Studying to become a dental hygienist results in a rewarding degree with expanding career prospects. Though it is in the healthcare field, there's plenty of potential to be a high-earning professional without having to pay it all back to student debt when you opt for one of the 15 Most Affordable Online Dental Hygiene Degree Programs.
15 Most Affordable Online Dental Hygiene Degree Programs 2020
Completing your Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene is a small investment with a big payoff. It's common for students to start with an associate's degree and then earn a certificate of licensure to start practicing. With a foot through the door and a flexible schedule, a bachelor's in dental hygiene can allow for advanced knowledge and expanded career prospects.
Many dental hygienists will work in a clinical setting, often as a dentist's assistant, but the field is much wider than private practice. Dental hygienists can find fulfilling roles in education, sales, management, research, or public health once they have the practice and skills that make them an expert. Not only do these various roles exist, but the need for them is growing, making a bachelor's in dental hygiene a promising career choice.
The average salary for a dental hygienist is also promising. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay is projected at $74,820 annually, and that's with consideration for associate-level professionals. Once you get a bachelor-level education, the salary potential grows even more. Though these well-paying careers may be attractive, it is not a field that's overpopulated.
The job outlook for these professionals is projected to grow 11% in the next ten years – much faster than many other fields. In order to stay well-adapted to technology, research, and informed ethical practice, a baccalaureate degree is an important step. If you have a passion for providing high-quality oral health to the community and the world, then taking the next step might be the best decision you can make for your career.
Healthcare Administration Degrees uses the best publicly available data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Payscale, and student review sites. Healthcare is a high-earning field with demanding education expectations. Because of that, Healthcare Administration Degrees focuses on the Mid-Career Pay of Graduates, Student Retention Rates, and the Average SAT Scores of accepted students, collectively amounting to 70 percent of a school's final score. Student Reviews and Affordability round out our metrics.
Here are the 15 Most Affordable Online Dental Hygiene Degree Programs 2020 for 2019!
#15. University of New Mexico – Albuquerque, NM
BS in Dental Hygiene
Net Price: $11,283
It only takes five semesters to complete a BS in Dental Hygiene from the University of New Mexico. This program can be taken either full or part-time, providing flexibility for those who continue to work while they study. All students are required to complete a core curriculum, as well as a minimum of 30 credit hours through UM.
In a career like this, hands-on experience is a must, and students get the opportunity to complete their six credits of experiential learning in their local community. Although the program is online, the competitive application process favors those who live in-state. Prospective students may need to contact their state dental board to ensure their education qualifies for licensure.
#14. Eastern Washington University – Cheney, WA
Degree Completion Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
Net Price: $11,393
Licensed dental hygienists who want to complete their Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene can do so completely online at Eastern Washington University. Since many of these students are likely to be working, there is an option to enroll part-time. This option allows you to complete the full program in three years, while the full-time schedule takes only two. The clinical component that exists in many other programs isn't required here, making this a completely online degree program.
Some courses offered include Oral Health Promotion, Contemporary Issues in Dental Hygiene, and Principles of Dental Public Health. There is also an eclectic course requirement called Mythology, Folklore, and Healthcare. The culmination of these courses prepares students to apply evidence-based practice in order to prove they have ethical and empirical knowledge to become effective dental health professionals.
#13. The Ohio State University – Columbus, OH
Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene Degree Completion Program
Net Price: $18,042
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene Degree Completion Program from The Ohio State University offers working professionals the opportunity to add advanced education to their schedules. There are both full- and part-time options. This advanced education also partly touches on general education courses. The combination helps to improve research methods, enhance clinical skills, and be prepared for leadership roles.
While this program does function as a way to complete your full Bachelor of Science, The Ohio State allows students to also choose a specialization in Expanded Functions, Dental Hygiene Education, or a more individualized program. All of the coursework is done online, with the exception of three mandatory in-person semesters for the Expanded Functions specialization.
#12. University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio – San Antonio, TX
Dental Hygiene Degree Completion Program
Net Price: $17,772
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio allows registered nurses the opportunity to complete their degree remotely. There are several prerequisites expected of students applying to the program, most of which fall under the category of liberal arts and sciences. The advanced coursework for the degree completion program calls for several hours of experiential or practicum work.
