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 at which 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 (2017)||7,208*||5,343*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Midsize city|
|Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)||$32,590*|| $6,066 (in-state)*
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||99%*||83%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||84%*||100% (open admissions)*|
|Retention Rate (2017)||83%*||59%*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate||74% (for students who began studies in Fall 2011)*||21% (for students who began studies in Fall 2014)*|
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 24 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 program in dental hygiene at its Boston location that allows students to complete coursework and attain certification in 33 months. 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.
The school also has a fast-track bachelor's degree program in dental hygiene that can be completed in 16 months at the Worcester campus. In four semesters, students will take coursework in dental hygiene processes, periodontology, pain management and dental anatomy as well as complete clinical studies. Professionals can also earn a B.S. while continuing to work through a part-time online program.
Finally, MCPHS offers a pre-dental track in dental hygiene. In this 37-month program, those who desire to enter dental school can be trained as dental hygienists. The first 21 months are spent completing general education and dental school prerequisite courses; in the final 16 months, students pass through clinical experiences. At the end of the program, graduates are eligible to take national dental hygienist licensing exams and can work in this field as they prepare to enter dental school.
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. Students take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in their final semester; graduates may then pursue licensure in any U.S. state.