Degree Options

Earn an Associate of Science or Bachelor's Degree

The School of Dental Medicine offers two programs of study in dental hygiene. The two-year associate of science degree program provides the educational experiences to prepare our graduates for a career in dental hygiene.  Earning a bachelor's degree extends your education and provides the basis for more career options in health care, research, and industry, among others.

Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene Program

The Associate of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene Program is a two-year, six-term, 82 credit course of study that provides a broad range of education and experience.  This program provides comprehensive intra- and inter-professional education in the basic sciences, health sciences and clinical dental hygiene for men and women of all ages, races and ethnic backgrounds.  If a student wishes to transfer to another dental hygiene program, the transferability of credits earned at the University of Pittsurgh's Dental Hygiene Program is at the discretion of the program that the student wishes to attend.

Students in the Dental Hygiene Program provide dental hygiene services for patients of the School of Dental Medicine. Under the supervision of experienced faculty, students provide dental hygiene services such as oral prophylaxis, periodontal scaling, application of dental sealants and topical fluoride, patient education, and nutritional analysis. The team approach, joining the dental hygienist, dental students, and or residents, is used to provide comprehensive dental care to patients.

It is an admissions' requirement that prospective applicants complete 15 hours of shadowing with a practicing dental hygienist prior to applying to the Program. 


The University of Pittsburgh Dental Hygiene Program subcribes to a rolling admissions policy that does not hold to a specific deadline when applicants must apply. The program offers admission to qualified applicants on an ongoing basis until the class is full.  Please note that the program admits one class (36 students) per academic year beginning in the fall term.  It is therefore highly recommended that those seeking admission into the Dental Hygiene Program apply prior to November 1st.

Important Application Dates

  • November 1: Early admissions review for *Fall Applicant Seminar
  • February : Admissions review for *Spring Applicant Seminar

* Attendance at Dental Hygiene Program presentation and participation in a personal interview with dental hygiene admissions committee members.

For details about the admissions process and to learn about the requirements of the Dental Hygiene Associate of Science Degree Program, please visit Dental Hygiene Admissions Process.

Bachelor's Degree Completion Program

The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine Baccalaureate Degree Completion Program in Dental Hygiene is designed for students who previously have completed a certificate or associate degree in dental hygiene from an accredited dental hygiene program. Advanced course offerings from the Dental Hygiene Program and College of General Studies prepare dental hygienists to meet the rapidly changing oral health care environment. This degree enhances already-completed professional training and provides important exposure to the liberal arts, giving dental hygienists additional career opportunities in business, sales, education, research and public health.
As a student in the Baccalaureate degree completion program, you may practice as a dental hygienist while completing the requirements of the program. Classes are available to full- or part-time students in the evening, weekends and on-line. External studies are also available to help you complete your studies. Class schedules may be tailored to accommodate work schedules. 

The Baccalaureate degree completion program options include a focus in one of the following upper level dental hygiene areas of study:

  • Health Care Management/Administration
  • Education
  • Research

To learn about required credits and courses please visit The University of Pittsburgh College of General Studies.

If you’d like to know more about the opportunities for continuing courses of study for dental hygiene, please visit the American Dental Hygiene Association.


National Board Dental Hygiene Examination Passing Rate

Class of Total Number of Students First Time Pass Rate
2015 28 100%
2016 25 96%
2017 28 100%
2018 31 100%


The allied education program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312-440-4653, or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60611. The Commission's web address is