Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene

Launch your rewarding career in dental hygiene at Maine’s leading health professions University. Join our supportive community of faculty and students, and build your skills helping real patients in our Portland Campus dental hygiene clinic.

Earn Your Dental Hygiene Degree in Maine

Do you want to serve your community by practicing in the rewarding field of oral disease prevention? At our on-campus clinic, you will learn from expert faculty while gaining hands-on experience with patients from the local area. With our emphasis on teamwork across health care professions, you will emerge from UNE’s Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree program with in-depth knowledge of your field and ready to practice comprehensive care that will put smiles on your patients’ faces.

If you already hold an associate degree in dental hygiene, you may join our completion program to earn a four-year bachelor's degree and enjoy the expanded professional opportunities it brings.

Why UNE for your B.S. in Dental Hygiene

  • UNE is the #1 college in Maine for graduates getting jobs — Zippia
  • UNE is Maine’s leading health University and the #1 provider of health professionals for the state
  • Begin a meaningful, secure career of helping others
  • Start with two years of foundational studies on the gorgeous coastal Biddeford Campus
  • Your final two years of clinical study will be on our Portland Campus, building skills in our modern, on-campus dental hygiene clinic
  • You’ll feel supported in our welcoming community and through our low faculty-to-student ratio
  • Collaborative learning and practice opportunities with dentistry students
Testimonial Place Holder

I have really enjoyed the close professor-student relationships and the low instructor-to-student ratio at UNE. The Dental Hygiene Department is a very tight-knit community and has made me feel welcome since my first Dental Hygiene.

Dental Hygiene (4-Year B.S.)

What Will You Study? Dental Hygiene Degree Curriculum Overview

The following are just some examples of the exciting courses that the Dental Hygiene major offers:

  • Oral Pathology
  • Radiology
  • Community Health
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Pharmacology
  • Pain Management


WCHP Common RequirementsCredits
BIO 104/104L – General Biology w/Lab4
BIO 208/208L – Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology I w/Lab4
BIO 209/209L – Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology II w/Lab4
BIO 242/242L – Applied Microbiology w/Lab4
BIO 309 – Pathophysiology3
CHE 130/130L – Principles of Chemistry w/Lab4
DEN 201 – Histology and Embryology2
ENG 110 – English Composition4
IHS 130 – Interprofessional Health Care First Year Experience3
IHS 210 – Methods of Scholarly Inquiry3
IHS 310 – Ethics for Interprofessional Practice3
MAT 120 – Statistics3
NUTR 220 – Nutrition3
PSY 105 – Introduction to Psychology3
PSY 250 – Lifespan Development3
SOC 150 – Introduction to Sociology3
SPC 100 – Effective Public Speaking3
One (1) Creative Arts Course (with prefix ARH, ART, or MUS)3
One (1) 276 or 278 Human Traditions Course with the following prefix: ARH, ENG, HIS, LIL, PHI, PSC, or REL3
Total Credits62
Program Required CoursesCredits
DEN 100 – Introduction to Dental Hygiene1
DEN 303 – Dental Hygiene Theory I2
DEN 304 – Dental Hygiene Theory II2
DEN 309 – Dental Hygiene Clinic I4
DEN 312 – Dental Hygiene Clinic II2
DEN 322/322L – Radiology w/Lab3
DEN 325/325L – Preservation of Tooth Structure w/Lab3
DEN 332 – Community Health I2
DEN 334 – Community Health II2
DEN 338 – Medical Emergencies1
DEN 341 – Oral Anatomy2
DEN 342 – Head and Neck Anatomy2
DEN 403 – Dental Hygiene Theory III1
DEN 404 – Dental Hygiene Theory IV1
DEN 410 – Dental Hygiene Clinic III4
DEN 411 – Dental Hygiene Clinic IV4
DEN 422 – Leadership2
DEN 425 – Periodontology I3
DEN 435 – Periodontology II3
DEN 442 – Pharmacology2
DEN 445 – Special Care I2
DEN 446 – Special Care II2
DEN 452 – Oral Pathology3
DEN 456 – Pain Management3
Total Credits56
Open Electives (as needed to reach 120 credits)Variable
Minimum Total Required Credits120

A student in the Dental Hygiene major may elect to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree with a major 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. with a major in Health Sciences.

To learn more about the program view the Academic Catalog.

Take a Tour of Our Dental Hygiene Facilities

Career Paths for Dental Hygiene Majors

Equipped with the critical thinking skills developed as part of your liberal arts foundation, your theoretical knowledge of dental hygiene, and the practical and interpersonal expertise you acquire through clinical work with patients and other health care professionals, you will be well on your way to a rewarding career as a dental hygienist. You may work in clinical or administrative roles in corporate, nonprofit, educational, or public health settings, such as:

  • Private Dental Practices
  • Health Service Corps
  • Clinics and Hospitals
  • Nursing Homes
  • Private Businesses (Sales and Development)
  • Schools
  • Public Health Agencies

Scope of Practice

Dental hygienists work in a host of different settings and under varying levels of supervision. Each state enacts its own laws determining the services dental hygienists can provide, the settings in which they can practice, and the supervision under which they practice.

Permitted functions and supervision requirements vary widely by state. To verify any of these requirements contact your state’s dental board. The Oral Health Workforce Research Center also offer an interesting overview of the variation in dental hygiene scope of practice by state. View the ADHA’s permitted functions and supervision levels by state (PDF)

Career Advising in the Dental Hygiene Program

Whether you have a specific career goal in mind or a vague idea of the field that interests you, Career Advising is here to help you plan your next step.

Dental Hygiene Careers By The Numbers


expected rate of dental hygienist job growth from 2016 to 2026


New hygienist jobs expected to open in U.S. between 2016 and 2026

Experiential Education in Dental Hygiene

  • Gain knowledge, skills, and confidence
  • Practice technique in the Dental Simulation Lab
  • Serve a diverse population at the on-campus Coleman Clinic
  • Provide a wide range of patient services

Medical Emergency Training for Dental Hygiene Students

Dental Hygiene students work with Dental Medicine students in the Interprofessional Simulation and Innovation Center training for medical emergencies. 

Interprofessional Education

As a student in UNE's Dental Hygiene program, you have the unique opportunity to collaborate with students in a wide range of different health professions programs to provide quality, patient-centered care. You will continue to use these interprofessional team-based learning skills in your clinical workplace after you graduate. Reap the personal and professional benefits of graduating from one of only a handful of private universities with a comprehensive health care mission.

No matter your major there's always a chance to learn something new and use it in your professional career. We all want to help others, and learning from one another is the best way to do so.” — Baylee Flemming, RDH ’21

Hear what other UNE alumni have to say about the IPE experience


Apply Today

Ready to begin your future and study in UNE’s Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene? Get started today.