Dental Hygiene

"Employment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for dental services will increase as the population ages and as research continues to link oral health to overall health."

- US Bureau of Labor Statistics

According to U.S. News & World Report's "Best Healthcare Jobs," made a median salary of $74,820 in 2018. The best-paid 25 percent made $89,610 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $62,490. CareerCast ranked dental hygienist as number one in its "Best Jobs in Health Care" list, citing abundant job opportunities and a projected job growth rate of 38% by 2020.* 

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.

Find out more about Pitt's Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene program.

*Source: Dental Hygienist Salary Jobs


Students must earn a minimum of 131 credits to complete the Bachelor of Science degree. 15 credits should be completed using 1000-level course work. These credits, when combined with the 15 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. 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 CGS dental hygiene Bachelor of Science degree program complete 40 credits of CGS general education, dental hygiene track, and elective course work. At least 30 of the required credits must be completed at the University of Pittsburgh in order to fulfill the CGS residency requirement. Contact Krista Stokes, CGS advisor, for information about transferring credits from other institutions or if you completed your dental hygiene certificate at Pitt before 1995.

Course Format

Many CGS programs offer a blend of face-to-face and flexible online class formats, all designed to meet our students' needs and schedule constraints.

Online courses are marked with an (●). Courses offered in both face-to-face and online formats are marked with an (#). Courses with no indicator are offered face-to-face only.

Visit CGS Courses to learn more about our flexible offerings and how to search for classes in the course catalog.

Prerequisites and Courses

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

Note: 9 to 15 credits of the 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 the General Education Diversity requirement.

For a complete list of approved courses, see: CGS General Education Catalog (PDF).

If you were admitted to the CGS Dental Hygiene Program prior to Fall 2018, your general education requirements are listed here.  See also the CGS Comprehensive Course List for courses that satisfy your General Education Requirements.

Writing (6 credits)

  • Two "W" courses

Mathematics (3 credits)

  • Algebra or CS course


  • One course designated as a Diversity course. Diversity courses may also be courses that fulfill other General Education Requirements. Please work with your CGS advisor to identify the most appropriate 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 (can be satisfied through an Intro to Sociology course that many students transfer in).
  • 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)

Choose from one of the concentrations below:
Course Number Title Credits
Health Management
DENHYG 1921 Health Managament Seminar (●) 3
DENHYG 1922 Health Management Practicum(●) 3
DENHYG 1901 Allied Health Education(●) 3
DENHYG 1902 Allied Health Education Practicum (●) 3
NUR 0067 Nursing Research or 3
PSY 0036 /37 Research Methods Lecture and Lab*  or 6
SOC 0230 Social Research Methods 3
  Elective 3

*formerly: PSY 0035 Research Methods, 4cr. This course is only available to students who have taken it in the past and wish to improve their grade. Department consent is required.

Please Note: Requirements are subject to change. Check with an academic advisor before registering.