College of General Studies

Dental Hygiene (BS)

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According to U.S. News & World Report's "Best Healthcare Jobs," the median salary for a dental hygienist in 2011 was $69,280. The best paid earned $94,850, and the bottom 10 percent earned $46,020. Career Cast ranked dental hygienist as the sixth best job of 2013--and among the best among health care jobs--citing abundant job opportunities and a projected job growth rate of 38 percent by 2020. (Source: Dental Hygienist Salary Jobs)

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The Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene is offered through the College of General Studies and the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Only graduates of accredited dental hygiene programs are eligible to complete the bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. This degree enhances already-completed professional training and provides important exposure to the liberal arts, giving dental hygienists additional career opportunities in business, sales, education, and research. For information about Pitt's Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene program, visit their Web site and call 412-648-8432).

Students must earn a minimum of 131 credits to complete the Bachelor of Science degree. Of this 131-credit total, 30 credits must be at the 1000 (junior/senior) level. The courses must be completed within five years of enrolling in the program.

Students who are transferring from certificate/associate degree hygiene programs to the College of General Studies (CGS) dental hygiene Bachelor of Science degree program complete 39 credits of CGS general education and dental hygiene track course work.

At least 30 of the 39 credits must be completed at the University of Pittsburgh. Contact Krista Stokes, CGS advisor, at for information about credits that transfer from other institutions or if you completed your dental hygiene certificate at Pitt before 1995.

Important Information: Our General Education Requirements changed for students entering as of Fall 2018 (2191) term. For details on the new CGS general education program and a list of approved courses, visit the CGS General Education websiteIf you were admitted to the College of General Studies prior to Fall 2018 (2191) term, your General Education Requirements are listed here. See also the CGS Comprehensive Course List for courses that satisfy the old general education requirements.

CGS General Education Requirements for Dental Hygiene Students (effective Fall 2018)

Note: 9-15 credits in courses below must be at the 1000-level depending on the student's area of concentration in the major.  One of the courses taken below must also satisfy a 'Diversity' General Education requirement.

Writing (6 credits)

  • Two "W" courses

Mathematics (3 credits)

  • Algebra or CS course

Humanities and Arts, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences (15 credits)

  • 6 credits in 2 courses that satisfy 2 of the 3 following general education requirements: The Arts, Creative Work, Philosophical Thinking or Ethics.
  • 3 credits in a course that satisfies the Social Science general education requirement.
  • 3 credits in a course that satisfies the Literature general education requirement.
  • 3 credits in a course that satisfies the Historical Analysis general education requirement.

Global Awareness and Cultural Understanding (9 credits)

  • 3 credits in a course that satisfies the Global Issues general education requirement.
  • 3 credits in a course that satisfies the Specific Geographic Region general education requirement.
  • 3 credits in a course that satisfies the Cross-Cultural Awareness general education requirement.

Dental Hygiene Tracks

6 credits
Students must choose a concentration in health management, education, or research.

Course numberTitleCredits
DENHYG 1921Health Management Seminar3
DENHYG 1922Health Management Practicum3
DENHYG 1901Allied Health Education3
DENHYG 1902Allied Health Education Practicum3
NUR 0067Nursing Research or3
PSY 0035Research Methods or4
SOC 0230Social Research Methods3

In this 39-credit program, 18 credits should be completed using 1000-level course work. These 18 credits, when combined with the twelve credits for DENHYG 1544, 1545, 1547, 1549, and 1689 completed in the dental hygiene program, meet the CGS requirement for 30 credits of 1000-level course work.

If you have further questions about the dental hygiene degree completion program, please contact Krista Stokes, CGS  advisor, at For information about the Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene program offered by the School of Dental Medicine, call 412-648-8432.

Having a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene provides more flexibility and career opportunities--including positions in teaching, sales, and public health--than a two-year degree. (Source: Dental Hygienist Salary Jobs)