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University of Pittsburgh    
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jun 13, 2024
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Dental Hygiene, BS

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Opportunities for health care professionals are becoming available as a result of the changes in health care delivery formats. To prepare dental hygiene graduates for employment opportunities created by these changes, the University of Pittsburgh’s College of General Studies and the School of Dental Medicine have developed a course of study that leads to a Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene. This degree is intended for those students who have graduated from accredited dental hygiene programs with a certificate or associate’s degree. (See School of Dental Medicine listings in this bulletin for information about the Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene program.) The Bachelor of Science degree enhances the already completed professional training and provides important exposure to the liberal arts. The combination of basic sciences, clinical experiences, and liberal arts strengthens the career opportunities for dental hygienists in business, sales, dental hygiene education, and research.

A distinct advantage of the Bachelor of Science degree is that hygienists can practice their profession following receipt of their certificate in dental hygiene and be employed while completing the requirements for the bachelor’s degree. Class schedules can be tailored to work schedules. Classes are available in the evening, during the day, on Saturday, and through CGS Online. Attendance can be on a full-time or part-time basis.

Program Requirements

The following program requirements must be met to receive the Bachelor of Science degree:

  • Students must earn a minimum of 131 credits to complete the Bachelor of Science degree. Of this 131-credit total, 30 credits must be at the 1000 (junior/senior) level. 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 College of General Studies (CGS) dental hygiene Bachelor of Science degree program complete 39 credits of CGS general education and dental hygiene track course work.
  • At least 30 of the 39 credits must be completed at the University of Pittsburgh. Contact CGS Advising for information about credits that transfer from other institutions or if you completed your dental hygiene certificate at Pitt before 1995.

Required Courses (39 credits)

The required courses are listed below.

CGS General Education Courses (33 credits)

General Education Requirements (GERs) provide you with an opportunity to discover interests you never knew you had, all while earning credits toward graduation. And, no matter what your future holds, be it a career or grad school, GERs prepare you by emphasizing skills employers want (like critical thinking, problem solving, written and oral communication) and giving you the opportunity to become more aware of our increasingly diverse and interconnected world.  

The College of General Studies provides a liberal arts and pre-professional education for undergraduate students that is grounded in scholarly excellence. Pitt offers you the knowledge, understanding, analytical tools, and communication skills you need to become perceptive, reflective, and intellectually self-conscious citizens within a diverse and rapidly changing world. GERs are at the core of our education.

Important Information: Our General Education Requirements changed for students entering as of Fall 2018 (2191) term. For details on the new CGS general education program and a list of approved courses, visit:

Listed below are the revised CGS General Education Requirements for dental hygiene students for Fall 2018 and afterward.

Note: 9-15 credits in 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 a ‘Diversity’ General Education requirement.

Writing (6 credits)

  • Two “W” courses

Mathematics (3 credits)

  • Algebra or CS 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.
  • 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)

Students must choose a concentration in health management, education, or research.


In this 39-credit program, 18 credits should be completed using 1000-level course work. These 18 credits, when combined with the twelve credits for DENHYG 1544 DENHYG 1545  , DENHYG 1547 DENHYG 1549  , and DENHYG 1689  completed in the dental hygiene program, meet the CGS requirement for 30 credits of 1000-level course work. Check with an advisor before registering. Requirements are subject to change.

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