Degree Completion Track

Dental hygienists are licensed health care professionals that specialize in preventing oral health problems and diseases. Dental hygienists with baccalaureate degrees may be employed in community college or university settings as teachers, public health departments or other health care facilities, oral health care businesses, and other similar job opportunities. Salaries vary, depending on the career choice.

The Bachelor of Science Degree Completion program is designed to be completed by a licensed dental hygienist (RDH) who graduated from an ADA/CODA accredited dental hygiene program in the U.S. or Canada. All didactic course work is offered online and may be taken on a part-time schedule. Generally, students who enter this program complete the remaining 30 of 123 hours toward a Bachelor of Science degree. Individual hours may vary and require a full unofficial transcript evaluation by the program director. A maximum of twelve students may be admitted to the program each year. Applications are accepted through a centralized dental hygiene application system found at: http://www.adea.org/dhcas.aspx from November  – December 31 with the next class beginning early July.  For more details review the "Admissions Requirements” section.

Admissions Requirements

The Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree completion may be considered by applicants who are already Registered Dental Hygienists (RDH). This program will allow you to complete a Bachelor of Science degree online.  In addition to the academic admission requirements, non-academic factors may be considered when selecting students for admission.

Required prerequisite program/courses:

  1. An active license as a Registered Dental Hygienist in good standing
  2. Graduation from an ADA/CODA-accredited dental hygiene program in the U.S. or Canada. (All credits earned in the entry hygiene program will be accepted toward BS requirements)
  3. A grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 for all college courses taken
  4. Completion of the Texas Core Curriculum requirements (42 hours)
  5. Completion of 18 hours Program Prerequisites
  6. All course requirements for entry into the program are listed at: http://www.uthscsa.edu/academics/dental/dental-hygiene-program-admissions-prerequisite-course-list
  7. Applicants outside of Texas MUST reside in a participating National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements NC-SARA state to be accepted into our program. To see if your state participates and get more information, please visit NC-SARA website.

The Texas Core Curriculum and 18 hours of  program prerequisites must be completed by the end of the spring semester of the year you are entering. For further information see the Texas General Education Core Web Center.  Applicants are encouraged to seek advisement from the program director or college counselor.

Application: Applicants must meet all qualifications and submit all required information by December 31. Transcripts containing fall courses must be submitted by Jan 15. Up to 6 credit hours may be in progress during the spring semester prior to admittance but must be completed and transcripts submitted by June 1.

Degree Requirements

Dental Hygiene Bachelor of Science degree is awarded at the successful conclusion of the program.  Non-Health Science Center graduates wishing to earn a B.S. degree must complete a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of elective courses in the program. Health Science Center graduates (prior to 2005) who wish to earn a B.S. degree must complete from 6-9 elective credit hours.

Sample Plan of Study

Students must complete 30 semester credit hours of elective courses from the list below:

Fall Course Offerings
DENH 3007Preclinical Teaching Practicum4
DENH 3015Public Health Practicum4
DENH 4018Introduction to Research3
DENH 4007Clinical Administration Practicum4
DENH 4025Advanced Periodontics3
DENH 4103Health Promotion3
EMSP 4007Human Resource Development3
DENH 4030Introduction to Professional Writing1
DENH 4023Special Topics1-3
DENH 4027The Summer Institute In Aging3
DENH 4029Dental Hygienist Role in the Management of Elder Abuse3
DENH 4091Independent Study1-3
EMSP 4008Leadership Development3
Spring Course Offerings
DENH 3015Public Health Practicum4
DENH 3017Clinical Teaching Practicum4
DENH 4111Current Issues In Dental Hygiene3
DENH 4023Special Topics1-3
DENH 4024Concepts And Practice In Teaching3
DENH 4028Public Health Policy3
DENH 4415Advanced Public Health Practicum4
EMSP 3007Human Diseases3
DENH 4091Independent Study1-3

Program Outcomes:

The Online Bachelor of Science Degree Completion program at the Health Science Center is designed to allow dental hygienists to develop professional skills in communication, critical thinking and problem solving on a flexible educational platform to build the next generation of leaders.

Program Objectives:

The graduating Bachelor of Science Online Degree Completion Dental Hygienist student will:

  1. Demonstrate increased professional written communication, critical thinking, and problem solving skills through course work
  2. Demonstrate contributions to the body of knowledge or health prevention in the field of dental hygiene or health care

DENH 3007. Preclinical Teaching Practicum. 4 Credit Hours.

