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Dental Hygiene

Take advantage of the full Pacific experience by enrolling as a freshman, dental hygiene major or apply for the program as a transfer from another college or university.

Pacific has created a distinctive accelerated Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene for highly qualified students. In addition to clinical practice, the baccalaureate hygiene degree allows entry into many positions in teaching, research, administration, public health, private industry and other areas of hygiene practice, as well as application for entry into advanced degree programs.

Admission to the Dental Hygiene Program is competitive and based on merit. A student may apply as a freshman in a dental hygiene major, completing the prerequisite coursework listed below at Pacific. A high school GPA of at least 2.7 is required as well as courses in biology, chemistry and other college.

To advance directly to the upper division major coursework at the Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, students must complete their prerequisite coursework with a minimum 3.0 GPA.  Dental hygiene majors who earn a GPA below 3.0 may apply to the upper division dental hygiene courses since matriculation is not automatic and they will also be guaranteed an interview.   

Effective January 2017, the dental hygiene program will relocate to University of the Pacific’s San Francisco campus, home to other dental programs offered at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. The program’s move will allow for increased connection to the school’s San Francisco-based dental clinics and programs; enhanced interprofessional opportunities in the field of oral healthcare; opportunities for dental hygiene students to learn alongside - dental students in the DDS, IDS and residency programs; and a large base of patients who utilize the school’s clinics.

The San Francisco campus is a state-of-the-art facility located in the South of Market (SoMa) district and is highly accessible by all major forms of public transportation, including BART/Muni.

Application Information

Deadline for Fall Freshman or Spring Transfer applicants can be found on the Admissions deadline and key dates page, but typically:

Freshman admission 
(Prerequisite courses)
Application deadline for the Dental Hygiene major is November 15thwith a decision notification of March 31st.

Apply Now!

Transfer admission
(Professional Clinical Program)
Applications will open in the Spring 2016 with an application deadline for this program of August 15th with a decision notification of December 1st.

Applications for the Professional program located in San Francisco will be accepted through the ADEA Dental Hygiene Application Service (DHCAS). Create an ADEA DHCAS account and Apply Now for the class that will start in January 2017.

For information about tuition and cost please see the Office of Financial Aid.

The Dental Hygiene Program at Pacific will:

  1. Educate individuals who, upon completion of the program, will be professionally competent to provide quality dental hygiene care in an evolving profession
  2. Provide patient-centered, quality care in an efficient clinical model that demonstrates the highest standards of service achievable
  3. Provide opportunities for community based, experiential learning
  4. Continuous enhancement through professional development
  5. Humanistic values that respect the dignity of each individual and foster the potential for growth in all of us
  6. Application of theory and data for continuous improvement
  7. Leadership in addressing the challenges facing the profession of dental hygiene, including dental education and affordable dental care

The program and its graduates will be distinguished by:

  • Humanistic Orientation 
    University of the Pacific's Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry has long been recognized for the quality of its facilities, faculty, humanistic teaching approach, patient services and community interaction. It will bring these strengths and more to this new program.
    Dental students note that faculty treat them as peers starting on the first day of school. University of the Pacific places great emphasis on self-confidence and self-esteem. Additionally, the collaborative, non-competitive relationships among current students is considered a great asset.
  • Dental Hygiene Employment Opportunities
    A career in dental hygiene offers multiple opportunities in a variety of settings. About 70% of dental hygienists practice in private dental offices. Providing direct clinical care, the hygienist plays an integral role on the dental team assisting patients to achieve and maintain optimal oral health. Alternatively, hygienists may choose dental hygiene careers in Public Health, Research, Management, Special Needs Patient Care, Teaching and Administration. 

    For a more extensive list of dental hygiene work settings please contact the following: 
    American Dental Hygienist's Association
    California Dental Hygiene Association
    American Dental Association

    Dental hygiene is a rapidly growing profession. The U.S. Department of Labor advises that dental hygiene is projected to be one of the 30 fastest growing occupations. Population growth and greater retention of natural teeth will stimulate demand for dental hygienists. Additionally, the local San Joaquin/ Central Valley area job market is very favorable for dental hygienists.