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Program Description

The dental hygienist is a member of the oral health team who provides treatment to prevent oral health diseases. Clinical skills include performing oral health assessments, examining head, neck and oral regions for disease, exposing and processing dental radiographs, other diagnostic assessments, debridement (removing) of deposits from the tooth structures, applying sealants and fluorides to prevent decay, providing nutritional counseling for maintenance of the oral cavity, fabricate athletic mouth guards, and other patient services allowed by the State Board of Dentistry. Dental hygienists are oral health educators within the community and plan oral health promotion strategies to better inform and serve their patients. The curriculum covers a three-year program culminating in a BS degree. The BSDH program is a fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) is the national programmatic accrediting agency for dental and dental-related education programs at the post-secondary level. BSDH program teaches the student the essential theoretical and hands-on knowledge to compete for entry-level positions in the field.

In addition, the program provides a framework for developing the necessary skills to expand career opportunities in education, health promotion, public health, management and research. The program is built on academic excellence and clinical expertise with a vision toward the development of a professional leader, change agent, educator and/or public health manager in Dental Hygiene.

The BSDH program is comprised of 45 semester credits of General Education and 78 semester credits of Technical courses.

**Offered on Jersey City Campus only

program learning outcomes

  • Students demonstrate and develop strategies that will prepare them to become a successful dental hygiene educator in a dental hygiene program by addressing areas such as: learning theories, teaching strategies, learning
  • Students develop instructional content and plan for teaching topics for adult learners. Teaching methods, learning styles, student and instructor evaluation, and use of media will be discussed.
  • Students demonstrate fundamental understanding of acquiring and applying scientific information in evidence based dental hygiene practice.
  • Students demonstrate effective communication skills.
  • Students demonstrate an understanding of concepts including researching alternative resources and funding opportunities, proposal writing, implementing and managing grants, developing community partnerships and collaborations, and becoming knowledgeable in policies and procedures related to public entities

General Education Coursework

Course NumberCourse TitleSemester Credits
BIO 101Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIO 102Anatomy and Physiology II4
BIO 110Microbiology4
CHE 101General/Organic/ Biochemistry For Allied Health Professionals3
ENG 101English Composition3
ENG 302Research Design & Writing3
HEA 304Global Health3
MAT 103College Algebra3
MAT 300Basic Statistics and Microsoft Excel Applications3
PHI 302Bioethics3
PSY 101General Psychology3
REL302World Religions3
SOC 101Introduction to Sociology3
SPC 101Interpersonal Communications3
Total 45

program major courses

Course NumberCourse TitleSemester Credits
DH 100Dental Hygiene Preclinical Sciences3
DH101Dental Hygiene Clinical Sciences I4
DH 102Dental Radiology3
DH 103Dental and Oral Anatomy & Physiology2
DH 104General and Oral Pathology3
DH 105Oral Embryology and Histology2
DH 106Medical Emergencies in the Dental Office, Basic Life Support “C” AHA1
DH 200Dental Hygiene Clinical Sciences II4
DH 201Dental Hygiene Clinical Sciences III4
DH 202Pharmacology2
DH 203Periodontics I2
DH 204Periodontics II2
DH 205Law and Ethics for the Dental Hygienists: Ethics, Jurisprudence and Practice Management2
DH 206Foundations of Nutritional Science3
DH 207National Board and Case Review2
DH 208Community Dentistry & Health Study3
DH 209Dental Material & Lab2
DH 210Prevention and Control or Oral Disease2
DH 211Local Anesthesia & Pain Control2
DH 300Educational Methodology for Dental Hygiene 3
DH 301Cultural Competency & Dental Hygiene Care for Target Populations3
DH 302Educational Concepts in Dental Hygiene3
DH 303Statistical & Methodological Aspects to Oral Health Research3
DH 400Dental Practice Management with Oral Health Promotion3
DH 401Epidemiology of Oral Diseases3
DH 402Dental Hygiene Care for Culturally Diverse and Special Needs3
DH 403Leadership Roles for the Dental Hygiene Professional3
DH 404Internship Dental Hygiene Program/Teaching3
Total 78

Total Program Credits: 123

Total Length of Program: 36 months

Course Descriptions


PSY Psychology
CVT Cardiovascular Technology
ENG English
MAT Math
BIO Biological Science
SPC Speech

