Dental Hygiene Schools Philadelphia, PA

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 6 percent increase in jobs for dental hygienists between 2019 and 2029. The positive outlook has not translated well for new graduates who reported difficulty in finding a job and limited hours when they get hired. Depending on your location, you might be in a position to improve your outlook and opportunities after completing an accredited dental hygiene program. While the demand is a factor in choosing a profession, there are other critical things to consider such as doing what you love and helping others live their best lives.

Dental hygiene is a profession that offers flexibility and diversity. Dental hygienists can work full-time or part-time and in various settings such as private dental offices, clinics, and hospitals. They have plenty of opportunities to interact with patients as they remove stains and plaque from teeth, take and develop x-rays, examine patients for oral diseases, and use fluoride and sealants to protect teeth. Dental hygienists have an important role in preserving oral health as they educate patients on proper care of the mouth and demonstrate proper techniques in flossing, selecting toothbrushes, and connecting the dots on diet and oral health.

Community College of Philadelphia

Community College of Philadelphia’s Dental Hygiene program prepares students for a critical role on the dental health care team. Theory and practical training will cover the education and treatment of patients, preventative care, review of medical and dental history, dental prophylaxis, exposure of dental radiographs, fluoride, sealants and polishing of restorations, and head and neck examinations. The school offers students the opportunity to use state-of-the-art equipment throughout the training, learn from faculty who are experts in the profession, and supervised hands-on experiences with patients which provides preparation for certification and licensing exams. The clinical rotations will be conducted on campus in a 16-chair free dental clinic, where they will treat diverse patient populations with advanced periodontal disease. The program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association and graduates will be eligible to take the Northeast Regional Board Examination and the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination. Admission to the program is selective and requires students to fulfill all requirements for admission to the College.

Program overview:
Dental Hygiene – Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)
Credit hours: 83
Duration: 2 years


  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must have completed a minimum of one year of high school biology, chemistry, and college preparatory math with a grade C or better – within the past 10 years
  • Must demonstrate readiness for ENGL 101 and MATH 118 through the College’s placement test or completion of specific developmental coursework
  • Must have a minimum 2.5 GPA for any completed college coursework
  • Take and pass a pre-entrance Allied Health testing program
  • Must be at least 18 years old on or before the first day of the semester
  • Submit the results of physical and dental examinations including lab test results of a completed blood count, serology, and urinalysis, PPD test, and immunizations
  • Provide verification of medical insurance
  • Must attend a program orientation before entry
  • Must complete a satisfactory criminal record check, FBI clearance, and child abuse clearance before entry into the program

Program cost:
Tuition and fees cost $16,019. Students must cover the cost of textbooks, supplies, background check, and physical and dental exam.

Address: 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Phone: 215-751-8000

Harcum College

Students enrolled in the Dental Hygiene degree program at Harcum College will receive knowledge and skills to practice as a competent dental hygiene practitioner. Theory and clinical experiences will cover dental radiology, dental anatomy, preventative oral health services, dental histology, embryology, medical emergencies, POHS seminar, periodontics, dental anesthesia, oral pathology, nutrition, community dental health, and current concepts in DH. The clinical experience will cover three semesters including a summer session at the on-campus Cohen Dental Center and other facilities such as Philadelphia VA Hospital, Community Volunteers in Medicine, St Christopher’s Hospital for Children, and Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University. The practice experiences help students become ethical, self-directed, and problem-solving dental health care professionals. Graduates will be eligible to sit for licensing board exams.

Program overview:
Dental Hygiene – Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)
Credit hours: 85-86
Duration: 2 years


  • Submit a completed Harcum College Application – the application is free if completed online
  • Must have completed high school Algebra I and II, Geometry, Chemistry, and Biology (with lab) with a minimum B. College courses may be substituted for all required courses
  • Submit minimum ACT or SAT scores: (Old SAT): 950 Critical Reading and Math only, (New SAT): 1030 Evidence Based Reading/Writing and Math, or minimum composite score for ACT of 19. (a College cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher is acceptable in lieu of SAT scores)
  • Submit an official copy of your high school transcript or GED transcript. This requirement is waived for applicants who have completed a bachelor’s degree
  • Submit official transcripts from all regionally accredited colleges
  • Provide a letter of recommendation from an employer, teacher, or guidance counselor
  • Submit a typed personal essay explaining the reason for choosing Dental Hygiene
  • Students whose first language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency – TOEFL: 79, IELTS: 6.5, DET: 105
  • Submit documentation of medical and legal clearances – managed electronically via Castle Branch. These include Child Abuse Clearance, Criminal Record Check, current physical exam, annual Quantiferon Gold blood test, influenza vaccination, and 9-panel urine drug screen
  • Provide proof of medical insurance
  • Provide proof of current CPR certification and maintain throughout the program
  • Take and pass the Accuplacer exam – for applicants who do not have college experience
  • Attend the mandatory Dental Hygiene program orientation

Program cost:
Full-time tuition cost $13,300 per semester or $26,600 per year. Books and fees are additional.

