healthcare pathway icon
Earn your bachelor of applied science degree (BASDH) in the rewarding dental hygiene field. Practice your profession in our advanced technology Dental Hygiene Clinic.


Entry-Level Dental Hygiene Degree and Licensure

Not yet a dental hygienist? Our entry-level dental hygiene program is for you!

Our program is nationally recognized for consistently graduating compassionate, skilled and intellectually strong dental hygienists. Our faculty strive for a friendly academic environment that supports and encourages students to perform their best. We balance the curriculum to help students develop the skills needed to be competent, successful and safe.

Our students learn the practice of dental hygiene in our Dental Hygiene Clinic and classrooms under the close supervision of the BASDH faculty. BASDH students and their patients benefit from the most current and best dental hygiene instruction and technologies, including electronic health records with digital radiography and computer-assisted anesthesia.

Bridge BASDH Degree

Already a dental hygienist? Are you looking to advance your education and pursue a bachelor degree in dental hygiene? Our Bridge BASDH Program is for you!

The Bridge BASDH program is for licensed dental hygienists who earned their dental hygiene degree/certificate in Washington State in 1973 or after from a college that is/was accredited by the local accrediting Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities. The Bridge BASDH is fully online and does not require a clinical component other than teaching observations. Access to a dental hygiene, dental assisting or dental school will be required.

To learn more about this opportunity, please see the Bridge BASDH page.

About the Program

We offer free informational sessions twice a year in summer and fall quarters. Check the Information Sessions page for announcements of upcoming information sessions.

Our Mission

The Pierce College Dental Hygiene Program prepares learners for the privilege and responsibility to practice in the profession of Dental Hygiene. This preparation focuses on essential competencies for the successful practice of the profession, inspires life-long learning, and promotes service to the community.

Our Program Goals and Outcomes

  1. Students will successfully meet the essential competencies and student outcomes as outlined in the Pierce College Dental Hygiene Student Handbook titled Competencies for Dental Hygiene, the Pierce College Course Outcomes and syllabi objectives.
  2. Graduates will be eligible for didactic and clinical dental hygiene licensing examinations. *Notice of State Licensure Eligibility Outside of WA
  3. Graduates will be prepared to provide quality and evidence-based, patient-centered dental hygiene services.
  4. Graduates will be prepared to successfully demonstrate the Five Pierce College Core Abilities.
  5. Using current Standards of Care, clients/consumers will be satisfied with rendered dental hygiene healthcare services.
  6. Faculty will regularly review curriculum and use evidence-based research as a basis for curricular changes/revisions.
  7. Faculty will commit to professional development to enhance dental hygiene academic quality, to promote and foster health, and to provide a comprehensive educational environment for successful student learning.
  8. Faculty, staff, and students will practice collaboratively, collegially, and professionally while interacting with affiliates, healthcare professionals, healthcare teams, and community constituents and organizations.
  9. The curriculum will provide an academic basis which facilitates articulation with other educational programs and from which graduates may progress toward additional academic advancement.

Program Accreditation

*The Commission on Dental Accreditation will review complaints that relate to a program's compliance with the accreditation standards. The Commission is interested in the sustained quality and continued improvement of dental and dental-related education programs, but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for individuals in matters of admission, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty, staff or students. A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission's policy and procedure for submission of complaints may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, or by calling 1-800-621-8099 extension 2719.

Notice of Licensure Eligibility Outside of WA State

We are required by federal regulation 34 CFR § 668.43(a)(5)(v) and 34 CFR § 668.43(c) to let you know that Pierce College’s Dental Hygiene program meets the educational requirements for dental hygiene licensure required for employment in Washington State.   

Pierce College has not determined if the dental hygiene curriculum meets the educational requirements for licensure in any other state within the United States. However the dental hygiene program is fully accredited through the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), and the college is fully accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities Accreditation. Accreditation by CODA indicates the graduate is prepared to pass didactic and clinical dental hygiene licensing exams, but does not guarantee that a state will accept the curriculum for licensure. It is up to the applicant to determine if graduation from the Pierce College Dental Hygiene meets their state’s licensure requirements. Additional information about licensure/certification concerns can be found on the NC-SARA webpage

If you plan to become licensed in another state other than Washington, please contact that state’s dental hygiene licensing department to enquire if a dental hygiene graduate from our program would be eligible for licensure/certification in their state. For your convenience, here is a link to assist you: Career One Stop Licensing Requirements Dental Hygiene 

And if you have further questions or need additional assistance, please contact eLearning at

Apply to the Program

See the Is Dental Hygiene for Me? page to learn more about how to get started with the Dental Hygiene program.

To schedule a Pierce College tour or attend a Getting Started at Pierce College session, see the Campus Visits page.