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Which Northern California Schools Offer Dental Programs?

Find schools in northern California offering dental programs. Learn about program requirements, courses and school information to make an informed choice about your education.

From associate's degrees through doctoral degrees, many options exist for dental programs in the northern California area. In this article, you will find information on undergraduate and graduate programs, coursework, prerequisites and costs for schools in the region.

What You Need to Know

Students interested in dental programs in northern California may choose to earn an associate's, bachelor's, or doctoral degree. Individuals holding undergraduate degrees may work in dental hygiene, while a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) is required to practice as a dentist or dental surgeon. The varying programs are offered by 2- and 4-year public and private schools in the region. Associate's degrees in dental hygiene require 5 semesters to complete; bachelor's degrees typically take 2 years to finish; earning a D.D.S. may take between 3-4 years.

Associate's Degree Programs for Dental Hygienists

Santa Rosa Junior College

Courses in Santa Rosa's dental hygiene program must be taken in a specified sequence. First, you'll complete prerequisite courses before moving on to the dental hygiene curriculum. Your core dental hygiene courses include dental radiology, medical emergencies, dental anatomy, clinical dental hygiene theory, dental pharmacology, anesthesia, periodontics and ethics.

  • Program Name: Associate in Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Program Length: 5 semesters, including 1 summer semester
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,328 per year for residents; $8,174 per year for non-residents (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: Courses in anatomy, reading/composition, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, argumentation and/or critical thinking; minimum GPA of 3.0 for science prerequisites and 2.5 for non-science prerequisites
  • Admission Requirements: Proof of residency
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 20,000 undergraduate students

Shasta College

Core courses at this rural college include oral biology, head/neck anatomy, oral radiology, local anesthesia, oral pathology and nutrition. You'll also take courses in specialty areas of the field, like periodontics and community oral health. In addition, you'll take part in clinical practice sessions. All courses in this program must be taken in sequential order, and students must prove competency in theory and clinical components to advance to the dental hygiene core.

  • Program Name: Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Program Length: 2 years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,185 per year for residents; $6,801 per year for non-residents (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: Courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry, composition, sociology, psychology, communications and nutrition; minimum GPA of 2.5 for all prerequisites
  • Admission Requirements: Proof of residency, physical exam, immunizations, Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers certification, drug screening and background clearance
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 9,105 undergraduate students

Bachelor's Degree Program for Dental Hygienists

University of the Pacific - Stockton

The University of the Pacific's dental hygiene program is offered on the main campus in the large city of Stockton. It includes many of the fundamental courses in associate's degree programs, like nutrition, dental anatomy and pharmacology, but it also covers advanced topics in histology and embryology, head and neck anatomy, oral health education, patient management and special needs patient care. You'll practice your new dental hygiene skills in clinical settings, and you'll need to complete a senior project to graduate.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Program Length: 3 years (8 semesters, full-time)
  • Tuition and Fees: $48,164 per year (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: 3 years of lab science (physics recommended)
  • Admission Requirements: Essay, 1 academic recommendation and an interview by invitation
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; about 3,701 undergraduate students and around 2,792 graduate students

Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree Programs

University of California - San Francisco

This program is offered in the large city of San Francisco. Your coursework will teach you to evaluate, diagnose and develop plans of treatment for endodontic disease, malocclusions and periodontal disease in dental patients of all ages. Your clinical practice will take place at the main student dental clinic and at various satellite facilities. This school also offers a master's degree in dental hygiene and other post-baccalaureate, graduate and postgraduate dental programs, in addition to an international dentistry program.

  • Program Name: Doctor of Dental Surgery
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Tuition: $12,993 per year for residents; $28,035 per year for non-residents (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree or 90 semester units with a minimum 'C' average in the School of Dentistry, including a specific number of units in English, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, biological sciences, psychology and social sciences
  • Admission Requirements: Dental Admissions Test (DAT) scores, 3 letters of recommendation and an interview by invitation
  • School Type: 4-year, public; about 3,114 graduate students

University of the Pacific

In this year-round program, you'll take behavioral sciences courses in addition to biomedical, preclinical and clinical science coursework. Your clinical practice will take place in San Francisco, Stockton, Union City and other extramural sites in Northern California. This school also offers advanced education in general dentistry, a graduate orthodontics program and an international dentistry program.

  • Program Name: Doctor of Dental Surgery
  • Program Length: 3 years, full-time
  • Tuition: $47,952 per year (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: Minimum 90 semester hours of college courses, including biological sciences, physics and inorganic chemistry (all with labs), in addition to organic chemistry and English
  • Admission Requirements: Criminal background check, DAT scores, medical exam, immunization records, tuberculosis test and medical/disability insurance
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; about 3,701 undergraduate students and around 3,792 graduate students

If you want to study dentistry in northern California, you can find associate's degree programs from Santa Rosa Junior College and Shasta College; a bachelor's program from the University of the Pacific; and doctoral programs from the University of California - San Francisco and the University of the Pacific.