Dental Hygiene, M.S.

Become a Leader in Dental Hygiene

Expand your career into education and public health. You will gain theory and practical experience from faculty experts from UB’s Fones School of Dental Hygiene, the world’s first dental hygiene school. You will develop proficiency through student teaching and the concentrated practicum, a hands-on experience supported by an ever-increasing set of field sites.

World's First Dental Hygiene School


Areas of Expertise

Education and Public Health

Credits Per Semester

Complete in as Little as Two Years

Program Prerequisites

To be completed prior to matriculation:

  • Active dental hygiene license
  • Bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene or a related field from an accredited institution
  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher

Required Materials for Admission

  • Application
  • Official Transcripts (from all institutions of higher education)
  • Two Recommendation Letters
    • Letters must be signed and come from employers, professors or professional associates (i.e. clinical supervisor or dental hygiene director)
  • Personal Statement
    • In 500 words, detail why you are seeking this degree, how you expect to apply your degree to your professional career after graduation and why you seek to pursue your degree through the University of Bridgeport
  • Photocopy of dental hygiene license in good standing
  • All accepted students will be subject to a background check through the external agency, Verified Credentials. Further information will be distributed by your advisor


Completed application and all supporting documents must be received by:

  • March 31 for summer entry
  • Rolling admission


Visit How to Apply to learn more about the process and how to contact your admissions counselor.

Practice your skills in the field

The concentrated practicum allows you to apply your studies in a professional setting that aligns best with your goals.

You will work with the course instructor and practicum site to determine the details of the 75-hour commitment. The work activities are structured based on your interest and decided learning outcomes, with appropriate evaluation mechanisms determined by the site facilitator and the course instructor.

Areas of focus include the following:

  • Student teaching in clinical, laboratory, and didactic settings
  • Research
  • Public health
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Publishing
  • Administrative

Field Site Opportunities

University of Bridgeport’s Fones School of Dental Hygiene has over 100 facilities currently used for the concentrated practicum and student teaching, with new sites added each year as student interest and geographical locations increase.

Students are able to take advantage of field site agreements with a continuously expanding set of schools, including:

  • NHTI Concord’s Community College
  • Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
  • College of DuPage, Illinois
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Tunxis Community College, Connecticut
  • Monroe Community College, New York

The course offerings in the Master of Science in Dental Hygiene distance learning program cover a variety of topics from leadership and research to public health and education. Prior your studies, you will be required to attend a mandatory orientation, part of which is held on campus, to help prepare you for the program and its learning tools.

Learn about orientation details, course descriptions, credits, and completion duration by clicking on the course titles below.


Part One – Campus

You will be required to attend a mandatory one-and-a-half day campus visit. This is required for all newly enrolled students. This orientation occurs end of May/beginning of June.

Part Two – Online

You will also be required to participate in an Online Orientation prior to attending the on-campus orientation. During the Orientation, students learn how to navigate the learning management system (LMS). Successful completion of the Online Orientation is required of all new students in the online program.

First Year

DHYG 500 Leadership (Summer)

This course focuses on the theories, concepts, and principles of leadership skills related to personal behavior, communication, organizational and leadership styles. This course explores the opportunity to develop leadership roles appropriate to the dental hygiene profession.
Credits: 3
Duration: 8 weeks

DHYG 501 Grant and Contract Writing (Summer)

This course will provide the graduate students with an introduction to the process of grant application, award, post award management, types of grants and contracts, content and language of announcements for funding, and requirements of various funding agencies. The steps to writing a grant proposal for healthcare funding from private, state, and federal funding sources will be covered.
Credits: 3
Duration: 12 weeks

DHYG 502 Evidence-based Research (Fall)

This course is designed to prepare the graduate student to utilize research as the foundation for clinical decision making. The practical application of evidence-based decision making to the clinical management of individual patients is explored.
Credits: 3
Duration: 8 weeks

DHYG 506 Global Healthcare (Fall)

This course will introduce health care systems and discuss the contexts in which they develop and function. Specific attention will be paid to the developmental history, financing and delivery infrastructure. The changing U.S. healthcare system will be discussed as will the approaches used in other countries to manage and organize health care. The impact of global health and disease, social determinants of health and future challenges and opportunities for healthcare systems will be examined.
Credits: 3
Duration: 15 weeks

DHYG 508 Curriculum Development and Management (Spring)

This course provides the graduate student with the study and development of models for dental hygiene curriculum design and implementation. The development and utilization of competencies and the evidence based instruction is emphasized.
Credits: 3
Duration: 8 weeks

DHYG 515 Statistical Reasoning (Spring)

This course will provide a basic overview of statistical analysis and how certain tests can be performed to determine if there is a statistically significant relationship between variables. The student will receive an introduction to the use of statistical software for data analysis.
Credits: 3
Duration: 15 weeks

Second Year

DHYG 503 Clinical and Didactic Educational Concepts (Summer)

This course will introduce the graduate student to a procedure for developing a competency-based curriculum. The student will learn the steps in developing a lecture, module of instruction, and a course. Cognitive, affective, and psychomotor learning theories are addressed along with clinical teaching methodologies.
Credits: 3
Duration: 8 weeks

DHYG 516 Concentrated Practicum (Summer)

This course provides the graduate student with the opportunity to utilize the knowledge, skills, and abilities learned in previous course work under the guidance of a mentor and the practicum site and the Fones School of Dental Hygiene Practicum Faculty Advisor. Specific tasks and projects of importance to the practicum site will be identified by the mentor and implemented by the student. The student will gain new skills and technical and managerial competence in their chosen area.
Credits: 3
Duration: 15 weeks

