Dental Hygiene Department - Home

Updated advising and application information will be available after Sept. 1, 2015.

Note: The new 2016 application deadline is mid-December 2015, this is a change from previous years.


The Pierce College Dental Hygiene program has been accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)* for almost 40 years. It enjoys national acclaim and recognition for consistently graduating clinically skilled and intellectually strong dental hygiene clinicians. The Pierce College Dental Hygiene faculty members strive for an affable academic climate that commands the very best from the student, while balancing the skills needed to be competent and successful and maintaining a high standard of public safety. Currently, the dental hygiene clinic incorporates the very latest and best technology, including office management software, digital radiography, and computer-assisted anesthesia.

Program Length

Seven consecutive quarters starting each fall quarter.

School Hours/Working While in Program

We recommend anticipating from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., however the schedule varies from quarter to quarter. Occasional evenings and weekends are necessary for professional and inter-professional activities. Specific hours vary each quarter.

We recommend that students refrain from working while enrolled in the program. The clinical and classroom instruction requires 24-30 on-campus contact hours per week. This does not include the hours outside of class and clinic required for studying which for a professional program requires between 2-3 hours of outside study per credit hour.

Number of Yearly Accepted Students

Twenty students will be accepted each fall quarter at the Pierce College Fort Steilacoom campus located in Lakewood, WA. We do not have an online or distance campus option at this time.

*There is not a wait list. Applicants may apply as many times as they want, but must meet the current year's requirements for application.

Degree Awarded

Associate in Dental Hygiene

Bachelor Degree Transferability

The Pierce College Associate in Dental Hygiene degree directly transfers (dependent on previous coursework) into the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Online Degree Completion Program.

Once a student has earned their Associate in Dental Hygiene from Pierce College, and becomes licensed, they may apply to the Online EWU Degree Completion program. Please click here for more information.

Disability Status

The Dental Hygiene program and the field of dental hygiene are physically and mentally demanding. They require good physical condition and excellent eye-hand coordination. The skills used in the practice of dental hygiene place a demand on the whole body, but particularly the back, neck, upper body muscles, arms and hands, and vision. The repetition of the skills, variety of clients seen, and variety of settings in which one practices, require physical and mental stamina.

Concerned students are asked to consult with a physician and/or a Dental Hygiene program advisor to determine whether the physical demands of the program would be recommended. Additionally, current licensing tests in Washington and the National Dental Hygiene Board Exam require a command of the English language.

Pierce College Disability Policy:

Students with disabilities who believe they may need academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, or services to fully participate in course activities or meet course requirements are encouraged to register with the Access and Disability Services (ADS) Office at (253) 964-6526 or TTY at (253) 964-6626 or confidential FAX at (253) 964-6449 for the Pierce College Lakewood campus.

Students may also email the ADS Office. Students requesting accommodations must obtain the Approved Quarterly Academic Adjustments, Auxiliary Aids or Services form provided by ADS. It is the student's responsibility to determine whether licensing exams allow for disability accommodations.

DH Program Advising Information
Email: Voice: 253-964-6796

Fulltime Dental Hygiene Faculty

Monica Hospenthal
R.D.H., B.S., M.Ed.
Program Director/Fulltime Professor

Kathy B. Bassett
Fulltime Professor/Risk Management Officer

Mary Galagan
Fulltime Professor/Community Health and Extramurals

Carolyn D. Roberton
Fulltime Professor/Liaison
Student Chapter of ADHA

Pierce College Dental Hygiene Department Faculty & Staff

Postal Address

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom
Dental Hygiene Department
9401 Farwest Drive SW
Lakewood, WA 98498-1999