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University of Pittsburgh    
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
  May 26, 2024
2016-2017 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. See the complete list of courses that satisfy requirements.

CGS General Education Courses (33 credits)

  • English composition or writing-6 credits
    • Choose from ENGCMP (no 0200-level courses), ENGWRT, and ENGLIT/Writing courses.
  • Mathematics-3 credits
    • Choose one algebra or computer programming course.
  • Humanities-6 credits
    • Choose courses from two of these departments/programs: Africana studies, Chinese, classics, communication, English literature, French, German, history of art and architecture, Italian, Japanese, Korean, linguistics, music, philosophy, religious studies, Russian, Slavic, Slovak, Spanish, studio arts, or theatre arts. One course must be a 1000-level course.
  • Social sciences-3 credits
    • Choose a 1000-level course from one of these departments/programs: Africana studies; anthropology; economics; history; Jewish studies; legal studies; political science; psychology; religious studies; urban studies; or gender, sexuality, and women’s studies.
  • Literature-3 credits
    • Choose one literaruture course.
  • History-3 credits
    • Choose one history course.
  • International perspective-6 credits
    • Choose two international courses (may include non-Western courses).
  • Non-Western-3 credits
    • Choose one non-Western international course.

Dental Hygiene Tracks (6 credits)

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


In this 39-credit program, 21 credits should be completed using 1000-level course work. These 21 credits, when combined with the nine credits for DENHYG 1420, 1422, and 1544 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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