Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene Department Menu


259 Adams Street
Pearl Building 201 (P-201)
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone: 718-260-5070

Dental Hygiene/AAS

A dental hygienist is a licensed member of the dental health team who provides educational, clinical and therapeutic services to the public, according to the individual state Dental Hygiene Practice Act. Patient care provided by the dental hygienist includes collection and assessment of pertinent data, planning and implementation of care and evaluation of the results of treatment.

Dental hygiene students are taught responsibility for professional judgment, ethical conduct and infection control. They learn to develop an effective and responsible style of communication which enables them to involve the patient as a partner in care as a necessary condition for restoring and maintaining the patient’s oral health. Students treat a broad range of patients with varied characteristics and health conditions and are given the opportunity to work in a variety of healthcare settings with different population groups.

The program includes theory, laboratory and clinical practice and general education courses. Students gain proficiency in clinical skills by treating patients in our on-campus dental hygiene clinic. Satisfactory performance in off-campus affiliated clinics may be required of each candidate for the associate in applied science degree with a major in Dental Hygiene. Computer experience related to dental hygiene practice is also offered. Prior to beginning clinical assignments, students must complete a departmental medical form, provide proof of required immunizations, malpractice insurance and Health Care Provider CPR certification.

Students must complete all requirements for the AAS degree within five years of the date of their matriculation into the dental hygiene curriculum.

In order to practice dental hygiene, graduates are required to pass a National Board Examination on the theory of dental hygiene and a Regional Board Examination on the clinical practice of dental hygiene. Application for licensure must be made to the individual state(s) where the applicant intends to practice.

Among the employers of the graduates of this program are private dental practices, public and private health agencies, hospitals, industrial clinics, government agencies, U.S. Armed Services, schools of dentistry and dental hygiene and dental supply companies.

The following are the dental hygiene program goals:

  • Prepares students to become competent oral health clinicians who apply current scientific knowledge and skills toward the prevention of oral diseases.
  • Prepares students to be perceptive oral health professionals who motivate clients toward the attainment and maintenance of optimal oral health.
  • Encourages students to exercise critical thinking in the development and implementation of patient care.
  • Prepares students to serve as dental resource personnel and to assume professional leadership roles in the community.
  • Provides opportunities for students to develop interest and participate in professional organizations.
  • Encourages students to continue life-long personal, professional and educational growth.
  • Provides opportunities for students to transfer to baccalaureate degree programs in dental hygiene and related disciplines.
  • Mandates that students apply accepted infection control protocols for prevention of disease transmission in the dental environment and community.
  • Provides students with skills to communicate clearly in oral and written presentations.

Criteria for Admission into and Progression within the Dental Hygiene Curriculum

All new and transfer students who do not meet the admissions criteria for direct entry into the clinical program will be classified as pre-clinical dental hygiene students taking introductory courses. During the introductory courses sequence, students will be programmed for developmental skills courses as needed and credit courses in general education and science, which are required for the degree in dental hygiene.

Students will be considered for acceptance into the clinical program each fall if they:

  • Are CUNY proficient in writing and math and are proficient at or above the 12th grade level in reading, and
  • Have completed all 22 required general education credits as delineated in the NYCCT college catalog and departmental literature with at least “C’s” in biology and chemistry and a minimum combined average of 2.5. Grades in repeated courses will be averaged.

Completion of the introductory courses does not guarantee progression into the clinical program.

Because of capacity limitations, students who have completed the introductory phase with the minimum 2.5 index or higher will be numerically ranked each semester and seats will be allocated on the basis of the highest cumulative average in the introductory sequence, as space permits. Due to the high number of applicants to the clinical phase of the dental hygiene program in the past two years, the average GPA, for acceptance to the program has been approximately 3.0 or higher.

Progression from Pre-Clinical Dental Hygiene to Clinical Dental Hygiene

After satisfying the prerequisite proficiencies and the required 22 introductory course credits, as listed in the statement of requirements with a minimum grade of “C” in the sciences and a cumulative average of 2.5 or better, the student may be admitted to the clinical phase of the dental hygiene program as space permits. Students who have spent a minimum of one semester in introductory course studies at New York City College of Technology may be given preference.

