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Dental Hygiene Degree - Associate Degree Dental Hygiene Program

 Options: Associate

 Locations: Main Campus

Why Choose Dental Hygiene?

Successful completion of the program leads to an Associate in Applied Science degree and grants you eligibility to take the licensing examinations necessary to practice dental hygiene. The dental hygiene program is a three-year program, the first year is the pre-professional year, the second and third years are devoted to the dental hygiene professional courses.

The Dental Hygiene degree program at Ferris State is the largest in the State of Michigan and one of the largest Dental Hygiene AAS degree programs in the nation. Our dental hygiene degree 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.

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.

AAS Degree Dental Hygiene Admission Requirements

New Student Admission Requirements

  • 2.70 High School GPA (on a 4.00 scale) (2.50 -2.69 with college approval)
  • Minimum Composite Score of ACT 18/SAT 950 OR 3.0 High School GPA (on a 4.00 scale) and Composite ACT 17/SAT 900

Transfer Student Admission Requirements

  • 2.00 GPA (on a 4.00 scale)

Admission Requirements to the Professional Sequence

  • 2.50 College GPA (on a 4.00 scale).
  • Obtain a grade of C or higher in the following courses; or their equivalent:
    • **MATH 110 or Math ACT 19 or higher, BIOL 108, COHP 100, ENGL 150, SOCY 121, CHEM 114, BIOL 205, COMM 105 or 221, COHP 102, PSYC 150, and a Culture Competency elective course.
    • All Mathematics (MATH), Biology (BIOL), and Chemistry (CHEM) courses must meet the above requirements within two attempts. A withdrawal, W grade, counts as an attempt.
  • Application Accepted: February 1st - 15th prior to fall semester requested.

College Degree Dental Hygiene Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate from Ferris State University, students must meet both University and Programmatic Graduation Requirements.

University Graduation Requirements

These are the minimum graduation requirements for a graduate degree at Ferris State University:

  • All requirements as specified in the University Requirements section must be met.
  • A minimum of 60 credits must be earned.
  • A 2.00 or higher cumulative Ferris State University GPA is required.
  • A minimum of 15 credits must be earned from Ferris State University to meet the Residency requirement.

Programmatic Graduation Requirements

These are the additional graduation requirements mandated by the program:

  • All requirements as specified in the College Requirements section must be met.
  • A 2.50 or higher cumulative Ferris State University GPA is required.
  • A minimum grade of C must be earned in all courses; except ENGL 150 which requires a grade of C- or higher.

More Information

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

Kimberly Beistle, PhD, RDH, CDA
Dental Hygiene 
Professor/Program Coordinator
200 Ferris Dr.
Big Rapids, Michigan MI 49307
(231) 591-2261
1-800-GO-BULLDOGS

The Dental Hygiene program at Ferris State University is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of Approval without Reporting Requirements. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678.