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 Dental Hygiene Program endeavors for excellence by preparing oral health professionals 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

Core Requirements  
BIO 104/104L - General Biology 4
BIO 208/208L - Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology I 4
BIO 209/209L - or 209G/209LG - Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology II 4
BIO 309 - Pathophysiology 3
BIO 242/242L or 242G/242LG - Applied Microbiology 4
CHE 130/130L - Principles of Chemistry 4
DEN 201 - Histology and Embryology 2
ENG 110 - English Composition OR ENG 122 & ENG 123 4-6
IHS 130 - Interprofessional Health Care First Year Experience 3
IHS 210 - Methods of Scholarly Inquiry  3
IHS 220 - Nutrition/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:
Total Core Requirements 62-64
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  121-123

“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/NUTR 220 and professional electives.  A "C" or higher must be achieved in all prerequisites for these courses.

See Technical Standards.

Learning Outcomes

The Dental Hygiene Program offers students the opportunity to:

  1. Provide the public with compassionate and competent dental hygiene care founded on evidenced-based scientific knowledge, as an essential component of comprehensive interprofessional health care and community-based health care.
  2. Demonstrate effective decision-making skills through the use of the critical thinking process.
  3. Explore the complexities of ethical decision-making as it relates to professional expectations and social responsibility.
  4. Commit to leadership, scholarship, and life-long learning to respond to an ever changing healthcare environment and growing profession. 
  5. Utilize oral healthcare technology and effective communication skills for use in the professional and practical arena.
  6. 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 also.


 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.