2019 Best Online Colleges for Dental Hygiene Degrees
Online dental hygiene degrees are available at both the bachelor's and the master's levels. Our list of best online dental hygiene programs ranks schools based on tuition rates and alumni salaries provided by PayScale. After earning an online degree, dental hygienists can work in a variety of locations where dental care is provided, such as dental clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes.
Prospective dental hygienists should make sure to attend an accredited school. This will help to ensure that their programs meet national education standards. Additionally, dental hygienists need to be licensed in order to work.
Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - Dental Hygiene Degrees (23)
|School||Accreditation||Annual Tuition||Recommend Rate|
|SACS COC||$23,606||100% (2 reviews)|
26 Programs, 1 in Dental Hygiene
|SACS COC||$15,880||Add Review|
25 Programs, 1 in Dental Hygiene
33 Programs, 1 in Dental Hygiene
34 Programs, 3 in Dental Hygiene
53 Programs, 1 in Dental Hygiene
|HLC||$24,841||72% (18 reviews)|
160 Programs, 1 in Dental Hygiene
56 Programs, 2 in Dental Hygiene
|SACS COC||$27,900||80% (10 reviews)|
123 Programs, 2 in Dental Hygiene
23 Programs, 1 in Dental Hygiene
11 Programs, 1 in Dental Hygiene
42 Programs, 1 in Dental Hygiene
|SACS COC||$17,446||100% (2 reviews)|
31 Programs, 1 in Dental Hygiene
|NECHE||$32,250||0% (1 review)|
21 Programs, 2 in Dental Hygiene
|SACS COC||$20,570||100% (2 reviews)|
55 Programs, 1 in Dental Hygiene
|HLC||$47,476||100% (1 review)|
16 Programs, 2 in Dental Hygiene
|HLC||$11,338 - $26,603||Add Review|
47 Programs, 1 in Dental Hygiene
|HLC||$26,603||100% (1 review)|
84 Programs, 1 in Dental Hygiene
47 Programs, 3 in Dental Hygiene
|HLC||$22,038||100% (1 review)|
27 Programs, 2 in Dental Hygiene
|HLC||$12,019||33% (3 reviews)|
60 Programs, 1 in Dental Hygiene
|NECHE||$27,002||100% (1 review)|
10 Programs, 1 in Dental Hygiene
|SACS COC||$25,512||0% (1 review)|
141 Programs, 1 in Dental Hygiene
|HLC||$17,390||100% (1 review)|
30 Programs, 1 in Dental Hygiene
2019 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in Dental Hygiene Degrees
This list highlights 17 schools that offer online dental hygiene bachelor's degrees for under $41,000 each year. Oregon Institute of Technology is ranked #1 due to its low annual tuition of $11,760 and its high reported alumni salary. Minnesota State University at Mankato is ranked #2 for its online Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program with an annual tuition of $8,266. Clayton State University is ranked #12 and offers the cheapest tuition at $6,060 each year.
|Rank||School||Annual Tuition||Median Salary|
- Annual Tuition: $11,760
- Median Salary: $98,562
Oregon Institute of Technology prides itself on offering students real-world education that results in 97 percent of its students being employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation. Oregon Tech's Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree completion program, with an annual tuition of $11,760 and a median graduate income of $98,562 per year, offers students very high yield for their money. In-state and out-of-state residents pay the same tuition. This program is accredited, and requires a minimum of 15 courses, or 45 credits, from Oregon Tech in order to graduate. Applicants must have successfully completed the Dental Hygiene National Board Examination and must be licensed, or eligible for licensure, in the state where they reside.
- Annual Tuition: $8,266
- Median Salary: $79,609
With a low tuition of $8,266, Minnesota State University at Mankato's online Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree offers distance students great value for their money. This degree program is 100% online, and two scholarships–the Alice K. Weed Endowment for Dental Hygiene and the MSU Foundation Scholarship–are available to eligible enrollees. The completion program requires 11 courses and 32 credits for graduation and takes 2-to-3 semesters of full-time study to complete. Courses include Decision Making in Periodontology, Oral Medicine and Treatment Planning, and Technology in Oral Health.
