2-YEAR DENTAL HYGIENE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE

Public demand for dental services has created excellent opportunities for those interested in a career in dental hygiene.

Please note: The University of Michigan School of Dentistry's Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene Program transitioned to a 2-year program, six consecutive semester program in May 2019. Admitted students attend orientation and begin classes in the spring semester only. The new application opens each year on August 1st and we review applications on a rolling basis until the class is full. Please contact Lisa Dodge in the dental hygiene office for more information: (734) 763-3392.

OVERVIEW

The dental hygienist is a member of the oral health team and is responsible for a wide range of services related to the provision of oral healthcare and patient education. The entry-level Bachelor of Science (BS) degree program provides the education and training needed to become a dental hygienist. It allows you to explore not only the professional responsibilities of a clinician but also roles in research, education, public health, administration, and advocacy.

The Dental Hygiene undergraduate degree program includes classroom and laboratory work as well as hands-on experience at many specialty clinics, offering students a wide variety of patient experiences. Intraprofessional (dental students and dental hygiene students) joint courses and shared clinical care of patients further broadens the dental hygiene student learning experiences. Dental hygiene students are taught by both dental and dental hygiene faculty who are committed to preparing students to be the next “leaders and best” in the profession.

Research also plays a role within the program and involves several opportunities for students to explore topics in the areas of social and basic science.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Dental Hygiene Program is to promote optimal oral health through education, research, and service. To achieve that mission, the Dental Hygiene program will:

  • Educate dental hygienists in the current theory and practice of the profession so they may provide the best standard of care to all segments of the population
  • Conduct research related to oral health and dental hygiene
  • Serve the university and the profession by disseminating knowledge and establishing linkages to promote oral health and dental hygiene
  • Foster diversity in education, patient care, research, and health policy

Program Philosophy

The dental hygiene program at the University of Michigan is structured to confer the baccalaureate degree at completion. The curriculum offers a broad-based education in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences, preparing students for the practice of contemporary dental hygiene and for leadership roles in oral healthcare of the future. Graduates will be ready not only for the traditional dental hygiene responsibilities of clinician and health educator, but also for the roles of consumer advocate, change agent, researcher, and healthcare manager/administrator.

Program Goals and Competencies

The course of study in the dental hygiene program provides a broad-based education in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences with a special emphasis on teaching, community health, and research. DH students will become familiar with the functions routinely performed by dental hygienists, including, but not limited to:

  • calculus and plaque removal (hard and soft deposits) from above and below the gumline
  • examination of the teeth and oral structure, including a soft-tissue exam
  • exposing, processing, and interpreting dental radiographs
  • plaque control instruction and developing personal oral hygiene programs for home care
  • placing temporary fillings, applying periodontal dressings, removing sutures, polishing and recontouring amalgam restorations
  • dietary and tobacco use counseling
  • applying caries-preventive agents, such as fluorides and pit and fissure sealants
  • educating the individual patient and the general public about the importance of good oral hygiene habits
  • oral cancer and blood pressure screening
  • designing community dental health programs
  • oral health care research, data collection, and tabulation
  • working with special population groups (e.g., minority groups, geriatric patients, mentally/physically disabled persons)
  • delivery of local anesthesia and nitrous oxide oxygen sedation

GOAL #1: DEVELOP THE BASIS FOR ETHICAL AND PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR AND SERVICE

  • Competency 1-1 - The graduating student provides dental hygiene care using the highest professional knowledge and ethical principles.
  • Competency 1-2 - The graduating student practices within the context of the appropriate state Dental Practice Act.
  • Competency 1-3 - The graduating student advocates for the well-being of the public and advances the profession of dental hygiene through participation and affiliation with professional and community organizations.

GOAL #2: DEVELOP THE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS NECESSARY TO PROVIDE COMPREHENSIVE ORAL HEALTH CARE FOR DIVERSE POPULATIONS IN ALL AGES AND STAGES OF LIFE

  • Competency 2-1 - The graduating student demonstrates and applies knowledge of psychosocial, biomedical, dental and dental hygiene sciences.
  • Competency 2-2 - The graduating student identifies individual risk factors and develops educational strategies that promote patient self-care in disease prevention and health promotion.
  • Competency 2-3 - The graduating student uses the dental hygiene process of care to formulate a comprehensive care plan based on assessment data and in collaboration with other health care professionals as appropriate.
  • Competency 2-4 - The graduating student provides each patient with evidence-based preventive and therapeutic dental hygiene care to assist the patient in attaining and maintaining oral health.
  • Competency 2-5 - The graduating student demonstrates effective interpersonal skills to establish rapport with patients and other health care providers in delivering dental hygiene care.

