Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



School of Dentistry


Not Listed

Committee Chair

Christina DeBiase.


The nursing profession has designed a variety of curriculum options for individuals who wish to pursue graduate education in nursing. These options have been created to meet the changing needs of their profession, society, and potential students in the field. The profession of dental hygiene has similar needs. Presently there are only nine programs granting graduate degrees in dental hygiene. More graduate programs are needed to fulfill the future demands for educators, researchers, and practitioners with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide advanced levels of care in a variety of practice settings. Unfortunately, a mean of only 20 students earn the MSDH degree annually. Often potential applicants are not geographically mobile, have family commitments, or may desire dental hygiene as their second career. Based on a review of the literature and a needs assessment of all dental hygiene programs nationally (n = 237), two accelerated graduate programs have been proposed. One program has been designed for individuals with associate degrees in Dental Hygiene and the other for non-dental hygienist college graduates. Distance education and web-based courses are integral parts of both curriculum designs.