Program Description

This two-year curriculum prepares a student to provide educational, clinical and therapeutic services supporting oral health. Studies include the biological basis of the health of the teeth and oral cavity, as well as procedures used to prevent decay and to maintain dental health. Employment opportunities include working as a licensed dental hygienist in dental offices, public clinics, schools, industry, research and community health. Participation of all off campus assigned sites are required for program completion. Students must provide their own transportation to some off-campus clinical sites. Some off campus sites require homeland security screening and verification of legal status.

The program is approved by the Dental Hygiene Committee of California (DHCC) and is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Upon successful completion of the Dental Hygiene National Board examination and the dental hygiene curriculum, the student receives a Certificate of Achievement, an Associate in Science Degree, and is eligible to take any applicable regional or state board examination(s) to obtain licensure as a Dental Hygienist. Applicants for Dental Hygiene licensure are required to submit official fingerprints. The law provides for denial of licensure for crimes or acts which are related to dental hygiene, qualifications and/or duties.

Program Outcomes

1.    Acquire the theoretical knowledge that will allow them to provide comprehensive dental health care to their clients/patients.

2.    Apply the dental hygiene process of care to provide competent dental hygiene care as specified by the Dental Practice Act.

Gainful Employment Disclosure  Career Snapshot


Program Admission

Requirements for selection and acceptance into the Dental Hygiene program are:

  1. Graduation from High School or the equivalent
  2. Minimum grade of C in:  
    • ENGL 001A
    •  PSYC 001
    • SPCH 001
    • SOC 001
    • Intermediate Algebra
    • Humanities
    • U.S. History (one course) and Political Science
              or AMER 125
    • Physical Activity (2 units)
  3. Minimum grade of C in these science courses (It is recommended that they be taken within the last five years):
    • MICR 002
    •  NUTR 011
    • ANAT 025
    • PYSO 001 
    • CHEM 001AB or CHEM 002AB
  4. Overall GPA of 3.0 for all prerequisite college work.
  5. Completed application for selection and acceptance into the program.
  6. Dental Hygiene students must have the ability to communicate effectively.
  7. After acceptance into the program, submit a completed health data form evidencing physical and emotional health, including required immunizations/chest x-ray or Mantoux test.
  8. Current CPR/Basic Life Support (BLS) card that must be maintained while in the program.


Recommended preparation:

High school courses in biology or physiology, algebra and chemistry with a laboratory. It is strongly recommended that general education requirements for the Associate in Science Degree be satisfied prior to enrolling in the program. Degree requirements must be met to be eligible to sit for license exams.

Acceptance to the program is competitive. Selection is based upon a combination of academic work completed, and grades earned. Other criteria such as work experience are also considered. Please see Pasadena City College Dental Hygiene Information Brochure for current application instructions and selection criteria.


Requirements for the Certificate of Achievement

Required units: 59.5

  • ANAT 115 – Head and Neck Anatomy, Histology and Embryology (3)
  • DH 101A – Fundamentals of Dental Hygiene (5)
  • DH 101B – Fundamentals of Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice (5)
  • DH 104A – Clinical Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice: Pain Control (2)
  • DH 104B – Clinical Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice (7)
  • DH 104C – Clinical Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice (7)
  • DH 105 – Pathology (3)
  • DH 107 – Introduction to Oral Health Research (2)
  • DH 108 – Pharmacology (2)
  • DH 109 – Dental Health Education, Communication and Diversity (2)
  • DH 111 – Current Issues in Dental Hygiene (2)
  • DH 113A – Periodontics (2)
  • DH 113B – Periodontics (1)
  • DH 116 – Dental Materials (2.5)
  • DH 117 – Dental Morphology and Occlusion (2)
  • DH 119A – Community Dental Health (2)
  • DH 121 – Clinical Practice in Alternative Settings (1)
  • DH 121 – Clinical Practice in Alternative Settings (1)
  • DH 122 – Medical Evaluation of Dental Hygiene Patients (2)
  • DH 141 – Oral Radiology (3)
  • DH 200A – Directed Studies in Clinical Dental Hygiene (1)
  • DH 200B – Directed Studies in Clinical Dental Hygiene (1)
  • DH 201 – Dental Hygiene Skills Enhancement Lab (1)

Recommended electives:

  • DH 119B – Community Dental Health Lab (0.5)
  • DH 120 – Independent Study (1)
  • DH 200C – Clinical Board Preparation (1)

Download Requirements


Earn an Associate of Science Degree With Your Certificate of Achievement

An AS Degree prepares you with the unique skills needed to enter a specialized career field. Earned in conjunction with a Certificate of Achievement, it will open up further opportunities for career advancement.

To earn your AS degree, you will need to complete the general education requirements for an AS degree in addition to the above listed Certificate of Achievement Requirements.

Download AS Degree Requirements