Dental Hygiene


The Dental Hygiene program prepares graduates to be competent oral health clinicians and educators with the ability to develop effective oral health programs that can be utilized in private practice sites, schools and alternative practice settings in the community.

The clinical training is conducted on campus in a 16-chair, free dental hygiene clinic. Students have the opportunity to treat diverse patient populations, many with advanced periodontal disease.

The Dental Hygiene program is designed so that students, upon matriculation, can complete the program in 24 consecutive months.

Graduating Dental Hygiene students are eligible to take the Northeast Regional Board Examination and the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination.


The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.

The Commission on Dental Accreditation will review complaints that relate to a program's compliance with the accreditation standards. The Commission is interested in the sustained quality and continued improvement of dental and dental-related education programs but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeals for individuals in matters of admission, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty, staff or students.

A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission's policy and procedure for submission of complaints may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678 or by calling 1-800-621-8099 extension 4653.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this program graduates will be able to:

  • Qualify for all national and regional examinations required to obtain licensure as a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Work effectively as a team member and make decisions regarding dental hygiene services that reflect critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Demonstrate quality patient care and disease prevention for patients with a variety of oral health needs while using the phases of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation in a safe and service-oriented environment.
  • Review contemporary scientific literature in the dental hygiene field which will enable the graduate to remain mindful of current trends.
  • Formulate informed decisions using evidenced-based patient-centered dental hygiene care for all.
  • Manage patient treatment and information, ensuring confidentiality and compliance with relevant legislation and ethical responsibilities.


Program Entry Requirements:

Admission is selective and requires that potential students fulfill all admission requirements of the College. The requirements for admission to the Dental Hygiene program are:

  1. High school diploma or general education diploma (GED).
  2. A minimum of one year of high school biology, chemistry and college preparatory math, all with "C" or better grades, within the past 10 years. In the absence of these requirements, placement in MATH 118 and a grade of "C" or better In BIOL 106 and CHEM 110 satisfies these requirements.
  3. Applicants must demonstrate readiness for ENGL 101 and MATH 118 as determined by the College's placement or by successfully completing identified developmental course work.
  4. Applicants with previous college experience must have a minimum of a 2.50 grade point average.
  5. Applicants are required to participate in the pre-entrance Allied Health testing program.

Students are admitted to the program on a competitive basis as space allows.

Applicants must be 18 years of age on or before the first day of the semester in which they begin the Dental Hygiene designated courses.

Conditions For Acceptance:

  1. Results of complete physical and dental examinations, including laboratory test results of a complete blood count, serology, urinalysis, tuberculin PPD test and immunizations must be on file in the program office before the start of any dental course (September of starting year).
  2. Verification of medical insurance is mandatory.
  3. Applicants must attend a scheduled program orientation prior to entry.
  4. Students must purchase uniforms and a Dental Hygiene supply kit prior to the start of the program (August of starting year).
  5. Students must attend a fall and spring Study Skills Workshop.
  6. Students must obtain a criminal record check, FBI (federal) clearance and a child abuse clearance prior to entrance into the program. This Dental Hygiene requirement is mandated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania per 24 P.S. 1-111 of the Pennsylvania Public School Code and 23 Pennsylvania C.S.A. 6355 of the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law.

The College, in its admission process, will consider information regarding criminal conviction and/or crimes of moral turpitude. Admission is conditional pending receipt and evaluation of a criminal background check, FBI (federal) clearance and child abuse clearance to determine whether there is any conviction which may bar the student from the Dental Hygiene program and/or state licensure. The following guidelines are used in making decisions about an applicant's criminal and child abuse background:

Child Abuse Clearance:

Any record results in denial of admission into the DH program.

Criminal Background Check:

Any felony conviction within the past 10 years results in denial of admission to the DH program. Any felony conviction more than 10 years old will be evaluated based on the nature of the offense, length of time since the offense and any explanatory letters/materials submitted by the applicant or student. Any misdemeanor will be evaluated based on the nature of the offense, length of time since the offense, and explanatory letter/materials submitted by the applicant or student. (Any punishment over one year indicates a felony according to federal sentencing guidelines.)


An applicant who believes that an error of fact has been made in terms of the information provided to the decision-making committee can request reconsideration by the committee. This request must be made in writing within 10 days from the date of the letter notifying the applicant of the decision. The reconsideration should address what the applicant considers to be errors of fact.

Following reconsideration by the decision making committee, the applicant can appeal the committee's decision to the vice president for Academic Affairs whose decision is final.

Any official change or the initiation of any governmental proceeding affecting the information revealed by the required criminal or child abuse background check must be reported immediately to the DH curriculum supervisor.

Involvement in any incident which resulted in a disciplinary action against a student at Community College of Philadelphia or any post-secondary institution is considered in the admissions process. The DH program reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant who has a history of violating College rules and regulations or who has been previously suspended or expelled from the College or any other post-secondary educational institution.


  1. One-time readmission into the Dental Hygiene program is permitted.
  2. Students requesting a readmission must meet program entry requirements, conditions for acceptance, and are selected on a competitive basis as space permits.
  3. Students may be required to retake dental and/or general education courses as determined by the program director.
  4. A student seeking readmission to the Dental Hygiene program must demonstrate clinical and didactic proficiency at the acceptable course level stated in the appropriate clinical courses. this conditional acceptance for returning students will be determined by the Program Director.
  5. Students who were dropped for unprofessional conduct or safety issues will not be considered for readmission.
  6. The program must be completed within five years of initial enrollment.