- Annual Tuition: $40,176
- Median Salary: $84,145
The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor is an award-winning college with a 97% freshman retention rate. In addition to offering traditional, on-campus degrees, it offers a number of fully online degree options, including a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree completion program. This program is designed to turn students into leaders and capable members of healthcare teams, and to expand their career possibilities. Assuming students transfer in with their general education requirements satisfied, 36 credits are needed for completion. A capstone project and portfolio are both part of the curriculum.
- Annual Tuition: $10,471
- Median Salary: $76,548
Thirty-nine percent of students at the University of New Mexico take at least one online class per semester. In addition to online classes, UNM Online also offers full online degree programs. Its Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program is designed for students who are already licensed. Admission requirements include an accredited dental hygiene certificate or associate degree, and a 2.5 GPA. Courses include Current Issues in Dental Hygiene, Dental Hygiene Research Methodology, and Extramural Experience. Resident and non-resident distance students pay the same tuition for online classes.
- Annual Tuition: $11,815
- Median Salary: $76,311
A research institution with over 17,000 students, Southern Illinois University - Carbondale offers distance learners a comprehensive catalog of online degree programs. SIU Online provides online students with flexible schedules, advisors, tech support and a host of other support options. Its BS in Dental Hygiene Management/Education is open to all credentialed dental hygienists, and there is no maximum number of students. The program has continuous enrollment, which allows students to begin with any semester throughout the year.
- Annual Tuition: $17,370
- Median Salary: $75,500
Dental hygienists holding an AA who wish to further their career can apply to Vermont Technical College's online Bachelor of Science Dental Hygiene degree completion program, which has a 100% graduate job placement rate. While there are no program-specific scholarships, other scholarships are available to qualified individuals. Students have a six-year window in which to fulfill the requirements for the major and must maintain a grade of a “C” or better for the duration of their enrollment. Sample classes include Introduction to Bioethics, Practice Management, and Advanced Community Oral Health. Electives in critical thinking and mathematics are also required.
- Annual Tuition: $10,201
- Median Salary: $74,305
Online tuition rates are the same for all University of South Dakota students, whether they live in-state or out-of-state. With bachelor's degrees now being recommended for all entry-level dental hygienists, USD's A.S.-to-B.S. Dental Hygiene program serves as a way for hygienists with associate degrees to obtain bachelor's degrees for a tuition of $10,201 per year. Admission requirements include completion of an accredited dental hygiene program. Departmental course requirements include Inclusive Patient Care, Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Sedation, and Dental Hygiene Leadership. Major requirements consist of 55 to 73 major credit hours, and 120 total degree hours.
- Annual Tuition: $16,585
- Median Salary: $74,466
The University of Bridgeport is a private, four-year educational institution with a rolling admission policy. 96% of students receive financial aid, with the average package being $24,000. UB Online has offered online courses since 1997. Its online Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program allows students to apply up to 90 transfer credits, and graduate in as few as two years. It can be customized according to student career objectives and includes an internship. Online diplomas are identical to on-campus diplomas.
- Annual Tuition: $11,670
- Median Salary: $69,915
Online students at Old Dominion University receive the same academic resources and support as their on-campus counterparts. This includes access to advisors, counselors, and career development services. ODU Online offers classes to working students and students worldwide. Among its many degree programs is the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree completion program, which allows licensed hygienists with professional experience to pursue their bachelor's degree. This program has a unique option which allows students to accelerate through the bachelor's degree straight to the master's degree if they so choose. It is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
- Annual Tuition: $15,900
- Median Salary: $70,353
A top producer of Fulbright US Students, Western Kentucky University offers over 300 academic programs. Its 50+ online degree programs include a flexible bachelor's degree completion program in dental hygiene, which allows students to complete their studies in as few as 15 months. This accredited program allows for the transfer of credits and requires applicants to have a 2.8 GPA or higher. Distance students have access to online student services, an online student resource portal, a transfer center which can assist them with transferring credits, and a complaint resolution process.
