Getting the education you need for a stable career is a snap with one of the best online master’s in dental hygiene programs.
These flexible online degree programs are just as good as on-campus options. They also enable you to fulfill any in-person requirements at your own practice or other locations close to where you live.
Even better, the flexibility of asynchronous distance learning options means you’ll be able to continue working while completing your education. Let’s dive deeper to see exactly what a master’s in dental hygiene is and what it can do for you.
What Is a Master’s in Dental Hygiene Degree?
A master’s degree in dental hygiene is a continuation of the same studies you would find in a bachelor’s degree of the same specialization. A dental hygienist is not the same thing as a typical dentist, which requires a doctorate. Dental hygienists are responsible for most cleaning appointments, however, and several of them may work in one dental office.
Master’s degrees in this field prepare dental hygienists to enter research or administrative roles in the dental hygiene sphere. Those who attain this degree can eventually become teachers of other dental hygienists or become managers of their peers.
How Much Can You Earn With a Master’s in Dental Hygiene Degree?
A master’s degree in dental hygiene will enable you to enjoy the profession’s solid annual salary, which is around $74,820 per year. This is quite a reasonable wage for many, and there are opportunities for higher salaries of around $101,000 as you enter a managerial position.
Furthermore, dental hygienists will enjoy an 11% job growth rate over the next ten years. This means that there will be lots of new positions for future dental hygienists and managers. It’s an incredibly stable and potentially lucrative career.
What Is Required for a Master’s in Dental Hygiene Degree?
A dental hygiene degree at the master’s level requires extensive coursework in several subjects, including biostatistics, oral pathology, and dental radiology. For the most part, students dive deeper into the concepts they learn during a bachelor’s degree program in the same field.
Most master’s degrees in dental hygiene require that you have a bachelor’s degree in at least a related field, as well as some work experience in dental environments. They typically require excellent grades and at least two letters of recommendation.
The majority of programs will also require that you have a dental hygienist certification to qualify for admission.
What Are the Best Master’s in Dental Hygiene Degrees?
OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program-specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.
The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.
Now let’s check out the 5 best online Master’s in Dental Hygiene degrees!
The University of Tennessee-Health Science Center
- Tuition: $13,203(in state) / $28,638(out of state)
- 33 credit hours
- Rare admissions windows
- One of the oldest dental hygiene programs in the country
School WideStudent Satisfaction70.00%Programs offered online2
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in DepartmentNot ReportedPopularity at School100.00%100%OSR Score
The University of Tennessee offers a largely online program, with the only exceptions being an on-campus orientation and capstone project period. Otherwise, students can benefit from an extremely flexible curriculum and the ability to select their own rate of progress. It can be completed in less than two years by the most industrious students.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
- Tuition: $3,114(in state) / $11,772(out of state)
- 36 credit hours
- Several application windows through the year
- Can be completed in less than two years
School WideStudent Satisfaction61.76%Admission Rate64%Programs offered online3
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in DepartmentNot ReportedPopularity at School100.00%99%OSR Score
The University of Texas provides an ideal program for future dental hygiene leaders. The curriculum specializes in the management of other dental hygienists and teaches students how to run dental offices. Courses can be completed on a rigorous timeframe or on your own schedule, and opportunities for work experiences are frequent.
- Tuition: $20,880(in state) / $20,880(out of state)
- In-person orientation required
- 36 credit hours
- Several certificates available
School WideStudent SatisfactionNot ReportedAdmission Rate84%Programs offered online3
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in DepartmentNot ReportedPopularity at School94.79%89%OSR Score
MCPHS University’s program only accepts students for the fall semester, so be sure to apply early if you’re interested. The curriculum is science-based and heavily academic. It can be completed part-time and culminates in a rigorous thesis, for which you’ll have access to several advisors and researchers to help you along the way.
Old Dominion University
- Tuition: $9,168(in state) / $26,820(out of state)
- 30 credit hours
- Low tuition for in and out-of-state students
- Several start dates available
School WideStudent Satisfaction75.20%Admission Rate86%Programs offered online19
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in DepartmentNot ReportedPopularity at School18.16%67%OSR Score
Old Dominion University’s program doesn’t require any clinical work, so it can be completed mostly asynchronously and online. Undergraduates can also proceed to this program on a fast-track if they’re earning their bachelor’s from the same school. Some exams may be scheduled for specific times, but otherwise scheduling is up to each individual student.
Idaho State University
- Tuition: $7,187(in state) / $21,963(out of state)
- 37 credits
- Requires an orientation course
- Requires a thesis research project
School WideStudent Satisfaction74.20%Programs offered online2
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in DepartmentNot ReportedPopularity at School25.93%64%OSR Score
Idaho State University provides a master’s program that emphasizes a flexible education while allowing you to continue working in the field. It includes multiple leadership courses so you can manage dental offices in the future. It’s also entirely online, although there are several opportunities to visit the campus, and a required one-week seminar course in May.