GOAL #3: FOSTER IN STUDENTS AN APPRECIATION FOR THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD AND LIFE LONG LEARNING

  • Competency 3-1 - The graduating student uses critical thinking and self-assessment skills to prepare for and engage in life-long learning.
  • Competency 3-2 - The graduating student uses the scientific method to evaluate scientific literature and uses an evidence-based approach to patient care.

GOAL #4: PROVIDE STUDENTS EXPERIENCES IN COMMUNITY HEALTH CARE SETTINGS

  • Competency 4-1 - The graduating student assesses, plans, implements, and evaluates community-based oral health programs including health promotion and disease prevention activities.
  • Competency 4-2 - The graduating student provides oral health care to a diverse patient population in community-based settings.

Curriculum Course Descriptions


APPLICANTS

Application Process

The program in dental hygiene starts in the spring of each year. Current U-M students should apply using the Cross-Campus Transfer Application. Students transferring from all other educational institutions should complete the Transfer Student Online Application and indicate "Dental Hygiene BS" for "unit of study." High school graduates desiring to spend their first year of study for the dental hygiene program at the University of Michigan should apply for admission to the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Transfer students should check the Transfer Equivalency search page to find out if their credits will transfer in to the University of Michigan. Simply select the institution the credits would be transferring from, and the U-M school or college being applied to, in order to determine which credits will transfer.

The U-M Dental Hygiene Program has competitive enrollment. Consideration is given to applications from all qualified resident and non-resident candidates. It is highly recommended that interested students arrange to have an academic advising meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to acquaint the prospective student with the areas of study in dental hygiene and with the university campus. E-mail hygiene.info@umich.edu for more information.

The Dental Hygiene Program follows the University of Michigan's policy on advanced standing. Information can be found at the Undergraduate Admissions page on AP, IB Credit.

Applications and application materials are all processed through the U-M's Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Applications are accepted starting in August of the previous calendar year and closes February 1 of the starting year. Applicants can read more about the University of Michigan's admissions policies on the Admissions website. For tuition information, see the Office of the Registrar's website.

Application Materials

All transfer students are required to submit the following prior to the deadline date:

  • Completed application (The Common Application or Coalition Application).
  • Final official secondary school record (high school), including 9th–12th grades, test data, and graduation date
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions (colleges, universities, technical institutes)
  • Essays
  • Application fee
  • Test scores (ACT, SAT, MELAB, TOEFL, IELTS), if applicable

If you have any questions about the admissions process, please contact Lisa Dodge at ldodge@umich.edu or 734-763-3392.

Standardized National Test Scores

If the applicant took the ACT or SAT as a high school student those scores should be sent to the University to be evaluated as part of the application. If ACT or SAT scores are not posted on the high school transcript, please have the scores sent directly from the testing agency to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. If the scores have not already been reported to the University of Michigan, applicants may request to have them sent online using these links:

  • ACT (U-M code is 2062)
  • SAT (U-M code is 1839)
  • Rush paper scores are not accepted.

ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE

MELAB, TOEFL, or IELTS test scores are required of all speakers of English as a second language.

Admission Requirements

Students enter the dental hygiene program as sophomores. The average GPA of incoming students to the Dental Hygiene Program is 3.5.

MINIMUM PREREQUISITE REQUIREMENT

Students must complete a minimum of 35 credit hours of prerequisite course work prior to applying. The required prerequisite courses are as follows:

  • English Composition
  • General Chemistry with a lab
  • Intro to Psychology
  • Intro to Sociology
  • Speech (Fundamentals of Speech or Public Speaking)
  • Anatomy & Physiology I & II or equivalent
  • Microbiology with a lab
  • Biochemistry

Suggested Electives:

  • English Composition II
  • General Biology

Please see the Dental Hygiene Course Descriptions for additional information.

Procedure For Selection

All completed applications are sent to the Admissions Committee for review. The Committee thoroughly evaluates each application using the Dental Hygiene Program Admissions Rubric to ensure the applicant has met all prerequisite requirements and obtained the necessary number of credit hours for entrance. Admissions selection is then based on academic performance and standing, including strong achievement in science courses, and a demonstrated interest in dental hygiene as a career. Additionally, each student’s application essays are read and reviewed for completeness/comprehensiveness of response, and breadth and depth of extracurricular activities, community involvement, and leadership experiences.