- Annual Tuition: $9,600
- Median Salary: $69,107
Augusta University offers working dental hygienists a bachelor's degree completion program for under $10,000 a year. The BS-DH Bachelor of Science degree requires students to complete the equivalent of 60 credit hours of the core curriculum, 30 credit hours of the degree completion program, and 30 credit hours of professional credit in order to graduate. Courses include Dental Informatics, Current Issues in Periodontics, and Dental Hygiene Case Management. Transfer students are eligible for financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and employment.
- Annual Tuition: $6,060
- Median Salary: $68,229
Clayton State University offers students low tuition coupled with small class sizes. Students wishing to pursue dentistry may opt to apply to its online Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene. This degree allows students the unique opportunity of double majoring in health care management, an option which may increase their career options. Courses in the dental hygiene curriculum include Interactive Communication, Contemporary Community Roles, and an internship or independent study. Benefits for CSU distance students include an online application process, as well as access to the Center for Academic Success, the Writer's Studio, and the Center for Advising and Retention.
- Annual Tuition: $18,725
- Median Salary: $69,913
Wichita State University's online Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene - RDH to BSDH program gives registered dental hygienists an affordable means to advance their careers. The program is 32 credit hours in length and can be completed in as few as 15 months. It is designed to prepare students for advanced degrees and for leadership roles in the workplace. Up to 28 credit hours can be transferred in. WSU provides support for online students throughout the application and enrollment process via its OneStop portal. All of WSU's degree programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
- Annual Tuition: $20,085
- Median Salary: $68,251
Public, non-profit Texas Woman's University receives a 100% recommendation rate from its students. It rates highly in terms of flexibility with regards to its RDH to BSDH in Dental Hygiene, which allows students to graduate in one year with the appropriate number of transfer units and classes. The entire program is 120 credit hours in length, with a total allowance of 90 transferrable units. Early-entry is allowed to students who have already completed a minimum of two semesters of a dental hygiene associate degree program. TWU requires a brief essay concerning professional goals as part of the application process.
- Annual Tuition: $19,685
- Median Salary: $67,981
Ferris State University boasts both a large catalog of over 190 academic programs and a low student-faculty ratio of 16:1. Its online Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene is designed for students who have already acquired, or are in their final semester of acquiring, an associate degree in dental hygiene. The program is accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation Resources. It teaches students a variety of skills, including those needed to fill leadership and management roles. Resources for distance learners include an online new student orientation, an online course readiness orientation, and a webpage called Tools for Online Learners.
- Annual Tuition: $12,000
- Median Salary: $63,624
Founded in 1931, University of Louisiana-Monroe is a state-funded educational institution with an emphasis on health sciences. ULM Online delivers a Bachelor of Science degree completion program in Dental Hygiene that allows employed dental hygienists to obtain a four-year degree around their work schedule. Transfer credits are allowed. Courses cover biology, chemistry, math, and dental hygiene. Admission requires that students pass the National Board Exam, have licensure in one or more states, and successfully complete an accredited dental hygiene program.
- Annual Tuition: $14,725
- Median Salary: $59,954
Pennsylvania College of Technology believes in hands-on learning, and its courses average three hours of lab to each hour of lecture. Its transfer-friendly online degrees allow working adults to pursue their studies around their busy work schedules. Students enrolled in its 100% online Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program pay in-state tuition, regardless of their state of residency. They have 24/7 access to course materials and receive one-on-one support during their tenure. Transfer students can complete this program in less than two years.
Online Dental Hygiene Degree Overview & Career Information
Online dental hygienist programs are available in the form of bachelor's degrees and master's degrees. Bachelor's degrees are typically aimed at those who have earned an associate degree in dental hygiene and who want to gain more skills to advance their career. Master's degrees are available for those who already work in the field and who want to go into education or other leadership roles. There are also master's programs in dental hygiene for those who have a bachelor's in another healthcare or related field but who have no dental hygiene training and who want to start their dental hygiene career.
