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Dental Hygienist Course in USA: Top Universities, Scholarships and How to Apply?

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Yocket Editorial Team
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A BDS, or a Bachelor of Dental Surgery is the only professional course in dental sciences in India. After completing this 5-year degree, you can either jump into practise, work as a consultant, or even pursue higher studies. 

Dental hygiene is a booming field with professionals in high demand across the world, and there are plenty of lucrative job opportunities available in dental clinics, hospitals, and private practices. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for dental hygienists is expected to grow 7% from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations. 

This makes pursuing the course in Dental Hygine worthwhile. But why do international students prefer to study dental courses in the USA? Well, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental hygienists in the U.S., are one of the highest-paid jobs, with excellent social security.  The median annual salary for dental hygienists is around INR 67,70,624. Over the last decade, 16,400 openings for dental hygienists have opened annually, promising an excellent career progression.

But do you know dental hygiene programs in the USA can be really difficult to get into? The best universities have an acceptance rate between 12-30%, making them highly competitive. The limited number of seats available in these programs and the competition for admission is fierce. International students face additional challenges, such as meeting English language proficiency requirements and obtaining a student visa. Does this mean you can’t fulfill your dream of studying in the US?

Definitely not! Yocket Premium is here to get you into your dream university. Yocket counselors provide personalized guidance to you to make sure you are able to get into your dream university. From university selection, and financial aid to obtaining the visa, Yocket counselors are with you at every step.

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This guide provides comprehensive information on the top dental hygiene schools in the USA, including their eligibility criteria, course curriculum, fees, scholarships, and scope.

Table of Contents

Why Study Dental Hygienist Course in USA?

If you are wondering whether dental hygienist course in USA is worth pursuing or not, take a look at the following points:

  • USA is home to 16 prestigious universities that have ranked in the QS World University Rankings for dentistry with 14 universities in the top 50 categories.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the projected growth for dental hygienists is predicted to be around 9% between 2021 and 2031.
  • Around 16,300 jobs for dental hygienists are expected to be added each year on an average between 2021 to 2031 as per the BLS.
  • US universities are known for their world-class facilities, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and equipment as well as highly qualified faculty.

Best Dental Hygiene Schools in USA

There is no lack of coveted dental hygiene schools in USA whether you are looking for an associate, bachelor, master, or doctoral program. Here are some of the most sought-after dental schools in the USA that must be on your list:

  • University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • New York University
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Pittsburgh

In the following discussion, you will see the key insights of the best dental hygiene schools in the USA:

1. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

The School of Dentistry at the University of Michigan is one of the top 5 dentistry schools in the USA. With an excellent reputation, the school offers the second-oldest graduate program in dental hygiene in the USA.

University Type

Public

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor World Ranking 2024

33

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 (Dentistry)

1

Program Offered

BS in Dental Hygiene (2 years)

MS in Dental Hygiene (2 years)

Average Program Fees

INR 16,86,745.40 per year for BS

INR 27,71,319.36 per year for MS

2. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

The Adam School of Dentistry at UNC - Chapel Hill is the only university in the state to offer a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene which makes it unique. The university offers dentistry programs in many other specializations as well such as endodontics, orthodontics, oral and maxillofacial radiology, prosthodontics, and more.

University Type

Public

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill World Ranking 2024

132

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 (Dentistry)

18

Program Offered

BS in Dental Hygiene (4 years)

MS in Dental Hygiene Education (22 months)

Average Program Fees

INR 29,59,290.00 per year for BS

INR 26,07,052.98 per year for MS

3. New York University

NYU College of Dentistry is the only dental hygiene program to be offered at a dental college in New York. The programs at NYU are flexible and can be completed through the BS degree completion track, fast track, or advanced standing track for the AAS program.

University Type

Private

New York University World Ranking 2024

38

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 (Dentistry)

23

Program Offered

BS in Dental Hygiene (4 years) 

Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Dental Hygiene (2 years) 

Average Annual Program Fees

INR 23,03,222.56 per year for BS

INR 18,82,866.98 per year for AAS

4. University of Minnesota

The BS in Dental Hygiene at the University of Minnesota lets you complete the program in 3 years rather than the traditional 4-year duration. The MS program gives you the opportunity to pursue the program through the online dental hygiene track.

University Type

Public

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities World Ranking 2024

195

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 (Dentistry)

51-80

Program Offered

BS in Dental Hygiene (3 years) 

MS in Dental Hygiene (2 years) 

Average Annual Program Fees

INR 31,31,208.28 per year for BS

INR 86,832.46 per credit hour for MS

5. University of Pittsburgh

The bachelor's degree at the University of Pittsburgh is a completion program suitable for students who have completed a certificate or associate degree in dental hygiene. You can also pursue a 2-year Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene. 

University Type

Public

University of Pittsburgh World Ranking 2024

222

Program Offered

Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene (2 years)

BS in Dental Hygiene (2 years) 

Average Annual Program Fees

INR 45,00,000 per year for AS

INR 30,00,000 per year for BS

How to choose a university abroad?

Course Curriculum for Dental Hygiene Programs in USA

You must check the course curriculum before applying for a dental hygienist course in USA as you will be able to excel in the course only if it is something that interests you. Here is a table to give you some insight into the course curriculum for dental hygienists in USA after BDS:

Dental Hygiene Course Duration

Associate degree - 3 years

Bachelor's degree - 4 years

Master’s degree - 2 years

Course Content

Dental anatomy, oral pathology, dental materials, anesthetics, oral biology, dental health and nutrition, oral histology and so on.

