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Student in blue scrubs at dental clinic

Dental Hygiene

Associate of Applied Science

Dental Hygienists are increasing their scope of practice across the country. At Pima, you will learn to work collaboratively with patients using a patient-centered and evidence-based approach in multidisciplinary teams of health professionals.

Pima will prepare you to take national and regional licensing exams to either work as a dental hygienist or pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene. You will receive state-of-the-art, hands-on training in Pima’s Dental Clinic and be taught by dental professionals. 

Limited Admissions Program: Students must meet the preparatory coursework and any other prerequisites and apply to the program. Depending on available spots, students may be placed on a waiting list before starting the program. See Program Admissions or an advisor for details.

Accreditation: This program is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Title IV Financial Aid eligible: Yes


West Campus

Contact Information

Division of Education & Biomedical Programs
Dean: 520.206.5105
Lead Faculty: 520.206.3098


Completing this program can lead to employment in a variety of different careers. Here are some examples of occupations related to this program with associated Pima County-based annual median wages. Some careers may require additional education or training. Source: EMSI

Occupation Annual Median Wage
Dental Hygienist $89,016

Academic Options

Continue your studies at Northern Arizona University for a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene or explore other baccalaureate opportunities.

Program Requirements 2020-2021

Preparatory Coursework

Students must have completed the following basic requirements before they may begin the application process.

Basic Requirements
REA 112HP or REA 112 or a Next Generation Accuplacer Reading score of 256 or higher 0-4
CHM 130INCHM 140INBIO 201IHBIO 201IN, and BIO 202IN with a combined average grade of B or better within the last six years 16
Complete the BIO 156IN prerequisite if needed
Subtotal 16-24

General Education Requirements

This section lists general education requirements that are not fulfilled by core or support courses.*

General Education Requirements Credits
Arts and Humanities
   Recommend: HIS 124, or PHI 130
Social and Behavioral Sciences
   Recommend: SOC 101
Special Requirements
   Recommend: SOC 101
Subtotal 6

Required Core Courses

Course # Course Title Credits
DHE 101/101LC Dental Hygiene I/Dental Hygiene I Clinical 5
DHE 104/104LB Dental and Oral Morphology/Dental and Oral Morphology Lab 2
DHE 107 Oral Embryology and Histology 2
DHE 112 Preventive Dentistry 3
DHE 116/116LC ** Oral Radiography/ Oral Radiography Clinical 3
DHE 119 Periodontology 2
DHE 120 Oral Pathology 2
DHE 122 Pharmacology 2
DHE 132/132LB** Dental Materials/Dental Materials Lab 3
DHE 150/150LB/150LC Dental Hygiene II/Dental Hygiene II Lab/Dental Hygiene II Clinical 5.5
DHE 208/208LC Pain and Anxiety Control for Dental Hygiene/Pain and Anxiety Control for Dental Hygiene Clinical 2
DHE 209 Ethics and Practice Management 1
DHE 212 Nutrition for Oral Health 1
DHE 213/213CA/213CB Advanced Periodontal Services/Advanced Periodontal Services Clinical -A/Advanced Periodontal Services Clinical -B 4
DHE 216 Community and Dental Health Education 3
DHE 250/250LC Clinical Dental Hygiene III/Dental Hygiene III Clinical 7
DHE 255/255LC Clinical Dental Hygiene IV/Dental Hygiene IV Clinical 4
Subtotal 51.5

Required Support Courses

Course # Course Title Credits
BIO 205IN Microbiology [SUN# BIO 2205] 4
CMN 120 Business and Professional Communication 3
CSA 100 Computer Literacy 1
MAT 142*** Topics in College Mathematics [SUN# MAT 1142] 3
WRT 101 English Composition I [SUN# ENG 1101] 3
PSY Course Recommend: PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology [SUN# PSY 1101] 3
Subtotal 17
Total (not including preparatory coursework) 74.5
Total (including preparatory coursework) 90.5-98.5

* Other general education requirements are fulfilled by required core and support courses: Communication Requirement - WRT 101 fulfills this requirement; Mathematics or Science Requirement - MAT 142, 151 or higher fulfills this requirement; Other Requirement - PSY course fulfills this requirement.

** DAE 163/163LC will substitute for DHE 116/116LC if completed within the last three years.  DAE 164/164LB will substitute for DHE 132/132LB if completed within the last three years.  Students must have current CDA certification to substitute these courses. See academic advisor or faculty for information regarding course substitution.

***  MAT 151 or higher will also fulfill this requirement. 

Dental Hygiene Interest Program/Major Codes: AOA9ALA/9DHE

Dental Hygiene Program/Major Codes: AASDNTHYGIEN/DHE1

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