The university's dental hygiene program also has several courses focused on dealing with elderly patients, such as Dental Hygienist Role in the Management of Elder Abuse and The Summer Institute In Aging. You'll also study essential skills in courses like Periodontics, Human Diseases, and Current Issues in Dental Hygiene to round out the curriculum. This wide range of well-informed courses allows students to gain valuable knowledge and practice the necessary skills to succeed in the job.
#11. Wichita State University – Wichita, KS
RDH to BSDH program
Net Price: $17,452
One of the greatest advantages of completing your Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene through Wichita State University is that you can learn at your own pace. The 32-credit program can be finished in as little as 15 months. For students with far busier schedules, you can progress through the program on your own time, with a maximum time frame of six years.
The program is further designed to cater to your specific needs by opening up career opportunities outside of the traditional dental office. The typical curriculum covers Population Health Management in Dental Hygiene, Special Care Populations, and Issues in Dental Hygiene. Your own personal preferences can be applied to the mandatory pair of Career Enhancement Electives.
#10. Oregon Institute of Technology – Klamath Falls, OR
Online Dental Hygiene Degree Completion Program
Net Price: $16,503
The Online Dental Hygiene Degree Completion Program from Oregon Tech acts as a springboard in many capacities. Students can use this completion program to learn new skills that can advance their professional roles, gain knowledge to explore new opportunities or prepare for a master's degree. Students who have taken and passed the Dental Hygiene National Board Exam can receive up to 88 credits toward the BSDH.
Additional professional credits engage students in skill sets related to dental hygiene, public health, education, and management. Some of these topics are met in courses like Dental Practice Management, Overview of Advanced Dental Hygiene, and Evidence-Based Dentistry. At least 45 credits must be completed through Oregon Tech to earn a degree.
#9. Northern Arizona University – Flagstaff, AZ
BS in Dental Hygiene: Online degree Completion Program
Net Price: $14,901
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from Northern Arizona University is an online program that functions as a way to complete your degree. This program is a great option for those types of students who like to plan ahead. Whether you have an associate's degree, certificate, or are presently working toward one, you can work with the Dean to apply and enroll in an upcoming program. The program refreshes and enhances skills in communication, evidence-based practice, statistics, and technology. These are the skills necessary to be competitive in the field or to advance to a master's degree.
#8. University of Missouri-Kansas City – Kansas City, MO
RDH to BSDH Completion Program
Net Price: $14,864
Dental Hygiene can focus on several different areas. The RDH to BSDH Completion Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City helps to build knowledge in the necessary fields of dental hygiene – evidence-based practice in the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical sciences – but it also prepares students for roles in other sectors.
Depending on which fields you want to explore, whether it be in education, program administration, public health, advanced clinical practice, specialized patient care, or research, you can customize the curriculum to meet your personal needs. The program is highly affordable, and Missouri or Kansas residents get a further discounted rate. Though the program is online and can be completed on your own schedule, UMKC prioritizes creating a network of students and colleagues in medical fields including and outside of dental hygiene.
#7. Ferris State University – Big Rapids, MI
Bachelor's in Dental Hygiene
Net Price: $12,973
At Ferris State, the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree focuses on preparing active professionals for their daily work. The curriculum combines assessing new research to enhance critical thinking skills with technology-based modalities that serve an important role in the modern dental hygiene landscape. Students with an associate's degree, or those who are close to finishing one, are eligible to enroll.
Fulfilling this bachelor's degree at FSU opens the door to roles outside of the traditional dental hygienist. This program can lead to opportunities in long-term care facilities, research or educational institutions, or dental supply and insurance companies. Students will also fulfill a field-work practicum requirement before graduating, so those who aren't already working in the field are able to gain hands-on experience.
#6. University of South Dakota – Vermillion, SD
Online Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene Program
Net Price: $12,019
In order to begin a dental hygiene career, a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene is now considered to be a vital prerequisite for most entry-level jobs. The online degree completion program from the University of South Dakota is a great option for those looking for a more well-rounded option. The program has some level of a liberal arts education, and there are five essential dental hygiene credits that all students will take.