This course will provide students with an introduction to concepts of preclinical instruction. Instruction will include seminar and laboratory application sessions emphasizing theories of psychomotor skill development; diagnosis of performance problems; provision of feedback; identification of cognitive, psychomotor, and affective behaviors; and faculty calibration. This course requires formal agreement with a participating dental hygiene program prior to the beginning of class. (The didactic portion of this course is delivered through Canvas, Learning Management System) Course Fees: Practicum fee $10 per hour.

DENH 3015. Public Health Practicum. 4 Credit Hours.

This course is an opportunity to gain experience with oral health care delivery or promotion in a public health area. The course will include planning and execution of a project in the student's individual area of interest. One full day per week requires the Bachelor of Science Completion student to work in a public health setting in San Antonio or in their community. A formal agreement must be established with the participating public health clinic prior to the beginning of class. Course Fees: Lab fee $10 per hour.

DENH 3017. Clinical Teaching Practicum. 4 Credit Hours.

This course is an opportunity to gain experience with oral health care delivery or promotion in a public health area. The course will include planning and execution of a project in the student's individual area of interest. One full day per week requires the Bachelor of Science Completion student to work in a public health setting in San Antonio or in their community. A formal agreement must be established with the participating public health clinic prior to the beginning of class. Course fees: Practicum fee $10 per hour.

DENH 4007. Clinical Administration Practicum. 4 Credit Hours.

The purpose of this course is to present Bachelor of Science Degree Completion students with an opportunity to hone administrative skills in a clinical environment. There will be interactions with second-year dental hygiene students as well as with the second-year clinic coordinator. The course includes conference and clinical application sessions to expand and refine teaching and evaluation skills and clinic administration issues including outcomes assessment, quality assurance, and information technology. This course requires a formal agreement with a participating dental hygiene program at least six weeks to the beginning of class. To begin the process, contact the UTHSCSA program director. Completion of DENH 3007 Pre-Clinic Teaching Practicum is required or previous clinical teaching experience. The course instructor may waive the prerequisites course requirement based on previous clinical teaching experience. Course Fees: Practicum fee: $10 per hour Open for Cross Enrollment on Space Available basis.

DENH 4018. Introduction to Research. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to expand research knowledge in two dimensions; principles and applications. The course will consist of an in depth study of the research process, its contexts, design, data collection and communication techniques to provide learners with the analytical skills to interpret professional and scientific literature. Topics include: basic research terminology, critical evaluation of research design, methodology and sampling techniques, basic statistical calculations, data collection, and the application of evidenced based research to dental hygiene best practice. The course will also develop reading and writing skills within the context of face-to-face and/or virtual environments.

DENH 4023. Special Topics. 1-3 Credit Hours.

Students will be given an opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of selected topics through seminars, conferences, projects, or other appropriate learning methods.

DENH 4024. Concepts And Practice In Teaching. 3 Credit Hours.

This course offered to Bachelor of Science Degree Completion students, introduces basic principles and techniques used in health care education. Topics include: issues and trends in professional education, principles of adult education, learning styles and motivation, case-based learning, competency-based education, patient and community education, clinical and laboratory instruction, course design, development of lesson plans and learning activities, guidelines for presentation skills, evaluating student performance, and using educational media and software. Open for Cross Enrollment on Space Available basis.

DENH 4025. Advanced Periodontics. 3 Credit Hours.

This course builds on the knowledge base presented in DENH 3034 Periodontics, and gives students the opportunity to expand their understanding of treatment, prevention, and diagnosis of periodontal disease. This course examines, but is not limited to, the following topics: the role of the hygienist in non-surgical soft-tissue management, exposure to surgical techniques, wound healing, new technology in diagnostic tools, and products used in treatment or home care. This course further emphasizes the integration of theory into the practice of clinical dental hygiene. Includes three (3) lecture hours per week. Prerequisites: Completion of first year dental hygiene coursework.

DENH 4026. Healthcare Ethics. 1 Credit Hour.

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of professional and ethical issues facing dental hygiene professionals. Topics to be explored include the beliefs, fundamental principles, core values and standards of professional responsibility set forth in the ADHA Code of Ethics for Dental Hygienists. Ethical dilemmas will be discussed and decision making models will be introduced and used to assist students in solving these dilemmas. Additionally, team-based learning activities will serve to support student learning.

