The cornerstone of the university’s dental hygiene program is the Bachelor of Science degree. This program enables the student to be involved in dental hygiene coursework throughout all four years of the curriculum. The course of study integrates science prerequisites and general (core) education requirements with foundational and advanced-level dental hygiene courses. Graduates of the Bachelor of Science program will be prepared not only to seek employment in private dental offices but also to pursue employment in a variety of other health care settings such as nursing homes, centers for the developmentally disabled, hospitals, schools, Head Start Programs, National Health Service Corps, correctional facilities, and community health centers. A dental hygienist with a Bachelor of Science degree may also pursue a career as a corporate educator or sales representative. Bachelor of Science degree students also have the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to seek education at the graduate level.
Students who wish to exit the program at the end of three years of study may earn an Associate in Science degree in dental hygiene. This program prepares graduates for the board examinations required for licensure and employment primarily in the dental office setting. The Associate in Science degree program integrates science prerequisite courses and foundational dental hygiene courses into a three-year curriculum. Graduates of the program are positioned to practice as dental hygienists and, if desired, complete the Bachelor of Science degree by participating in one additional year of study.
In addition to the programs described above, the University of New Haven offers a dental hygiene degree completion program. This curriculum is designed for practicing dental hygienists who are graduates of associate degree programs. The degree completion program enables dental hygienists to transfer credits from an accredited dental hygiene program and utilize their academic and work experience as the basis for completing course work leading to the Bachelor of Science degree.
- Students will determine patient needs through systematic collection and analysis of medical and dental data.
- Students will apply ethical, legal, and regulatory concepts to the provision and/or support of oral health services.
- Students will incorporate self-assessment skills to demonstrate autonomous and life-long learning.
- Students will evaluate and judge the effectiveness of current scientific literature.
- Students will utilize problem-solving strategies to comprehensively manage patient care.
- The student will demonstrate the skills necessary to gain employment in a variety of advanced settings public health facilities, educational institutions, or dental supply companies.
- The student will utilize evidence-based practice models to assist clients, colleagues, and contribute to the dental hygiene profession.
- The student will create professional learning opportunities through professional associations, employers, and educational facilities to remain relevant and provide superior care to patients
- The student will analyze health systems, especially oral health systems, and be an advocate for optimal oral health care for all people.
In addition to the general admission requirements for all prospective University of New Haven students, it is recommended that applicants to the dental hygiene program demonstrate satisfactory performance in the sciences and mathematics. It is strongly recommended that applicants have completed both high school biology and chemistry with laboratory and two years of college preparatory mathematics. An in-person or telephone interview with the department director or a faculty member is recommended; letters of recommendation supporting the student’s ability to pursue a rigorous science-based curriculum and desire to contribute in the health care delivery system are strongly encouraged. Admission to the program is limited. All students enrolled as freshman in the dental hygiene program or in the clinical course sequence must be full time. For additional admission criteria regarding the dental hygiene program contact the Department of Admissions.
Professional Accreditation and Licensure
The program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation and by the United States Department of Education.
Students earning a bachelor of science degree in dental hygiene must complete a minimum of 125-127 credits. Courses must include the University Core Curriculum for bachelor’s degree students and the required courses listed below. Once students are enrolled in the dental hygiene clinical course sequence (DHYG 2220 , DHYG 2240 , DHYG 3330 , DHYG 3350 , DHYG 4460 ), they must be enrolled in a full-time course of study. Students must achieve a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.70 or above at the University of New Haven preceding entry into the fall semester sophomore-level dental hygiene clinical course sequence. Students must enroll in the dental hygiene courses DHYG 3330 and DHYG 3342 during the designated summer session, scheduled after completion of the sophomore clinical course sequence.