This course explores the structure and function of the human body. It includes the study of cells and tissue, with a focus on the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, and endocrine systems.
This course is a continuation of Anatomy and Physiology I. Topics include the reproductive system, cardiovascular system, blood, digestive system, urinary system, fluid and electrolyte imbalance, respiratory system and the lymphatic system. Prerequisite: BIO 101
This course focuses on the study of microbiological concepts and techniques central to the health professions. Topics include anatomy and physiology of microbes, microbial classification, principles of microscopy, sterilization, disinfection, immunology, chemotherapy, epidemiology, disease transmission, pathogenicity and virulence in relation to microbes. Laboratory skills, such as isolating, culturing, evaluation, and identification of microorganisms, are learned.
This course introduces students to basic concepts in general, organic, and biological chemistry. Topics include atomic structure, chemical quantities and reactions, acids and bases, solutions, organic compounds, nucleic acids, and protein synthesis among others.
This course introduces students to college-level writing and reading skills through critical reading, formal essays and research assignments. Proper sentence, paragraph and essay structure, as well as information and technology literacy, are emphasized throughout the course. Prerequisites: ENG 098 and ENG 099 or passing of placement exams
This course offers students instruction and practice in methods, techniques and process of research writing and dissemination of research information to a variety of audience.  Each student is required to develop a research paper through stages of drafting, editing, revising, and proofreading following conventions of academic writing and the APA style.
This course introduces students to the scientific discipline of psychology. It addresses cross cultural issues, historical perspectives, and the importance of psychological well-being, with topics ranging from psychological disorders, therapeutic approaches, and personality, to the biological basis of behavior, learning and memory, development, consciousness, and the social nature of human beings.
This course focuses on sociology as a way of understanding the world. Sociology is a field of study that considers social, political, and economic phenomena within the context of social structures, social forces, and group relations. Students will be introduced to the field of sociology by way of engaging with several important sociological topics, including socialization, culture, the social construction of knowledge, inequality, race and ethnic relations, poverty, and political sociology.
This course is an overview of the process of human communication, with special emphasis on analyzing communication patterns. Students learn skills designed to improve interactions in family, social, and professional settings. The course also addresses effective listening, pacing, attending, making value judgments, summarizing, probing, empathy, handling emotions, perception checking, and conflict management. Hindrances to effective communication are also discussed.
This course covers concepts of algebra. Topics include a review of linear equations and inequalities, systems of linear equations, coordinate geometry, and graphing techniques; exponential and polynomial functions and applications; factoring and applications; rational expressions and applications; roots and radicals; and quadratic equations. Prerequisite: MAT 099 or passing of placement exams.
This course introduces students to basic statistics and the applications of Microsoft Excel to statistics. Topics include manipulation of data, single variable graphs and statistics, probability distributions, and inferences, among others. The course also includes discussions on statistical thinking and understanding, and numerical summaries of data.
This course examines ethical dilemmas resulting from advances in medical technology, and discusses ways of analyzing these dilemmas in the light of ethical theories. Issues include abortion, euthanasia and the right to die, in-vitro fertilization, genetic screening and engineering, and allocation of scarce medical resources, among others.
This course introduces students to the world’s major religions. Study focuses on the historical development of the world’s major religions, as well as on the central beliefs, customs and traditions associated with each religion studied. It is anticipated that throughout this course students will come to respect and learn from the diversity of religion that exists in today’s world, whether or not they chose to practice a religion. Prerequisite: ENG 101
This course introduces students to global health issues and challenges, programs, and policies. Topics and discussions include analysis of current and emerging global health issues and priorities, major global initiatives for health and disease prevention, and current and past global health problems brought about by poverty, international conflicts, health inequity, and other factors.
