• Apply for Admission
  • Explore Programs and Courses
  • Pathway to Student Services
  • Resources and Library Services
  • Alumni, Friends, and Community

Advanced Dental Therapy (MSADT)

[Program Overview] [Curriculum] [Admission Criteria] [Application Requirements] [Academic Standing] [Accreditation] [Faculty]

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Advanced Dental Therapy (MSADT) program is the first of its kind in the country with Minnesota recognized as a national leader in oral health care. The dual licensed graduates of Metropolitan State University’s Advanced Dental Therapy program have created a meaningful solution to the problem of dental access for underserved communities by providing dental hygiene and dental therapy preventive and therapeutic scopes of practice for the diverse populations they serve.

All Dental Hygiene Department educational programs are built on a partnership with Normandale Community College, as well as academic excellence, and the values of community involvement, ethical conduct, and social responsibility. The MSADT program provides the theoretical and applied skills necessary for licensure as a dental therapist and certification as and an advanced dental therapist as defined by Minnesota statute. This graduate program requires a full-time commitment for four semesters and prepares baccalaureate educated, licensed dental hygienists for advanced practice to enhance the oral and general health of underserved communities.

Pew Center on the States reports the demand for oral health care services will increase due to the Affordable Care Act which expands dental insurance to millions of children in the United States. This demand is coupled with Pew's prediction that the new dental team member with dual licensure as a dental hygienist and a dental therapist can boost the productivity and profits of private dental practice setting. In essence, the employment of dual-licensed providers makes good business sense while improving the oral and general health of underserved Minnesotans.

The MSADT program is a full-time, graduate program combining classroom-based, web-enhanced courses with simulation and clinical learning environments. This program engages students in interprofessional educational experiences with members of the broader health care team as well as members of the dental care team.

Dental Hygiene Department Mission

The mission of the Metropolitan State University Dental Hygiene Department is to prepare licensed dental hygienists for advanced practice and to enhance the oral health of underserved and diverse populations. Programs are built upon academic excellence and support the value that advanced education is essential to the delivery of quality, safe, accessible, cost-effective oral healthcare. The Dental Hygiene Department is committed to collaborative community involvement, emphasizing ethics and social responsibility.


The program includes advanced dental therapy and interprofessional coursework which focuses upon three primary educational phases for a total of 44 graduate credits:

  • The science of health care delivery phase focuses on:
    • Working within diverse communities
    • Communication across cultures
    • Understanding health care needs and the incidence of disease across populations
    • Advancing safe, quality oral health care
    • This phase has a total of 8 credits
  • The clinical practice development phase focuses on:
    • Advancing assessment and evaluation skills and knowledge
    • Simulation and clinical experiences
    • Collaborative care provision skills unique to advanced dental therapy
    • This phase has a total of 31 credits
  • The leadership and synthesis phase concentrates on:
    • Extending health system and public policy knowledge
    • Developing leadership skills
    • A capstone project  focused on the evaluation of a relevant clinical question
    • This phase has a total of 5 credits

Program Courses

MSADT Competency-Based Dental Courses

DENH courses are taught in a sequence using a cohort model beginning in the fall semester. Courses will be taught at Metropolitan State (St. Paul and Maplewood) and Normandale Community College (Bloomington). Clinical courses with community practice components require students to travel to clinical sites throughout the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area for course completion.

MSADT Interprofessional Didactic Courses

These courses may be taken prior to or during completion of the MSADT competency-based dental courses.

Admission Criteria

The MSADT degree builds upon a liberal arts and/or science-oriented baccalaureate degree and Minnesota dental hygiene licensure. The Dental Hygiene Department evaluates applications for evidence of undergraduate scholarship, professional experience, and commitment to the Dental Hygiene Department's and the advanced professional. Size is limited. Entrance is competitive. The following requirements are necessary to be considered for admission to the MSADT program.

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 (calculated from all college coursework);
  • Current dental hygiene licensure in good standing (must meet Minnesota requirements, including nitrous oxide and local anesthesia certifications);
  • Prerequisite course, DENH 420 Restorative Functions Theory and Lab, must be completed or a plan for the completion submitted with the program application. Documentation of successful completion of the prerequisite course or its equivalent must be provided to enroll in dental program courses.

Completion of the prerequisite course does not guarantee entrance into the program. The program will have limited enrollment and Metropolitan State University reserves the right to determine admissions status.

Applications are reviewed throughout the year. Eligible applicants will be invited for an interview and professional portfolio review as a final step in the application process. See Applying to the Program for details.

Prerequisite Course

Additional Program Requirements

Before MSADT students begin clinical dental courses, the following must be provided:

  • Appropriate documentation of an active Minnesota dental hygiene license;
  • Evidence of current professional liability insurance;
  • Evidence of required immunizations;
  • Evidence of current CPR certification;
  • Evidence of HIPAA training,
  • Evidence of minimum number of hours of clinical dental hygiene practice;
  • Evidence of successful background study, and
  • Evidence of current health insurance

Program Orientation

Once you have been fully admitted to the program, you will be required to attend a graduate program orientation session and develop a plan of study.

Application Requirements

To be considered for admission you must submit:

  • Graduate Application
  • Non-refundable application fee (waived for graduates of Metropolitan State University)
  • Official transcripts from all universities attended
  • Plan for completion of prerequisite course requirement, if in process
  • Evidence of a current unencumbered Minnesota Dental Hygienist license
  • Goal essay
  • Two references
  • Computer proficiency form

See Applying to the Program for application packets and details on the requirements and deadlines.

Academic Standing

You must maintain satisfactory academic progress to remain in a College of Health, Community and Professional Studies graduate program. To remain in good standing, you must maintain a term and cumulative GPA of 3.0.

You will be admitted as part of a cohort for the MSADT competency-based dental courses and must adhere to the program progression published at the time of your admission. If you are unable to progress with the assigned cohort, you may make a written request to join a subsequent cohort, provided you have made satisfactory academic progress to date and space is available. Permission to join a subsequent cohort is determined by the Dental Hygiene Programs Director.


Metropolitan State University and Normandale Community College are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Higher Learning Commission
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602-2504

Normandale Community College’s Dental Hygiene Program is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.
Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.
Commission on Dental Accreditation
American Dental Association
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611-2678

Metropolitan State University’s Master of Science in Advanced Dental Therapy Program is approved by the Minnesota Board of Dentistry.
Minnesota Board of Dentistry
2829 University Avenue, SE
Suite 450
Minneapolis, Minnesota


Resident and community faculty members bring multiple specialties and areas of interest to their instruction. Many faculty members maintain an active dental practice. Community and resident faculty instructing are licensed dentists.