQ
SPC101 Fundamentals of Speech 3 3 S REQ
FIT Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1   S FIT
SSE Social Science Elective 3   S SSE
Fifth Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
DEN301 Issues in Professional Dental Hygiene 3 Writing Enriched Requirement 3 M REQ
DEN307 Dental Practice Management 3 3 M REQ
MGT115 Principles of Management 3 3 M REQ
SSE Social Science Elective 3   S SSE
Sixth Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
HTH325 Health Care Delivery Systems 3 3 M REQ
DEN303 Dental Public Health 3 3 M REQ
DEN Directed Dental Hygiene Elective 3   M DEN
MTH160 Elementary Statistics with Computer Applications 4 3 3 S REQ
Seventh Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
DEN447 United States Health Policymaking 3 3 M REQ
ART Art Elective 3   S ART
HUM Humanities Elective 3   S HUM
ENL121 English Composition II 3 3 S REQ
ENL201 Technical and Professional Communication 3 3 S REQ
Eighth Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
DEN495 Dental Hygiene Capstone 3 3 M REQ
FIT Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1   S FIT
OEA Open Elective 3   S OEA
HTH415 Introduction to Global Health 3 Cultural Diversity Requirement &
Science, Technology and Society Requirement
PPC Proven Professional Credential   S PPC

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