There are currently six ADA-accredited and one non-ADA-accredited dental hygiene programs at public postsecondary schools in Maryland. These programs have selective admission, and aspiring hygienists must apply for program consideration. In addition to classroom instruction and lab training, students will complete clinical rotations prior to graduation. Some schools host on-campus dental services, with which dental hygiene students may gain experience. Programs lead to the award of primarily associate's degrees, although one bachelor's degree programs is also available.
Allegany College of Maryland
Cumberland's Allegany College of Maryland offers a dental hygiene program accredited by the ADA that awards an associate degree upon completion. This 2-year program is 70 credits in length, composed of 27 credits of general education courses and 43 credits of core dental hygiene courses. Students have the opportunity to complete clinical field rotations and provide dental services to community patients in the on-campus dental clinic. Graduates qualify for regional and national licensure exams.
Baltimore City Community College
Located in Baltimore, this college provides a 2-year associate program in dental hygiene that is composed of traditional classroom lectures, lab sessions and clinical training. The ADA accredits the program, which prepares graduates for national and regional licensure exams. The clinical portion of the program takes place at the college's on-site dental clinic and other community health care facilities. In addition to theoretical and clinical dental hygiene education, students also receive career development and communications training.
The Community College of Baltimore County
The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) has a 2-year dental hygiene program that's ADA-accredited and takes place at CCBC's Dundalk campus. The admission requirements for this program include the completion of prerequisite coursework, such as anatomy, psychology and microbiology courses. Students complete the full-time program in five semesters, including a mandatory 7-week summer session. Sitting for the national and regional licensing exams is possible for graduates.
Howard Community College
The Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene is available on Howard Community College's Columbia campus. This program began in 2012 and is not currently accredited by the ADA. Students are required to complete a combination of general education and major courses to total 70 credits. Some topics include dental materials, periodontics, dental pharmacology and nutrition.
University of Maryland - Baltimore
The University of Maryland's (UM) School of Dentistry is located in downtown Baltimore. This school offers an ADA-accredited Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene. The traditional bachelor's program is open to students who have completed prerequisite general education coursework and want to complete their core dental hygiene training at UM. This is a hybrid program with students completing some coursework online and clinical training in person. Senior students take the national written exam and regional clinical exam, and then they can sit for additional licensure components upon graduation. Additionally, a hybrid bachelor's degree-completion program is available for registered dental hygienists who have some postsecondary education.
Aspiring dental hygienists in Maryland must be licensed by the Board of Dental Examiners to work in the state. Licensure requires a minimum of a 2-year degree from an American Dental Association (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation-accredited school and successfully passing written, clinical and national board examinations.
Below are short summaries of the five programs, along with a comparison table with school and tuition information.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Dental Hygiene Degree Program Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Allegany College of Maryland||2-year, public; small city||Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene||$3,660 in-district; $6,660 in-state; $7,950 out-of-state*|
|Baltimore City Community College||2-year, public; large city||Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene||$2,578 in-state; $6,070 out-of-state*|
|The Community College of Baltimore County||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene||$3,712 in-district; $6,650 in-state; $9,718 out-of-state*|
|Howard Community College||2-year, public; small city||Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene||$3,698 in-district; $5,690 in-state; $6,770 out-of-state*|
|University of Maryland - Baltimore||4-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene||$10,143 average in-state; $32,779 average out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.