The introductory courses must be completed in a maximum of four semesters after admission to the pre-clinical course sequence of the dental hygiene program. Available seats in the clinical program will be allocated on the basis of the highest cumulative academic averages in the required 22-credit sequence. Students accepted into the clinical program in the last two years had minimum GPA’s of 3.2 and 3.36. Seats will be offered up to the limit authorized by the College. Students who do not meet the above requirements for progression from the pre-clinical sequence to the clinical program by the end of four semesters will be required to transfer out of the dental hygiene curriculum.

Progression in and Graduation from Dental Hygiene

A minimum grade of “C” in each course designated with the prefix DEN will be required for progression in and graduation from the dental hygiene program. DEN 1100 may not be repeated in the event of failure or a grade of D and the student will be required to choose another major. Special conditions of equipment and faculty availability govern the repeating of dental hygiene courses. Course repetition will be permitted only after all students meeting the entrance and progression requirements have been allotted seats. Students who withdraw will be considered for readmission on an individual basis and only if they withdraw in good standing (passing all courses at time of withdrawal).

As per College policy, no dental hygiene course may be repeated more than once. In addition:

  • No more than two dental hygiene courses may be repeated during the entire course of study.
  • A student may not fail more than one course in any one semester.
  • If a student fails to meet any of these provisions, he/she will be required to withdraw from the dental hygiene curriculum.

Additional information on departmental regulations is available in the Dental Hygiene Student Handbook.

Approximate Additional Costs other than Tuition for Four Semesters

Board Examinations $975
N.Y. State License $120
Professional Memberships $120
Instruments and Supplies $600
Textbooks $ 800
Uniforms $ 140
Hygiene Pin $ 65




English Composition (1 courses, 3 credits)

ENG 1101 English Composition I 3

Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning (1 course, 3-4 credits)

MAT 1190 Quantitative Reasoning or higher 3

Life and Physical Sciences (1 course, 4 credits)

BIO 2311 Human Anatomy and Physiology I3 4


Individual and Society

PSY 1101 Introduction to Psychology 3
SOC 1101 Elements of Sociology 3

Scientific World

BIO 2312 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4

Writing Intensive Requirement4

Students at New York City College of Technology must complete two courses designated WI for the associate level, one from GenEd and one from the major; and two additional courses designated WI for the baccalaureate level, one from GenEd and one from the major.


Preclinical Courses

BIO 2311 Human Anatomy and Physiology I Met as GenEd
BIO 2312 Human Anatomy and Physiology II Met as GenEd
CHEM 1000 Principles of Chemistry or higher 4
ENG 1101 English Composition I Met as GenEd
MAT 1190 Quantitative Reasoning or higher Met as GenEd
SOC 1101 Sociology Met as GenEd

Additional Program-Specific Degree Requirements

DEN 1100 Principles of Dental Hygiene Care I 4
DEN 1112 Oral Anatomy 2
DEN 1114 Histology and Embryology 1
DEN 1200 Principles of Dental Hygiene Care II 4
DEN 1217 Periodontics 2
DEN 1218 Dental Radiology 2
DEN 2300 Principles of Dental Hygiene Care III 5
DEN 2311 Oral Pathology 2
DEN 2315 Pharmacology 2
DEN 2318 Dental materials 2
DEN 2400 Principles of Dental Hygiene Care IV 5
DEN 2413 Public Health 2
BIO 3302 Microbiology 4
BIO 3524 Nutrition 2
PSY 1101 Introduction to Psychology Met as GenEd
COM 1320

COM 1330
Voice and Diction
Public Speaking


1 Although students enrolled in AAS programs are not required to meet all of the CUNY Pathways requirements, the college and program general education requirements are organized by Pathways categories to inform students of their standing should they transfer to a CUNY baccalaureate program.

2 Specific courses listed indicate double duty courses, i.e., program degree requirements that also meet general education requirements in that category. Students are not required to make that choice but should be advised that a different choice may result in additional credits being needed for graduation.

3 Students without the requisite science background for BIO 2311 will be required to take BIO 1101 in preparation. This will increase the number of credits required for the degree by 4.

4 A semester-specific list of writing intensive courses is available online at the City Tech Pathways website.