Pierce College Dental Hygiene students

About Our Program

Program Costs

  • The BASDH cost estimate for tuition, textbooks, and associated fees is $43,000 for the two year BASDH. Highest costs occur in Summer 1, Fall 1 and Fall 2 quarters. This estimate does NOT include costs associated with dental hygiene prerequisite course tuition or associated costs, room and board, transportation, required professional meetings, etc.
  • Estimated cost for the two-year (eight-quarter) Dental Hygiene Program is based on the currently published (April 2018) Washington State resident tuition rates.
  • Exam and licensing fees are estimates based on April 2018 rates.
  • All costs are estimates and subject to change.
  • See the forms page for a downloadable sheet of costs and curriculum. To request this information in an alternate format, please contact us at denthyg@pierce.ctc.edu or 253-964-6796.

Financial Aid

The BASDH has two direct contact people in the financial aid department to assist you as a bachelor degree student:

Ms. Erlinda Cruz

Trinity Huttner

Complete Your FAFSA by February 1

Even if you do not think you will be eligible for financial aid, completing a FAFSA may open doors for scholarships.

Workforce Funding

The Dental Hygiene Bachelor’s Program is not eligible for Workforce funding. Workforce staff can assist with completing the FAFSA. Individuals may be eligible for the Trade Act Assistance Program (TAA). Please contact your Trade Act Counselor for an individualized assessment. Students are encouraged to meet with Workforce staff to discuss their individual funding needs and explore possible community funding resources. For an appointment with Workforce staff, please call 253-964-6265.

Length of Program

The Bachelor of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene degree involves eight consecutive quarters starting in summer quarter.

School Hours/Working While in Program

Anticipate a typical schedule of from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, quarterly schedules may vary, with some days being only a few hours in class. The average number of weekly class hours is approximately 25–30. Study time varies per individual student, but averages between 20–30 hours per week, as is standard for professional programs.

Occasional evenings and weekends are necessary for professional and inter-professional activities. Specific hours vary each quarter and mostly occur in the last few quarters of the program.

Due to the intensity of learning in a professional course of study, we recommend that students do not work while enrolled in the program.

Number of Yearly Accepted Students

Twenty (20) students are accepted each year in summer 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.

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

Due to the highly competitive nature of the program, students who have been previously dismissed from the program have demonstrated a failure to progress in the profession of Dental Hygiene. Therefore, an offer of acceptance into the program may be denied.

Average GPA and Test Scores of Accepted Students

  • Science GPA: 3.85/4.00
  • Non-science GPA: 3.86/4.00
  • Health Science Reasoning Test Score: 24/30 points
  • Spatial Relation Test Score: 88/100%
  • Writing Sample Test Score: 23/30 points

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene (BASDH). An associate’s degree option is not available.

Graduate Degree Preparation

The Bachelor of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene degree prepares you for application to most graduate schools. However, graduate school requirements vary greatly and are dependent on the course of study. Thus, not all universities will transfer the BASDH degree in the same manner. See the ADHA educational site for more information on dental hygiene graduate programs.

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. You may consult with your physician and/or a dental hygiene program advisor to determine whether the physical demands of the program may be prohibitive.

The licensing exams 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 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.