Dental Hygiene: Health Policy and Administration Concentration (BHM)

(Effective Fall 2013)

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 licensed graduates of accredited dental hygiene programs who are 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 will take six credits within the concentration area in addition to the dental hygiene core courses and required baccalaureate courses. 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. 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. 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.

Special Equipment Needs

Upon admission to this major, additional expenses will be encountered for uniforms, personal protective equipment, and instruments.

Remediation Strategies

All developmental needs must be cleared before admission to this major unless the Director of Dental Hygiene gives special permission.

Transfer Procedures

All students entering the major will be treated as transfer students, including students who have graduated with Penn College's associate-degree major. All students' transcripts will be evaluated by the Director of Dental Hygiene. 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.

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 Health Sciences majors.

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:

  • develop skills for and commit to the process of lifelong learning.
  • develop techniques and skills for problem solving and decision-making.
  • demonstrate effective organizational, operational, and management skills.
  • appreciate and adapt to diverse/alternative cultures, processes, and ideas.
  • recognize and adapt to the changing health care environment.
  • identify and interact with various health care delivery, social service, educational, and legislative/political systems.
  • analyze and design activities relative to the future in terms of possibilities, responsibilities, and challenges facing health care providers and consumers.
  • initiate changes in the health care environment when need and opportunity are indicated.
  • develop and demonstrate empathy with students, faculty, clients, and colleagues.
  • evaluate professional literature and scientific studies.
  • contribute service and knowledge to the community and the profession.
  • continue clinical competence based upon current standards of dental hygiene practice and available information.
  • discuss, contrast, compare, and appreciate different career paths in dental hygiene and other health career areas.
  • continue investigation and development of competencies in the six roles of the dental hygienist including: administrator/manager, change agent, clinician, consumer advocate, educator/health promoter, and researcher.
  • assume one or more roles of the six roles of the dental hygienist.
  • present current dental information to community groups/organizations.
  • evaluate information and concepts for application in the chosen area of concentration.
  • apply information and concepts presented in class to the chosen area of concentration.
  • assume an expanded role in pain control and periodontal therapy.
  • integrate ethical and moral behavior and serve as a role model for the dental hygiene profession.


First SemesterCredits
FYE101First Year Experience 1 
DEN103Dental Hygiene I 4 
DEN104Preventive Dentistry 2 
DEN107Orofacial Anatomy 3 
DEN108Oral Histology 1 
BIO115Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4 
ENL111English Composition I 3 
Second SemesterCredits
DEN123Dental Radiology 3 
DEN126Dental Hygiene II 5 
DEN130Introduction to Periodontics 2 
DEN211Oral Health and Nutrition 2 
BIO201Microbiology 4 
BIO125Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4 
Summer SessionCredits
MMMMath Elective (MTH151 or Higher) 3 
Third SemesterCredits
DEN202General and Oral Pathology 2 
DEN204Pharmacology 2 
DEN212Periodontics II 1 
DEN214Dental Materials and Specialties 3 
DEN216Dental Hygiene III 6 
PSY111General Psychology 3 
Fourth SemesterCredits
DEN220Community Dental Health 2 
DEN224Dental Law and Ethics 1 Writing Enriched Requirement
DEN227Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice 5 
DEN240Techniques in Pain Control 2 
CSC124Information, Technology, and Society 3 
SPC101Fundamentals of Speech 3 
FITFitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1 
SSESocial Science Elective 3 
Fifth SemesterCredits
DEN301Issues in Professional Dental Hygiene 3 Writing Enriched Requirement
DENDirected Dental Hygiene Elective 2 
MGT115Principles of Management 3 
SSESocial Science Elective 3 
DEN288Clinical Practice Update 1 
Sixth SemesterCredits
HTH325Health Care Delivery Systems 3 
DENDirected Dental Hygiene Elective 2 
MGT248Supervision and Human Relations 3 
HRM300Human Resource Management 3 
MTH160Elementary Statistics with Computer Applications 4 
Seventh SemesterCredits
HTH448Health Care Public Policy Development 4 
ARTArt Elective 3 
HUMHumanities Elective 3 
FITFitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1 
Eighth SemesterCredits
DEN495Dental Hygiene Capstone 3 
ENL121English Composition II 3 
ENL201Technical and Professional Communication 3 
CULCultural Diversity Elective 3 
STSScience/Technology/Society Elective 3 
PPCProven 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 dental hygiene component of this major is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. 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: (