Professional Dental Hygiene Program

Dental Hygiene Professional Program

The Professional Dental Hygiene Program will graduate students with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene.  After completing the pre-requisites for the Dental Hygiene Program, students who have been accepted into the Professional Dental Hygiene Program will begin in May of their junior year. 

Students engage in a full time, two-year, six-semester curriculum. Classes and clinic schedules are held Monday - Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. which includes the summer semester between junior and senior year.

Structure and Scheduling

Since the dental hygiene program is within the School of Dentistry, students gain exposure to all aspects of dental hygiene and dentistry. Students from each program often engage in clinical activities together, as well as learn from both Dental Hygiene and Dental faculty who are experts in their fields. Integrated learning and combined coursework allows students to begin collaborative and collegial interaction early and throughout their education.  Upon entering the patient care phase of their education, dental and dental hygiene students work together to provide assessment, diagnoses, and treatment for their patient families.

Service Learning

A strong component of the Dental Hygiene Program is the service that Detroit Mercy Dental delivers to the outside community.  As part of the School's mission "to provide quality dental care to our patients and to serve as a source of information and education to the community", dental hygiene students provide care at various external locations treating patients that are medically, mentally, emotionally, and periodontally compromised.

Listed below are some of the activities Detroit Mercy dental hygiene students participate in throughout their educational careers:

  • Elementary, Middle and High School oral health education
  • Special-needs population dental health education presentations
  • Covenant Community Care dental clinic
  • Titans for Teeth Mobile Dental Clinic
  • Wayne County Healthy Communities Clinic

Open All | Close All


    Competencies for the Dental Hygienist

    Competencies for the Dental Hygienist identifies and organizes the knowledge and skills the graduate must acquire to become a critically thinking, competent practitioner in the delivery of dental hygiene services in clinical and alternative practice settings. The document also reflects an evidence-based curriculum that is patient-driven, competency-based, and criterion-referenced.

    These competencies serve to define the core content of the curriculum. The document provides a method of stating graduate knowledge and skills after completing the dental hygiene program, thus, establishing a basis for the content of all courses. The competencies set standards for identifying relevant content and provides guidance in making decisions related to pedagogy and course sequencing.

    The document also sets forth individual measurable competencies which a student must demonstrate to qualify for graduation and entry into the profession. These competencies assess the degree to which a student can provide the defined standard of dental hygiene care to patients. 

    Competencies for the Dental Hygienist should be viewed as dynamic standards which must be responsive to the professional environment. It is recognized that this educational plan will require regular review for continual improvement.


    Transfer Students

    The dental hygiene program gives full consideration to students who wish to transfer from any accredited college or university.  

    Students wishing to transfer from other schools after their freshman year must complete courses equivalent to those offered at the University of Detroit Mercy.  See the Transfer Guide and/or Transfer Credit System for university and community college courses equivalent to those offered at the University of Detroit Mercy.

    Admission/Application Information for Prospective and Transfer Students