15 Best Dental Hygiene Schools in California | Cost, Requirements & How to Apply

There are excellent dental hygiene schools in California, but you’ve got to be able to tell which is best among them. This article’s essence is to guide you in choosing dental hygiene schools in California.

California is a place to consider while looking for the ideal dental school with top-notch instructors and a welcoming learning atmosphere.

You have several possibilities for schools, so it’s about time you started limiting your selection.

Ultimately, you want to enrol in a program that will equip you with the information and abilities required to pass the Regional State Examination and National Board of Dental Hygiene Exam. Additionally, you want to pick a school that will empower you to succeed in your career as a dental hygienist.

However, we’ve listed the best dental hygiene programs in California and the necessary information to help you apply to these schools. 

Are there Dental Hygiene Schools in California? 

California is home to schools offering some of the best dental hygiene programs in the United States. They include:

  1. West Coast University
  2. San Joaquin Valley College
  3. Foothill College
  4. University of the Pacific
  5. University of Southern California
  6. Santa Rosa Junior College
  7. Diablo Valley College
  8. Southwestern College
  9. Concorde Career College
  10. Taft College
  11. Fresno City College
  12. Cabrillo College
  13. Chabot College
  14. Sacramento City College
  15. Carrington College

How Much Does Dental Hygiene Schools Cost in California? 

Depending on the degree you want to pursue, dental hygiene colleges in California have different tuition costs. A bachelor’s degree would cost between $24,600 and $107,850, a master’s degree between $32,060 and $99,020, and an associate degree between $5,310 and $58,970.

An associate degree can be obtained in a technical or community college, and you can complete it in 20 to 30 months. While training through a private university may cost you as much as $107,850, your tuition may be as little as $24,600 if you are an in-state resident and attend a state-funded institution.

You can also read – Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Minnesota | Cost, Requirements, How to Apply

What are the Requirements for Dental Hygiene Schools in California?

If you want to enrol in a particular dental hygiene school in California, you should consider getting familiar with the school’s requirements. This would give you an edge as you would have all your documentation in order before the application process. 

Here are the requirements for dental hygiene schools in California:

  • Minimum age requirement of 18 years 
  • Medical Report
  • Interview
  • Have completed and filled the application form
  • Have a Dental related work experience (RDA and/or DA only)
  • Official transcripts of all colleges are required.

You can also read – Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Maryland | Cost, Requirements, How to Apply

What are the Best Dental Hygiene Schools in California? 

If you’re looking for the best dental hygiene programs in California, you should do thorough research on time. You will need to choose carefully among the dental hygiene schools on this list to find the one that suits your preference.

READ ALSO:  15 Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Los Angeles | Cost, Requirements, How to Apply

These are the 15 Best Dental Hygiene Schools in California:

1. University of Southern California

A few dental schools in the country, including USC, offer both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in dental hygiene. The University of Southern California School of Dentistry has provided top-notch dental education for nearly 80 years.

It is proud to have an esteemed faculty made up of professionals, writers, and editors who have made significant contributions to the field of dental science. Being a part of a major dental school also gives dental hygiene students many opportunities to interact with instructors and students from other dental disciplines.

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2. University of the Pacific

With its state-of-the-art facilities, various dental programs, a dental clinic on campus, and a teaching style that promotes interaction between students, teachers, and the community, the University of the Pacific’s San Francisco campus offer a stimulating learning environment. Additionally, students can commute easily thanks to its accessible location.

It is advised that you graduate from high school with a minimum GPA of 2.7 and make sure you take biology, chemistry, and arithmetic because the college has strict admissions criteria.

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3. West Coast University

Dental hygiene students at West Coast University have countless options for study, assuring their professional and personal development. Students are well prepared for this demanding but rewarding allied dentistry vocation with the help of an advanced simulation lab, the chance to work with a broad community at its free dental clinic, and various career assistance programs.

