students in lecture

MS in Dental Hygiene

Take your career beyond clinical practice

Rigorous scholarship and opportunities to learn teaching skills, assume leadership positions

Program Director

Elena Ortega, RDH, MS
Interim Director
Clinical Instructor
elena.ortega@ucsf.edu

Program Administrator

Joanna Hill
joanna.hill@ucsf.edu
415.502.8740

The MS program is tailored to dental hygienists who wish to undertake rigorous scholarship, learn teaching skills and assume leadership positions.

This one-year program emphasizes evidence-based analysis and critical thinking, taking a multidisciplinary approach to solving problems related to oral disease prevention and health promotion to improve the oral health of varied populations. Course work is centered on case-based learning and integrates findings from clinical research on oral health and disease, dental public health, behavioral and social science, and health policy information.

Graduates of the MS program go on to hold faculty positions in community college dental hygiene programs, participate in research collaborations, serve on government commissions regulating licensure and continuing education requirements, and work in the oral healthcare industry.

Oral Qualifying Examination and Capstone Project

The program begins in summer and continues into fall with course work in interdisciplinary dental hygiene science, research methods and design, and biostatistics, follows with field work and culminates in the comprehensive examination (capstone project).

Oral Qualifying Examination

During the summer and fall quarters, working with a mentor, you will develop a research question based on a significant dental hygiene problem you wish to study. At the end of the fall quarter, you will deliver your Oral Qualifying Exam to a committee of three faculty members, including your mentor.

Comprehensive Examination (Capstone Project)

At the conclusion of your winter quarter field work, you will write a scientific manuscript during spring quarter based on the results of your research study. The purpose of the comprehensive examination (capstone project) is to assess your ability to apply advanced clinical and theoretical knowledge related to oral disease prevention and health promotion in your research area. Your manuscript will be evaluated and approved by faculty; once you have passed the Comprehensive Examination, your MS degree will be officially awarded and you and your mentor will determine whether to submit your manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal.

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