Philosophy & Goals

A. Vision

The Dental Hygiene Baccalaureate Degree Completion Program will be nationally recognized for its innovative and flexible curriculum, whose graduates will be able to function optimally in dynamic career settings.

B. Philosophy

The philosophy of the Baccalaureate Degree Completion Program is to prepare the registered dental hygienist for a Bachelor of Science Degree concentrating in areas of nontraditional dental hygiene. 

The program will offer a dynamic and interdisciplinary background that will increase career opportunities and allow for intellectual and professional growth.  The program will allow exploration into a variety of alternative practice settings and will promote life long learning.

C. Goals

  1. Increase the number of dental hygienists receiving baccalaureate degrees who will then contribute to the knowledge base of the profession.
  2. Maintain a contemporary dental hygiene degree completion program based on feedback for change.
  3. Provide a dynamic interdisciplinary curriculum.
  4. Maintain admission policies to ensure admission of a diverse and qualified student body.
  5. Support and encourage continued formal education and advanced educational degrees.
  6. Provide individualized student centered education.
  7. Increase awareness of professional associations and activities.

D. Mission

  • The mission of the Degree Completion Program is to offer an individualized, diversified curriculum to its students allowing unlimited time commitment for completion of a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene.

Along with the fulfillment of the basic dental hygiene education, the program requires completion of the University of Detroit Mercy Core requirements that focus on math, computer literacy and humanities (religion, philosophy, culture/language, and art/music/drama). In addition to the core coursework, additional studies in dental hygiene related courses are required of students transferring from outside dental hygiene programs.

Due to prior completion of many of the core courses, many degree completion students have additional credits needed in electives in order to complete the Bachelor of Science degree. These electives can be fulfilled in any area of choice.  Directed Studies can be individually developed to allow licensed dental hygienists the option to complete studies in areas of interest in the dental or dental hygiene field or other health related areas.  

Other options for students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree include exploration into areas outside the realm of clinical dental hygiene. Students interested in healthcare education, business, management/administration, research, psychology or counseling are able to choose coursework from other colleges within the University of Detroit Mercy. Students may also choose elective coursework as prerequisites for entrance into a Master’s or professional degree program.

Delivery system (availability of day, evening, weekend courses).

The Degree Completion Program for licensed dental hygienists is a program that can accommodate a full or part-time student.  The terminal degree, a Bachelor of Science, requires a minimum of 126 credit hours for fulfillment and is granted by the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry. There is no time limit for completion.

A Degree Completion Program applicant must have received either a certificate in Dental Hygiene or an Associates degree in dental hygiene in order to be admitted into the program.  Applicants with a Diploma in Dental Hygiene from an accredited Canadian program may also apply.  Due to the past coursework in prerequisite and dental hygiene courses, the degree completion students frequently enter into the program at the beginning of their senior year.

  • The University of Detroit Mercy Core Curriculum that is required to complete the BS degree will be taken on the Mc Nichols campus. These courses are offered during the day, at night, or in the Weekend College (Friday and/or Saturday) and are generally offered during each semester.
  • The Dental Hygiene Core classes are taken on the Corktown campus, home of the School of Dentistry.  These courses are sequential and should begin with the Research Methods course in preparation for the Practicum and then Capstone. 
  • At this time, minimal on-line coursework is available to degree completion students.

Many students of the degree completion program are graduates of other dental hygiene programs.  A significant number come from community college programs.  An individual transcript evaluation is performed for each applicant to determine the maximum number of transfer credit hours allowable. Traditionally, a maximum of 63 credit hours is accepted from accredited community college dental hygiene programs; however. a number of community college dental hygiene programs have articulation agreements with the University of Detroit Mercy.  These agreements allow a larger number of credit hours to be transfer, up to 96 credit hours.  Therefore, degree completion students will need between 30 and 63 additional credit hours to fulfill the BS degree.  The last 30 credit hours for any student are required to be taken at the University of Detroit Mercy to fulfill the senior residency requirement.

If any of the UDM or Dental Hygiene core coursework has been successfully completed prior to a student’s admission into the degree completion program, and if additional credits are required to fulfill the 126 credits needed to complete the BS degree, electives are added in the student’s area of interest. Electives can be fulfilled by either additional coursework or by directed studies.

Directed Studies, which are supervised by dental or dental hygiene faculty within the School of Dentistry, may include research, publication of research, clinical or didactic teaching and/or a host of other applicable opportunities in other dental specialties.  These opportunities will allow exploration into fields associated with dental hygiene but may not specifically deal with the traditional aspects of the profession.

Other elective opportunities may be fulfilled by taking coursework in many of the other colleges within the university.  Classes in business, management/administration, psychology, and/or counseling are a few examples of areas that may interest degree completion students.