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Best Dental Hygienist Schools in 2020

March 4, 2021 | Staff Writers

dental hygienist colleges
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Those seeking to become a Dental Hygienist will need to set their sights on taking and passing the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination. To pass this exam students need to complete educational requirements and training at a dental hygienist school before taking the exam. There are educational programs specific to this career at schools across the country.

Aspiring dental hygienists can enroll in a dental hygienist program at a local community college, technical college, online university or even grad schools that offer this particular program.

Some schools specialize in preparing dental hygienists and dental assistants with accelerated programs.

Top 5 Dental Hygienist Schools

RankSchoolLocation
1University of MichiganAnn Arbor, Michigan
2New York UniversityNew York City, New York
3University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, California
4Ohio State UniversityColumbus, Ohio
5Texas A&MCollege Station, Texas

Most programs take a full-time enrollment of two years with hours of experience inside a clinic and a dental office.

Most graduates of these programs will earn an associate degree in dental hygiene. Upon graduation, students can then take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination to become a licensed dental hygienist.

Once graduates have a license they are qualified to work in a dental office as a hygienist.

There are some universities and dental schools that offer a dental hygienist program at the bachelor’s degree level and even master’s degree level. These dental hygienist programs take four years to complete. These more advanced degrees allow graduates to be employed as educators of dental hygiene and also participate in research. Opportunities in public health or community practice are available for those with more advanced degrees.

Those desiring to enter a dental hygiene career can take high school courses that will benefit them greatly and in some cases decrease the courses they need to take to earn their associate degree. Those courses are chemistry, biology, mathematics, and psychology. Admissions to a dental hygiene school can vary depending on the school students are applying for. Be sure to know what the requirements and prerequisites are before applying, prospective students can contact the school they desire to apply to and request information on requirements. Some programs require students to complete one year of college before applying, while others require two years before enrolling in the dental hygienist program.

Coupled with the academic education dental hygienist schools provide is the clinical education and skills necessary to be a competent hygienist. These skills are taught and then practiced through faculty-supervised experiences with patients at a dental clinic. Many programs build off a liberal arts foundation then concentrate on courses of dental hygiene. Students should be prepared for courses in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, microbiology, as well as clinical science courses specific to dental hygiene.

Graduates of Dental Hygiene School can enter employment upon licensure or advance their education with programs in public health, business administration or education.

The average salary for a full-time dental hygienist is between $50k to $90K per year, depending on their education, experience, and location.

Below are some of the top-ranked Dental hygienist schools across the country!

1

University of Michigan

  • Ann Arbor, Michigan
University-of-Michigan-Dearborn

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry offers a 2-year dental hygiene program to earn a Bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. With the increased demand for educated and qualified dental hygienists, the University of Michigan provides an educational base of the social, behavioral, and biological sciences. Graduates are prepared to not only practice as competent hygienists but also as researchers, consumer advocates, and administrators.

School Overview

Tuition: $15,262
Faculty to Student Ratio: 11:1
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2

New York University

  • New York City, New York

The Dental Hygiene programs at New York University provide an excellent academic foundation as well as strong clinical experience coupled with real-life opportunities to practice skills. They participate in hands-on learning experiences of working as a member of a healthcare team while promoting oral health as an individual. NYU is currently offering an accelerated 17-month dental hygiene program for qualifying students.

School Overview

Tuition: $51,828
Faculty to Student Ratio: 9:1
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3

University of Southern California

  • Los Angeles, California

The program of dental hygiene at the University of Southern California enables students to earn a bachelor of science degree in dental hygiene. Students complete coursework in the sciences, general education as well as participating in clinical experiences where they gain necessary skills for hygienists. The focus of this program is health promotion and disease prevention. Graduates have opportunities to advance their education and careers through a unique master’s program that delves into research and education.

School Overview

Tuition: $56,225
Faculty to Student Ratio: 9:1
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4

Ohio State University

  • Columbus, Ohio

Ohio State University offers a bachelor’s degree of science in dental hygiene, this particular program takes four years for students to complete. Another accelerated bachelor program is also offered for students who are licensed dental hygienists who graduated from an accredited associate degree program. The traditional bachelor program consists of two years of liberal arts education and then two years of professional education for the major or dental hygienist.

