Dental Hygiene

Associate of Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.)
Dental Hygiene student

About this program

Your path to a career in dental hygiene starts at Penn College. Study standards of care and theory in the classroom and practice what you’ve learned in our state-of-the-art dental hygiene clinic. Open to the public, the clinic offers extensive hands-on learning using the industry’s latest equipment and technology.

Acceptance in this major is based upon additional requirements beyond College admission.


Patient Visits Per Year at Dental Hygiene Clinic

Seamless Associate-to-Bachelor Degree Pathway


Overall Placement


The associate degree prepares students for employment in a variety of clinical settings including:

  • Private dental practices
  • Community clinics 
  • Hospitals
  • University dental clinics
  • Prison facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Schools

At Penn College, we believe your educational experience should go beyond specialized skills. Real-world ready means taking a broader approach that builds communication skills, inspires collaboration, and encourages exploration of arts, history, and science.

​​Specialization requires in-depth knowledge and high-level proficiency. Students learn and apply major-specific concepts, skills, and methods.

  • Dental Hygiene I (DEN103)
  • Preventive Dentistry (DEN104)
  • Orofacial Anatomy (DEN107)
  • Oral Histology (DEN108)
  • Dental Radiology (DEN123)
  • Dental Hygiene II (DEN126)
  • Introduction to Periodontics (DEN130)
  • Oral Health and Nutrition (DEN211)
  • General and Oral Pathology (DEN202)
  • Pharmacology (DEN204)
  • Periodontics II (DEN212)
  • Dental Materials and Specialties (DEN214)
  • Dental Hygiene III (DEN216)
  • Community Dental Health (DEN220)
  • Dental Law and Ethics (DEN224)
  • Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice (DEN227)
  • Techniques in Pain Control (DEN240)

​Perspectives are points of view, offering a variety of ways of understanding, interacting, and influencing the world. Students identify, explain, and utilize the approaches used by academics and professionals to study, analyze, or understand problems, and offer solutions.

  • Math Elective (MTH151 or Higher) (MMM)
  • Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective (FIT)
  • Social Science Elective (SSE)

​​Foundations are the practical, intellectual, and social skills: communication, collaboration, critical and ethical thinking, quantitative thinking, and technological literacy that are crucial to every student at every stage of education and at every stage of life.

  • First Year Experience (FYE101)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO115)
  • English Composition I (ENL111)
  • Microbiology (BIO201)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology II (BIO125)
  • General Psychology (PSY111)
  • Information, Technology, and Society (CSC124)
  • Fundamentals of Speech (SPC101)

Dental Hygiene Clinic

Put your techniques to the test in our on-campus dental hygiene lab. Get real-world experience using the same equipment you’ll find in the field like modern workstations, digital radiography X-rays, and electronic patient record systems. 

Student Experience

“Choosing the Dental Hygiene Program at Penn College was truly the best choice I could have made. It has opened up so many doors for me, beyond what I could have imagined. I found my passion for helping others and the Dental Hygiene program allowed me to grow as a student and as a healthcare professional.”

Megan Mecouch

Dental Hygiene

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Student Life

Stay active in and out of the classroom

Student American Dental Hygienists' Association (SADHA)

SADHA, a category of membership within the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA), is dedicated to the advancement and promotion of dental hygiene.

Student Organizations at Penn College

Your college experience is about more than the classroom. Join one of 65+ clubs and organizations, or create your own.


Instructional space yields informative tour for state legislators

A pair of first-term state senators visited Penn College on Thursday, stopping by several academic areas in the School of ...


Student, grad promote dental hygiene program

Second-year student Hailey A. Gearhart joined forces with 1992 alumna Michele D. (Heitsenrether) Harkins on Friday to represent ...


Beneficent college crew continues ‘pay it forward’ tradition

For the ninth year, faculty member Barbara K. Emert-Strouse, assistant professor of dental hygiene, and her family, joined by ...

Study Abroad

Gain global experience

See the world via Williamsport. Take your education abroad and get hands-on experience learning about your industry on a global scale.

Learn More

Student Experience

The community as their classroom

Event provides free dental care to service members, their families

Pennsylvania College of Technology dental hygiene students, joined by local hygienists and dentists who volunteered their time, provided free dental hygiene services to 29 current or veteran members of the armed services and their family members.

Read more


The associate degree program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of APPROVAL (without reporting requirements). The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission’s web address is:

More Information

The associate degree program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of APPROVAL (without reporting requirements). The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission’s web address is:

Acceptance into this competitive major is based on an admissions ranking process. To view acceptance criteria, testing requirements, performance expectations, and the admissions ranking system, consult the detailed special admissions information

Students must earn a minimum grade of 'C' in each aspect of their dental hygiene courses. Failure to do so will result in termination from the major.

Child abuse clearance and criminal background checks are required by some agencies involved in fieldwork and/or capstones. Agencies can bar students from their sites if a criminal record exists or a positive drug test is noted. By virtue of contract for Penn College students to be at clinical sites, agencies have the right to ask for random drug testing. The Pennsylvania Board of Dentistry advises that a drug-related conviction and/or conviction of a felonious act can result in denial and/or revocation of a license to practice dental hygiene. Inability to gain clinical or fieldwork or intern education experiences results in inability to meet program objectives and outcomes. For additional clarification, students can speak with their program director.

Students in this major can transfer to the Dental Hygiene bachelor-degree option (BDE) or the Applied Health Studies major (BAH). This major will subscribe to the transfer standards established by the College.

International health credentials/licensure, sciences courses, and most math courses will not be accepted to satisfy requirements of this major. Please see additional information for international students applying to Health Sciences majors.

View general transfer information

Alternative Credit refers to academic credits earned through means other than traditional college course completion, including: credit by exam, articulation, proof of competency gained in high school, work/life experience, and advanced placement.

Visit the Alternative Credit Options page for requirements and procedures and for information on credit through Advanced Placement.

Students accepted into the Dental Hygiene major will incur expenses for tools/instruments, uniforms, malpractice insurance, clearances and certifications, etc. See the complete list.

Uniforms and tools are available for purchase through The College Store.

Program Review Executive Summary AY2013-2014

Essential Functions for the Dental Hygienist

Dental Hygiene Clinic Notice of Privacy Practices
Official notice of our privacy practices as it pertains to the use and disclosure of patient health information.

Blood Borne Pathogens Statement
Dental hygienists and dental hygiene students may be exposed to contagious diseases, therefore strict compliance with Center of Disease Control (CDC) and OSHA standards are maintained. Policies on blood borne and infectious diseases are available upon request from the Penn College Dental Hygiene Program.

National Board Dental Hygiene Examination Pass Rate
The National Board Dental Hygiene Examination 5-year pass rate chart compares the pass rate of Penn College first-time takers to the national average.
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  • Ms. Lou Anne Barnhart, RDH, '81, Dental Hygienist, Loyalsock Dental Associates
  • Ms. Lillian J Caperila, RDH, BSDH, M.Ed, Manager, Professional Education & Dental Hygiene Relations, Premier Dental Products Company
  • Ms. Bridget Dorsey, RDH, Dental Hygienist, Field Sales Consultant, Henry Schein Dental
  • Dr. JoAnn R Gurenlian, RDH, PhD., President, Gurenlian & Associates
  • Dr. Henry T Hsu, Diplomate, American Board of Periodontology
  • Dr. Carl Jenkins, DDS, General Dentist
  • Mr. David Tule, RDH, '80, Dental Hygienist, Bryden & Kessel Family Dentistry

Admissions Counselor

Lorenzo Marefka

SASC, Rm. 1088
800.367.9222 ext. 7111