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MS in Dental Hygiene

The faculty in the UCSF School of Dentistry offers a multidisciplinary curriculum of graduate study leading to a Master of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene (MS). Graduates are prepared to engage in multidisciplinary problem solving related to oral disease prevention and health promotion to improve the oral health of varied populations throughout the world. Graduates are prepared to assume roles as educators and research collaborators in academic, public health or oral healthcare-related industry settings.

The Master of Science Program in Dental Hygiene requires 38 units of course work and a Comprehensive Examination (i.e., Capstone Project). The one-year MS degree program consists of three quarters of interdisciplinary dental hygiene science course work and one quarter of Field Work, for a total of four quarters.

The Field Work will take place in one of the following settings related to the student’s area of interest: a basic preparation dental hygiene program or another dental educational program, a public health or governmental setting, an established research or administrative group, or an oral healthcare-related industry setting.

The curriculum course work centers on case-based learning and will integrate findings from clinical research on oral health and disease, dental public health, behavioral and social sciences and health policy information to promote dental hygiene problem solving strategies to prevent oral disease and promote health among individuals, families and communities.

The Dental Hygiene Science courses in the summer and fall quarters and the fall quarter Master’s Seminar I focus on development of competencies in preparation for the Field Work Proposal (i.e., the Oral Qualifying Examination), and the winter quarter Field Work. In the spring quarter students integrate the material covered in the previous courses with the knowledge and perspective gained from their Field Work and prepare for their Comprehensive Examination (Capstone Project).

The Comprehensive Examination (the Capstone Project) is comprised of both a written scholarly report and an oral presentation of the Field Work.

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Admission Requirements

The Masters of Science Program in Dental Hygiene begins each year in the summer quarter. Deadline for application is March 31st of each year. Completed applications submitted prior to this date will be reviewed on a rolling admission basis. Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed on a space available basis only. Candidates need to satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  • Graduation from a basic preparation dental hygiene program
  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree in any discipline
  • California residents must have a minimum overall and science college GPA of 2.7.
  • Non-California residents must have a minimum overall and science college GPA of 3.0.
  • Personal interview

The following documents need to be submitted:

  • Online UCSF Graduate Division application
  • Official academic transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
  • Two letters of recommendation (online submission)
  • Results of the TOEFL or IELTS for international students

To apply online click here:

To download a digital brochure click here: MS Degree in Dental Hygiene


For more information, please contact the Program Administrator at or call (415) 502-1925

The official academic transcripts must be submitted to:

Dental Hygiene Master of Science Program
Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences
707 Parnassus Avenue, Room D3215
San Francisco, CA 94143-0758

Additional information can be obtained by contacting:

Dental Hygiene Graduate Program Director
Margaret M. Walsh, R.D.H, M.S., Ed. D.