School Overview

Tuition: $10,726
Faculty to Student Ratio: 19:1
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5

Texas A&M

  • College Station, Texas

Texas A&M offers a bachelor’s degree from the Caruth School of Dental Hygiene that meets the requirements for them to pass the licensure exam and become a licensed dental hygienist. A student must take all general prerequisite courses before enrolling in the dental hygiene program. Once accepted in the program students will take courses specific to dental hygiene and participate in clinical experiences where they gain the necessary skills to practice as a dental hygienist.

School Overview

Tuition: $11,870
Faculty to Student Ratio: 20:1
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6

University of Pittsburgh

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The dental hygiene programs offered at the University of Pittsburgh prepare students to become licensed, professional dental hygienists. Students can enroll in an associate program or a bachelor’s degree program.

Both allow students to take the national dental hygiene exam and become licensed to work as a dental hygienist.

The multidisciplinary educational experience students have prepared them for careers in private practice, research, public health or community settings.

School Overview

Tuition: $19,080
Faculty to Student Ratio: 14:1
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7

University of Minnesota

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota

The University of Minnesota is dedicated to creating a learning environment that fosters collaboration, life-long learning, and leadership in the oral healthcare industry. Students can enroll in an accelerated three-year dental hygiene program that allows them to earn their bachelor’s degree and qualify to take the national dental hygienist licensure exam and become licensed to work in the private or public sector of oral health. The University of Minnesota is committed to excellence in oral hygiene education, leadership and practice.

School Overview

Tuition: $14,760
Faculty to Student Ratio: 17:1
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8

University of Washington

  • Seattle, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

Those seeking to become licensed dental hygienists can earn their bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene at The University of Washington. The program requires two years of general education and then courses specific to dental hygiene. Once these courses are complete students can take the licensure exam, upon passing the exam graduates can practice at a private office or seek to advance their degree at the master’s degree level that is also offered at the University of Washington.

School Overview

Tuition: $11,207
Faculty to Student Ratio: 19:1
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9

University of North Carolina

  • Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 91%

The University of North Carolina offers a comprehensive dental hygiene program that enables students to earn a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. Students learn to promote oral health as well as prevent dental disease. They also learn to assume leadership roles as a member of a healthcare team while they participate in the development, implementation, and evaluation of public health programs. Students need to meet the pre-requisite requirements before enrolling in the dental hygiene program.

School Overview

Tuition: $8,987
Faculty to Student Ratio: 19:1
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10

University of Missouri

  • Columbia, Missouri
  • Graduation Rate: 68%

The University of Missouri-Kansas City offers a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. Students need to complete the required two years of general education courses before enrolling in the dental hygiene program and then take required courses before they are eligible to take the national licensing exam to become a dental hygienist. Upon completing these requirements and passing the licensing exam graduates can be employed as entry-level dental hygienists in the private or public sector.

School Overview

Tuition: $9,972
Faculty to Student Ratio: 17:1
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11

North Dakota State College of Science

  • Wahpeton, North Dakota
  • Graduation Rate: 52%

North Dakota State College of Science offers an associate degree in dental hygiene that allows students to take the national dental hygiene exam and be employed as a licensed dental hygienist upon passing and graduating. The dental hygiene program consists of academic classroom curriculum as well as laboratory and clinical experiences that help students gain the necessary skill set needed to be a competent dental hygienist.

School Overview

Tuition: $5,132
Faculty to Student Ratio: 13:1
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12

University of South Dakota

  • Vermillion, South Dakota
  • Graduation Rate: 53%

As more scientific evidence connects oral health with overall health, the University of South Dakota prepares students to promote oral health through the accredited dental hygiene program.

Students can earn their bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene and qualify to become licensed hygienists. The curriculum includes coursework, laboratory experience as well as outreach clinical hours that fully prepares students to be employed as dental hygienists.

School Overview

School Overview

Tuition: $9,061
Faculty to Student Ratio: 17:1
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13

Oregon Institute of Technology

  • Klamath Falls, Oregon
  • Graduation Rate: 43%

With a long history of innovative educational methods, the Oregon Institute of Technology offers a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene that draws upon those innovative methods to better educate students.

