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Dental Hygiene

Degree Completion Online - Curriculum


  • An on-campus, two-day orientation is required for cohorts beginning the E-Learning Program. The orientation will be scheduled the month before the first class begins.
  • Courses are scheduled in a sequence to allow for completion of this 36-credit-hour program in a 24-month period. Most courses in the E-Learning Program will run seven weeks. The 15-week fall and winter semesters are divided into seven-week "mini-mesters," with no classes during week eight. Spring and summer semesters traditionally run in seven-week formats (see U-M Academic Calendar for more information).
  • Certification in local anesthesia and nitrous oxide analgesia is a requirement for graduation. This can be completed prior to enrolling in the E-Learning Program or during the course sequencing, through U-M Continuing Dental Education.


E-Learning Competencies

Competencies define the abilities expected of the graduate of the E-Learning Degree Completion program. Go to the competencies page of this site for details.

Courses - 36 Total Credits

  • Leadership and Professional Development (3 credits)
    Lifelong learning is an essential element of professionalism. This course will focus on current issues in dental hygiene, and how individuals can contribute to the advancement of the profession and promotion of oral health for the public.
  • Oral Diseases: Prevention and Management (3 credits)
    This course is designed to facilitate critical thinking skills related to specific oral diseases and the relationship between oral health and systemic health. The prevention and management of selected oral conditions are emphasized.
  • Research/Evidence Based Practice (3 credits)
    This course focuses on the components of scientific inquiry with application to oral health research. Students will learn how to access information electronically, evaluate the professional literature, and use this information for evidence-based decision-making in dental hygiene practice.
  • Health Promotion and Risk Reduction (3 credits)
    Students will gain an understanding of the concepts of health, well-being, and health behaviors and their relationship to the care of patients. In the course, students will analyze and evaluate attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors related to health and illness in individuals, families, and communities, across the lifespan.
  • Community I (3 credits)
    In this course, students will develop advanced skills in the area of community-based program planning, implementation, and evaluation. Defining oral health problems and solutions are emphasized. Students will also begin to develop a community-based program, to be implemented in Community II.
  • Special Populations (3 credits)
    Segments of the U.S. population with the greatest unmet oral health needs often include “vulnerable populations.” This course will examine the specific challenges associated with access to care and the provision of oral health services for these groups.
  • Community II - Practice (3 credits)
    In this field experience, students will implement a community-based program utilizing program planning and evaluation skills. Health promotion and risk reduction strategies in the community are emphasized.
  • Dental Hygiene Education (teaching) (3 credits)
    There is a critical need for teachers in dental hygiene programs. This course will introduce students to the concepts and theory of teaching, including strategies for classroom, lab, and clinical teaching.
  • Practicum (3 credits)
    This course provides students with a mentored teaching experience. The teaching practicum offers opportunities to apply the concepts and theory of teaching studied in Dental Hygiene Education. Placements may include classroom, online, laboratory, and/or clinical experiences.
  • Capstone I (3 credits)
    This course is the planning phase for the final course, Capstone II/ePortfolio, and involves the development of a capstone project. The project will focus on the application of students' knowledge and skills to a chosen professional role. Each student will work with a project and faculty advisor during the course. A comprehensive project proposal will be developed, shared, and reviewed, and the proposal will serve as the foundation for the implementation of the capstone project.
  • Capstone II/ePortfolio (6 credits)
    With the guidance of project and faculty advisors, students will implement and evaluate the project developed during Capstone I. A culminating ePortfolio will document students' professional development throughout the E-Learning Degree Completion Program.


Course Sequencing

The program spans two calendar years. Curriculum and course sequencing is subject to change without notice.

Semester 1 Leadership and Professional Development & Oral Diseases: Prevention and Management
Semester 2 Health Promotion and Risk Reduction & Research/Evidence Based Practice
Semester 3 Community I & Special Populations
Semester 4 Community II & Dental Hygiene Education
Semester 5 Practicum & Capstone I
Semester 6 Capstone II/ePortfolio