Certificate in Dental Hygiene

School of Dentistry


3220 Old Dental Building, CB# 7450

(919) 537-3459

The dental hygienist is an educator and motivator as well as a health care provider. As a practicing member of the dental health team, the hygienist is primarily concerned with the maintenance of oral health and the prevention of dental disease. Additionally, dental hygienists may assume professional leadership roles; participate in the development, implementation, and evaluation of community health programs; engage in research activities; or serve as consultants and assume managerial roles in certain types of dental care delivery systems.

Students are subject to the academic requirements in place when they are admitted to the dental hygiene program; consequently, the requirements described in this catalog particularly apply to students admitted to the school during the 2016–2017 academic year.

Admission to the program is required.

All course descriptions can be found in ConnectCarolina and in the UNC School of Dentistry Academic Catalog (see dentistry.unc.edu).

Department Programs



Graduate Programs


Applicants interested in the certificate program in dental hygiene may be admitted to the program without junior standing after completion of:

BIOL 252Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Physiology3
EXSS 276Human Physiology3
or PHYI 292 Introduction to Physiology
CHEM 101
CHEM 102
General Descriptive Chemistry I
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory I
and General Descriptive Chemistry II
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory II
or BIOC 107
BIOC 108
Introduction to Biochemistry
and Introduction to Biochemistry
Select one of the following:3
Communication and Social Process
Public Speaking
Introduction to Interpersonal and Organizational Communication H
ENGL 105English Composition and Rhetoric3
MCRO 251Introductory Medical Microbiology4
or MCRO 255 Elementary Pathogenic Microbiology
PSYC 101General Psychology3
SOCI 101Sociological Perspectives H3
or SOCI 111 Human Societies
Total Hours30

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

After completion of the basic professional program, a certificate in dental hygiene is awarded. Enrollment to complete the baccalaureate degree requirements is an option for the student with a certificate or equivalent credential in dental hygiene.

Additional Information for the Dental Hygiene Programs

Upon provisional acceptance into the dental hygiene program, all students must provide an acceptable criminal background check and provide documentation of required immunizations, as well as varicella vaccine series and/or a positive quantitative titer, hepatitis B series (three shots) and a positive quantitative titer, and the two-step tuberculosis skin test (TST). The two skin tests must be taken within a 12-month period. Specific information is provided in the School of Dentistry Academic Catalog.

One of the consequences of the delivery of health care is the possibility of contracting infectious disease such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, herpes, or HIV. To minimize this risk, the UNC School of Dentistry has adopted an infectious control policy that requires wearing a clinical overgarment, protective safety eyewear, disposable gloves, and a mask when oral examinations and dental hygiene services are being provided.

Dental school fees are required that include instrument rental and other supplies needed for clinical care and the education of patients. Additional costs may occur for projects required in the curriculum.