This course shall serve as the foundation for dental hygiene practice. Clinical dental hygiene protocols and techniques will be the primary focus. These protocols will include but not be limited to: infection control, patient management, medical emergency management, data assessment, medical and dental histories, intraoral and extra oral exams, dental charting, data interpretation and treatment planning, instrumentation and homecare therapies. This course will prepare students to provide therapeutic, educational, and preventive services for patients in the Clinical Experience during the following semesters. The importance of professional development including legal, ethical, and personal responsibilities will be discussed. Corequisites: DH 103, DH 105, and DH 106
This course provides a basic theoretical foundation leading to implementation and application of dental radiographic techniques with special emphasis on radiation safety, exposure techniques, processing, and the interpretation of landmarks and individualizing patient assessment needs. The laboratory component will provide experience in exposing, patient management, and critiquing of quality and interpretation of radiographs. Prerequisites: DH 100, DH 103, DH 105, DH 106. Corequisites: DH 101 and DH 104
This course is designed to study the anatomy and physiology of the teeth and oral structures. Topics will include identification of primary, mixed and permanent dentition, eruption patterns, classification of occlusion and the detailed anatomy of the head and neck. Osteology, muscles, nerve innervation, and blood supply are studied. Cases are correlated to the clinical experience. Corequisites: DH 100, DH 105, and DH 106
This course will help the dental hygiene student facilitate the identification and treatment of oral diseases. The study will focus on understanding the disease process, recognizing deviations from normal, and identifying oral manifestations of local and systemic slide presentations. Presented in the course are current theories on etiology and pathogenesis, significance of genetics, environment, immune responses, and new therapeutic approaches in the treatment of disease. Case studies are presented on CD- ROM to help students distinguish between scientific discovery and its technological application. Prerequisites: DH 100, DH 103, DH 105, and DH 106. Co-requisites: DH 101 and DH 102
This course will serve as an introductory study of the developing features of the head and face. Specific emphasis will be placed on those structures relating to the oral cavity. In addition, detailed attention will focus on the histologic aspects of the dental tissues in regard to their location, composition, development, structure, function, and clinical importance. This will provided essential fundamental knowledge for the clinical practice of dental hygiene. Corequisites: DH 100, DH 103, and DH 106
This course will serve to instruct students in the management of medical emergencies that may occur in the dental office. It will explain how to anticipate potential emergencies and what resources must be on hand to deal effectively with these situations. Emergency situations, such as syncope, respiratory distress, seizure, cardiac arrest, a n d stroke, are addressed. The course also will have a segment of training for a basic life support CPR certification. Corequisites: DH 100, DH 103, and DH 105
This course of study continues to expand the student’s clinical development and knowledge of current theories. CLII is designed to integrate cognitive knowledge with practical applications of dental hygiene therapies. The primary focus of this course is to prepare the dental hygiene student for the appropriate protocols and techniques for successful periodontal therapies including advanced instrumentation, anxiety/pain control, periodontal and implant maintenance. The development of dental hygiene care plans for the medically, physically, and sensory challenged patient is discussed. Prerequisites: DH 100, DH 101, DH 102, DH 103, DH 104, DH 105, DH 106, DH 202, DH 209, DH 210, and DH211. Corequisites: DH 203, DH 206
The primary focus of this course is to prepare the student to make the transition from school to the clinical setting in a dental office. Through lecture, class participation, and hands-on experiences, the student will be exposed to a variety of career opportunities. Ethics, jurisprudence, State Practice Acts/Licensure will be integrated throughout the course and will be a co-content approach for the Ethics and Law 2-credit course given this semester. Emphasis will be also be placed on health care delivery systems, dental hygiene practice management, the job search, resume writing, and the interview process as well as professional networking. The clinical component of the course will focus on building speed with efficiency at the dental hygiene chair, incorporating advanced clinical therapies, alternative therapies/medicines-all in preparation for the move from ‘student-hood’ to professional colleague. Prerequisites: DH 100, DH 101, DH 102, DH 103, DH 104, DH 105, DH 106, DH 200, DH 202, DH 203, DH 206, DH 209, DH 210, and DH 211. Corequisites: DH 204, DH205, DH 207, and DH 208
