The University of Michigan Master's of Science in Dental Hygiene Program has the faculty, facilities, and curricular options dental hygienists need for next step in their career. As the role of the dental hygienist expands through changes in education, healthcare, and rapid advances in technology continue, it is critical to educate master's-prepared dental hygienists.

U-M's Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Program is offered in two delivery formats. Students may elect to enroll in the On-Campus Master's Program, participating in a blend of classes online and on the U-M's Ann Arbor campus. The Online Master’s Program option provides the opportunity for students to earn their master’s degree in a totally online format.

Mission Statement

The mission of the dental hygiene graduate program is to provide its students with the educational necessary to become oral health leaders; to conduct research in basic, behavioral, and clinical sciences; and to serve the university, the profession, and the community.

Program Aims & Outcomes

The purpose of graduate education is for individuals to master their discipline. As such, the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) define the dental hygienist with a master’s degree specializing in dental hygiene as follows:

A master’s-level dental hygienist is a member of a multidisciplinary health care team who approaches the holistic care of patients from a foundation of evidence-based knowledge and theory. Advanced education and a higher level of mastery prepares the graduate to assume positions in academia, health care organizations, public health, government, research, corporate and dental insurance arenas. Graduates conduct translational research to improve teaching and practice, the health care industry, and oral health care delivery models. This professional is a transformational leader and advocate who drives change in the health care delivery system. Graduates are prepared for doctoral level education.

The following Aims & Outcomes defined by ADEA and ADHA reflect the abilities expected of the graduate of the University of Michigan Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Program. These Aims & Outcomes promote the development of educators, clinicians, researchers, and leaders by cultivating the highest levels of specialized professional knowledge and behaviors. Graduates should leave the program equipped to be valuable contributors and stakeholders in any setting.

Focus Area Aim Master's Outcomes Doctoral Outcomes
Health Care Policy, Advocacy & Delivery Evaluate health policy Identify public policy processes (legislative and regulatory) that influence health priorities and health care education Develop policy and regulatory practices that improve the professional practice of dental hygiene
Defend a solution to a problem that supports oral health and the oral- systemic link.
Analyze health policy initiatives and fiscal implications
Improve the health care delivery system Integrate social determinants of health to improve health care access and delivery Evaluate the effectiveness of risk reduction and health promotion programs
Employ program development principles as a leader, advocate, manager, or administrator to improve health care delivery
Create workforce planning models to support community-focused interventions that prevent and control oral diseases and reduce health disparities Implement workforce planning models and assess their effectiveness in preventing and controlling oral diseases and reducing health disparities
Focus Area Aim Master's Outcomes Doctoral Outcomes
    Propose policy changes that promote health in diverse populations Assess the effectiveness of policy changes designed to promote health in diverse populations
Apply health informatics and current technologies to improve health care delivery and outcomes
Participate in advocacy efforts Identify advocacy needs of vulnerable populations and communities and within the profession
Interprofessional Collaboration & Integrated Care Integrate dental hygiene into multidisciplinary teams Establish partnerships to enhance health care and education Lead health care teams to deliver person- centered care
Design health care teams to deliver person-centered services
Promote the medical/dental integration model
Access, Diversity & Inclusion Integrate cultural competency and inclusion in all professional endeavors Provide effective, equitable, understandable, and respectful quality care that is responsive to diverse cultural health beliefs, preferred language and health literacy Develop policy and procedures to improve person-centered care in dental hygiene
Recognize one’s implicit bias and how it impacts actions, decisions and social justice Integrate cultural humility, diversity and inclusion in research, teaching, service, advocacy, policy, administration, and public health
Promote diversity and inclusion in research, teaching, service, advocacy, policy, administration, and public health
Focus Area Aim Master's Outcomes Doctoral Outcomes
Scholarship & Research Increase the dental hygiene body of knowledge through original research Conduct original research that supports the National Dental Hygiene Research Agenda Conduct dissertation research related to a systematic review
Conduct dissertation research that creates or validates a theoretical model
Conduct dissertation research that translates into policy or practice
Disseminate research findings through professional venues Disseminate research findings through publication and presentation
Education Model service, scholarship, and teaching to create a cadre of accomplished dental hygiene educators Apply learning theory in course development and instruction  
Use evidence-based educational methodologies for clinical, didactic, laboratory, and online learning environments
Apply principles of curriculum development and program administration
Fulfill the roles of the educator in an academic setting Advance skills in teaching, service, and scholarship
Apply strategies for mentoring and team building with students and colleagues Mentor students in program administration, curriculum design, and curriculum review
    Implement leadership models and applications to enhance innovation and change within health care, education Fulfill leadership positions within health care, education, and professional associations
Recognize leadership potential through active participation in professional associations  
Employ leadership skill sets to create and lead effective, collaborative teams Engage in service activities and professional association involvement to advance the profession


To be considered for admission to the Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Program, applicants should meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree from a US accredited college/university or international equivalent
  • Completed bachelor-level statistics course with a grade of C or better approved by the MSDH program director
  • Hold a US dental hygiene license (or equivalent dental hygiene licensure in their country if international)
  • Completed application directly through Rackham Graduate School, including transcripts and three letters of recommendation
  • Submit iBT TOEFL score of 84 or higher that is less than 2 years old using U-M institution code 1839 (international applicants)

Internationally trained dentists, please see the School of Dentistry’s Internationally Trained Dentist Program and our Graduate Residency Programs for admissions options.

Note: As of August 30, 2021 all University of Michigan students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or apply for a medical or religious exemption.


The University sets tuition rates in July for the upcoming academic year.

Dental Hygiene MS Tuition Rates


Dental Hygiene MS Computing Requirements


Applicants should contact the Dental Hygiene Graduate Program Director, Iwonka Eagle ([email protected]), before submitting an application.

Applicants must submit an online application for admission to the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School. Paper applications are NOT accepted. Follow the Rackham Application Steps.

Once the application has been received, applicants will be contacted and an admission interview scheduled. (The interview may be done by phone or in person).

Prior to the interview, applicants will be sent a supplemental admissions worksheet. They will also be asked to complete the online learning assessment and a computer skills test.

Application deadline is February 1.


Clinical Assistant Professor of Dentistry

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