Applicants are notified in writing whether or not their application is accepted or denied. Applicants who have been deferred are contacted directly by the Program regarding their status. Accepted students begin the program spring semester of the upcoming academic year.

ACCEPTANCE

In addition to meeting the University of Michigan immunization requirements, the University of Michigan School of Dentistry requires all incoming students to have completed the Record of Required Immunizations form.

Accepted students are sent the Record of Required Immunizations form. The Record of Required Immunizations form must be completed no later than the first day of classes of the Spring semester and must contain the following:

REQUIRED IMMUNIZATIONS

  1. Hepatitis B Vaccination - In addition to the Hepatitis B vaccination series, all students MUST have the Hepatitis B Immune Titer. If your test results for the titer are negative then you must repeat the Hepatitis B vaccination series.
  2. Measles, Mumps, and Rubella - Students need two documented doses of the MMR vaccine.
  3. Tuberculosis - Students are required to have a PPD skin test dated the first day of the Spring semester or later. If you test positive then you are required you have a chest x-ray to confirm that your immune system is normal and that you do not have tuberculosis.
  4. Varicella (Chicken Pox) - If you have had chicken pox then you are not required to have the immune titer. If you have not had chicken pox but have received the Varicella Vaccination, you MUST have the Varicella Immune Titer.
  5. Tetanus/Pertussis - All students must have the one-time booster for Tdap.

INFECTIOUS AND BLOODBORNE DISEASES

The U-M Dental Hygiene Program complies with institutional, local, state, and federal regulations on bloodborne pathogen diseases, ionizing radiation, and hazardous materials. Students in the Program follow CDC, OSHA, and other guidelines to protect themselves and their patients from occupational exposure to these hazards. In addition, the Program has policies and procedures related to individuals who have bloodborne infectious disease(s).

Insurance Requirements

U-M School of Dentistry dental hygiene students (excluding online degree students) are required to complete the Health Insurance Submit Form in MiTools to demonstrate coverage for the current year at a minimum level of health insurance. For more information, see Health Insurance Guidelines.


STUDENT RESOURCES

CAREER RESOURCES

Employment opportunities for dental hygienists have never been better. Career & Professional Organizations provides links to professional organizations and other valuable information for future dental hygienists.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION

At Michigan, all students should "Expect Respect™". The U-M Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities provides important information about the conflict resolution process and U-M students' rights and responsibilities, Read the Student Statement or contact OSCR at oscr@umich.edu and ask for a printed copy.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Visit the Dental Hygiene Facebook page for events and news.

STUDENT & PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

The University of Michigan Student Chapter of the American Dental Hygienists' Association

The purpose of this organization is to acquaint the hygiene students with their professional organization of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA). ADHA is the largest professional association representing all dental hygienists. Membership is open to all dental hygiene students. Dues are paid in the fall semester of each year.

Dental hygiene students can apply for a student membership in the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA), the official organization of the dental hygiene profession. The University of Michigan Dental Hygiene Program has an ADHA Student Chapter and those enrolled in all programs are invited to this group’s events. Student members receive all the benefits of full membership, plus additional opportunities for personal and professional development including resources for scholarships and grants, National Board prep, and continuing education. The ADHA website has more information.

Upon graduation from an accredited program in dental hygiene you are eligible to become professional members of ADHA. Professional membership has all the benefits of student membership, and many more.

Student Council

The Student Council has the responsibility of providing a means of communication among individual students, various organizations in the dental school community, and between students and faculty. Student Council members are selected by general class election.

The Student Council attempts to conceive, plan, and execute appropriate projects for the good of the dental school community and the profession as a whole.

Honor Council

The Honor System is one expression of the high degree of personal and professional integrity for dental and dental hygiene students. The Honor Council determines policies governing all aspects of the Honor System and acts as a judicial body on any infractions of the Honor System. The Council tries cases of student offenders and issues warnings or makes recommendations to the executive committee on the disposition of student violations. Eleven representatives, two elected from each class of dental students, one elected from each class of dental hygiene students, and two faculty advisors, make up the Honor Council.

Johnathan Taft Honorary Dental Society

The Taft Society attempts to uphold the integrity, accomplishments, and professional values of the first dean, Jonathan Taft. The Taft Society is a volunteer organization open to both dental and dental hygiene students of all levels. The Taft Society is mainly a service-oriented group which sponsors activities of value to the students and the community.

