Where in Pennsylvania Can I Take Dental Hygiene Courses?

Learn about dental hygiene course options in Pennsylvania. Get information about certificates and degrees, as well as admission and program requirements, to make an informed decision about your education. Schools offering Dental Hygiene degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

As a dental hygienist in Pennsylvania, you will be qualified to work in dental offices, hospitals, clinics and even schools where your services are needed. Programs that will prepare you for this work may include coursework in anesthesiology, radiology and pharmacology along with dental care techniques and procedures. Typically, a clinical experience will be part of your program of study.

What You Need to Know

You can take dental hygiene courses at 2-year and 4-year, public or private colleges or universities in Pennsylvania. Courses can be applied toward a dental hygiene certificate or an associate's or bachelor's degree in the field. Clinical experiences are a key component of programs at all levels. You can complete a certificate or associate's degree in at least 2 years.

A bachelor's degree can be earned in 4 years, and some programs offer evening and weekend study options. If you're already working in the field, you may be able to attend school part time while you work toward a bachelor's degree. To find out more about the schools in Pennsylvania that offer dental hygiene courses, continue reading.

Dental Hygiene Certificate Programs in Pennsylvania

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus

The University of Pittsburgh's dental hygiene program has the advantage of affiliation with a dental school and a large medical center. You'll study pharmacology, anesthesiology and radiology, as well as special needs dentistry and how dental care should change throughout the lifespan. Courses in ethics, research analysis and public health dentistry are included in the program. Clinical practice is a major part of the curriculum, beginning in the second term.

  • Program Name: Certificate in Dental Hygiene
  • Program Length: 2 years full-time (6 semesters)
  • Tuition and Fees: $18,192 per year for residents; $28,958 per year for non-residents (costs for 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: High school or college chemistry and biology with labs, college sociology and English composition, all with grades of 'C' or better
  • School Type: 4-year, public; approximately 28,700 students (about 18,800 undergraduate)

Dental Hygiene Associate's Degree Programs in Pennsylvania

Harcum College

In this program, you'll take courses in English composition, chemistry, public speaking and sociology as well as courses more specific to dental hygiene. These include oral pathology, periodontics, dental histology and dental materials. Through participation in clinical rotations in the community, you can gain experience working with a diverse group of patients. Dental hygiene students at Harcum can join the Student American Dental Hygiene Association, which sponsors many events and activities, including Sealant Saturday, a community outreach program for children.

  • Program Name: Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Program Length: 2 years full time
  • Tuition and Fees: $22,060 per year (costs for 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: High school algebra I and II, geometry, chemistry and biology with labs, grade of 'B' or better. You can substitute college courses
  • School Type: 2-year, private not-for-profit; about 1,600 students (all undergraduate)

Northampton County Area Community College

You'll study oral anatomy, diseases of the mouth and gums and the development of the face and oral structures in the dental hygiene program at Northampton. Pharmacology, radiology and anesthesiology are included in the program. You'll learn to perform procedures such as scaling and tooth whitening and get hands-on experience by working in dental health programs in the community.

  • Program Name: Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Program Length: 2 years full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $3,990 per year for in-district students; $8,700 per year for in-state residents; $12,840 per year for non-residents (costs for 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: High school or college chemistry and biology with labs, overall high school GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • School Type: 2-year, public; approximately 10,500 students (all undergraduate)

Pennsylvania College of Technology

Anatomy, histology, radiology and nutrition are included in the courses at Pennsylvania College of Technology's associate's degree program in dental hygiene. Through a combination of clinical experience and classroom lectures, you'll learn to perform the procedures of a dental hygienist and explore topics such as pain control and radiology. You'll study ethics and legal issues and learn to use statistics and research methods to gather information.

  • Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Program Length: 2 years full time
  • Tuition and Fees: $15,810 per year for residents; $22,470 per year for non-residents (costs for 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: 1 year high school biology, 2 years high school algebra; chemistry with a lab is recommended
  • School Type: 4-year, primarily associate's, public; approximately 5,600 students (all undergraduate)

Dental Hygiene Bachelor's Degree Programs in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania College of Technology

You can begin the bachelor's degree program in dental hygiene at Pennsylvania College of Technology as a freshman or as a practicing dental hygienist who wants to earn a bachelor's degree. Licensed hygienists can attend school on a full- or part-time basis. In addition to taking courses in dental hygiene theory and practice, your studies will include courses in health care public policy, health care delivery systems and office management. A capstone course will require you to complete a health-related project, develop a program or make a portfolio of written materials related to health care.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Specializations: Health Policy and Administration
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Tuition and Fees: $15,810 per year for residents; $22,470 per year for non-residents (costs for 2015-2016)
  • Admission Requirements: Current dental hygienists must have a passing score on the Dental Hygiene National Board Examination and a current dental hygiene license in any state
  • School Type: 4-year, primarily associate's, public; approximately 5,600 students (all undergraduate)

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus

This bachelor's degree program is for students who hold associate's degrees or certificates in dental hygiene. The program can accommodate a working person's schedule with classes in the evenings and weekends, and through an external course of study that requires limited time on-campus. You'll take general education classes including writing, mathematics and social studies and expand your knowledge and skills in dental hygiene.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Concentrations: Health management, research, education
  • Program Length: 120 credits (about 4 years full-time)
  • Tuition and Fees: $18,192 per year for residents; $28,958 per year for non-residents (costs for 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Certificate or associate's degree from an accredited dental hygiene school
  • School Type: 4-year, public; approximately 28,700 students (about 18,800 undergraduate)

Pennsylvania dental hygiene programs can be found at the University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus, Harcum College, Northhampton County Area Community College and Pennsylvania College of Technology - all offering programs at the associate's level except the Univesrity of Pittsburgh which offers a certificate program. Further, Pennsylvania College of Technology and the University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh campus also offer bachelor's programs for those already holding degrees or certificates in dental hygiene

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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