A broad curriculum, including general education and oral hygiene classes, is part of the program. Dental hygiene courses are mainly given on-campus, whereas general education courses can be completed online.

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4. San Joaquin Valley College

San Joaquin Valley College in California provides two fully equipped campuses for prospective dental hygiene students to choose from. Each one has a dental clinic of its own, intimate classrooms, and a stellar track record of licensure exam pass rates.

Because of the program’s demanding nature, it is strongly advised that you do not work while you are enrolled. Each term, the curriculum involves significant clinical sessions, beginning with 8 hours per week for the first two terms and increasing to 12 to 16 hours per week for terms three and four.

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5. Foothill College

Since 1964, Foothill College has been educating future dental hygienists. To satisfy the academic requirements of candidates for dental hygiene, it provides two exciting bachelor’s programs.

The comprehensive Foothill Dental Hygiene program’s goal is to educate students so they can obtain dental hygienist licenses. The program leads to a bachelor’s in science after two years. Students will learn how to offer complete dental care in various dental health facilities throughout the program.

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6. Diablo Valley College

Diablo Valley College is renowned for its reasonably priced and employability-ready curriculum, which supports the career objectives of dental hygiene students. Students have the chance to complete an externship at La Clinica and the Native American Health Clinic, two well-known community health institutions in the area, emphasizing experiential learning.

In California, a dental hygiene school offers a two-year associate’s degree program. Make sure you complete the prerequisite curriculum in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, mathematics, and nutrition with a minimum GPA of 3.0 because the college has a strict admissions criteria.

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7. Santa Rosa Junior College

Santa Rosa Junior College’s dental hygiene program graduates are taught to think critically, solve problems, and make decisions based on the best available evidence.

Before beginning the dental hygiene program, the college urges students to finish the general education and prerequisite courses. This prepares you for the rigorous schedule you’ll experience to finish the core program.

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8. Taft College

The dedication of Taft College to dental hygiene education is proven by the graduates’ job readiness in the many dental professions they hold.

A two-year associate degree in dental hygiene is available from Taft. The consecutive courses in this four-semester program build on one another. Students develop knowledge of patient assessment, patient monitoring and record-keeping, analyzing and organizing patient dental hygiene plans, dental hygiene interventions, and ethics and legal requirements that are pertinent to your dental hygiene business.

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9. Concorde Career College

Concorde Career College provides a dental hygiene curriculum at its three campuses around the state. You will graduate from this 17-month program, which is broken up into nine terms, with knowledge and abilities in areas like extraoral and intraoral exams, periodontal and dental exams, patient assessment, and vital sign checking that will be useful in the profession. The curriculum also includes practical instruction, mostly at the college’s dental clinic, where students supervise the care of a variety of patients.

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10. Southwestern College

With its commitment to diversity and inclusion, Southwestern College equips future dental hygienists to effectively care for a wide range of patients. Under the guidance of an accomplished and committed faculty, students succeed academically.

SWC offers an associate degree in dental hygiene that can be earned in two years. Every year, it’s given in the fall, with the classroom and clinical sessions taking place at National City’s Higher Education Center. The demanding curriculum requires a weekly time commitment of 60 to 65 hours.

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11. Carrington College

In California, Carrington College has long been associated with high-quality medical education. It is changing the lives of its students and the community they serve with its many healthcare programs, oral hygiene being one of them.

It takes two years to complete this associate’s degree in dental hygiene in California. The coursework is made to assist you in developing the technical abilities necessary to carry out standard procedures like cleaning and scaling teeth, eradicating plaque and stains, applying fluoride and sealants, taking oral x-rays, logging patient information, and assessing and creating an oral hygiene plan for patients.

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12. Sacramento City College

The curriculum and teaching methods used at Sacramento City College give a solid foundation in the discipline of dental hygiene while keeping up with shifting market trends. The dental clinic on its campus supports increased learning by giving students practical clinical experience while also benefiting the neighborhood.

