Dental Hygiene

According to U.S. News & World Report's "Best Healthcare Jobs," dental hygienists made a median salary of $74,070 in 2017. The best-paid 25 percent made $88,820 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $61,230.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 percent 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 one hundred thirty-one credits to complete the Bachelor of Science degree. Eighteen credits should be completed using 1000-level course work. These 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 thirty 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 thirty-nine credits of CGS general education and dental hygiene track course work. At least thirty of the thirty-nine credits must be completed at the University of Pittsburgh. 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.

Prerequisites and Courses

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

Note: Nine to fifteen 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 block to the right. If you were admitted to the CGS Dental Hygiene Program prior to Fall 2018, your general education requirements are listed here

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 0035 Research Methods or 3
SOC 0230 Social Research Methods 3
  Elective 3

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