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Dental hygiene BSDH

About The Program

The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (BSDH) program provides associate degree dental hygienists from accredited institutions an opportunity to complete a four-year degree. All Dental Hygiene Department educational programs are based on academic excellence, and the values of community involvement, ethical conduct and social responsibility. =

Completion of a baccalaureate degree provides dental hygienists with new and relevant employment opportunities as oral healthcare professionals. An important benefit of the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene may be broadening employment prospects in traditional and/or non-traditional work settings. Contemporary non-traditional work settings for dental hygienists may include:

  • Educational roles
  • Sales
  • School-based programs
  • Local, state or federal health programs
  • Health care related project management
  • Marketing
  • Research

The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program is designed to meet the professional and educational goals of dental hygienists. Offered online by dental hygiene educators, students can participate in advancing their education while maintaining employment. The program focuses on:

  • Expanding dental hygiene knowledge and skills
  • Deepening professional growth in the role as a community minded dental hygienist
  • Expanding your opportunities in the workforce
  • Preparing students who are interested in pursuing Metro State’s Master of Science in Advanced Dental Therapy graduate degree (MSADT)
    • Baccalaureate degree is required for graduate education
    • MSADT prerequisite course is offered in the BSDH degree completion program

Student outcomes

Individuals studying in the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program learn to:

  • Utilize critical thinking, problem solving, and evidence-based decision making in the dental hygiene process of care.
  • Engage in collaborative partnerships and professional activities to advance the profession of dental hygiene.
  • Provide relevant and current dental hygiene practices to the patients they serve.

Ready to turn your two-year degree into a bachelor’s?

If you are a dental hygienist with an associate’s degree interested in advancing your education, Metro State’s Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program may be what you are looking for. Our award-winning faculty, paired with the convenience of studying online, can help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

How to enroll

Current students: Declare this program

Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further admission requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

Future students: Apply now

Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Dental hygiene BSDH now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Dental hygiene BSDH

Program eligibility requirements

Metropolitan State University’s Dental Hygiene program is a degree completion program. Students admitted to our program are licensed dental hygienists or enrolled in an Associate of Science program leading to dental hygiene licensure through one of our community college partners. Admission is rolling and admitted students may enroll in courses in the next available term. Admitted students work closely with their academic advisor to meet university and major graduation requirements.

A clinical component is not essential to BSDH program completion.

Application instructions

Students must submit an Undergraduate University Admissions Application.

The following are also required:

  • Official transcript from an accredited dental hygiene program demonstrating successful completion (or letter from program director or dean if within 15 credits of graduation)
  • Official transcripts of all other college and university coursework
    • Transcripts from Minnesota State institutions will be made available by e-transcripts
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.50 (4.00 scale - calculated from all college coursework)
  • Appropriate documentation of an active dental hygiene license (or letter from program director if within final semester of graduation)

Courses and Requirements


The degree requirements for graduation with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene include:

  • A minimum of 120 semester credits are needed for a Minnesota State granted baccalaureate degree. These credits will consist of:
    • Transferable Associate Degree Dental Hygiene coursework
    • Transferable General Education Liberal Studies (GELS) courses
    • Required Metropolitan State University Dental Hygiene Major and GELS courses
    • Required Metropolitan State University Racial Issues Graduation Requirement coursework
    • Minimum of 30 credits completed at Metropolitan State University
    • Minimum of 40 upper division credits
  • View University wide graduation requirement information.


All dental hygiene courses utilize online learning strategies. Online coursework provides flexibility and convenience while completing your baccalaureate degree. Other required courses may be offered using online, hybrid or face-to-face formats.

Requirements (120 credits)

The majority of courses in the dental hygiene curriculum employ online learning strategies. Online coursework provides flexibility and convenience while completing your baccalaureate degree.

Students may choose between DENH 340 Educational Concepts OR DENH 420 Restorative Functions to complete degree requirements. Students who are interested in certification in restorative functions and/or applying for the MSADT program are encouraged to complete DENH 420. Contact your academic advisor for assistance.

+ DENH COURSE PREREQUISITES: WRIT 331. In addition, DENH 410 prerequisite: STAT 201

This course is an introduction to key skills and competencies required of a leader or member of a health care team. As dental hygiene professionals and other health care professionals look to future opportunities, working in collaborative teams for new markets and practice areas will be significant. The course will address how to lead, organize and manage teams, individual roles within the team, and collective problem solving methods and techniques. Whether you work in community health, sales, research or education, this course will assist you to better implement procedures and processes needed for building teams. Topics will include transformational leadership, effective teaming, communication, conflict management, and project management. Attention is given to health equity, to include emphasis on cultural competence, racism and health literacy.

