You are currently viewing an archived version of the Ferris catalog.
View the most current version.

Dental Hygiene

Degree Type: Associate in Applied Science
College(s): College of Health Professions

Why Choose Dental Hygiene?

The Dental Hygiene program has been at Ferris since 1967 and is the largest in the State of Michigan. The program enjoys a reputation of educational excellence, with expert faculty who are recognized at the state, national and international levels within the discipline of dental hygiene for the delivery of innovative academic and continuing education.

Dental hygiene is a practice area that continues to grow with the increased consumer awareness of the importance of good oral hygiene in the prevention and detection of systemic disease processes. Dental hygiene will continue to grow based on the increasing focus on preventive dental care needs of the public.

Completion of the three-year associate in applied science degree, and final written and clinical exams enables the graduate to sit for the state licensure exam. Student clinical experiences occur within the college as the students work with patients from the University, community, and local schools in the College's on campus Dental Hygiene Clinic.

Career Opportunities

Dental hygienists are professionals, licensed by the state in which they practice, who complete extensive educational and clinical preparation in preventive oral health care. A dental hygienist is a clinician, oral health care educator, health promoter, consumer advocate, administrator, and researcher.

The responsibilities of a dental hygienist include the development, implementation, and
evaluation of a dental hygiene plan of care that is based on the needs of the patient. Clinical services can include:

  • the evaluation and monitoring of medical and dental health histories
  • examining, assessing, and documenting oral conditions
  • exposing, processing and interpreting x-rays
  • removal of calculus and stain that form on the teeth
  • application of caries-preventive agents such as fluorides and pit and fissure sealants
  • delivery of dietary education and counseling
  • design and implementation of community or school oral health programs
  • delivery of local anesthesia and nitrous oxide

    Accelerated employment growth is expected for several years in response to increasing demand for dental care. Earnings of dental hygienists are affected by geographic location, employment setting, education, and experience. The average hourly wage in Michigan is $26 - $30 per hour in private practice employment settings. Dental hygienists who work for school systems, public health agencies, the federal government, or state agencies often have substantial benefits.

Admission Requirements

Students must be admitted to the university. To be qualified to enter the professional sequence of the program, a student must have earned at least a 2.5 GPA with a minimum grade of a "C" in the following courses or their equivalent: MATH 110 (alternate MATH ACT subscore of 19 or above); BIOL 108; MRIS 102; ENGL 150; SOCY 121; CHEM 114, BIOL 205, COMM 105 or COMM 221, CCHS 102, PSYC 150, and cultural enrichment elective with a grade of C or better.

To assure students of a quality technical education in classroom/lab and clinical practice, enrollment is limited. Students who meet or will have met the program's qualification criteria by the end of Spring semester are required to apply to the program's professional sequence between January 15 and January 30 of the year prior to the August professional sequence entry. Admission will be based upon date of qualification.

General Education Requirements

All University General Education requirements for an Associate’s degree is here

Please consult this link for a complete listing of General Education Electives. 

 Consult the Required Course above or program advisor for program specific General Education requirements.

Graduation Requirements

The six-semester program leads to an associate in applied science degree. Students must earn a grade of C or better in major and core courses and meet all the general education requirements as outlined on the General Education website.

If a student interrupts progression in the professional sequence of the program, re-entry cannot be guaranteed due to space limitations.

More Information

College of Health Professions
Ferris State University
200 Ferris Drive
Big Rapids, MI 49307
Phone: 231-591-2270

For information about accredited programs and educational requirements contact:

Commission on Dental Accreditation
American Dental Association
211 E. Chicago Ave.
Suite 1814
Chicago, IL 60611

Required Courses
Credit Hours
Medical Microbiology
Human Anatomy-Physiology
The U.S. Health Care System
Safety Issues in Health Care
Intro to General Chemistry
Interpersonal Communication
Fundamentals-Public Speaking
Cultural Enrichment Elective
English 1
English 2
Fundamentals of Algebra
Note: ACT MATH score of 19 or higher may be substituted for Math Course
Orientation to Medical Vocabul
Introduction to Psychology
Introductory Sociology

Professional Sequence

Oral Imaging
Oral Imaging Lab
Dental Hygiene Theory 1
Pre-Clinical DHYG Practice 1
Oral Science A
Oral Sciences A Lab
Oral Science B
Oral Science B Lab
General and Oral Pathology
Dental Hygiene Theory 2
Dental Hygiene Practice 2
Dental Materials
Dental Materials Lab
Perio/Path Review
Dental Hygiene Theory 3
Community Dentistry A
Pharmacology for Dent Hygiene
Dental Hygiene Practice 3
Community Dentistry A Lab
Pain Management
Pain Management Lab
Dental Hygiene Theory 4
Dental Hygiene Practice 4
Community Dentistry B
Community Dentistry B Lab
Comprehen Patient Assessment
Dental Hygiene Practicum
1 TO 2
Computer Competency
Minimum credit hours required for A.A.S. degree:
Note: All prerequisite courses must be successfully completed with a grade of C or better before progressing into the program's professional sequence.
Note: CCHS 101 and ENGL 250 may be taken prior to the professional sequence.
Note: DHYG 291 is optional.
Note: Student must have current standing in the Dental Hygiene professional sequence to take DHYG classes.
Note: A grade of C or better must be received for all courses listed on the checksheet.