Students participate in extensive hands-on clinical experiences as well as have opportunities for international externships. Graduates finish the program with enough hours to not only qualify for licensing but to have an extended practice permit as well.

School Overview

Tuition: $10,118
Faculty to Student Ratio: 15:1
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14

Taft College

  • Taft, California
  • Graduation Rate: 3%

The dental hygiene program at Taft College is comprehensive as well as personal, in educating students in excellence. Students participate in a rigorous curriculum that promotes technical excellence and focuses on providing personal care to individual patients. Upon completion of the dental hygiene program, students are prepared to take the state and national licensing exams to become dental hygienists, they will have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to pass.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,410
Faculty to Student Ratio: 36:1
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15

Farmingdale State College

  • New York State
  • Graduation Rate: 50%

Farmingdale State College offers both an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. Students of each will receive the academic requirements needed to certify as a licensed dental hygienist, the bachelor degree however allows for a broader spectrum as a dental hygienist. Those holding a bachelor’s degree are qualified to administer local infiltration anesthesia. The BS route prepared students for leadership in emerging oral healthcare roles.

School Overview

Tuition: $8,306
Faculty to Student Ratio: 20:1
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16

Ferris State University

  • Big Rapids, Michigan
  • Graduation Rate: 49%

As one of the largest dental hygiene programs in the country, Ferris State University provides a unique learning experience for students studying dental hygiene. Ferris has a large state of the art hygiene clinic where students learn the skills they need. Students then refine their skills and treat patients during clinical experiences in the community. Those seeking a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene can complete the coursework online and earn their bachelor’s degree.

School Overview

Tuition: $11,788
Faculty to Student Ratio: 16:1
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17

Southern Adventist University

  • Collegedale, Tennessee
  • Graduation Rate: 53%

The Southern Adventist University offer pre-licensure courses for students seeking to become dental hygienists. Currently, the academic and skills set taught at Southern Adventist will prepare students to earn their associate degree of science in dental hygiene. Upon graduating, students can take the state and national dental hygiene exams for licensure. They will qualify for entry-level dental hygiene employment in the private sector.

School Overview

Tuition: $21,950
Faculty to Student Ratio: 13:1
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18

University of Southern Indiana

  • Evansville, Indiana
  • Graduation Rate: 38%

The dental hygiene program at the University of Southern Indiana prepares students to work in top dental hygiene positions. Those enrolled in the program participate in a rigorous curriculum and learn skills in a state-of-the-art dental hygiene clinic located on campus. Students earn a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene while learning in small classes form expert faculty. Students will have opportunities to perfect their skills in the on-campus clinic with patients of all ages.

School Overview

Tuition: $8,349
Faculty to Student Ratio: 16:1
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19

University of New Haven

  • West Haven, Connecticut
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

The program at The University of New Haven provides students with the knowledge of oral health through classroom instruction. Hands-on experience gives the students the skills they need to practice as a competent and professional dental hygienist. The program allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree of science in dental hygiene. Upon completion of the program, students can take the state and national exams to become licensed to practice.

School Overview

Tuition: $39,270
Faculty to Student Ratio: 16:1
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20

Western Kentucky University

  • Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • Graduation Rate: 44%

Western Kentucky University offers a few different tracks for students aspiring to become licensed dental hygienists with a degree. Students can enroll in one of the following programs; a two-year associate degree-granting dental hygiene program, a four-year bachelor’s degree dental hygiene program, or a four-year bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in clinical teaching program.

The classes are small and capped at 28 students per cohort.

School Overview

Tuition: $10,512
Faculty to Student Ratio: 18:1
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21

Lanier Technical College

  • Oakwood, Georgia
  • Graduation Rate: 33%

At Lanier Technical College students learn the academic, technical and professional requirements to become a confident dental hygienist. The program offered at Lanier is a two-year associate degree in dental hygiene. Students will have both the academic base as well as the technical skills learned in clinics and hands-on experience. Upon completion of this program, students are eligible to take the state and national exams to become a licensed dental hygienist.

School Overview

Tuition: $3,336
Faculty to Student Ratio: 14:1
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22

Flint Hills Technical College

  • Emporia, Kansas
  • Graduation Rate: 80%

The dental hygiene program at Flint Hills Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and provides students with the ability to earn an associate degree in dental hygiene.

