Harper College

Dental Hygiene Degree

Begin your career as a dental hygienist

Career options Health Science icon

  • Dental Hygienist

Harper College's 81-credit-hour Dental Hygiene Program is a full-time, six-semester career program leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree.

Harper College is a great place to begin your career in dental hygiene. You'll get hands-on experience working in the Dental Hygiene Clinic, which is equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Practice your skills on patients who come to the clinic for dental hygiene care.

In 2021,100% of the graduates of Harper’s Dental Hygiene Program passed both the American Dental Association’s National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and the Commission on Dental Competency Assessment’s Clinical Board Examination.

This is a limited-enrollment program. Please review this program's admission criteria and process.

A.A.S. degree program plan

Program Overview

Program learning outcomes

The Goals/Program Outcomes of the Dental Hygiene Program at Harper College are to:

  1. maintain admission policies that ensure admission of a qualified student body who have the potential to achieve the program outcomes.
  2. provide career education that prepares qualified, entry-level dental hygiene professionals who are competent to provide safe, ethical and comprehensive oral health services to a diverse population as defined by the Harper College Dental Hygiene Graduate Competencies for the Entry-Level Dental Hygienist.
  3. maintain a contemporary program that provides a dynamic, integrated and interprofessional curriculum which reflects relevant, evidence-based dental hygiene practice.
  4. provide quality individualized patient-centered dental hygiene care.
  5. provide service to the Harper College and surrounding communities, and serve as a resource of oral health knowledge and education for the health care community.
  6. promote professional growth and develop leadership in dental hygiene education by engaging in professional development activities.

Student Learning Outcomes/Graduate Competencies For The Entry-Level Dental Hygienist

Students who successfully complete this program are able to:

Patient Care

  • utilize the dental hygiene process of care in provision of comprehensive, quality patient care.

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

  • provide individualized patient educational services to promote health maintenance and disease prevention
  • individually and/or in collaboration with health care professionals, apply the dental hygiene process of care in planning and providing oral health related programs to the public

Professionalism and Ethics

  • use evidence-based research to critically evaluate the validity of foundational knowledge, information, products and/or techniques and their relevance to the practice of dental hygiene.
  • apply principles of ethical reasoning, ethical decision making, and critical thinking as they pertain to the academic environment, research, patient care and dental hygiene practice, and demonstrate professional responsibility as it applies to the legal and regulatory concepts in the provision and/or support of oral health care services.
  • perform self-assessment, monitor knowledge and performance, and take corrective action to address deficiencies.
  • demonstrate cultural sensitivity and the interpersonal and communication skills required for effective functioning with diverse population groups and other members of the health care team.
  • demonstrate professional growth by participating in professional activities and continuing education.

Program length

The dental hygiene curriculum is sequenced over six-semesters. Students complete one fall and spring semester (17 weeks each) in the first year and two eight-week summer sessions and one fall and spring semester (17 weeks each) in the second year with graduation in May.

Courses in dental hygiene, i.e., course numbers with the DHY prefix must be taken in the semester sequence published in the Catalog. SPE 215 and SOC 101 can be taken before they are scheduled in the curriculum but not after. See curriculum above.


Dental Hygiene classes, labs and clinics are scheduled Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and some Saturdays or evenings. General education or science classes are sometimes scheduled in the evenings as well.



Next steps

For more information about dental hygienist training at Harper, contact Admission Outreach at 847.925.6700, or submit a request information form. You can also apply online.

Last Updated: 4/8/24