2017-2018 Pierce College Catalog 
    Jul 20, 2024  
2017-2018 Pierce College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dental Hygiene (BASDH)

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Faculty: Monica L. Hospenthal, R.D.H., M.Ed., Program Director; Kathy Bassett, R.D.H., M.Ed.; Mary Galagan, R.D.H., M.H.A., Carolyn Roberton, R.D.H., B.S. (FS)

The need for Registered Dental Hygienists (RDH) continues to grow within Washington state, nationwide and globally. An RDH is dedicated to the prevention and non-surgical treatment of oral diseases. Bachelor of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene (BASDH) dental hygienists are able to work as clinicians, educators, advocates, leaders, etc. in private, business and public health settings. The profession attracts individuals interested in a licensed oral health profession that provides direct patient care. Students earn eligibility for dental hygiene licensure through successfully graduating from an accredited dental hygiene program and passing all licensing examinations. Pierce College’s Dental Hygiene program enables graduates to take both written and practical examinations for licensure in this jurisdiction and in other jurisdictions within the United States (U.S.).

Acceptance into Pierce’s program occurs once a year in summer quarter. The application deadline occurs in January every year. Pierce accepts 20 students each year at the Fort Steilacoom campus. Applicants to the program must not only meet the general entrance requirements of Pierce College, but all prerequisite dental hygiene program requirements to be eligible for acceptance consideration. Please see the department website for the exact
application deadline and current dental hygiene program requirements: www.pierce.ctc.edu/dept/denthyg/.

The BASDH prepares the student for graduate school in dental hygiene or other discipline where courses and credits apply. Several graduate programs exist in dental hygiene. Please visit the American Dental Hygienists’ Association website at: www.adha.org/dental-hygiene-programs. Within Washington State, the Pierce College BASDH is accepted for entrance into the University of Washington’s MS (Dental Hygiene) in Oral Biology.

Professional/technical program competencies can be found at www.pierce.ctc.edu/dept/denthyg

The Pierce College Dental Hygiene Program is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. You may refer to the CODA website for more information at: http://www.ada.org/en/coda/find-a-program/search-dental-programs#q=pierce%20college&t=us&sort=%40codastatecitysort%20ascending&f:ProgramName=[Dental%20Hygiene]


Some prerequisite dental hygiene courses may require prerequisite courses prior to enrollment. These prerequisite courses vary from college to college and are not listed below. Completion of the prerequisite dental hygiene courses generally takes two years. Prerequisite dental hygiene courses NOT listed on our Prerequisite Course Guide will need to be approved prior to application. You may submit the request online at: http://www.pierce.ctc.edu/dental-hygiene-course-exception-form

Complete all of the following courses:

BIOL& 241 Human Anatomy and Physiology w/Lab 1 (NS) 6
BIOL& 242 Human Anatomy and Physiology w/Lab 2 (NS) 6
BIOL& 260 Microbiology (NS) 5
CHEM& 121 Intro to Chemistry (NS) 5
CHEM& 131 Intro to Organic/Biochemistry (NS) 6
ENGL& 101 Composition I (CM, GTE) 5
PHIL 230 Contemporary Moral Problems (HM, GTE) 5
NUTR&101 Nutrition (NS) 5
PSYC& 100 General Psychology (SS, GTE) 5

Select one of the following Communication courses to complete:
CMST 105 Intercultural Communication (HM, GTE) 5
CMST& 101 Introduction to Communications (HM, GTE) 5
CMST& 220 Public Speaking (HM, GTE) 5

Select one of the following Social Science courses to complete:
SOC& 201 Social Problems (SS, GTE) 5
SOC& 101 Introduction to Sociology (SS, GTE) 5

Select one of the following English courses to complete:
ENGL& 102 English Composition II (CM, GTE) 5
ENGL& 235 Technical Writing (CM, GTE) 5

Select one of the following math/quantitative courses to complete:
MATH& 146 Introduction to Statistics (QS, NS, GTE 5
MATH& 107 Math in Society (QS, NS, GTE) 5

Total Prerequisite Dental Hygiene Credits 68

For all students beginning prerequisites to the Dental Hygiene program at Pierce College, COLLG 110: College Success must be taken within the first two quarters of starting coursework. You may be exempt from this requirement. Check with your advisor for the latest information.