Degree credits teach skills outside of the regular clinical skills for dental professionals, including leadership, interprofessional practice, collaborative practice, patient care, and current trends in the industry. Having a wide breadth of knowledge that comes from a bachelor's program, such as this one from USD, can lead to roles in education, research, sales, or administration.
#5. St. Petersburg College – St. Petersburg, FL
Dental Hygiene B.A.S.
Net Price: $9,286
For Florida residents, the only completely online Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene is offered by St. Petersburg College. It does not require any on-campus or residency requirements, but students will still get to know their peers due to small class sizes, a progressive curriculum, and interactive message boards. There is also a capstone requirement, which calls for an internship or other mentoring, teaching, or observing experience.
St. Petersburg College's B.A.S. program takes place over the course of 24 months, with students taking one class at a time over the course of six to eight weeks. Courses examples include Advanced Periodontics, Advanced Ethics in Dental Hygiene, and Leadership in Dental Hygiene. Electives such as Health Information Systems, Issues in Mental Health, or Health Care Risk Management help tailor your degree to your career goals. In the end, you'll have an advanced arsenal of knowledge that can be applied in practice management, education, or sales roles.
#4. Farmingdale State College – Farmingdale, NY
Online Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene Completion Program
Net Price: $8,364
Farmingdale State College offers flexibility and affordability with its Online Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene. The coursework is held completely online and covers lessons in teaching, research, and public health. The one in-person requirement takes place in the form of a capstone practicum. This requirement takes place during the last semester of the program and introduces students to advanced and emerging roles within the industry, while also matching students' interests and goals with the type of practicum they take on. Some of the most intriguing opportunities offered are within the New York Department of Health, sales for Invisalign, hospital dental clinics, and dental hygiene education.
#3. Indiana University at South Bend – South Bend, IN
Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
Net Price: $8,331
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from Indiana University at South Bend successfully blends classwork and online learning. Like with most programs, there are general education requirements. In cases where these requirements are already completed, students should have little difficulty transferring their credits.
There are 12 credits in the dental hygiene core curriculum, including Global Health, Public Health Education Methods, Management Strategies for the Dental Hygiene Professional, and a capstone course as well. There are also two three-credit courses, titled Computer Literacy and Quantitative Reasoning, and an advisor-approved research-related course. The program is designed to bring varied dental hygiene expertise to various settings, to implement learned methodologies, and to supervise dental hygiene education.
#2. College of Southern Nevada – North Los Angeles, NV
Dental Hygiene-Education Specialist
Net Price: $7,488
The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from the College of Southern Nevada is offered part-time for working students who want to sharpen their skills to meet the needs of dental hygiene education. Education isn't the only sector where graduates can find success; they can acquire have qualifications to hold jobs in public health, education, administration, research, management, and other related fields as well.
Cross-Cultural Communication in Health Care, Educational Psychology, and Professional Ethics are a few general elective courses that go beyond the overarching curriculum and offer valuable lessons for the dental health community. There are 16 specified courses that are necessary for the degree, including Research Methodology, Future Directions in Dental Hygiene, and Advanced Education Concepts. It all culminates with a capstone project, where students' education finally comes together and is presented in a way that can translate to their field and, eventually, to a career.
#1. Utah Valley University – Orem, UT
Dental Hygiene, BS
Net Price: $6,690
The Dental Hygiene BS from Utah Valley University is completely online and exceptionally affordable, and it, therefore, earns the top spot on our list of 15 Most Affordable Online Dental Hygiene Degree Programs. Working professionals get the flexibility of studying online while also not having to complete a clinical portion of the program. The degree's affordability comes at face value, meaning there are no hidden fees that will surprise new students.
There are 70 core requirements that satisfy the dental hygiene education. Some course examples include Microbiology, Oral Public Health, Periodontology, and Teaching the Dental Hygiene Patient. The plan of study can be customized with the help of an advisor, and previous education may cover some of the electives or core credits that are necessary to fulfill the degree.