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Dental Hygiene Schools in Washington State with Course Info

There are eleven schools within Washington that have dental hygiene programs. Read an overview of the nine public schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

Essential Information

Students in Washington who are interested in earning an education in dental hygiene may choose from a variety of schools and programs. Awards in the field range from associate to master's degrees; specialization certificates for expanded functions are also offered. Most of the available programs may be completed in two years and include classroom instruction, hands-on training in a laboratory setting, and clinical experience hours. Some schools have limited admission and competition for entrance into such programs can be steep.


Bellingham Technical College

Located in Bellingham, this technical college offers an Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene program that is designed to assist students for transfer to a bachelor's program after graduation. This program requires completion of 126 credit hours of study in courses such as oral therapy, general pathology and dental hygiene principles. The program's curriculum also includes several clinical practices. The admission process is selective and occurs every other year.

A dental expanded function dental auxiliary certificate program is also available. Those who have gained a dental hygienist education and obtained licensing can pursue the 18 credits needed to earn this certificate.

Clark College

Located in Vancouver, Clark College enrolls about 13,000 students. The college's Bachelor of Applied Science program in dental hygiene requires 180 credit hours of study. The curriculum includes courses such as dental anatomy, oral radiology and pharmacology.

The college also offers an Associate in Arts in Dental Hygiene. Students earn this as a transfer degree. Classes cover topics like periodontics, oral medicine and restorative dentistry.

Columbia Basin College

The associate's degree program in dental hygiene at Columbia Basin College in Pasco rewards an Associate in Applied Science. Students are required to take a minimum of 131 credits of study. Classes in this program focus on subjects such as dental health education, dental materials and pharmacology. The program's curriculum includes both lectures and lab work.

Eastern Washington University

This university is located in Cheney and enrolls approximately 12,000 students. Four years of study are required to earn a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene. Students learn about head and neck anatomy, periodontology, radiography and other subjects. The program's curriculum also includes a teaching practicum, capstone project and clinical experience.

The school also offers an Expanded Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program that allows licensed dental hygienists who possess an associate's degree in the field to gain additional knowledge and skills. Students complete 61 credits of study. Besides participating in several practicums, students take classes covering topics like oral healthcare management, promoting oral healthcare and research methods.

Additionally, the school offers a Master of Science in Dental Hygiene program that requires a minimum of 62 credits of study. Classes include healthcare leadership, educational methodology and translational research. In addition to coursework, students complete lab work and write a thesis.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology

The Lake Washington Institute of Technology is located in Kirkland. The school offers an Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene that requires 120 credits to earn. In addition, 57 prerequisite credits are required. Classes in this program cover topics like tooth morphology, pharmacology, pain control and community dental health.

Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom

Lakewood is the home of Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom. Students earning Bachelor of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene from the school take classes such as dental hygiene nutrition, restorative dentistry and local anesthesia.

Seattle Central College

This college, which is located in Seattle, offers an Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene program that allows graduates to transfer or continue on in the school's Bachelor of Applied Science in Allied Health with an emphasis in Dental Hygiene program. The curriculum includes coursework in topics such as microbiology, human nutrition and health promotion. Students also engage in clinical experiences.

Dental hygienists also have the option to take part in an expanded function dental auxiliary program. Students are awarded a Career Pathway for Dental Assistant Certificate after earning 15 credits.

Shoreline Community College

Located in Shoreline, this community college offers an Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences in Dental Hygiene program that includes 182 credits of study. Incoming students are expected to have competent fine and gross motor, communication and behavioral skills, as well as conceptual and observation skills. Coursework in the program includes clinical dental hygiene, dental anatomy and dental hygiene fundamentals.

Yakima Valley Community College

This college in Yakima enrolls over 4,000 students. The school offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene. Coursework topics include infection control, oral pathology and community dental health. Clinical experiences are also included.

Career Requirements

Washington requires that dental hygienists be licensed. To become licensed, an individual must graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association and pass licensure exams.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Dental Hygiene Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Bellingham Technical College 2-year, public; small city Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene - Transfer Degree,
Dental Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary Certificate
$3,389 in-state, $8,728 out-of-state*
Clark College 4-year, public; midsize city Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene,
Associate in Arts in Dental Hygiene - Transfer Degree
$3,456 in-state, $8,794 out-of-state*
Columbia Basin College 4-year, primarily associate's, public; midsize suburb Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene $4,194 in-state, $6,189 out-of-state*
Eastern Washington University 4-year, public; fringe town Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene,
Expanded Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene,
Master of Science in Dental Hygiene
$7,866 in-state, $22,272 out-of-state (undergraduate);
$11,738 in-state, $26,212 out-of-state (graduate)*
Lake Washington Institute of Technology 4-year, primarily associate's, public; large suburb Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene $3,880 in-state, $9,218 out-of-state*
Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom 2-year, public; small city Bachelor of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene $3,643 in-state, $8,981 out-of-state*
Seattle Central College 4-year primarily associate's, public; large city Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene - Transfer Degree, Bachelor of Applied Science in Allied Health with an emphasis in Dental Hygiene
Career Pathway for Dental Assistant Certificate
$3,891 in-state, $9,083 out-of-state*
Shoreline Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences in Dental Hygiene $3,730 in-state, $6,451 out-of-state*
Yakima Valley Community College 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene $4,225 in-state, $4,626 out-of-state*

Source: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics.


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