Dental Hygiene


Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
Westbrook College of Health Professions (WCHP)
Department of Dental Hygiene


Marji Harmer-Beem, RDH, M.S., B.S.


The Dental Hygiene Program distinguishes itself by masterfully preparing oral health professionals, both intellectually and practically, for a broad and robust career in dental hygiene. 

Major Description

This dynamic 4-year program begins with the students becoming fully engaged during their first four semesters in the building of a foundation of knowledge in the sciences and liberal studies, while simultaneously being introduced to interrelated disciplines within the health professions. The students begin their academic experience on the Biddeford campus, which will provide them with the opportunity to enjoy full participation in clubs, seminars, sports, and intercollegiate activities.

The last four semesters are delivered on the Portland campus where students are immersed in both the study of dental hygiene theory and professional clinical practice. Dental hygiene students will have the opportunity to engage in interprofessional educational experiences with students and faculty in undergraduate and graduate-level health professions programs within the University setting. The dental hygiene baccalaureate program is designed to provide the student with expanded professional opportunities, therefore, skill development in the areas of critical thinking, ethical decision-making and leadership are enhanced.

The Dental Hygiene Program faculty welcomes the opportunity to educate future oral hygienists in both the traditional and newly evolving skills required for entry into the profession.

Curricular Requirements

WCHP Core Requirements Credits
BIO 104/104L – General Biology 4
BIO 208/208L – Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab 4
BIO 209/209L – Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab 4
BIO 309 – Pathophysiology 3
BIO 242/242L – Applied Microbiology with Lab 4
CHE 130/130L – Principles of Chemistry with Lab 4
DEN 201 – Histology and Embryology 2
ENG 110 – English Composition 3
IHS 130 – Interprofessional Health Care First Year Experience 3
IHS 210 – Methods of Scholarly Inquiry 3
NUTR 220 – Nutrition 3
IHS 310 – Ethics for Interprofessional Practice 3
MAT 120 – Statistics 3
PSY 105 – Introduction to Psychology 3
PSY 250 – Lifespan Development 3
SOC 150 – Introduction to Sociology 3
SPC 100 – Effective Public Speaking 3
One (1) Creative Arts Course (with prefix ARH, ART, or MUS) 3
One 276 or 278 Human Traditions Course with the following prefix: ARH, ENG, HIS, LIL, PHI, PSC, or REL 3
Total 61
Dental Hygiene Required Courses Credits
DEN 100 – Introduction to Dental Hygiene 1
DEN 303 – Dental Hygiene Theory I 2
DEN 304 – Dental Hygiene Theory II 2
DEN 309 – Dental Hygiene Clinic I 4
DEN 312 – Dental Hygiene Clinic II 2
DEN 322 – Radiology 2
DEN 322L – Radiology Lab 1
DEN 325 – Preservation of Tooth Structure 2
DEN 325L – Preservation of Tooth Structure Lab 1
DEN 332 – Community Health I 2
DEN 334 – Community Health II 2
DEN 338 – Medical Emergencies 1
DEN 341 – Oral Anatomy 2
DEN 342 – Head and Neck Anatomy 2
DEN 403 – Dental Hygiene Theory III 1
DEN 404 – Dental Hygiene Theory IV 1
DEN 410 – Dental Hygiene Clinic III 4
DEN 411 – Dental Hygiene Clinic IV 4
DEN 422 – Leadership 2
DEN 425 – Periodontology I 3
DEN 435 – Periodontology II 3
DEN 442 – Pharmacology 2
DEN 445 – Special Care I 2
DEN 446 – Special Care II 2
DEN 452 – Oral Pathology 3
DEN 456 – Pain Management 3
Total 56
Open Electives (needed to reach 120 credits) 4
Total Required for Graduation 121

A student in the dental hygiene major may elect to pursue a bachelor’s degree in health sciences. This degree is only open to matriculated students at the University of New England. Special permission from the student’s advisor and the dean of the Westbrook College of Health Professions is required for enrollment in the B.S. in Health Sciences.

Academic and Technical Standards

Progression Guidelines

Dental Hygiene follows the WCHP Common Curriculum Academic Progression Guidelines.

