Dental Hygiene


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


Marji Harmer-Beem, RDH, MS, BS


The Department of Dental Hygiene  endeavors to improve the oral health of individuals and communities by graduating students who place meaningful value on life-long learning, and who have the desire and motivation to achieve beyond their self-imposed limitations.  The faculty strives to stimulate student development of intellectual curiosity and professional expertise through collaborative participation in an academic environment that foster interprofessional education. 

The Department of Dental Hygiene  faculty welcomes the opportunity to educate future oral hygienists in both the traditional and newly evolving skills required for entry into the profession.  The faculty also looks forward to developing professional qualities and leadership  capabilities in each student by providing opportunities for critical thinking and logical decision-making.

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.

Curricular Requirements

Core Requirements  
BIO 104/104L - General Biology 4
BIO 208/208L - Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology I 4
BIO 209/209L- Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology II 4
BIO 309 - Pathophysiology 3
BIO 242/242L - Applied Microbiology 4
CHE 130/130L - Principles of Chemistry 4
DEN 201 - Histology and Embryology 2
ENG 110 - English Composition 4
IHS 110 - Introduction to Health Care 2
IHS 120 - Health Care Issues 1
IHS 210 - Methods of Scholarly Inquiry 3
IHS 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:
Total Core Requirements 62
Department Required Courses  
DEN 303 - Dental Hygiene Theory I 2
DEN 304 - Dental Hygiene Theory II 2
DEN 309 - Dental Hygiene Clinic I 4
DEN 311 - Dental Hygiene Clinic II 3
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 Dental Hygiene Curriculum  59
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 BS in Health Sciences”. 

Academic and Technical Standards

A minimum grade of "C" is required in all BIO, CHE, MAT and DEN prefix courses, IHS 220 and professional electives.  A "C" or higher must be achieved in all prerequisites for these courses.

See Technical Standards.

Learning Outcomes

The Department of Dental Hygiene offers students the opportunity to:

  1. Competently provide the public with dental hygiene care based on a sound foundation of scientific knowledge and effective decision-making.
  2. Provide individuals and groups with up-to-date dental hygiene care as an essential component of comprehensive, interprofessional health care. 
  3. Explore the complexities of ethical decision-making as it relates to professional situations.
  4. Gain access to dental hygiene licensure in the state of choice by successfully preparing students to complete the national and regional board examinations.
  5. Develop a commitment to life-long learning by continuing with educational plans following graduation.
  6. Demonstrate the knowledge necessary to assess, plan, implement and evaluate community-based oral health programs.
  7. Utilize appropriate communication methods to effectively provide patient care.


 Admissions Requirements

  1. 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).       
  2. Academic transcripts must reflect an overall high school grade point average (GPA) of 2.5, in addition to a GPA of 2.5 in all science and math courses. College GPA will be considered only if applicant has completed at least 15 semester hours.        
  3. Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) scores must be submitted.        
  4. A health record must be submitted which indicates specific findings regarding applicant's complete physical exam.        
  5. Documentation of 20 hours of observation of a dental hygienist is required, prior to enrollment.
  6. Complete the Common Application

See University Undergraduate Admissions also.

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 2015-2016 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of date of publication April 30, 2015.  *Addendum published January 29, 2016.

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.