Dental Hygiene – Associate in Arts Degree

The Associate’s Degree is a “1 plus 2” program, requiring three years of study, one year of Pre-Dental Hygiene Prerequisites and two years full-time to earn the Associate’s Degree. Students learn through didactic, laboratory and clinical experiences in all aspects of dental hygiene in our state-of-the-art Dental Education Center and Community Dental Clinic.   Mount Ida College is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

First Year – Pre-Dental Hygiene – Prerequisite Courses
Before entering the Associate Degree program, all students must complete one year of prerequisite courses. These may be taken as a full-time student at Mount Ida or may be transferred from another college.
Upon successful completion of the prerequisite courses, students are strongly encouraged to explore transferring into one of the 36 slots in the Associates degree program. They should consult with their advisor. The Associate Degree program gives priority to students who have successfully completed the prerequisites at Mount Ida College.

Second and Third Year – Associate in Arts Degree in Dental Hygiene
Two years of coursework are required.   Graduates of the Associate in Arts in Dental Hygiene Program will be eligible to take the national, clinical and state examination boards required for licensure.
Those students who wish to earn a Bachelor’s degree will need to complete an additional year of study (See Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Hygiene).

Our dental hygiene associate’s degree offers all the instruction you need to gain dental hygienist certification.

You’ll get many hours of hands-on, face-to-face dental hygiene instruction from experienced dental hygienists. And in our Community Dental Clinic, you’ll learn to use industry-standard technology (including x-rays and lab facilities) while practicing your dental hygiene technique on real patients. Our dental hygiene associate’s degree program emphasizes practical skills such as:

  • Clinical dental hygiene
  • Pain management
  • Preventive oral care
  • Public and community health
  • Dental radiology
  • Pharmacology and anesthesia

Small class sizes ensure that you’ll get plenty of face-to-face instruction in our dental hygiene associate’s degree. You’ll take a sequence of focused, intensive courses to prepare you for work as a dental hygienist, studying subjects that include:

  • Head and neck anatomy
  • Dental x-rays
  • Dental ethics
  • Periodontology
  • Oral pathology
  • Dental-care materials
  • Pharmacology

The dental hygiene bachelor’s degree requires 54 credits in dental hygiene courses, and 34 credits in general education pre-requisite courses. You may have the option to enroll as a full-time student in the Pre-Dental Hygiene Program, enabling you to complete the prerequisites and general education courses prior to admission.

For complete course listings please refer to our catalog. To learn more about our faculty, please visit the faculty and staff directory.


Graduates of our associate’s degree in dental hygiene enter the work force with outstanding job skills, developed through many hours of hands-on practice. While many dental hygienists work in private dental practices, a dental hygiene associate degree can lead to jobs with many other employers, including:

  • Public health agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Health clinics
  • Schools
  • Prisons
  • Federal agencies such as the Veteran’s Administration, Indian health programs or military institutions