Dental hygiene—a profession dating back to 1913—is largely concerned with preventive health services. The hygienist works in cooperation with the dentist in private practice offices, industrial organizations, schools, hospitals, state or federal public health services, and the armed forces.

The B.S. degree is organized as a four-year college curriculum. The freshman and sophomore years of largely prescribed, preprofessional study may be taken at any institutionally accredited college. The professional curriculum begins with the junior year in the School of Dentistry. The curriculum is approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. The first class at this University graduated in 1961.

Institutional learning outcomes

Students who graduate with the Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene will meet the University outcomes.

Dental hygiene’s ten core competencies

The curriculum is designed to ensure that, by graduation, all students will have been equipped with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to successfully enter the practice of dental hygiene. By the end of the program, graduates should be able to:

  1. Apply a professional code of ethics in all patient and professional interactions.
  2. Adhere to the federal/state legal and regulatory framework in the provision of oral health care.
  3. Apply critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in the provision of oral health care to promote whole-patient health and wellness.
  4. Use evidence-based rationales and emerging treatment modalities to evaluate and incorporate accepted standards of care.
  5. Incorporate self-assessment and professional growth through lifelong learning.
  6. Advance oral health services through affiliations with professional organizations, service activities, and research.
  7. Apply quality-assurance processes to ensure a continued commitment to accepted standards of care.
  8. Communicate effectively with diverse individuals and groups, serving all persons without discrimination by acknowledging and appreciating diversity.
  9. Provide accurate, consistent, and complete assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and documentation for the provision of all phases of the dental hygiene process of care.
  10. Provide collaborative, individualized patient care that is comprehensive and compassionate.

The entry-level B.S. degree curricula is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678; telephone: 312/440-250; email:; website:

The entry-level dental hygiene applicant must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • 96 quarter or 64 semester units of accredited college coursework.
    NOTE: Loma Linda University requires all students who graduate with a baccalaureate degree to complete a minimum of 68 quarter units of general education, which is integrated into the entire undergraduate program.
  • A grade point average of 2.7 or higher in science and nonscience coursework, averaged separately; a minimum grade of C for all pre-entrance coursework to be transferred to the University. The entering grade point average is typically 3.2 or higher.
  • A personal interview with a representative designated by the School of Dentistry. This interview will assess personal qualities such as, values, spiritual heritage, communication skills, service orientation, and volunteer experience. The interview is by invitation only.
  • Three personal letters of reference.
  • A minimum of 20 hours observation with a dental hygienist. Completion of observation hours prior to an interview is recommended. Dental assisting experience is also highly recommended.
  • Dental hygiene applicants are expected to complete all general education requirements before matriculating in the School of Dentistry. A student may be accepted with a deficiency in one or more of the areas but is expected to eliminate deficits before registering for the Dental Hygiene Program. Courses are to be completed at an institutionally accredited college or university.
  • Required science courses must be completed within five years prior to the desired date of matriculation.

For further details, please see the application procedures tab in the School of Dentistry undergraduate section of this catalog.

Dental hygiene general education requirements

Domain 1: Religion (5 quarter units)

(completed during enrollment at LLU

Domain 2: Arts and humanities (minimum 16 quarter units)

Units must be selected from at least three of the following content areas: civilization/history, art, literature, language, philosophy, religion, or general humanities electives. A minimum of 3 quarter units in an area is required to meet a “content area.”

Domain 3: Scientific inquiry and quantitative reasoning (minimum 12 quarters units)

  • One full year of chemistry covering inorganic, organic, and biochemistry—each with laboratory
  • Human anatomy and human physiology with laboratory (may be two separate courses or sequential courses)
  • Microbiology with laboratory
  • Nonremedial college mathematics or statistics

Domain 4: Social social sciences (minimum 12 quarter units)

  • Select from two of the following content areas: anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology
  • One course (or components integrated into several courses) dealing specifically with issues of human diversity.

Domain 5: Written and oral communication (minimum 9 quarter units)

  • English composition, complete sequence that meets the baccalaureate degree requirements of a four-year college or university
  • Additional courses may include courses in computer information systems, critical thinking, and public speaking.