Formal application to the Dental Hygiene Program must be made to the admissions office at the Fort Steilacoom campus by completing a Dental Hygiene application (please refer to the website to access the application at www.pierce.ctc.edu/dept/denthyg/site/). There is a $40*** non-refundable application fee.

As of this publication, the deadline for submitting the application is the fourth Friday in January for a summer quarter start date. It is the applicant’s responsibility to see that his/her file is accurate, complete and up-to-date. All prerequisite dental hygiene courses must be complete by the end of WINTER quarter prior to the summer quarter start date. Other deadlines are published each year on the program website. A minimum grade of 2.5 in each predental hygiene course must be earned, as well as a cumulative 3.3 GPA for all pre-dental hygiene courses.

ENGL& 102 or ENGL& 235, CHEM&121, three other sciences and/or math, and one non-science course must be completed for application by the end of the current fall quarter to be eligible to apply in January. All prerequisite dental hygiene courses must be completed by the end of WINTER quarter (end of March) prior to the summer quarter start date.

The applicant must submit/complete the following documentation for initial application:

  • Pierce College Admissions (completed online)
  • Proof of BASDH Application Fee Payment Receipt
  • BASDH Applicant Information Form
  • BASDH Prerequisite Course Plan Application Form
  • BASDH Observation Hours Application Form
  • Copy(ies) of emails proving Substitute Course Transfer, if applicable
  • Official transcripts from high school and all colleges attended included in your application packet or forwarded directly from the schools to the Office of Admissions at Fort Steilacoom and marked “Dental Hygiene Admissions.” Only official transcripts in sealed school envelopes sent with the application or hand carried in sealed school envelopes will be accepted.
  • Pay and complete a Criminal Background Check. (Directions are posted on the website)

NOTE: Students who have not completed all pre-dental hygiene courses by the application date must submit proof of registration for the remaining courses and send the official transcripts for winter quarter by the dates published on the Dental Hygiene website.

**Please visit the Dental Hygiene Department website at www.pierce.ctc.edu/dept/denthyg/site/ for the most current application process, curriculum, costs, etc.

***Subject to change

Six separate categories create the basis for admission to the Dental Hygiene program. Please note that changes to the evaluation of candidate categories and/or percentages can occur. For the most current information, please visit our department website at www.pierce.ctc.edu/dept/denthyg/site/.

40% Science, Math and English GPA
15% Non-science GPA
15% Health Science Reasoning Test score
15% Space relations score
15% Writing sample score

Pass a Criminal Background Check

For more information regarding the criminal background check and its requirements, please visit our website.

Correct submission and completion of the application documents, your academic achievement/records various exams, and the ability to pass a criminal background check provide the basis for acceptance into the Dental Hygiene program.

Applicants with the highest total scores will be selected and notified via their Pierce College student email by the third Friday in April. The number of students accepted is limited by the physical and financial resources of the college or when placement into the profession is no longer possible.

NOTE: Due to the highly competitive nature of the program, students who have been previously dismissed from the program have demonstrated a failure to progress in the profession of Dental Hygiene. Therefore, an offer of acceptance into the program may be denied.


  • Advance tuition deposit paid by the deadline as requested to show proof of intended enrollment. Failure to do so by the deadline will result in the offer of acceptance being rescinded.
  • Physical, visual, and oral examinations with practitioner verification to attend the BASDH program completed prior to the start of the program. (Corrected vision to 20/20 with depth perception, physically and mentally sound to engage in a rigorous course of study in dental hygiene, and all dental treatment complete or a plan to complete, etc.)
  • Tuberculin test, chest x-ray or IGRA blood test and tetanus vaccine. No active TB.
  • Vaccination proof for Hepatitis B and current on CDC standard immunizations for the health care worker.

If accepted into the program, the applicant will enter the two-year, eight consecutive quarter program leading to a Bachelor of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene. Information on estimated cost, including books, instruments, equipment, lab fees, uniforms, etc., is published on the department website.


First Year

Second Year

Total BASDH Credits, Excluding Prerequisites 124

Total Credits with Prerequisites 192

Program code: 30B

Last revision: 2017-18

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