This course presents pharmacology as the study of drugs and how they affect biological systems. Throughout the course of their everyday practice, dental hygienists must frequently draw upon their knowledge of Pharmacology for tasks ranging from the routing, such as obtaining a complete patient medical history and appointment planning, to the extreme, such as handling a medical emergency in the office. In addition to a base of knowledge of pharmacology and the drugs used in the current therapy of disease states, the dental hygienist must also have a solid foundation in the terminology and vocabulary that is associated with pharmacology. This course examines medications routinely prescribed for medical and dental conditions and the role of the dental hygienist in patient assessment and treatment planning. Systemic medications, complementary medicine, anesthesia, and oral pharmacotherapy will be included. Local anesthetic agents will be emphasized. Prerequisites: DH 100, DH 101, DH 102, DH 103, DH 104, DH 105, and DH 106. Corequisites: DH 209, DH 210 and DH 211
This course of study focuses on the basic concepts of the etiology, disease development and current theories of cure and/or control. Anatomy with emphasis on the gingival and periodontal structure is stressed. Disease pathogens causing the compromise of health in the periodontium and oral environment, epidemiology, biological factors, assessment protocols and evaluation of current philosophies in periodontal disease are reviewed. Prerequisites: DH 100, DH 101, DH 102, DH 103, DH 104, DH 105, DH 106, DH 202, DH 203, DH 209, DH 210, and DH 211. Corequisites: DH 200 and DH 206
This course is a continuation of Periodontology I. The student will apply the foundation knowledge gained in semester five’s Periodontology I. Dental and dental hygiene treatments for the periodontally involved patient are reviewed with a formal presentation of a case developed by each student. Assessment, dental hygiene diagnosis, treatment plan, implementation evaluation of the periodontally challenged patient will be the concentration of this course. The philosophy of co-therapy between the professional and the patient is assessed and evaluated. Current home therapies are considered and reviewed. Dental hygiene therapy and its role with the periodontics specialist are evaluated. Surgical intervention, surgical reconstruction of the periodontium, implant insertion and maintenance with emphasis on the hygienist’s role are explained. Alternative and holistic therapy, such as stress reduction, and behavioral habits, such as smoking cessation, for the patient are considered. Prerequisites: DH 100, DH 101, DH 102, DH 103, DH 104, DH 105, DH106, DH 200, DH 202, DH 203, DH 206, DH 209, DH 210, and DH 211. Corequisites: DH 201, DH 205, DH 207 and DH 208
This course introduces students to the legal and ethical implications of working in medical facilities and the obligations of practitioners and office personnel to follow ethical standards and codes of conduct. Topics include: professionalism, the relationship between physicians/dentists/allied health providers and patients, professional liability, medical ethics, legality of health record as a legal document, and the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA). Prerequisites: DH100, DH 101, DH 102, DH 103, DH 104, DH 105, DH 106, DH 200, DH 202, DH 203, DH 206, DH209, DH 210, DH 211 Corequisites: DH 201, DH 204, DH 207, DH 208
This course is an introduction to general nutrition with an emphasis on the principles relating to human health. The course provides students with an understanding of the basics of the science of nutrition at various stages of the life cycle. Food sources of energy, nutrients and their consequences to health will be explored. Terminology and scientific resources pertinent to the Nutrition field will be introduced. Prerequisites: DH 100, DH 101, DH 102, DH 103, DH 104, DH 105, DH 106, DH 200, DH 202, DH 206, DH 209, DH210, and DH 211. Corequisites: DH 200 and DH 203
This course will assist the graduating dental hygiene student in preparing for the National Written Board and State Licensing Boards. Study preparation and test construction are considered. Practiced stress control and test anxiety skills are addressed. Simulated MOCK written boards are given with review and comments. Case studies of patients are reviewed with emphasis on simulated Board cases. The cases will include all assessments, radiographs, patient records and other digitized reproductions for analysis. Short subject review, such as Pathology, Instrumentation, General Sciences, and Pharmacology, among others will be presented by individual student groups. Prerequisites: DH 100, DH 101, DH 102, DH 103, DH 104, DH 105, DH 106,DH 200, DH 202, DH 203, DH 206, DH 209, DH 210, and DH 211. Corequisites: DH 201, DH 204, DH 205, and DH 208
Dental health education and public health are introduced and evaluated in this 3 credit course. Emphasis is placed on the role of the hygienist in promoting dental health in the private office and community, educational methods, biostatistics, and epidemiology. The course is intended to provide the student with information necessary to enable her/him to understand the foundations upon which community dentistry and dental health education are built. Questions such as what is health, can it be measured, and if so, how and what are the variables influencing health, can these be manipulated, are addressed. Who pays for health and what are the different avenues for delivering this healthcare will be evaluated. Community dental hygiene and oral health is every hygienist’s concern. Prerequisites: DH 100, DH 101, DH 102, DH 103, DH 104, DH 105, DH 106, DH 200, DH 202, DH 203, DH 206, DH 209, DH 210, and DH 211. Corequisites: DH 201, DH204, DH 205, and DH 207
