Program applicants must complete prerequisite general education courses either at University of the Pacific or another institution to provide a strong science background and a broad base in the humanities. Course topics include biology, English, psychology, chemistry and sociology. The prerequisites are designed to strengthen dental hygiene science and clinical practice. The student must maintain a 2.7 GPA or better in lower-division coursework to be considered for the professional portion of the program.
The professional portion of the program includes both didactic and clinical experience. The curriculum provides students with the knowledge of oral health and disease as a basis for assuming responsibility to assess, plan, implement and evaluate dental hygiene services for both the individual patient and community oral health programs. Courses cover topics such as dental anatomy, oral radiology, head and neck anatomy, pharmacology, periodontics, biochemistry and nutrition. Students also provide care in dental hygiene clinics under the supervision of expert dental and dental hygiene faculty members.
Completion of the program enables graduates to take national and regional or state licensure examinations.