Requirements laid out below for the first two years of enrollment apply to any undergraduate program of the Westbrook College of Health Professions. Beginning with the Fall semester of the third year, students will be held to their program specific progression guidelines.

In keeping with the guidelines of the University of New England, all students must achieve a minimum cumulative semester-end grade point average as follows:

  • Failure to maintain the minimum GPA requirements will result in academic probation as described in the Catalog of the University of New England.
  • Students must achieve a minimum grade of “C” in all required math and science including the following courses: MAT 120/150, CHE 130, BIO 104/105, BIO 208, BIO 209, BIO 242, BIO 309, and NUTR 220. Failure to achieve a “C” will result in program level probation.
  • Students must achieve a minimum grade of a "C" in all Dental Hygiene prefix courses.
  • Failure to achieve the above referenced minimum grades will result in program level probation and the need to retake the course - therefore affecting academic progression.
  • Students may enroll in any of the courses referenced above a maximum of two times. Enrollment in a course consists of achieving a WP, WF, or letter grade. Receiving a W in a course is not considered officially enrolled and will not result in academic penalty.
  • Failure to achieve the above referenced minimum grade a second time a course is taken or failing two separate science, math or dental hygiene courses in a single semester will result in dismissal from the major.

See Technical Standards (PDF)

Learning Outcomes

The Dental Hygiene Program offers students the opportunity to:

  • Provide the public with compassionate and competent dental hygiene care founded on evidence-based scientific knowledge, as an essential component of comprehensive interprofessional health care and community-based health care.
  • Demonstrate effective decision-making skills through the use of the critical thinking process.
  • Explore the complexities of ethical decision-making as it relates to professional expectations and social responsibility for diversity and inclusion.
  • Commit to advocacy leadership, scholarship, and life-long learning to respond to an ever-changing healthcare environment and growing profession.
  • Utilize oral healthcare technology (Health Informatics) to enhance patient care and communication abilities for the professional and practical arenas.
  • Successfully gain access to dental hygiene licensure in the state of choice by completing the national and regional board examinations.

Transfer Credit

Courses completed at another accredited college can be transferred to this degree program. Transferred courses must be reasonably close in scope and content to the required courses offered at UNE in order to count as exact equivalents. Otherwise, they may transfer as general electives. All courses completed must be no older than five years.

Other restrictions apply. See Undergraduate Admissions for more information.


Admissions Requirements

  • A high school diploma or the equivalent with a better-than-average achievement record in a college preparatory program including chemistry (must include laboratory); biology (must include laboratory); mathematics (two mathematics courses — algebra required, geometry preferred); English (three years required - four years preferred).
  • Academic transcripts must reflect an overall high school grade point average (GPA) of 3.0, in addition to a GPA of 3.0 in all science and math courses. College GPA will be considered only if the applicant has completed at least 15 semester hours. Transfer students should have an overall college grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 and a 3.0 in math and science.
  • Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) scores are optional but highly recommended.
  • A health record must be submitted which indicates specific findings regarding the applicant's complete physical exam.
  • Complete the Application.

Students applying for undergraduate admissions will be required to submit:

  • A completed application
  • An official secondary school transcript
  • Forty ($40) dollar application fee

Students are also highly recommended to submit the following:

  • The SAT or ACT scores (optional, see below)
  • Extracurricular involvement
  • The essay or personal statement
  • Two Recommendations
  • Qualified students with equivalency certificates are also considered for admissions

The University of New England supports efforts of secondary school officials and governing bodies to have their schools achieve regional accredited status in order to provide reliable assurance of the quality of the educational preparation of applicants for admission.

Learn more about the test-optional policy

See Undergraduate Admissions for more information.

Financial Information

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.

Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog

This Catalog documents the academic programs, policies, and activities of the University of New England for the 2023–2024 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of the date of publication April 28, 2023.

The University of New England reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in its programs, calendar, or academic schedule whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable, including changes in course content, the rescheduling of classes with or without extending the academic term, canceling of scheduled classes or other academic activities, in any such case giving such notice thereof as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances.

While each student may work closely with an academic advisor, he or she must retain individual responsibility for meeting requirements in this catalog and for being aware of any changes in provisions or requirements.