Massachusetts Training for Dental Hygienists
Dental hygienists must be licensed, which requires them to have at least an associate degree from an accredited program and pass any state-mandated exams. The following two Massachusetts schools offer dental hygiene programs accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Learn more about the schools, the various levels of programs offered and the clinical requirements meant to provide practical experience. Additionally, you can find more information about the featured schools in the table at the end of this article.
- Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (also known as MCPHS University) is located in the large city of Boston and offers bachelor's degrees in dental hygiene, in addition to a master's degree for those professionals who wish to pursue leadership positions.
- Springfield Technical Community College, which is positioned in the midsized city of Springfield, offers an associate degree program for dental hygienists.
Comparison of Schools
When choosing a school to pursue dental hygienist training, you'll want to consider many different factors. The following table includes details about the schools' enrollment, tuition and acceptance rates.
|Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences||Springfield Technical Community College|
|School Type||4-year, private, non-profit||2-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2014)||6,395*||7,011*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Midsize city|
|Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)||$30,530*|| $5,436 (in-state)*
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014)||92%*||86%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2014)||84%*||100% (open admissions)*|
|Retention Rate (2014)||87%*||63%*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (2014)||71%*||20%*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) offers certificate and degree programs in over 30 health-related fields. Graduates of the dental hygiene B.S. programs are eligible to apply for national and regional certification as hygienists in Massachusetts or another U.S. state.
Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
MCPHS offers an accelerated bachelor's degree in dental hygiene that allows students to complete coursework and attain certification in three years. The program contains academic and clinical components, covering general and scientific education, training in dental hygiene and pain management and hands-on work with patients. Students gain hands-on experience by working with patients in the Esther M. Wilkins Dental Hygiene Clinic.
Postbaccalaureate Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
Students who already hold a bachelor's degree and want to transition to dental hygienist work can enroll in MCPHS's postbaccalaureate program, which bypasses the B.S. program's general education requirements and can be completed in 16 months. Like the B.S. program, the postbaccalaureate program contains strong clinical components.
Master of Science in Dental Hygiene
Practicing dental hygienists can apply for a part-time, online master's program in community oral health. Students complete coursework in public health, epidemiology and health management, and undertake a case study project that serves as a master's thesis. Some students may qualify to earn a dual degree with a public health track. Graduates often pursue leadership roles in health administration, dental product marketing and health research agencies.
Springfield Technical Community College
Located in western Massachusetts, Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) offers vocational training in a variety of professional and technical fields, including dental hygiene. Graduates can apply for licensure in any U.S. state, or transfer their credits to a 4-year university to pursue a baccalaureate degree. Academic advisors are available to assist with career placement services and educational transfers.
Associate in Science in Dental Hygiene
STCC's School of Health offers a 2-year associate degree program that teaches students how to administer oral care services and educate patients about dental health. Students study anatomy, chemistry, psychology and communications, and take hands-on courses in clinical dental hygiene practice. Graduates take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in their final semester; graduates may then pursue licensure in any U.S. state.