Course Alternatives

Master of Dental Surgery, MS in Orthodontics, MS in Endodontics, Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry

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Eligibility Criteria for Dental Hygienist Course in the USA

You will have to meet the eligibility criteria for admission to dental hygienist course in USA after BDS in India which is discussed as under:

  • Educational qualification
  • Entrance exam scores
  • English language proficiency test scores

Take a look at how you can fulfill the eligibility to pursue dental hygienist course in USA after BDS in India:

Educational qualification

To enroll for an associate or bachelor degree in dental hygiene, you must have completed high school with a recommended score of 75-80%. A completed bachelor’s degree comparable to a US degree is required to get admission to a master’s degree program with a GPA of 3.5 to 4.0 is recommended for entry to top dental schools. An educational background in biology, chemistry, and mathematics is required. 

Learn more about MDS in the USA

Entrance exam scores

You may need SAT or ACT scores for admission to undergraduate level programs. Universities may ask for your GRE scores to get admission to master’s degree programs. There are varying requirements for every university but a minimum score of 315 or above is recommended.

Suggested: Exam required to study in USA

English language proficiency test scores

If you are an international student whose native language is not English, you will have to submit IELTS, TOEFL, or equivalent test scores as proof of English language proficiency. Most renowned institutions ask candidates for a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 or a TOEFL-iBT score of 90.

How to Apply for a Dental Hygienist Course in USA?

  • Start planning your application for dental hygienist in USA after BDS in India at least 8-10 months in advance by shortlisting the dental schools you wish to apply to.
  • Visit the official website of your shortlisted universities and take note of the upcoming intakes, application deadlines, eligibility criteria, fees, etc.
  • Complete the online application early and pay the necessary application fee.
  • You will have to provide the university with a list of supporting documents for evaluation of your application.
  • After submitting all the documents, you will receive a confirmation email and details to track the status of your application.
  • Once the admission decision is announced, confirm your acceptance and deposit the necessary tuition fee without any delay.
  • Upon receiving your letter of acceptance, you can apply for an F-1 student visa to study a dental hygienist course in the USA after BDS in India.

Also Read

USA Student visa guide

Type of student visa in USA

Student F1 Visa interview process

Documents required for visa interview

Documents Required for Dental Hygienist in USA after BDS

We have prepared a list of documents that you may require to complete your application for dental hygienist course in USA:

How Much Does it Cost to Study a Dental Hygienist Course in USA?

While planning to do a dental hygienist course in USA for international students, you must consider the following costs to plan your budget:

Tuition Fees

The average tuition fee for an undergraduate dental hygienist course in the USA is around INR 16,60,000 - INR 33,25,000 per year whereas master’s degree costs range between INR 35,00,000 - INR 60,00,000 per year. There are a number of public dental hygiene schools in the USA that offer the program at a much more affordable rate.

Suggested: Cost of Studying in the USA

Cost of Living

An international student in the USA requires around INR 80,000 - INR 1,25,500 per month to pay the rent of accommodation, food, utility bills, and personal expenses. Therefore, the annual living expenses for international students sum up to INR 10,00,000 - INR 15,00,000 per year. You can expect these expenses to vary according to your choice of accommodation, mode of transport and your lifestyle.

Cost of living in USA

Scholarships for Dental Hygienist Course in USA

As international students you can apply for a variety of scholarships that recognize academic excellence as well as financial need. Apart from the entrance scholarships and merit-based scholarships that you will be considered for, here is a list of scholarships available for dental hygiene courses in USA:

Scholarship Name

Amount

ADEA/Crest Oral-B Scholarship for Dental Students Pursuing Academic Careers

INR 4,50,000

ADHA Institute for Oral Health Scholarship

INR 80,000

Dental Trade Alliance Foundation Scholarship

INR 4,15,000

Penn Dental Medicine Dean’s Scholarship (University of Pennsylvania)

INR 33,00,000

Dr. Fanny N. Freund Advanced Education Scholarship (University of Minnesota)

INR 10,00,000

Career Opportunities after Studying Dental Hygienist Course in USA

Before concluding the discussion on the dental hygienist course in USA for international students, let us look at the various career opportunities. You can expect to get a starting salary of INR 24,75,000 per year which can go up to INR 73,00,000 per year with years of experience and level of education.

Take a look at the table below to get an idea about some job titles related to dental hygienists in USA after BDS:

Job Title

Average Annual Salaries (in INR)

Dental Hygienist

INR 45,00,000

Dental Assistant

INR 55,00,000

Dental Technician

INR 50,00,000

Dental Laboratory Technician

INR 50,70,000

Dental Receptionist

INR 51,00,000

How to find jobs in USA?

From the Desk of Yocket

Dental hygienist programs are becoming increasingly demanding due to their high job stability and salaries. This program opens up many job opportunities, including in non-dental settings. The USA is a popular study abroad destination for international students interested in studying dental hygiene, as US universities offer high-quality education and students can earn more money there due to employment opportunities. However, the journey to studying abroad can be daunting and challenging, as international students need to prepare for many things and face unique challenges.


Yocket Premium is a one-time solution for all your study abroad needs. It provides everything you need to get ahead of the competition and get shortlisted into your dream university. Speak to Yocket counselors today to get expert guidance and complete support to get into the best dental hygienist course in the USA after BDS in India.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Hygienist Course in USA

How long does it take to become a dental hygienist in USA?

How much does it cost to become a dental hygienist in USA?

How can I become a dental hygienist in USA?

How much do dental hygienists make in USA?

Are dental hygienists in demand in USA?

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