Graduate Programs

Master of Science

in Dental Hygiene

Master of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene (MSDH)

The Master of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene (MSDH) is designed to prepare graduates for leadership roles in Dental Hygiene Education and Public Health to meet their career goals. This online program will consist of 30 hours of coursework in public health and dental hygiene education. An internship and approved thesis will be the capstone of the program. The MSDH enables students advance their knowledge to address the complex oral health needs of a diverse population. Areas of study will include public health and dental hygiene education, and will include a research component. Graduates of this program will be prepared for employment opportunities in academia, dental public health and research.Forty-five hours of approved field work experience are required by either an accredited dental hygiene program or a public health agency with a dental focus. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and a letter grade of B or higher in each course to remain in the program.

Application Deadline

January 1 - Priority Deadline

“It is exciting to be part of the inaugural Master of Science Dental Hygiene Program Class of 2021. My goal is to develop the skills to prepare for leadership roles in dental education and public health. I am currently working full time as a school dental hygienist for Pittsburgh Public Schools. Being able to take classes in an online format allows for me to balance my life and school, while advancing my education and career. As a 2005 WLU graduate, earning my Bachelor’s Degree in the Dental Hygiene Program, I am grateful to have the opportunity to come back to West Liberty University to complete my education!”

– Monica Calvert, RDH, BSDH, PHDHP, CSDH


To learn more about the cost of our program, please visit the Business Office Webpage.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Discuss and demonstrate current technologies available in the field of dental hygiene.
  2. Describe current research strategies and evaluate scientific evidence that directs the standard of health care.
  3. Evaluate risk and develop strategies to address the specific oral health needs of individuals and populations of diversity.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of epidemiology through the assessment and communication of current data representing the health of individuals and/or populations.
  5. Create a thesis demonstrating research skills while contributing to the body of knowledge within the discipline of dentistry and/or public health.
  6. Demonstrate theories to develop strategies for health promotion and disease prevention.
  7. Discuss and demonstrate organizational leadership skills and interprofessional collaborative efforts available to address current healthcare issues.
  8. Develop an individual teaching philosophy and investigate effective teaching methods for all learning.


Fall Year 1
DH 500 Orientation Course
DH 501 Org Leadership in a Healthcare Setting
EDUC 534 Contemporary Applications of Ed Tech

Spring Year 1
DH 504 Biostatic Applications
DH 505 DH Curriculum Design & Teaching Methods

Summer Year 1
DH 502 Evidence Based Research in Oral Health
DH 503 Professional Writing for Healthcare Research 

Fall Year 2
DH 506 Grant Proposals in Science
DH 507 Dental Program Planning, Development, & Implementation in Public Health

Spring Year 2
DH 508 Internship in Dental Hygiene Education.
DH 509 Dental Hygiene Thesis

Total 30 Credit Hours

Admissions Requirements - Priority Deadline January 1

The institution is compliant with requirements outlined for inter-state authorization (SARA). Students who desire admission to the MSDH program will submit evidence of the following criteria:

  1. An Associate of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene from a U.S. or Canadian Accredited Institution and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene or a related field.
  2. A minimum 3.0 overall and science grade point average.
  3. A current dental hygiene license in at least one state.
  4. One recommendation from a previous or current employer.
  5. A two-minute personal video statement.
  6. Public Health and General Supervision Permits recommended.
  7. Preference will be given to applicants with prior clinical experience.


Click these links below to view Dental Board Licensure Requirements:

  1. WV Dental Board
  2. Ohio State Dental Board
  3. PA State Board of Dentistry

Your Future as a Dental Hygienist

Percent Change in Employment 2028

Dental HygienistsDental Hygienists11%

Health TechHealth Tech10%

All OccupationsAll Occupations5%


Employment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for dental services will increase as the population ages and as research continues to link oral health to overall health.



Stephanie Meredith, Program Director
256 Dental Hygiene Offices,
Campbell Hall
Phone: (304) 336-8117


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