Program of Study and Graduation Requirements:

  • Students exhibiting unprofessional conduct or violation of safety policies may be dropped from the curriculum pending a program review.
  • To continue in the Dental Hygiene curriculum, students must maintain an overall 2.50 GPA.
  • Students will not be permitted to continue in a clinical course without a yearly medical and dental exam and proof of medical insurance on file.
  • Dental Hygiene students must follow the curriculum sequence according to courses listed in each semester, unless approval is granted by the program director.
  • Dental Hygiene students must submit proof of two-year CPR certification prior to entering the first year's spring semester.

Course Sequence:

Summer 2

Course Number and NamePrerequisites and CorequisitesCreditsGen Ed Req.
CIS 103 - Introduction to Information Technology 3 creditsTechnological Competency
ENGL 101 - English Composition I or
ENGL 101H - English Composition I (Honors)
 3 creditsWriting/Research/Info Lit 1

Semester 1

Course Number and NamePrerequisites and CorequisitesCreditsGen Ed Req.
DH 115 - Oral, Head and Neck AnatomyENGL 101CIS 1033 credits 
DH 135 - Dental RadiologyENGL 101CIS 1033 credits 
DH 150 - Dental Auxiliary PracticesENGL 101CIS 1034 credits 
DH 191 - Clinical Dental Hygiene IENGL 101CIS 103, CPR Certification3 credits 
BIOL 109 - Anatomy and Physiology I 4 creditsScientific Reasoning

Semester 2

Course Number and NamePrerequisites and CorequisitesCreditsGen Ed Req.
DH 165 - Nutrition and Biochemistry in DentistryBIOL 109, DH 115, DH 135, DH 150DH 1914 credits 
DH 192 - Clinical Dental Hygiene IIBIOL 109, ENGL 102, DH 115, DH 135, DH 150 all with a grade of "C" or better;
Coreq = ENGL 102 with a grade of "C" or better may be taken concurrently
3 credits 
DH 121 - Oral Histology and EmbryologyBIOL 109, DH 115, DH 135, DH 150, DH 191 all with a grade of "C" or better2 credits 
BIOL 110 - Anat & Phys IIBIOL 1094 credits 
ENGL 102 - The Research Paper or
ENGL 102H - The Research Paper (Honors)
ENGL 101 with a grade of "C" or better3 creditsWriting/Research/Info Lit 2

Summer I

Course Number and NamePrerequisites and CorequisitesCreditsGen Ed Req.
DH 210 - Local AnesthesiaDH 121DH 165DH 192, and BIOL 1103 credits 
PSYC 101 - Introduction to Psychology or
PSYC 101H - 101H Introduction to Psychology (Honors)
 3 creditsSocial Sciences

Summer 2

Course Number and NamePrerequisites and CorequisitesCreditsGen Ed Req.
SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology or
SOC 101H - Introduction to Sociology (Honors) 
 3 creditsCultural Analysis and Interpretation
BIOL 241 - Principles of Microbiology 4 credits 

Semester 3

Course Number and NamePrerequisites and CorequisitesCreditsGen Ed Req.
DH 241 - Oral PathologyBIOL 110BIOL 241DH 121DH 165DH 192ENGL 102 all with a grade of "C" or better2 credits 
DH 245 - Dental Pharmacology and Pain ManagementBIOL 110BIOL 241DH 121DH 165DH 192ENGL 102 all with a grade of "C" or better2 credits 
DH 247 - PeriodonticsBIOL 110BIOL 241DH 121DH 165DH 192ENGL 102 all with a grade of "C" or better4 credits 
DH 293 - Clinical Dental Hygiene IIIBIOL 110BIOL 241DH 121DH 165DH 192ENGL 102 all with a grade of "C" or better6 credits 

Semester 4

Course Number and NamePrerequisites and CorequisitesCreditsGen Ed Req.
ENGL 115 - Public SpeakingENGL 101, which may be taken concurrently3 creditsOral Communication/Creative Expression
DH 271 - Community DentistryBIOL 241DH 241DH 245DH 247DH 293 all with a grade of "C" or better
ENGL 115 which may be taken concurrently
3 credits 
DH 294 - Clinical Dental Hygiene IVBIOL 241DH 241DH 245DH 247DH 293 all with a grade of "C" or better
ENGL 115 which may be taken concurrently
6 credits 
FNMT 118 - Intermediate Algebra or HigherFNMT 017 or FNMT 019 completed or FNMT 118 (or higher) placement3 creditsQuantitative Reasoning

Summer I

Course Number and NamePrerequisites and CorequisitesCreditsGen Ed Req.
DH 295 - Clinical Dental Hygiene VDH 271DH 294ENGL 115 all with a grade of "C" or better2 credits 

Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate:


General Education Requirements:

All general education requirements necessary for graduation are met through the courses in the program as indicated above. Students who wish to take courses that differ from the general education courses indicated above must complete a course substitution request form. To access the form, login to the MyCCP portal, and in the Student tab, under Electronic Forms, click on the Records and Registration Forms link, then choose Request For Course Substitution Of Graduation Requirement link. A more detailed explanation of the College's general education requirements is also available.

For More Information, Contact:

The Division of Math, Science and Health Careers, Room W1-1, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Telephone (215) 751-8430; or the College Information Center (215) 751 8010.