Online bachelor's degrees in dental hygiene are typically available to those who have already completed an associate degree in dental hygiene and who want to gain more experience and possibly move up into more advanced positions within the field, such as management roles.
A dental hygiene bachelor's program can be found at colleges and universities and typically takes two years to complete, as students begin the program with an associate degree already completed. Admission to a dental hygiene bachelor's program will require an associate degree in dental hygiene and a dental hygienist's license. Tuition will run anywhere from under $11,000 a year to over $22,000 a year.
Classes that students enrolled in one of these programs will take include Contemporary Issues in Dental Hygiene, Community Health and Epidemiology, Dental Hygiene Educational Concepts, Pain Management, Community and Rural Dental Health, and Geriatric Dental Hygiene. Upon completing one of these programs, graduates will be able to work in a variety of locations like hospitals, nursing homes, and dental clinics, as well as in dental hygiene education, and they will be prepared to take on additional responsibilities in their jobs.
Online master's degree programs in dental hygiene are offered by 9 accredited universities.
Prospective online students seeking a master's of science in dental hygiene should be prepared to devote two years to their studies. Admission to one of these programs will typically require that the applicant have a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene or a related field. Some programs allow students who have a bachelor's degree in another field but who have also received accredited dental hygiene training to apply.
Courses that students will take may include Global Healthcare, Clinical and Didactic Educational Concepts, Oral Health Sciences, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and Foundation and Oral Health Services. Student teaching, a practicum, and/or thesis will also likely be required. Upon completing one of these programs, graduates will be prepared to go into education as well as leadership positions. Tuition will vary based on program and may run anywhere from around $13,000 a year to close to $30,000 a year.
Licensing for Dental Hygienists
While requirements vary, all dental hygienists need to be licensed in order to work. The first requirement that all states share is that aspiring dental hygienists must earn their training through an accredited dental hygiene program. They will also need to pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and their state's specific board examination. Other potential requirements may include CPR certification, letters of recommendation, and a background check.
The Importance of an Accreditated Online Dental Hygiene Degree
One thing that students should keep in mind when choosing a program is whether or not the school is accredited. There are regional, national, and programmatic accreditation. Regional accreditation is given to non-profit, degree-granting schools by an independent, regionally-based agency that has evaluated the school to make sure it meets certain educational standards. Regional accreditation is important for a variety of reasons, including the ease of transferring credits between institutions, the ability to use federal financial aid, and the assurance that future employers will recognize the diploma as valid. National accreditation is typically granted to non-degree granting institutions such as technical schools. Programmatic accreditation is when an organization that specializes in a certain field accredits programs within that field, such as the Commission on Dental Accreditation, which accredits dental training programs.
- Curriculum. East Tennessee State University. Accessed March 8, 2018. https://www.etsu.edu/crhs/alliedhealth/bsdh/curriculum/default.php.
- Dental Hygiene B.A.S. Degree. St. Petersburg College. Accessed March 8, 2018. https://www.spcollege.edu/dental-bas/#tab=3.
- Dental Hygiene Master of Science Online. University of Michigan. Accessed March 8, 2018. http://www.dent.umich.edu/about-school/department/pom/dental-hygiene/dental-hygiene-masters-degree-online.
- Dental Hygiene Tuition and Fees. University of Michigan. Accessed March 8, 2018. http://www.dent.umich.edu/about-school/department/pom/dental-hygiene/dental-hygiene-costs-aid-tuition-fees.
- Licensure. ADHA. Accessed March 8, 2018. http://www.adha.org/licensure.
- M.S. Degree in Dental Hygiene Program Details. University of Bridgeport. AAccessed March 8, 2018. http://www.bridgeport.edu/academics/graduate/dental-hygiene-ms/.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook - Dental Hygienists. Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States of America. Accessed March 8, 2018. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm#tab-4.
- Regionally Accredited vs. Nationally Accredited: What's the Difference?. American Intercontinental University. Accessed March 8, 2018. http://www.aiuniv.edu/blog/june-2015/regionally-accredited-vs-nationally-accredited.