Domain 6: Health and wellness (minimum 2 quarter units)

  • A didactic course in health or nutrition (e.g., personal health, personal nutrition, population health, global health, and community nutrition) minimum of 2 units
  • Physical education. Must include at least two separate physical activity courses totaling a minimum of one quarter unit.


To meet the minimum requirement of 90 quarter units required for matriculation, electives may be selected from the previous six domains. For more information regarding GE requirements for graduation, see LLU general education requirements.

CodeTitleClock HoursTotal Units
Junior Year, Autumn Quarter
ANAT 301Head and Neck Anatomy, DH46464.0
DNES 200Curricular Practical Training1, 275750.0
DNHY 305Oral Anatomy Lecture22222.0
DNHY 305LOral Anatomy Laboratory30301.0
DNHY 309Radiology I2240623.0
DNHY 321Preclinical Dental Hygiene I Lecture22222.0
DNHY 321LPreclinical Dental Hygiene I Laboratory60602.0
RELT 423Loma Linda Perspectives20202.0
Winter Quarter
ANAT 303General and Oral Histology and Embryology42423.0
ANDN 314Dental Anesthesia: Local Anesthesia and Inhalation Sedation3330634.0
DNHY 310Radiology II2240623.0
DNHY 322Preclinical Dental Hygiene II Lecture22222.0
DNHY 322LPreclinical Dental Hygiene II Laboratory60602.0
DNHY 375Dental Hygiene Clinic40401.0
DNHY 380Medically Compromised Patients22222.0
DNHY 381Pharmacology for the Dental Hygienist I22222.0
Spring Quarter
DNHY 323Preclinical Dental Hygiene III22222.0
DNHY 323LPreclinical Laboratory40401.0
DNHY 376Dental Hygiene Clinic1201204.0
DNHY 380Medically Compromised Patients22222.0
DNHY 382Pharmacology for the Dental Hygienist II22222.0
DNHY 405Introduction to Periodontics22222.0
DNHY 450Junior Clinical Seminar22221.0
ODRP 311General and Oral Pathology DH40404.0
RELE 457Christian Ethics and Health Care20202.0
Senior Year, Summer Quarter
DNES 200Curricular Practical Training275750.0
DNES 305Etiology and Management of Dental Caries22222.0
DNHY 303Dental Materials and Techniques1230422.0
DNHY 328Dental Hygiene Portfolio Practicum211111.0
DNHY 376Dental Hygiene Clinic1201204.0
DNHY 390Introductory Statistics22222.0
DNHY 406Orthodontics Concepts for Dental Hygiene12121.0
DNHY 416Dental Health Education I22222.0
DNHY 421Research I22222.0
DNHY 450Junior Clinical Seminar22221.0
Autumn Quarter
DNHY 411Dental Hygiene Topics I22222.0
DNHY 415Applied Nutrition22222.0
DNHY 417Dental Health Education II22222.0
DNHY 422Research II20202.0
DNHY 435Special Topics in Periodontal Therapy22222.0
DNHY 451Clinical Seminar I22221.0
DNHY 475Dental Hygiene Clinic I1761764.0
DNHY 495Dental Hygiene National Board Preparation22221.0-2.0
RELR 475Whole Person Care20202.0
Winter Quarter
DNHY 408Professional Ethics22222.0
DNHY 431Public Health Dentistry33333.0
DNHY 452Clinical Seminar II22222.0
DNHY 476Dental Hygiene Clinic II1761764.0
DNHY 495Dental Hygiene National Board Preparation22221.0-2.0
Spring Quarter
DNHY 409Jurisprudence and Practice Management22222.0
DNHY 413Dental Hygiene Topics III22222.0
DNHY 414Personal Finance20202.0
DNHY 453Clinical Seminar III22221.0
DNHY 477Dental Hygiene Clinic III2042044.0
RELR 408Christian Perspectives on Marriage and the Family20202.0
Total Units9874808362303115-117

Fulfills service learning requirement


Students register for zero (0) units in the autumn and winter terms and for one (1) unit in the spring.

Normal time to complete the program

Four (4) years — Two (2) years (seven [7] academic quarters) at LLU — full-time enrollment required

NOTE: Consult advisor regarding other courses that may be applied towards graduation.