Address: 750 Montgomery Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Phone: (610) 525-4100

Montgomery County Community College

Montco’s Dental Hygiene associate’s degree program prepares students for entry-level employment as a dental hygienist to provide preventative and therapeutic oral care to patients in various settings. Some areas of study include human anatomy and physiology, microbiology and immunology, dental anatomy, theory and practice of dental hygiene, periodontics, oral pharmacology, dental pain control, oral pharmacology, community dentistry, and materials in dentistry. General education requirements include English composition, introduction o psychology, speech communication, introduction to sociology, and basic nutrition. Students will have the opportunity to develop technical skills through extensive hands-on practice at the state-of-the-art Health Sciences Center in the school’s dental hygiene clinic. They will further put those skills to work during the clinical rotations are community-based sites. Graduates will receive an Associate of Applied Science degree and be eligible to take both the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) and the regional Commission of Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA) examinations required to obtain licensure as a registered dental hygienist.

Program overview:
Dental Hygiene – Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)
Credit hours: 70
Duration: 2 years


  • Submit an application to the College indicating Dental Hygiene as a major
  • Submit official high school transcript or GED
  • Complete one year of chemistry with a grade C or better – completed within 5 years of the application date
  • Complete BIO 131, BIO 132 and BIO 140 with a minimum grade B or better – completed within 5 years
  • Complete ENG 101 and ESW 206 with grades of “C” or better
  • Complete the TEAS exam and earn a comprehensive score of 50 or higher and a TEAS Reading Comprehension Score of 75 or higher
  • Shadow a registered dental hygienist before admission to the program – recommended
  • Complete an “Intent to Register”
  • Open and maintain a CastleBranch account
  • Must have student liability insurance and medical insurance
  • Must be able to perform the Essential Functions of Dental Hygiene
  • Submit a completed physical exam report which includes documentations of selected vaccinations, urine drug screen, and a TB test completed 6 months prior to entrance of the clinical component of the program
  • Must have and maintain CPR certification – American Heart Association BLS for Healthcare Provider
  • Submit documentation of annual influenza vaccination
  • Obtain Child Abuse History Clearance, FBI Clearance and PA Criminal Record Check
  • Purchase the required uniform and instrument kits
  • Attend a mandatory orientation

Program cost:

Full-time tuition cost $13,370 for in-county residents. Other costs include textbooks, uniforms, shoes, instrument kit, supplemental kit, CPR course, Child Abuse clearance, PA criminal background check, FBI clearance, physical exam and immunization, drug screen, licensure fees, and professional association dues.

Address: 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422
Phone: 215-641-6300

Manor College

Manor College’s Dental Hygiene Program prepares students with skills and knowledge to function as competent, conscientious, licensed dental hygienists. The instruction emphasizes key components such as professionalism, ethics, quality care, and compassion. Students will learn the importance of their role as preventative health care providers in the dental profession. Hands-on practice is a critical part of the learning process. Therefore, students will have sufficient time to develop skills and boost their confidence through skills practice in Manor’s state-of-the-art Dental Health Center and at other dental facilities affiliated with the college. The commitment to maintaining small class sizes will ensure each student receives individual attention from experienced faculty. The comprehensive curriculum promotes a broad expanse of knowledge and technical abilities to encourage personal and professional development. Course topics include fundamentals of chemistry, human anatomy and physiology, oral pathology, dental anatomy, dental materials, medical emergencies, microbiology, preventative oral health care, pharmacology, oral history and embryology, dental materials, oral radiography, human nutrition science, periodontics, and community dentistry. The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Program overview:
Dental Hygiene – Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)
Credit hours: 86
Duration: 4 semesters


  • Submit an application for admission to Manor College
  • Must have a minimum high school GPA of 3.0
  • Must have completed one year of high school biology w/lab, chemistry w/lab, and have a minimum HS science GPA of 2.5/75
  • Must have completed at least two years of high school math including geometry
  • Must have a minimum SAT score of 1000 (V + M or CR + M) or ACT minimum of 24
  • A college minimum GPA of 2.5 is required for any college courses completed
  • Attend an interview with an Admissions Counselor
  • Complete the admissions process by the February 1 deadline
  • Complete the essay component of the admissions process
  • Must have tetanus inoculation and a negative TB test or chest x-ray
  • Must submit proof of health insurance coverage
  • Must have current CPR certification (Healthcare Provider Adult/Child/Infant with AED)

Program cost:

Basic full-time tuition costs $8,715 per semester. Other costs include textbooks, uniforms, shoes, instrument kit, CPR course, Child Abuse clearance, PA criminal background check, FBI clearance, physical exam and immunization, drug screen, licensure fees, dental hygiene clinic fee.

Address: 700 Fox Chase Road, Jenkintown, PA 19046
Phone: (215) 885-2360