Full course description for Designing and Managing Teams in Health Care

This online course is designed to assist the dental hygienist in understanding current and relevant practices in oral health care. Students will study current scopes of practice in relation to providing services in the contemporary healthcare environment. A major focus is inter-professional connections with numerous health organizations in providing oral health care services that promote health equity, cultural sensitivity, health literacy, and overall patient health.

Full course description for Current and Relevant Topics for the Dental Hygienist

The focus of this course is to create a deeper understanding of the dental hygienist's role in the delivery of oral healthcare. Course content weaves in optimization of the oral healthcare work environment, business planning, core public health principles, ethics, and encouraging dental hygienists to involve themselves in public health advocacy and community partnerships. This course will have a significant focus on the effects of race and racism on the delivery of oral healthcare.

Full course description for Management of Oral Healthcare Delivery

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. Issues on racism, poverty and health deficiencies are emphasized regarding care for vulnerable patient population groups. Attention is given to health equity, to include emphasis on cultural competence, racism and health literacy.

Full course description for Dental Hygiene Care for Culturally Diverse and Special Needs Populations

This course involves learning and implementing evidence-based decision making principles. The dental hygiene practitioner will value the integration of clinical expertise and available current external evidence from research. Emphasis is on strategy, methodology, and research design with clinical focus on dental hygiene standards of care, process of care, and dental hygiene diagnosis as related to clinical and community dental hygiene practice. Attention is given to health equity, to include emphasis on cultural competence, racism and health literacy.

Full course description for Evidence-Based Dental Hygiene Practice

+ Complete either DENH 340 Educational Concepts or DENH 420 Restorative Functions. WRIT 331 is prerequisite for DENH 340.

This course is designed to introduce the student to educational methodologies for effective instruction in dental hygiene education. Topics include an overview of dental hygiene education, teaching/learning styles, instructional methods/strategies, and use of instructional objectives, classroom assessment techniques and evaluation. Attention is given to health equity, to include emphasis on cultural competence, racism and health literacy.

Full course description for Educational Concepts in Dental Hygiene

+ Capstone Prerequisite: WRIT 331

This Capstone Course is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to apply their knowledge of a chosen professional role through an individually designed project. Students will apply into practice the knowledge and principles learned within the Dental Hygiene Bachelor of Science courses. Through implementation of both an instructor led and self-directed learning experience (contract) related to their area of interest, students will demonstrate their understanding of the expanding role of the dental hygienist in the health care system. Attention is given to health equity, to include emphasis on cultural competence, racism and health literacy.

Full course description for Dental Hygiene Capstone

The DENH 430 capstone course integrates knowledge from all Dental Hygiene degree completion program courses. It is intended to be the final course in the degree program.

+ Supporting Courses

Please choose either PHIL 301 or 321.

This course covers the basic principles and methods of statistics. It emphasizes techniques and applications in real-world problem solving and decision making. Topics include frequency distributions, measures of location and variation, probability, sampling, design of experiments, sampling distributions, interval estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation and regression.

Full course description for Statistics I

Primarily for students who have completed their writing requirement, but who seek further writing instruction and practice, this course begins with a brief review of the principles of academic writing. It then engages students in the thinking and writing required in various disciplines throughout the university. Students study and practice summary, explanation, analysis, interpretation and other critical strategies used to write essays, reports, research papers, case studies and other texts. The course also emphasizes understanding how audience, purpose and situation shape writing. Students learn how to use a flexible process of writing and revision to complete assignments, and how to respond constructively to the writing of others.

Full course description for Writing in Your Major

What does it mean to be an ethical person? What thinking should guide a person's decisions about doing (or not doing) what is right or wrong? Can we know when something is right or wrong or this only a matter of personal feeling? Do the affluent have moral duties to help the poor of the world with their plight? This course explores these questions and others like them, using a variety of philosophical materials and approaches. It examines major moral theories and related moral dilemmas concerning, for example abortion, economic justice, war and morality, and the moral status of animals. This course also examines ideas about how race, class and gender may affect concepts of ethics.

Full course description for Ethical Inquiry

Is it ever right to try to hasten a patient's death? Should people ever be given medical treatment against their will? How should we decide who will get access to scarce medical resources (like organ transplants)? Do people have a right to get the care they need, even if they can't pay for it? This course will use ethical theories and theories of justice to explore these questions and others like them. It is intended to be helpful not only to (present or future) health care practitioners, but also to anyone who wants to think about these issues, which confront us in our roles as patients and as citizens whose voices can contribute to the shaping of health care policies.

Full course description for Medical Ethics