Which Schools Offer Dental Hygiene Programs in Virginia?

Find out which schools in Virginia offer dental hygiene degree programs. See program and degree requirements as well as school information for colleges that offer the programs. Schools offering Dental Hygiene degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

If you are an aspiring dental hygienist and would like to receive your training in Virginia, you have quite a few options. This article aims to sort through the information about the different programs to help you make the right choice to fit your needs.

What You Need to Know

Four colleges and universities in Virginia offer dental hygiene programs. Two of these are community colleges that award Associate of Applied Science Degrees in dental hygiene; the other two schools are universities offering bachelor's and master's level studies in this field. In many cases, a 2-year degree will be sufficient to pursue licensure and employment opportunities; more advanced degrees can help for career advancement purposes.

Associate level studies are designed to introduce you to oral health issues, dental materials, oral radiology and oral anatomy. You will learn through classroom instruction and lab practices. Advanced topics in many of the same areas addressed in the 2-year degree program are covered in Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene programs. Bachelor's studies also prepare you to take licensing exams. Finally, the Master of Science in Dental Hygiene programs offers specialized areas of study, such as in community health or education, and at least some of its core coursework online. Which level of study you choose will rely mainly on your current professional status and ultimate career goals.

Virginia Schools with Associate's Degrees in Dental Hygiene

Northern Virginia Community College

You must earn at least 72 credits to receive this degree. During the first semester, you're introduced to oral anatomy, neck and head anatomy, oral radiology and your first dental hygiene course. As you progress through the program, you study pharmacology, periodontics, nutrition, public health and oral pathology. You also learn how to handle emergencies as well as patient anxiety and pain management.

  • Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Program Length: 2 years, with 4 full-time semesters and 1 part-time semester
  • Tuition and Fees: $5,138 for state residents; $11,055 for non-residents (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Must be a U.S. citizen; must pass English composition, health sciences I and II and orientation to health care with specified grades prior to admission
  • School Type: 2-year, public; 51,487 students (all undergraduate)

Wytheville Community College

This 71-credit program consists of classroom and laboratory instruction. Required courses include human anatomy and physiology, office practice and ethics, introduction to microbiology and practical dental materials for dental hygiene. You must receive a minimum grade of C in all major courses to receive this degree, and all dental hygiene courses must be completed at this school.

  • Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Program Length: 2 years, with 4 full-time semesters and 1 part-time semester
  • Tuition and Fees: $4,380 for state residents; $10,218 for non-residents (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: High school biology and chemistry with labs, minimum GPA of 2.0, 16 observation hours, proficiency in English and math essentials demonstrated by placement test scores or completion of classes
  • Admission Requirements: Health Occupations Basic Entrance Test, current CPR certification, criminal background check, medical exam, urine drug screen, immunizations, tuberculin skin test, documentation on status of hemoglobin beta and chickenpox
  • School Type: 2-year, public; 3,302 students (all undergraduate)

Virginia Schools with Bachelor's Degrees in Dental Hygiene

Old Dominion University

At Old Dominion University, you spend your freshman and sophomore years fulfilling the general education requirements for this degree. The last 2 years are comprised of the dental hygiene courses. These courses cover topics such as dental hygiene theory and practices, dental sciences and community oral health as well as research methodology and teaching strategies. This program has been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. You'll be eligible to take the state and regional exams required for licensure as well as the Dental Hygiene National Board Exam upon completion of this program. You also have the option of enrolling in an accelerated bachelor-to-master program in dental hygiene at this school.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Program Length: 4 years, full time
  • Tuition and Fees: $9,480 for state residents; $26,220 for non-residents (2015-2016)
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 24,932 students (20,115 undergraduate)

Virginia Commonwealth University

At Virginia Commonwealth University, you study courses in liberal arts for a general education background during the first 2 years and then focus on core dental hygiene courses in your junior and senior years. Topics of study include dental radiology, periodontics, pharmacology and oral pathology. This program combines traditional classroom learning with clinical laboratory experience to provide hands-on practice. After program completion, you'll be eligible to take the national, regional or state board exams to become licensed.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Program Length: 4 years, full time
  • Tuition and Fees: $12,772 for state residents; $31,464 for non-residents (2015-2016)
  • Admission Requirements: Proof of English proficiency, criminal background check
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 30,848 students (23,661 undergraduate)

Virginia School with Master's Degree in Dental Hygiene

Old Dominion University

You have the option of choosing a 34-credit thesis or a 37-credit non-thesis program. You must complete 22 credits in the core subjects in addition to credits in your area of specialization for either option. Core topics include administrative leadership and professional development, research methods in the health sciences and educational concepts for the health professional. The core requirements are available onsite and online, and if you choose the online courses, you must pursue the non-thesis course of study. Completion of an internship in your area of specialization is also required.

  • Program Name: Master of Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Specialization Areas: Education, marketing, administration/management, research, community health
  • Program Length: 34 to 37 credit hours of coursework, depending on the option you choose; part-time students may take up to 6 years to complete the degree
  • Tuition and Fees: $11,136 for in-state residents; $27,444 for non-residents (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in dental hygiene or in an associated field in addition to a certificate or associate degree in dental hygiene; minimum undergrad GPA of 2.8; minimum GPA of 3.0 in dental hygiene major courses
  • Admission Requirements: National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, 4 letters of recommendation, essay, completed self-evaluation form
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 24,932 students (20,115 undergraduate)

Northern Virginia Community College and Wytheville Community College offer associate degrees in dental hygiene; Virginia Commonwealth University and Old Dominion University offer bachelor's degree programs, while Old Dominion University also offers a master's degree program.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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