The program contains technical and academic general education courses that prepare students to take both the state and national licensing exam needed to be licensed as a dental hygienist.

Students also learn hygiene skills necessary to be a competent oral hygienist.

School Overview

Tuition: $6,040
Faculty to Student Ratio: 14:1
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23

Utah Valley University

  • Orem, Utah
  • Graduation Rate: 32%

With a 99% board pass rate, graduates of Utah Valley University are always in high demand. The faculty of the dental hygiene program is highly qualified and has developed a personalized instruction program for students.

Currently, there are two dental hygiene programs available, a traditional associate degree that is on campus and an online bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. Each program takes two-years for students to complete.

School Overview

Tuition: $5,726
Faculty to Student Ratio: 4:1
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24

University of Alaska Anchorage

  • Anchorage, Alaska
  • Graduation Rate: 29%

Aspiring dental hygienists have access to a complete program at the University of Alaska Anchorage. There are currently two tracks students can enroll it, a traditional two-year associate degree-granting track that enables them to take both the state and national exams as well as a bachelor’s degree track. All clinical hours will be completed at the dental clinic on campus.

School Overview

Tuition: $8,580
Faculty to Student Ratio: 12:1
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25

Goodwin College

  • East Hartford, Connecticut
  • Graduation Rate: 50%

Goodwin College has a premier dental hygiene program that prepares students to be very competent and confident as a professional oral hygienist. The program is centered on evidence-based learning and hands-on technical skills learned in a state-of-the-art dental lab that is on campus. The curriculum is offered in both traditional on-campus and hybrid formats to meet student’s needs. Students also have opportunities to practice in a dental clinic.

School Overview

Tuition: $20,898
Faculty to Student Ratio: 10:1
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26

Pennsylvania College of Technology

  • Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Graduation Rate: 98%

Pennsylvania College of Technology prepares students of dental hygiene extensively as they have opportunities to serve over 2,500 patients per year. Currently, Pennsylvania College has three options for those pursuing a career in dental hygiene. Students can earn an associate degree through a traditional on-campus program that prepares them for both the state and national exams. Those desiring to advance their education and career can enroll in a bachelor’s degree program, there is a traditional on-campus program as well as an online program.

School Overview

Program Retention Rate: 97.5%
Program Job Placement Rate: 96%
Tuition: $16,740
Faculty to Student Ratio: 14:1
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27

Wytheville Community College

  • Wytheville, Virginia
  • Graduation Rate: 38%

Wytheville Community College offers a two-year associate degree program for dental hygiene that prepares students to take the state and national exams for licensure. Upon completion of the program and passing the exams students are eligible for entry-level dental hygiene positions in private practices. The program focuses on evidence-based learning and technical skills allowing graduates to be competent oral health providers.

School Overview

Tuition: $4,725
Faculty to Student Ratio: 25:1
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28

Central Community College

  • Grand Island, Nebraska
  • Graduation Rate: 52%

Central Community College is home to Nebraska’s only associate degree bearing dental hygiene program. Students learn through classroom, laboratory and clinical experiences to become confident and qualified oral healthcare professionals. The campus houses a dental clinic that provides service to the public and allows students to gain skills by providing those services under the supervision of expert faculty.

School Overview

Tuition: $3,000
Faculty to Student Ratio: 14:1
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29

Columbus Technical College

  • Columbus, Georgia
  • Graduation Rate: 30%

Columbus Technical College enables students to learn the academic coursework necessary for passing the state and national board exams to become a licensed dental hygienist. The program takes two years to complete and covers the academic knowledge as well as helping students gain technical skills necessary to be a competent and professional dental hygienist.

School Overview

Tuition: $7,047(entire program)
Faculty to Student Ratio: 16:1
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Methodology

With at least one top-ranked program available in each state, every aspiring dental hygienist has access to an accredited program that will qualify them to take and pass the state and national board exams to become a licensed dental hygienist.  Enroll in a program today to begin a career with high earning potential, flexibility and security tomorrow. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and contact us.

Programs were ranked according to a matrix of cost, job placement, percentage of students that passed the state and national exams and program availability.

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BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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