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Dental Hygiene Masters Program

Applicants can click here or go to to apply for the Dental Hygiene Masters program (applications due February 15th).


The Division of Dental Hygiene at The Ohio State University, College of Dentistry offers a

Master’s in Dental Hygiene (MDH).


The primary goal of this program is to prepare students for careers in dental hygiene education and leadership.  Individualized educational and field experiences, combined with a substantive core curriculum gives dental hygienists the knowledge and experience to teach in a dental hygiene program.  The courses offered deepen the dental hygiene knowledge, education methodology, research analysis, and provide the theory and practice of laboratory, pre-clinical and clinical dental hygiene instruction. 

The MDH curriculum is designed for students who are licensed dental hygienists and who have earned a bachelor’s degree.  The curriculum requires 37 semester hours, including a thesis and an internship.  All courses are offered by the College of Dentistry and taught via distance.  Synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences are facilitated online through the use of Carmen, Elluminate, and other e-learning technologies. The curriculum is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study or up to four years of part-time study, with a maximum of five years to complete the program. 

Admission Criteria
Applications are due Febuary 15th of each year. The admission criteria outlined in the Graduate School Handbook apply to the Master’s in Dental Hygiene Program (  To qualify for admission, the applicant must possess a baccalaureate degree in dental hygiene or a certificate or an associate degree in dental hygiene and a baccalaureate degree in a related field. The dental hygiene degree must be from an accredited dental hygiene program.  The applicant should have an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4 point Scale) in undergraduate education and a minimum of 3.0 in the dental hygiene major. Applicants whose cumulative GPA for all previous undergraduate work is below 3.0 can be considered on a case by case basis but admission is selective.  Applicants are required to submit GRE scores. Admission will not be considered until test scores have been received.  The Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions receives and processes the application and is responsible for sending the official admission decision. Admission is a competitive process that entails evaluation of the applicant's undergraduate transcripts; GRE scores; two letters of recommendation from persons acquainted with the applicant’s academic program; scholastic ability, or professional performance; statement of intent describing the applicant’s educational and professional goals and objectives; successful licensure as a registered dental hygienist; FBI background check; and other qualifications.  Admission assessments may include publications and professional and research experience. The DH Graduate Studies Committee may wish to conduct a personal interview with the applicant. Applicants whose native language is not English must also provide a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score. In order for an application to be considered official, applicants must submit an on-line application and pay an application fee.  Application materials will be available at The College website ( for applying to the Master of Dental Hygiene Program.  The Program Coordinator will help organize the student’s program and course load.

Master’s in Dental Hygiene (MDH) Application:

1. Non-refundable application fee ($50.00 subject to change)

2. An official transcript from each college or university attended, listing all courses taken, grades and degrees earned, and dates of graduation (Ohio State students need not submit transcripts from this university; these will be supplied by internal procedures.) Minimum GPA is a 3.0 cumulative and 3.0 in Dental Hygiene degree

3. Proof of an active dental hygiene license

4. GRE Examination Information: The GRE must be completed by the time your application is submitted. If you take the computer-based GRE revised General Test, your official scores will be sent to the institutions you designated approximately 10–15 days after your test date, if you take the paper-based test, your official scores will be sent within six weeks after your test date. GRE scores are valid for five years after the testing year in which you tested (July 1–June 30).

5. English proficiency requirement. This requirement applies only to an applicant from a country where the first language is not English, unless a bachelor’s degree or higher was earned in an English-speaking country

6. Two letters of recommendation from persons acquainted with the applicant’s academic program, scholastic ability, or professional performance

7. Provide a statement of intent describing your educational and professional goals and objectives. Explain why you are applying to the Master’s in Dental Hygiene Program. Include how your educational goals and research plans could contribute to our program. (400-700 words)

8. Provide a summary of relevant work, volunteer or professional experience, date and title of any publications, research experience, and any professional speaking engagements.

9. List memberships held in Professional Associations or Honorary Societies. Indicate offices held or committee service in these associations, national or state meetings attended, and any professional honors or awards received, including dates
The admissions committee may contact candidates who are under consideration for admission to schedule an interview. Interviews will be conducted on campus, out-of-state students will have an option to schedule an interview online.

Upon admittance a current FBI background check will be required to begin the program along with an Acceptance fee of $500 that is applied towards the first semester tuition.

Students will complete a six credit hour internship to apply skills acquired from their course work. The internship can be completed in any nationally accredited dental hygiene program. Emphasis is on gaining experience in teaching, curriculum development, administration, and other faculty responsibilities in an institution of higher education.

Students will write and successfully defend a thesis to evaluate proficiency and understanding of his/her original research area, under graduate faculty supervision.  The thesis must be approved by the Advisor and the selected Master’s Examination Committee.  Students must submit the Thesis Approval Form to the Graduate School and submit the approved thesis to OhioLink by the published deadline for the semester of graduation.  The purpose of the thesis is to give evidence of a student's abilities in collecting and evaluating information, critically analyzing theories in the chosen area of inquiry.  Students are strongly encouraged to prepare and submit at least one publication-ready manuscript based on their thesis research. 

Table 1.  Courses in the MDH Program


Course Title Description

Sem Hours


Semester I


DHY 6000 Educational Policy and Management in Dental Hygiene  This course examines the concept of “policy” as it relates to educational institutions and their governance and practices while providing knowledge and skills in basic management and administration. 


DHY 6100 Advanced Dental Hygiene Educational Theory and Methods

This course is the study of theory, principles and research related to the faculty role in active teaching and learning, critical thinking, development of curricular framework, outcomes, and course delivery methods found in dental hygiene education.


DHY 6200 Contemporary Issues in Dental Hygiene This course is designed to explore current issues and policies facing the dental hygiene profession and to plan and implement strategies to make changes.



DHY 6400 Introduction to Dental Research Designs Conceptual and technical problems in the development and implementation of clinical, behavioral and basic science research projects related to dentistry.




Semester II


DHY 6450 Statistical Analysis and its Application to Dental Hygiene Conceptual foundation of statistics related to basic, clinical and behavioral dental science.


DHY 7100 Instructional Strategies in Dental Hygiene Education

This course explores theories and concepts on the teaching of dental hygiene students including technological advances in classroom teaching.



DHY 7300 Leadership and Administration in Dental Hygiene Education

This course is designed to study leadership theories and program administration unique to dental hygiene educational programs including accreditation, human resources, faculty evaluation, budgeting, administration and outcomes assessment. 




Semester III


  DHY 7999 Thesis Research Research for the master’s thesis


  DHY 7200 Clinical/Laboratory Instruction and Administration

The theory and practice of laboratory, pre-clinical and clinical dental hygiene instruction and supervision will be provided as they relate to psychomotor skill development, student mentoring, and evaluation.





Research Utilization Dental hygiene research with emphasis on grant writing, research proposals and presentations.  Students will cover the research approaches and types, ethics and consent issues in oral health research.



Semester IV


  DHY 7999 Thesis Research Research for the master’s thesis


  DHY 7191 Dental Hygiene Internship

Supervised learning in an area of dental leadership and education.  Students complete this internship in a selected site implementing the skills acquired in DHY 6100, 7100 and 7200.  Approval for all internships is needed.



Registration and Fees
Master's in Dental Hygiene Compendium
Graduate School Handbook
Resources for Graduate Students
New Students To Do List From the Graduate School

Immunization Requirements – Complete prior to internship

Background Checks 
Textbook Information
Master's Examination Committee Approval Form

Research Protocol Approval Form 

Division of Dental Hygiene