DHYG 504 Dental Hygiene Student Teaching (Fall)

This course will provide students with the practical knowledge and skills to function as a competent instructor in the didactic, clinical, and laboratory class environment.  Cognitive and psychomotor skill development and analysis, evaluation, strategies, remediation of performance concerns, and faculty calibration are areas stressed.
Credits: 3
Duration: 15 weeks

DHYG 512 Public Health (Fall)

This course is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in public health settings.  The graduate student will learn the skills necessary to study health states in populations and its applications in basic science, general clinical research, and public health. Emphasis is placed on administration, consumer advocacy, epidemiology, the assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation stages of programs, and expanded and alternative dental hygiene care.
Credits: 3
Duration: 15 weeks

DHYG 513 Seminar in Contemporary Dental Hygiene Issues (Spring)

This course will explore current concepts and challenges facing dental healthcare delivery through the development of collaborations across healthcare disciplines, delivering culturally and linguistically competent healthcare, and evaluating current and proposed dental healthcare workforce models. Initiatives serving the purpose of guiding national health promotion and disease prevention to improve the dental health of the U.S. population and informing the American public on health matters will be examined.
Credits: 3
Duration: 15 weeks

DHYG 520 Master's Capstone (Spring)

Original research in a chosen topic OR development of a professional project relating to the graduate student’s area of specialization will be studied, written, and presented.
Credits: 3
Duration: 15 weeks

DHYG 521 Capstone Extension (as needed)

If after completing the two years of course work the MSDH candidate has not completed the Capstone project, the student will continuously register for DHYG 521 Capstone Extension (1 credit) until final approval of the Capstone thesis/professional project is granted and graduation is certified.

Upon completion of the Dental Hygiene, M.S. degree program, you will be prepared to:

  • Utilize scientific inquiry, critical thinking, and research methodology in developing contemporary theory and best practice.
  • Cultivate the incorporation of existing and emerging health informatics and technology within one’s profession.
  • Contribute to and facilitate development of programs based on population need, diversity, and social and cultural sensitivity.
  • Promote inter-professional collaboration within an integrated delivery system of health care.
  • Forge the pathway toward expanding the professional landscape of dental hygiene.
  • Instill the desire to pursue doctoral level education.

Who can UBecome with a MSDH degree?

  • Dental Health Educator
  • Dental Hygiene Program Director
  • Public Health Advocate
  • Corporate Researcher
  • Product Developer
  • Dental Health Services Director

Enhance your career with foundations in education and public health

The Dental Hygiene, M.S. program at UB’s Fones School of Dental Hygiene provides you with a foundation in both education and public health so you may gain the expertise necessary to fulfill your career goals across multiple industries.

You will benefit from learning both a theoretical and practical approach to educational methodologies and their application to dental hygiene academia. Emphasis is placed on curricular assessment, development, implementation and evaluation. You will gain experience and understand the role and responsibilities of faculty in didactic, clinical, and laboratory course development through the utilization of instructional technology and applicable learning domains.

In addition, you will be immersed in public health, focusing on the overall health and oral health needs of diverse populations, ways to improve direct access of care, and learning about the leadership roles of the dental hygienist responsible for administering and implementing dental public health programs. Experience and knowledge will be gained in program development, grant writing, research, and methodologies effective in improving oral health.

A Solid Foundation for Career and Academic Opportunities

The Fones School of Dental Hygiene has built a reputation of excellence since it was established as the world's first dental hygiene school in 1913. Graduates from UB with advanced degrees in dental hygiene have gone on to secure the following positions or pursued further education in the following:

Doctoral Work
Myofacial Therapy
Dental Hygiene Program Directors
Independent Practice
Education (both on-campus and online)
Public Health Service Corporations
Hospital-based Dental Hygiene
Dental School

Career Assistance

UB's Center for Career Development helps graduates prepare for entrance into the workforce. Our comprehensive career counseling and resource center is dedicated to helping you become an active participant in your own academic, professional, and career development.

Services provided include basics like resume and cover letter building, interview preparation, negotiation, goal assessment, and personal branding.

What's UBJobnet?

UBjobnet is UB’s internal job portal–open only to UB students and alumni! Here, you can access a variety of opportunities posted by local and national employers. Search for jobs/internships, submit your resume online, register for career related events, or all of the above.

To access UBjobnet:

  • Login to the myUB Portal
  • Click on the “Quick Links” box on the right side to navigate to UBjobnet
  • Find the resources that suit your needs:
    • Job Search: Find full-time, part-time, internship, student employment and volunteer opportunities
    • Email me new jobs: Set up job alerts by clicking “Email me new jobs” located above your search results. Use specific keywords to help tailor your emails to match your interests
    • Career Events: Register for and learn about more upcoming events
    • Employer Directory: Find and research companies related to your desired field
  • Upload your updated resume and cover letters to UBjobnet to be able to easily apply to posted positions through the system
  • Update your major, GPA, and graduation year in your profile to receive information on jobs and events related to your field

The Master of Science in Dental Hygiene distance learning degree program is 36 credits in length, designed to be completed in two calendar years (6 credits per semester), and must be completed in five years.  The curriculum includes course work in education and public health providing all students with content that is increasingly beneficial for intended employment after graduation. The completion of Master’s Capstone thesis or professional project is also required.

Please note: All students must attend and participate in both the on-campus and online Orientation in order to begin their studies. Details may be found under the Courses tab.

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