Christian Medical/Dental Society (CMDS)

Founded in 1931, the CMDS serves as a voice and ministry of Christian doctors. This organization is open to all dental and dental hygiene students.

American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD)

The AAPHD U-M Chapter was created in January of 2010 for those interested in public health and public policy. The mission is to create a sustainable relationship with the underserved community in Washtenaw County to promote oral health, prevent disease, and reduce disparities in oral health status and promote public health science as a vital part of dental education. Focus of this association is on education, outreach, and interacting with some of the most well respected public health professionals in the world. This group is open to anyone in the School of Dentistry.

American Dental Education Association (ADEA)

This organization is open to both dental and dental hygiene students of all levels.

The objectives of the ADEA U-M School of Dentistry Student Organization is to:

  • Support core values, mission, and strategic direction of ADEA
  • Provide effective student input into both dental and allied dental education
  • Promote the advancement of dental education by providing student input into and involvement with ADEA activities
  • Stimulate students to assume roles in dental and allied dental education and research
  • Work in partnership with other student organizations to promote their involvement in the advancement of dental education

Scholars Program in Dental Leadership (SPDL)

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation's leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care and community service. To fulfill each of these goals requires vision and leadership. The mission of the University of Michigan’s Scholars Program in Dental Leadership (U-M SPDL) is to facilitate these goals by providing dental and dental hygiene students with skill sets that empower visions through leadership training and provision of the opportunity to exercise these skills. This program will target pre-doctoral dental and dental hygiene students to facilitate the development of leaders in the dental profession. The program is intended to capitalize on human potential by developing a leadership mindset through activities such as coaching and counseling for maximal performance, fostering the power of working together and managing change.

Sigma Phi Alpha Dental Hygiene Honor Society

Sigma Phi Alpha is the national dental hygiene honor society, and student election to it is limited to 10 percent of each graduating class. Candidates are selected on the basis of scholarship, character, and potential for professional leadership.

Sigma Phi Alpha Dental Hygiene Honor Society


ABOUT THE PROFESSION

A dental hygienist is a...

Licensed primary healthcare professional, oral health educator, and clinician who provides preventive, educational, and therapeutic services supporting total health for the control of oral diseases and the promotion of oral health.

Dental Hygiene Functions and Scope of Practice

The course of study in the dental hygiene program provides a broad-based education in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences with a special emphasis on teaching, community health, and research.

Although the scope of practice for dental hygienists varies from state to state, below are some of the functions routinely performed by licensed dental hygienists, which students will learn:

  • Calculus and plaque removal (hard and soft deposits) from above and below the gumline
  • Examination of the teeth and oral structure, including a soft-tissue exam
  • Exposing, processing, and interpreting dental radiographs
  • Plaque control instruction and developing personal oral hygiene programs for home care
  • Placing temporary fillings, applying periodontal dressings, removing sutures, polishing and recontouring amalgam restorations
  • Dietary and tobacco use counseling
  • Applying caries-preventive agents, such as fluorides and pit and fissure sealants
  • Educating the individual patient and the general public about the importance of good oral hygiene habits
  • Oral cancer and blood pressure screening
  • Designing community dental health programs
  • Oral health care research, data collection, and tabulation
  • Working with special population groups (e.g., minority groups, geriatric patients, mentally/physically disabled persons)
  • Delivery of local anesthesia and nitrous oxide oxygen sedation

Employment Opportunities for Dental Hygienists

A dental hygienist may work in such practice settings as:

  • Private dental offices and dental clinics
  • Research
  • Public Health
  • Hospitals and nursing homes
  • School districts or departments of education
  • Dental Education programs
  • Corporate industry
  • Correctional facilities
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers

FACULTY EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

To find job openings at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry (UMSOD), visit the Faculty Recruiting.

DENTAL HYGIENE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

To find dental hygiene positions through the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), visit the Career Center.

Qualifications & Licensure

Dental hygienists are licensed by individual states in which they wish to practice. Each state dictates its own licensure requirements. In order to practice dental hygiene in the State of Michigan, a licensee must have graduated from an accredited dental hygiene program, and have earned passing scores on both national and regional clinical examinations. For more specific information on licensure in the State of Michigan, visit the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Career Resources

Employment opportunities for dental hygienists have never been better. Career & Professional Organizations provides links to professional organizations and other valuable information for future dental hygienists.