Students in Connecticut interested in earning a degree in dental hygiene may pursue associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees in the field. Master's programs are designed for licensed dental hygienists, while undergraduate programs prepare students for initial licensure in the field. Programs include not only hands-on, lab-based training within the program, but also fieldwork experiences. Students may opt to study full- or part-time, and some schools offer classes online.
Tunxis Community College
Tunxis Community College is located in Farmington and offers the only state-supported dental hygiene program in Connecticut. Some portions of the program utilize the University of Connecticut's School of Dental Medicine facilities for teaching. The program features clinical fieldwork that takes place at federal, state and local hospitals, along with community clinics. Students must apply to the school and to the dental hygiene program directly. Prerequisite coursework in anatomy and physiology, chemistry and English composition is required; applicants must also demonstrate proficiency in math. This fully accredited program awards an Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene degree and prepares students for national and regional licensing exams.
University of Bridgeport
Located in Bridgeport and home to the world's first school of dental hygiene, this university has dental hygiene programs at three levels: associate, bachelor's and master's. The 2-year associate degree program blends traditional and clinical coursework and prepares students for licensing as dental hygienists. The 4-year bachelor's degree program combines the associate degree program's core dental hygiene curriculum with general education courses. The program is also available in a degree-completion format for students who have an accredited associate degree in dental hygiene and want to earn a bachelor's degree. The degree-completion program is available on campus and online.
The Master of Science program is designed for licensed dental hygienists who want to pursue leadership opportunities in public health, administration or education. This program is offered online or on campus and can be taken on a full- or part-time basis.
University of New Haven
Located in West Haven, this university offers associate and bachelor's degree programs in dental hygiene. The accredited 3-year associate degree program prepares students to sit for licensing exams and includes clinical training in the university's contemporary 19-chair dental clinic. Afterward, students may complete clinical rotations in the field.
The 4-year bachelor's degree program offers the same curriculum as the associate degree program for the first three years, plus one additional year of general education courses. Students have the option of initially enrolling in and completing the bachelor's program, or they may complete the associate program with the option of going back to earn the bachelor's degree later. Degree-completion courses can be taken online. Students in the degree-completion program may study and practice dental hygiene in locations within the U.S., such as Native American reservations, or internationally, in countries such as Romania and Mexico.
Dental hygienists need a license for employment in all states, including Connecticut. Dental hygiene licenses in Connecticut are issued and regulated through the Connecticut Department of Public Health. License requirements include completing a program accredited by the American Dental Association and successfully passing both national and regional exams.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Dental Hygiene Degrees Offered||Undergraduate\Graduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Tunxis Community College||2-year, public; suburban||Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene||$3,866 per academic year (in-state),
$11,558 per academic year (out-of-state)*
|University of Bridgeport||4-year, private; midsize city||Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene,
Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene,
Master of Science in Dental Hygiene
|Undergraduate: $30,850 per academic year, Graduate: $16,450 per academic year*|
|University of New Haven||4-year, private; suburban|| Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene,
Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
|$35,650 per academic year*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.