The dental hygiene program at SCC leads to an associate degree and takes two years to finish. It provides a program with 45.5 credits of dental hygiene courses and 39.5 credits of prerequisite courses that mixes classroom instruction with lab work and clinical experiences.

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13. Cabrillo College

Since 1967, Cabrillo College has been educating dental hygienists in California with a focus on quality and affordability. This full-time, two-year associate in dental hygiene program begins in the summer semester.

READ ALSO:  15 Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Maryland | Cost, Requirements & How to Apply

This curriculum’s dental hygiene coursework takes you through a wide range of subjects, including periodontics, oral cavity anatomy, oral health education, knowledge of dental materials, dental radiography, pain management, and interim therapeutic restorations. It also covers dental terminology, insurance, law and ethics, and terminology.

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14. Chabot College

Chabot College’s dental hygiene department has trained around 900 graduates since it began in 1968, and they are now successfully treating patients all over the state and beyond. Students are given a rich learning environment where they can use the college’s learning tools, participate in group discussions, and go through rigorous lab and clinical training in order to assist them to reach their academic goals.

The college’s dental hygiene program offers an associate degree that requires students to complete 60.5 units of general education coursework and dental hygiene courses. To graduate from any of these courses, you must receive a grade of “C” or better.

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15. Fresno City College

In order to promote the general public’s oral health, Fresno City College offers dental hygiene instruction. Students receive substantial experiential learning sessions that prepare them for the job in terms of knowledge and skills.

A cohort-based, full-time, four-semester dental hygiene associate degree program is available; this means that you will progress through the courses alongside your peers. You must attend courses, receive hands-on training, and complete clinical rotations at connected clinical facilities in order to complete the coursework.

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Best Paying Dental Hygiene Jobs in California with Salary 

California currently ranks number 3 out of 50 states nationwide for Registered Dental Hygienist salaries. These are the best-paying dental hygiene jobs in California with their respective salaries: 

  • Family Dentist with an annual salary of $161,727
  • Private Dentist with an annual salary of $159,954
  • Temporary Dentist with an annual salary of $143,034
  • Dental Orthodontist with an annual salary of $141,109
  • Dental Dentist with an annual salary of $135,046

You can also read – Best Dental Hygiene Schools in South Carolina | Cost, Requirements, How to Apply


Usually, two factors would influence your decision regarding your education: the length of time you wish to spend in school and the cost. Programs for dental hygiene are not an exception to this guideline.

However, the content and skills taught in various dental hygiene programs vary. You should pick a California dental hygiene program that will give you the skills you need to succeed in the field.

You can also read – Best Dental Hygiene Schools in Colorado | Cost, Requirements, How to Apply

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the job description of dental hygienists?

A dental hygienist will be a key support person in any field they choose. You will do deep cleanings, check the teeth and gums of patients, instruct them on how to take care of their teeth, and even help dentists with a variety of treatments like extractions, fillings, and other things. Additionally, you might collect patient records, manage billing, conduct phone calls, and other various clerical support services.

What Courses Will I be Taking During my Dental Hygienist Training?

You will attend a range of classes regardless of whatever California dental hygiene program you select. Some are common, like biology and health, while others are a little more specialized. Instrumentation, radiology, dental materials, communication, anxiety and pain management, and dental hygiene theory are a few of them.

Can a dental hygienist work part-time in California?

Dental hygienists can work part-time. It is based on your decision. Being able to balance other obligations in your life while maintaining flexible employment is one of the best things about becoming a hygienist.

Where do Dental Hygienists Work in California?

The vast majority of dental hygienists in California would affiliate with a dentist’s office. However, they do have an enhanced scope of practice that permits them to work independently if they so choose. Hospitals and medical offices employ the remaining dental hygienists in California.


  • prepler.com – Best Dental Hygiene Colleges & Universities in California
  • careercrawlers.com – 21 Best Dental Hygiene Schools In California (2022)

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