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Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene- Degree Completion


The Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene degree completion program broadens the educational experiences of licensed dental hygienists who have graduated from a two-year community college program by providing a liberal arts and broad based general education component, including critical thinking, analysis, writing, researching, and reporting.

Admission requirements:

  • Associate degree from an accredited dental hygiene program in the U.S. or Canada
  • Successful completion of the Dental Hygiene National Board examination or its Canadian equivalent
  • A current dental hygiene license in the U.S. or Canada

What will I study?

The following curriculum is in place for the Dental Hygiene Degree Completion Program:

  • DNHY 485 Oral Health Care Promotion (5cr)

    This course focuses on current topics related to oral health affecting changes in global populations.
  • DNHY 486 Contemporary Issues in Dental Hygiene (5cr)

    This course covers global roles of the dental hygienist, innovations in technology, best practices, science and policy related to the dental hygiene process of care.
  • DNHY 487 Principles and Policies of Oral Healthcare Management (5cr)

    Management and policy creation for healthcare programs and businesses, specifically oral healthcare are discussed in this course.
  • DNHY 470 Research Methods (3cr)

    Basic principles of research and the facilitation of the development of analytical skills for evaluation of professional research.
  • DNHY 467 Career Strategies (1cr)

    Students explore alternate career paths and essential skills needed to create a professional development plan related to a non-clinical dental hygiene practice.
  • DNHY 490A  Degree Completion Dental Hygiene Capstone (4cr)

    This course incorporates the major learning themes of the dental hygiene degree completion curriculum resulting in a student-generated culminating capstone project/essay.
  • DNHY 491 Foundations of Dental Hygiene Education (5cr)

    This course provides basic educational theory and application. Fundamental theories of leadership and teaching strategies are introduced.
  • DNHY 492 Dental Hygiene Education Practicum I (5cr)

    This course provides practicum experiences integrating educational theory, application and leadership. Educational theories and teaching strategies are developed through dental hygiene clinical and laboratory instruction, leadership, professionalism and ethics.
  • DNHY 493 Dental Hygiene Education Practicum II (4cr)

    A final course providing continued development of teaching strategies to include group and active learning, assessment, group leadership, and integration of technology and media in educational settings.

To earn a BS degree in Dental Hygiene from Eastern Washington University (EWU), a minimum of 61 upper-division credits is required beyond the Associate Degree. Of these 61 Upper Division credits; 37 are Dental Hygiene credits and 24 are Upper Division University Requirements are included in the program (see below).  A minimum of 45 of these credits must be earned from EWU. EWU accepts a maximum block transfer of 74 credits from an Associate dental hygiene degree program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and regional higher education accrediting bodies.

  •  Upper Division Dental Hygiene Coursework, these include: contemporary issues in oral health courses and an education/teaching series (no clinical coursework ) -- 37 Credits
  • Upper Division Humanities, Social Sciences, Cultural Diversity, and International Studies Course  (meet university  General Education (GECRs), Cultural & Gender Diversity, and International Studies requirements) - 24 credits

*Students must meet University proficiencies in Math and English by completing Math 115 or its equivalent, and English 101 and 201 or their equivalent. It is strongly recommended students complete these requirements at local community colleges before entering the program.

Program Mission and Competencies

The mission of the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (BSDH) degree completion program is to enhance the educational experiences of dental hygienists who graduated with an associate degree. This is accomplished by providing a liberal arts and broad-based general education component which includes critical thinking, research, writing, cultural sensitivity, and ethical judgment. Graduates of this program will have practical experience intrinsic to the various expanded roles and scopes of practice in the profession of dental hygiene. The BSDH program fully prepares students to interact effectively with other health professionals in a competent, collaborative, and ethical manner.

BSDH program goals include:
  1. Compel individuals who possess moral and ethical values/behaviors to be effective participants in an increasingly complex and interdisciplinary health care system.
  2. Foster dental hygienists who are culturally sensitive and possess a strong theoretical base in the humanities, psychosocial sciences, and dental sciences.
  3. Encourage dental hygienists to be life-long learners who critically think, analyze and solve problems, make sound judgments, and lead others to do the same.
  4. Cultivate the communication and leadership skills of dental hygienists to enhance their functional role of practitioner as well as the expanded roles of researcher, manager, change agent, consumer advocate, and health promoter/educator.
  5. Instill a commitment to contribute actively to the betterment of the dental hygiene profession through professional involvement, continued education, and advanced professional or graduate education.

Teaching Methods and Learning Environment

All courses are taught via Canvas, an online Learning Management System that allows students to submit assignments, contact the course instructor, collaborate with fellow students, participate in discussions, and even videoconference from virtually anywhere.


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