USC University of Southern California

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

Dental Hygiene

USC Dental Hygiene studentsThe Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry established a dental hygiene program more than 80 years ago. The USC bachelor of science in dental hygiene program is now internationally renowned for excellence in clinical and preventive dental hygiene. Our graduates have gone on to become expert clinicians, educators, researchers, health advocates and public health professionals.

Ostrow is dedicated to advancing the dental hygiene profession and serving the community. We provide students with a uniquely comprehensive dental hygiene education that can only be found here at USC.

Our Curriculum

  • Among the more than 300 dental hygiene programs in the United States, only 55 — including USC — confer the bachelor of science degree. And just 21 programs offer the master’s of science degree.
  • The bachelor of science degree in dental hygiene requires successful completion of the dental hygiene curriculum, which includes coursework in the basic sciences and clinical and general education.
  • USC dental hygiene students learn about the ethics, values, skills and knowledge essential to the profession. They learn to assess the patient’s medical, dental and social histories, and they are prepared to provide educational, clinical and consultative services to individuals and populations of all ages, including the medically compromised, mentally or physically challenged and socially or culturally disadvantaged.
  • The program emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention, as well as the dental hygienist’s role in the community. Nutritional counseling and tobacco cessation strategies are included in the curriculum.
  • Hands-on learning helps students to solve problems, interact with dentists, treat a wide variety of patients, perform preventive procedures, and evaluate patient outcomes.

Our Faculty

  • Our program provides dental hygiene students with outstanding opportunities to learn from our prestigious dental faculty and to work alongside our talented dental students. The faculties of dentistry and dental hygiene share responsibility for the clinical and academic courses for dental hygiene students.
  • Our faculty includes renowned experts in patient education, advanced non-periodontal therapy, clinical research and community outreach.
  • Our faculty members are also editors and authors of some of the most influential journals and textbooks in the dental hygiene profession. Most importantly, every faculty member is intensely dedicated to helping our students become their best.

Our Graduates

  • About 70 percent of all dental hygienists work in private dental offices, 20 percent work in local public health and school programs, and the remainder work in state and federal health programs, industry settings, research positions and teaching.
  • Our graduates have gone on to become expert clinicians, educators, researchers, health advocates and public health professionals.