Dental Materials is a comprehensive study of the science, technology, and application of dental materials. Various dental materials and their specific uses, along with related fundamental and specialty clinical dental hygiene skills, are presented through didactic laboratory and clinical components. Prerequisites: DH 100, DH 101, DH 102, DH 103, DH 104, DH 105, and DH 106. Corequisites: DH 202, DH 210, and DH 211.
Dental hygiene philosophy of care is based on the concept of prevention in all aspects of oral care. Behavioral habits such as smoking, bruxism, infantile swallowing, high sugar intake and dietary concerns, are discussed with emphasis on their cure and/or control. Consumer fluoride produces are evaluated along with a myriad of home care items. Patient assessments for childhood dental trauma including abuse are reviewed. Prerequisites: DH 100, DH 101, DH 102, DH 103, DH 104, DH 105, and DH 106. Corequisites: DH 202, DH 209, and DH 211
This course is designed to introduce the student to the principles of local anesthesia and pain control in dentistry and dental hygiene. It will introduce both the didactic and clinical aspects of one of the most important areas of dentistry at the time in which the students are preparing to enter their clinical training. Prerequisites: DH 100, DH101, DH 102, DH 103, DH 104, DH 105, and DH 106 Corequisites: DH 202, DH 209, and DH 210
This course explores the art and science of facilitating the learning experience of future registered dental hygienists. Students learn to prepare course lectures with topic objectives and competency alignment, diverse student learning concepts with student-centered activities and outcomes, sensitivity in teaching of different cultural groups, and skills in presentation of material with evaluation of instruction outcomes.
This course focuses on learning to adapt and change in emerging practice areas for dental hygienists that provide care to population groups challenged by access to oral health care. The course emphasizes dental hygiene strategies for the delivery of culturally competent care to pediatric, geriatric, medically compromised and special needs patients. Ethical issues are emphasized regarding care for vulnerable client populations groups.
This course is designed to expand upon educational methodologies for effective instruction in dental hygiene education. Topics include teaching/learning styles, instructional methods/strategies, use of instructional objectives, classroom assessment techniques, and evaluation in dental hygiene educational settings
This course is an introduction to research methodology. It discusses oral health research, epidemiology and biostatistics. Provides the student interested in research and development, an overview of methodological aspects of: planning, conducting and analyzing research.
This course will enable students to understand the latest skills in dental hygiene, professional practice, oral health promotion, practice management, nutrition with oral health promotion, in addition to business accounting, dental practice marketing and research capabilities.
This online course covers the understanding of basic epidemiological principles and methods that can help private practice and public health dental hygienists. It will highlight the importance of understanding the risks for future oral disease. Students will look at the impact of society and cultural health views on the status of oral public health.
This course focuses on learning to adapt and change in emerging practice areas for dental hygienists that provide care to population groups challenged by access to oral health care. The course emphasizes dental hygiene strategies for the delivery of culturally competent care to pediatric, geriatric, medically compromised and special needs patients. Ethical issues are emphasized regarding care for vulnerable client populations groups.
This course discusses the 100 plus year evolution of the profession of Dental Hygiene. The course focuses on the principles, concepts and roles of leadership and the characteristics that make up the leadership styles. Management, self-reflection, communication, and organizational skills are all components of leadership. The professional association and its leadership are evaluated.
This clinical component course highlights clinical teaching in the dental hygiene field. Students will work with faculty members and assess the needs of dental hygiene students. Topics will include: learning styles, theories, instructional and syllabus design, and teacher/student outcomes assessment.


  • Minimum High School Diploma or recognized equivalency certificate (GED)
  • Take the HESI Exam with a minimum score of 70
    • Grammar–Contains a basic grammar assessment, centering on parts of speech, common grammatical errors, etc.
    • Basic Math Skills–Centers on math skills needed for the healthcare field, including basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, decimals, ratios, etc.

Take a tour of our Jersey City and Belleville campuses, or contact us to learn more about our available allied health academic programs.


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