DENH 4027. The Summer Institute In Aging. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is an intensive interdisciplinary service-learning study of the assessment, health promotion, disease prevention, and treatment of the aging person. The course will examine physical, mental, emotional, legal, cultural, and social aspects of gerontology. The course is also designed to encourage the learner to reflect on the impact of the elderly on society, the impact to the dental hygiene profession, and the learner on a personal level.

DENH 4028. Public Health Policy. 3 Credit Hours.

This course will provide the learner with a history and overview of American public health policy. Included in the course is the evolution of health policy in the United States. Various resources will be explored to gain understanding of the process for policy development. By the end of the term the learner will develop a mock public policy analysis, about a topic of their choice that will include elements discussed in the course. When appropriate this course will utilize new and emerging public health policies to supplement course material. Admission to the Bachelor of Science Degree Completion Program is required.

DENH 4029. Dental Hygienist Role in the Management of Elder Abuse. 3 Credit Hours.

This course will allow the learner to acquire the skills and knowledge to recognize the mistreatment of elders. First, the various types of elder abuse will be identified followed by discussion of the prevalence of abuse. Next, case study application will direct the learner in recognizing the risk factors and signs of elder abuse. The legal requirement and major ethical dimensions for the dental hygienist to report abuse will be explored, and an explanation of required abuse documentation will be provided. Finally, techniques for the dental hygienist may work effectively with law enforcement will conclude this course.

DENH 4030. Introduction to Professional Writing. 1 Credit Hour.

This course was designed to help the online bachelor completion student develop concepts of professional writing skills utilizing state of the art communication resources. This is a required course for BS completion students to be taken in their first semester of the program.

DENH 4091. Independent Study. 1-3 Credit Hours.

This course includes independent reading, research, discussion, project, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. The course may be repeated for credit. UTHSCSA graduates are limited to one Independent Study course; non-UTHSCSA grads are limited to two Independent study courses.

DENH 4103. Health Promotion. 3 Credit Hours.

This course provides the Bachelor of Science Degree Completion student a theoretical framework for defining health promotions and set the foundation for students to see potential for health promotions in their work. Topics in this course will use evidence-based practice to reflect health promotion theories, prevention, risk assessment, health education, and health policy. Additionally, interventions and strategies will be used to effectively evaluate the determinants of health and the outcomes of individuals, families, groups and communities. In addition this course will help learners understand the impact of media and delivery style for effective health messages.

DENH 4111. Current Issues In Dental Hygiene. 3 Credit Hours.

This course investigates trends influencing the practice of dental hygiene. The history and image of dental hygiene, career satisfaction, educational trends and access to care, independent practice and self-regulations are the issues addressed in this course. A closer look at the legal, political and ethical ramifications of these topic areas as they relate to the dental hygiene profession will be explored.

DENH 4415. Advanced Public Health Practicum. 4 Credit Hours.

This course is a continuation of the Public Health Practicum and will provide the Bachelor of Science Degree Completion students with an opportunity to gain further experience with oral health care delivery projects, development of health promotion and prevention activities, or gain advanced skills in designing community-based and service learning programs. This course will include planning and execution of a project related to the student's individual area of interest. Course fees: Practicum fee $10 per hour.

EMSP 3007. Human Diseases. 3 Credit Hours.

This purpose of this course is to provide a foundation in basic disease conditions, pathophysiological process behind major diseases and their causes, definitions of disease, classifications of disease, and descriptions of diseases as they pertain to the emergency health sciences. Open for Cross Enrollment on Space Available basis.

EMSP 4007. Human Resource Development. 3 Credit Hours.

This course reviews the policies necessary to ensure that properly prepared and motivated personnel are available to carry out the mission and daily operations of an EMS organization and to gain a scholarly understanding of and familiarity with foundational HRD theory and research. Topics include methods of hiring staff, performance appraisal processes, legal requirements around health and safety, union matters, and sexual harassment in the workplace. Open for Cross Enrollment on Space Available basis.

EMSP 4008. Leadership Development. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is a study and application of contemporary leadership theories and conceptual, skill-building, feedback, and personal growth approaches for the development of effective organizational leadership behaviors and practices. Open for Cross Enrollment on Space Available basis.