While the most common path to becoming a dental hygienist is by way of an associate's degree, bachelor's degrees are also offered. You should be certain that the program you choose is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditations for Dental Hygiene Education Programs.
Schools with Dental Hygiene Programs
The following are among the 2016 top-ranked dental hygiene schools by 'U.S. News & World Report'.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Annual Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*|
|University of Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, Public||BS|| $18,192 (in-state)
|University of Michigan||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||BS|| $13,856 (in-state)
$43,476 (out-of state)
|Blinn College||Brenham, TX||2-Year, Public||AAS|| $2,256 (in-district)
|Austin Community College||Austin, TX||2-year, Public||AAS|| $2,550 (in-district)
|Rock Valley College||Rockford, IL||2-year, Public||AAS|| $3,044 (in-district)
|Ivy Tech Community College||Anderson, IN, South Bend, IN||2-year, Public||AAS|| $4,115 (in-state)
|College of Lake County||Grayslake, IL||2-year, Public||AAS|| $3,612 (in-district)
|College of DuPage||Glen Ellyn, IL||2-year, Public||AAS||$5,275 (in-district)
|Kennedy King, City College of Chicago||Chicago, IL||2-year, Public||AAS|| $3,506 (in-district)
Sources: *NCES College Navigator
School Selection Criteria
The dental hygiene program is an undergraduate program resulting in either an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree. There are a number of things you should consider when selecting a school.
- Be certain the program is accredited, since non-accredited programs may not qualify you for state licensure, which is required.
- You may want to investigate the school's first-time pass rate for dental hygiene program graduates
- Fees may vary widely in areas such as uniforms, lab fees, etc. Background checks, fingerprinting and health and immunization records may also be required.
Associate's Degree in Dental Hygiene
Typically offered as an Associate of Science or an Associate of Applied Science, these 2-year programs may require the completion of prerequisites in the biological and chemical sciences. Many of these programs include a clinic that provides hands-on experience.
Bachelor's Degree in Dental Hygiene
Four-year degree programs in dental hygiene are rare but some are offered. These programs may include tracks within dental hygiene, such as health management, education, and research.
There are a large number of 2- and 4-year public institutions that offer programs leading to an associate's or bachelor's degrees in dental hygiene. To eliminate any problems in obtaining a mandatory state license, you should be certain that the school you're considering offers an appropriately accredited program.