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A dental hygiene student showing a patient proper tooth brushing techniques.

Improving oral health

Hygienists provide essential services in the traditional dental office setting. You'll also find them in specialty centers, hospitals, long term care facilities, correctional settings, dental sales, education and even policy-making in community health settings.


Dental Hygiene: Bachelor of Science

As a dental hygiene student, you'll have numerous opportunities outside the classroom for professional development, clinical experience and socializing with other students in the program, including the following:

  • Interdisciplinary experiences with students and faculty in a wide variety of health professions
  • Providing oral cancer screenings at area health fairs and assisted living facilities
  • Giving oral health presentations at day care centers, schools, nursing homes and other organizations
  • A summer internship providing clinical experience in several practice settings
  • An opportunity for student membership in the local chapter of the American Dental Hygienists Association, which sponsors activities throughout the year promoting community service and the dental hygiene profession

View Curriculum

Four Year Program Guide

The Classroom & Beyond

  • Student Organization

    Our students are eligible to become members of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA). You'll have opportunities for personal and professional development as a student member.

  • Eligibility Requirements

    Before entering the Dental Hygiene program students need to complete prerequisite courses and other requirements. Learn more about eligibility to apply for our program.

  • Selection Criteria

    Our program admits 32 students each year. Learn more about the criteria we look at when making our student selection.

After Graduation

Potential Careers

In addition to traditional clinical settings, you'll find USD graduates in the following areas: 

  • Teaching
  • Corporate dentistry
  • Health literacy and advocacy
  • School-based practice
  • Administrative positions
  • Research
  • Public health settings
  • Interprofessional practice 

Alumni Outcomes

Being the primary provider of oral health education to my patients is very exciting. When you see a patient again with great oral hygiene improvements, a better understanding of oral health, and increased self esteem, it is very rewarding. Tucker Gross, Class of 2008