Dental Hygiene, Associate in Science

The Goodwin University Dental Hygiene Program (DHP) is designed to equip students with the skills to become professionals ready to assist the public and the community. The program provides clinical and therapeutic services as well as dental hygiene education. The program is centered on evidence-based learning with the theoretical foundation and hands-on classwork that prepares students for the workforce and engenders an appreciation for lifelong learning. Twenty-eight (28) students are accepted each summer semester into the program. The date of application submission and points attained in the Selection Point System will dictate the class roster's placement order.

Dental hygienists are required to be licensed in the state where they practice. Upon completion of the 80 credit-curriculum, students are qualified to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) and the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA), which are requirements for state licensure. The Goodwin University Dental Hygiene Program has been granted accreditation status by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation for Dental Hygiene Education Programs as: Approval without reporting requirements.

Admissions Requirements

The Goodwin University Dental Hygiene Program is a rigorous and intensive program that is both physically and mentally demanding. Due to the limited number of seats in the program, admission is based on specific entrance criteria as well as a ranking point system. To qualify for admission, the applicant must:

  1. Complete the application for admission to the Dental Hygiene Program. If you are applying directly from another institution and have successfully completed all pre-requisite courses, you do not need to complete the general application to Goodwin University until you receive official acceptance into the Dental Hygiene Program.

  2. Have a minimum college GPA of 2.7 at the time of application.

  3. Must successfully pass a background check, drug test and Department of Children and Families check before official acceptance into the Dental Hygiene Program will be granted. Forms are provided by program personnel.

  4. Complete all prerequisite courses with a passing grade unless otherwise noted.

  5. Have completed Introduction to Psychology: PSY 112 or equivalent, Computer Literacy Elective: CAP 1XX or equivalent, and English Composition: ENG 101 or equivalent, with a passing grade.

  6. Have completed Math (Intermediate algebra or higher) and Chemistry (CHEM 101) with a "C" or better.

  7. Have completed Anatomy & Physiology I within five years with a "C+" or better.

  8. Have completed Microbiology within ten years with a "C+" or better.

  9. Student may be enrolled in Anatomy & Physiology II at the time of application. The course must be successfully completed before beginning the first DHP course or within the last five years with a "C+" or better.

  10. Complete an interview with the Dental Hygiene Program faculty. As part of the interview, the student will be asked to write a 500-word essay that will be used as part of the point system. The topic will be provided at the time of the interview.

  11. Be able to perform all functions and tasks required of a dental hygienist. As part of the curriculum, the student would be asked to fully participate in all clinic/rotation/community enrichment activities. These activities require the student to be prepared physically and mentally to avoid risks to the safety of a patient or the student.

  12. Provide documentation of 8 hours of observation of dental hygiene services in the prior 12 months.

Point System

The Goodwin University Dental Hygiene Program has limited capacity: a point system has been developed for the selection of prospective candidates. The system was developed to maintain objectivity and to follow the Dental Hygiene program’s goals and competencies. The points will be calculated by the program director.  

General Education GPA Per Course

(Based on the following courses: Math, English Composition, Introduction/General Chemistry, Anatomy & Physiology I & II, Microbiology & Introduction to Psychology)


2.7 - 3.0


3.1 - 3.5


3.6 - 4.0


Overall College GPA (Based on a minimum of 12 credits. Students with less than 12 credits will be given a score of 1 point only)


2.7 - 3.0

3.1 - 3.5


3.6 - 4.0 

Completion of Courses at Goodwin University


1 course


2 courses


3 courses


4 courses


5 courses


6 courses


7 courses


Previous College Education


Associates Degree


Bachelor's Degree


Master's Degree


Essay (Writing Skills)


Poor (23-28)


Average (29-34)


Excellent (35-40)


Total Possible Points


Accepted Students

DHP students will be required to provide documentation of a Physical Exam (within 2 years) and immunizations prior to starting the program. Student immunizations must remain current throughout the program. Immunization requirements include:

  • Hepatitis B vaccination or titer

  • Influenza vaccination (within 1 year)

  • MMR vaccination or titer

  • Varicella vaccination or titer

  • Tetanus vaccination (within 7 years)

  • Two-step PPD vaccination (within 1 year)

All students must provide proof of CPR certification by the American Heart Association prior to semester 2.

All students must successfully pass a background check, DCF check and drug test before official acceptance into the DHP Program will be granted. Forms are provided by program personnel.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, graduates will be able to:

  1. Value the importance of patient-centered care and concepts of health promotion;

  2. Assess the need for, expose, develop, evaluate and interpret dental radiographs to support the clinical examination; while employing radiation safety principles and procedures requiring exposure to ionizing radiation;

  3. Assess, plan, implement, evaluate and document dental hygiene process of care for the prevention and/or treatment of oral diseases;

  4. Apply principles of nutritional and/or tobacco cessation counseling to the management of oral health;

  5. Apply standard precautions for the prevention of disease transmission;

  6. Follow all state and federal regulatory requirements when rendering patient care;

  7. Demonstrate professional communication skills in all aspects of patient care; while applying principles of professional and ethical behavior when providing patient care;

  8. Demonstrate concern and understanding of a variety of patient needs based on overall health, oral health, cultural, social, and economic circumstances while applying principles of evidence-based decision making;

  9. Recommend referral for additional assessment and/or treatment;

  10. Self-assess ability to perform dental hygiene services at a high standard of care.

Dental Hygiene Department Policies

Policies specific to the Dental Hygiene program may be found in the Dental Hygiene Student Handbook.

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all the general Associate degree graduation requirements as stated in the catalog. In addition, students must complete all Dental Hygiene core courses with a minimum grade of "C+" or better.

The following courses are not included in the 80 credits needed for graduation:


Computer Literacy (CAP)*



Mathematics (MATH)


PSY 112

Introduction to Psychology



Associate in Dental Hygiene

General Education Core - 15 Credits

ENG 101English Composition


ENG 1XXEnglish Elective


COM 1XXCommunications Elective


SOC 101Introduction to Sociology


Humanities (HIS, PHIL, SPAN, HUM)



Non-Major Core Requirements - 16 Credits

CHEM 101Chemistry


BIO 211Anatomy and Physiology I


BIO 212Anatomy and Physiology II


BIO 235Microbiology


Dental Hygiene Core Requirements - 49 Credits

First Semester

DHP 105Radiology


DHP 104Head and Neck Anatomy and Embryology


Second Semester

DHP 110Principles of Dental Hygiene I


DHP 202Nutrition


Third Semester

DHP 120Principles of Dental Hygiene II


DHP 102Periodontology


Fourth Semester

DHP 106Pharmacology and Pain Management


DHP 103Dental Materials


Fifth Semester

DHP 210Principles of Dental Hygiene III


DHP 201Community and Public Health Dentistry


DHP 113General and Oral Pathology


Sixth Semester

DHP 220Principles of Dental Hygiene IV


DHP 230Dental Hygiene Capstone


Total Credit Hours: 80