• FSCJ
  • FSCJ

Dental Hygiene (A.S.)

Preventive dentistry, dental hygiene instrumentation, dental radiography, and oral and general pathology.

The Associate in Science in Dental Hygiene degree program will prepare students to become a dental hygiene professional. Dental hygienists are licensed preventive oral health professionals who provide educational, clinical and therapeutic services. They support total health through the promotion of optimal dental health. A dental hygienist clinician works with the licensed dentist and other dental auxiliaries as a member of an oral health care team. A dental hygienist must obtain a license by completing both a written and a clinical examination before practicing.

Industry Associations


U.S. News and World Report recently announced its list of best jobs for 2015. No. 5 on the list is dental hygienist. Florida State College at Jacksonville offers an Associate in Science in Dental Hygiene degree. Listed below are questions and answers about the FSCJ program and career field.

How long does it take to complete this program?

Once accepted, the program is five consecutive terms, or about 20 months. To be accepted into the program, students must complete four prerequisite courses (College Algebra, General Chemistry, Anatomy & Physiology I and Microbiology), take an admission test and perform eight hours of observation in a dental office. In addition to completing the four prerequisite courses, we strongly urge students to complete four additional general education courses (English Composition, Human Relations, Anatomy & Physiology II and a Humanities elective) that are required for graduation.

Are there classes I can be taking while still in high school to help prepare me for this program?

High school algebra and science courses, particularly chemistry, would provide a good foundation for the courses students need to get into the program.

Roughly how much will this program cost with tuition and books?

The program costs approximately $15,000. This includes all tuition and fees, a rather extensive instrument kit, textbooks, uniforms and required background checks.

What is the average salary for a dental hygienist here in the Jacksonville area?

Recent graduates have indicated that they earn between $20 and $25 per hour at the beginning of their career. As they gain experience, salaries will rise.

What are the employment prospects like in the area?

Dental hygiene is consistently cited as one of the top growing professions in the nation. However, many of our graduates have reported a somewhat tighter job market locally. The result of this is that many of our graduates take multiple part-time jobs until they find the right office seeking a full-time dental hygienist.

Where are classes held (which campus)?

Almost all of the classes are held at North Campus. In addition, our students rotate to a number of outside dental clinics to supplement the clinical experience they gain from our onsite dental hygiene clinic.

Is there an application process for this program in addition to the College application?

Yes, the program publishes an application packet that describes the necessary steps for seeking a spot in our program.

Do I need to be licensed by the state after completing this program before I can work as a dental hygienist?

Yes. In your last term, you will take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination. After passing that test, you will register for the state licensing exams. Only after successfully completing all of these exams are you eligible to practice as a licensed dental hygienist in Florida.

If I decide I want to further my education down the road are there opportunities to do so with this Associate in Science degree?

Yes! There are a number of bachelor’s degree completion programs designed specifically for graduates of associate degree dental hygiene programs like ours. Of course, there is also the option of seeking enrollment in dental school, should a graduate wish to become a dentist. Most dental schools require applicants to have earned a bachelor’s degree prior to applying for admission.

Are there certain skills/attributes that would make someone a good candidate for this program?

The Dental Hygiene program is a rather demanding program. To be successful in the program, students must possess strong academic skills and the ability to manage their time in order to successfully meet the many program requirements. In addition, students with excellent fine motor skills and good hand-eye coordination often learn dental hygiene instrumentation with greater ease than those lacking in those skills.

What is the student pass rate for this National Board examination?

Our students are very successful on the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination. In 2013, our students scored on average in the 96th percentile in the nation; consistently scoring above the national average.

Are your students successful in finding employment after graduating from the program?

Yes, most of our students readily find jobs upon graduation.

Program Code: 2300
Credential: Associate in Science
Program Length: 88 credit hours, Approximately 20 months 
Start Date: Fall term
Tuition and Fees: Approximately $9,055
Additional Costs: Approximately $5,226
Financial Aid Eligibility: Financial aid is available, if qualified.
Location: North Campus
Email: dr.jeff.smith@fscj.edu
Phone: (904) 766-6655


In the News

FSCJ's Dental Hygiene program and Dr. Jeff Smith, instructional program manager, were spotlighted by the American Dental Education Association. Read the article here.