A gloved doctor’s hand examines dental X-rays.

Dental hygiene students at the NYU College of Dentistry have access to unmatched academic opportunities, top-notch facilities, and clinical connections. Furthermore, it’s the only dental hygiene program housed within a dental college in the state of New York.

Do you have your heart set on attending dental school after graduation? This fall a brand-new program will help you build a strong foundation for this path: the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene with a dental science concentration.

“There’s only one other program in the entire country that has this focus,” says Clinical Associate Professor and Chair of Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting Dianne L. Sefo. “We’re in a unique position to offer practical experience to high achieving, ambitious students bound for dental school or other health-related professions. Now is the perfect time for us to do just that.”

“With this new program, dental hygiene students can gain essential experience in the field while still balancing other requirements for their futures.”

—Dianne L. Sefo

A plastic model of teeth with braces.

Specialized Curriculum

Students in the new degree concentration will still meet core dental hygiene requirements. What’s more, graduates are prepared to work together with other dental professionals to meet patients’ oral health needs. By rotating through specialty areas like orthodontics, periodontics, and pediatric dentistry, students gain invaluable experiences with a diverse population. And unlike other clinics where students may simply observe, at NYU, students help provide care, thereby developing their clinical expertise.

Alongside this training, the curriculum includes essential prerequisites for dental school applications: science, math, and liberal arts courses that include organic chemistry, physics, and additional biology labs.

“In the past students have struggled to fit these courses into the highly demanding dental hygiene curriculum,” Professor Sefo explains. “We’d see undergraduate students who planned to apply to dental school majoring in Biology, Chemistry, or Public Health instead. With this new program, dental hygiene students can gain essential experience in the field while still balancing other requirements for their futures.”

A busy plaza with a statue in the center.

Unique Opportunities

NYU dental hygiene students have the opportunity to further develop their skills abroad. NYU Dentistry’s Global Outreach Programs allow students to provide dental services to underserved populations facing barriers to oral health care. The programs send students around the world, offering participants the chance to engage with local communities.

Dental hygiene student Mariah Gonzalez participated in the Global Outreach program in La Romana, Dominican Republic, in January 2024. “I was provided preventative services to the students there, including students with special needs and deaf and hard of hearing students,” Mariah remembers. “This outreach was important, because there are a great deal of students there who have never received care. And it was really amazing to me, because I am of Dominican descent. To have the opportunity to come back here and help all these people really meant a lot to me.”

Studying at NYU also provides a network like no other. From faculty who are experts and leaders in developing state-of-the-art therapies and technologies in the field to talented dental students and alumni, students will meet and work alongside passionate professionals with the power to jump-start their careers.

“The alumni network at NYU runs deep. It’s a network that gets you in and out of doors,” says dental hygiene alumnus Aman Chugh. He returned to NYU for dental school after graduating in 2016. “Working with faculty is another great asset. I feel lucky to be part of the NYU family.”

A set of dental tools on a tray, with a gloved doctor’s hand holding one of the instruments.

Set Up for Success

By the end of the dental hygiene program, graduates are uniquely qualified for whatever they choose to do next—whether that’s working as a hygienist, going to dental school, or even pursuing medicine, pharmacy, or research.

“Many students who apply to postprofessional programs like dental school end up taking a gap year. But our students can join a dental team and make a really good salary while they’re studying for the Dental Admission Test or waiting for results,” Clinical Associate Professor Lisa Stefanou says. “The hygienist job is in such high demand, and our graduates come prepared to practice. They are sought after in the field and ready for their next step.”