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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 467S Career Strategies (1) Cornerstone Course

    Prereq: Acceptance to the Online BSDH Degree completion program
    Students explore alternate career paths and essential skills needed to create a professional development plan related to a non- clinical dental hygiene practice.

  • DNHY 477S Leadership and Professional Development (1)

    Prereq: Acceptance to the Online BSDH Degree completion program
    This course focuses on the development of leadership skills and personal attributes needed to fulfill the professional roles of the dental hygienist. 

  • DNHY 485S Oral Health Promotion (3)            

    Prereq: Acceptance to the Online BSDH Degree completion program
    This course focuses on current topics related to oral health affecting changes in global populations.

  • DNHY 486S Contemporary Issues in  Clinical Dental Hygiene (3)

    Prereq: Acceptance to the Online BSDH Degree completion program
    A seminar on various global roles of the dental hygienist, innovations in technology, best practices, science, and policy related to the dental hygiene process of care.

  • DNHY 469S Applied Statistics and Evidence-based Decision Making  for the Health Sciences (4)

    Prereq: College Level Algebra or Logic course
    Integration of applied statistics, critical appraisal of research, clinical expertise, and client values are examined to formulate evidence-based decisions in providing effective healthcare.

  • DNHY 471S Principles of Research & Scientific Writing (4)

    Prereq: Acceptance to the Online BSDH Degree completion program
    Basic principles of research and the facilitation of the development of analytical skills for evaluation of professional research culminating in the writing of a scientific research report.

  • DNHY 488S Relationship, Ethics, and Communication in Healthcare (3)  

    Prereq: Acceptance to the Online BSDH Degree completion program      
    Overarching themes of cultural diversity and global perspectives are employed in the application of theories and concepts of relationship building, ethics, and communication for the healthcare provider.

  • DNHY 489S Principles of Dental Public Health (3)

    Prereq: Acceptance to the Online BSDH Degree completion program
    This course provides an overview of basic public health concepts including epidemiology, policy, cost, well-being, access, and global health focusing on the relationship of oral public health to general public health.

  • DNHY 491S Foundations of Dental Hygiene Education (5)

    Prereq: Acceptance to the Online BSDH Degree completion program
    A foundation course providing fundamental theories, teaching strategies, and applications in education and leadership.

  • DNHY  492S Education/Health Promotion Practicum (3)

    Prereq:  DNHY 491s
    A  practicum experience in didactic, clinical, or laboratory instruction integrating leadership, professionalism, ethics, educational theories, and  teaching strategies, with a focus on assessment and evaluation.

  • DNHY 494S  Mythology, Folklore, and Health  (4)

    Prereq: ENG 201 or DNHY 470 Principles of Research and Scientific Writing
    A course offering historical and diverse perspectives on health based on folklore and mythology.

  • DNHY 487S Principles and Policies of  Oral  Healthcare Management (3)

    Prereq: Acceptance to the Online BSDH Degree completion program
    Management and policy creation for healthcare programs and businesses, specifically oral healthcare are discussed in this course.

  • DNHY 490S Capstone ( 4)

    This course incorporates the major learning themes of the dental hygiene Online degree curriculum resulting in a student-generated culminating capstone project/essay.

To earn a BS degree in Dental Hygiene from Eastern Washington University (EWU), a minimum of 40 upper-division credits are required beyond the Associate Degree.  A minimum of 30 of these credits must be earned from EWU. EWU accepts a block transfer credits from an Associate dental hygiene degree program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and regional higher education accrediting bodies.

*Students must meet University proficiencies in Math and English by completing Math 104 (competency) or its equivalent or higher, and English 101 and 201 or their equivalent.  Students should  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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