Dental Hygienist

Associate Degree in Applied Science

Program number: 105081


The two-year Dental Hygienist associate degree program at Madison College prepares you to work side by side with dentists.

The dental hygienist inspects the mouth, administers local anesthesia and chemotherapeutic agents, removes stains and deposits from teeth, applies preventive agents, prepares clinical and diagnostic tests, completes dental x-rays and performs many other services related to mouth care. Dental hygienists also counsel patients about preventive measures such as nutrition, oral hygiene, and dental care.

Top Career Training

The Dental Hygienist Program is widely respected by leading dentists throughout Madison, Wisconsin. Students develop top skills from their hands-on experience at our on-campus dental clinic, which serves real patients from the area. Dental hygiene graduates work for many top dental organizations.

Strong Job Opportunities

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 38 percent employment growth for dental hygienists by 2020. In addition to dental technician positions, Madison College graduates work as dental hygienist instructors, dental lab technicians, public school hygienists and more.

Dental Hygienist graduates are required to successfully complete comprehensive written and clinical examinations given under the direction of the State of Wisconsin Dentistry Examining Board, the American Dental Association's Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations, and Central Regional Dental Testing Services, Inc.

Please note: Upon admission to the Dental Hygienist program, you will be required to complete a background check and multiple immunization requirements, and provide documentation of current Health Care Provider CPR certification.

Program Details

Dental Hygienist is on a career pathway that includes this associate degree. This degree will prepare you for a good job and advanced training, as well as the ability to transfer to another college to earn your bachelor’s degree. Learn at your own pace and increase your earning potential with credentials that keep you moving on your career path.

Students in the Dental Hygienist program must attend full time. 

Classes are offered Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. 

Dental Hygienist classes are offered at these Madison College campuses:

  • Madison - Truax

Explore financial aid eligibility for this program. 

All courses for this program are offered only in person.

Dental Hygienist


  • Study with award-winning Madison College faculty and receive personalized attention and real-world training.
  • Get vital hands-on experience, working with patients in our on-campus dental clinic located in Madison College’s state-of-the-art Health Education Center at the Truax campus.
  • Earn your associate degree and start your career or go on to a bachelor's degree at UW-Green Bay, Marquette University or Franklin University. 
  • Our graduates have a 100 percent first-time pass rate on the required Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS), a state requirement to practice dental hygiene.

To Apply

View the admission requirements for application deadlines, materials, and requirements.

  • Review the admission checklist to learn how to apply to a program or certificate at Madison College.
  • Attend an Academic Information Session to get started in the admission process.
  • Visit MATC to learn more about the Madison College experience including campus tours and program open houses.

After Acceptance

Students admitted onto the waitlist for the Fall 2016 term or prior should continue to use their Academic Requirements Report and review emails from academic advisors.

Students admitted into a pre-petition status for the Fall 2017 term or after should complete the Dental Hygienist Petition Requirements.


Contact the Enrollment Center at or (608) 246-6210.


The courses listed below outline the requirements for completion for students officially admitted in the 2017-2018 academic year. Requirements for completion may vary depending on the semester in which a student is admitted or may be completed by other equivalent courses. Current/continuing students should consult their Academic Requirements report available through their student account for specific requirements and equivalent courses.

Pre-Dental Hygienist Courses

The following courses must be completed prior to acceptance into dental courses:

Choose from Microbiology or General Microbiology:

Summer Semester

The following must be taken prior to fall/first semester:

First Semester

Second Semester

1 credits

Third Semester

Fourth Semester

3 credits



1 credit


After completing the Dental Hygienist program at Madison Area Technical College, you will be able to:

  • Incorporate into dental hygiene practice professional laws, regulations and policies established by the licensing state and regulatory agencies.
  • Model dental hygiene professional code of ethics in a rapidly changing environment.
  • Pursue lifelong professional growth and development through self-directed learning, participation in professional organizations, and continuing education.
  • Counsel clients/patients to reduce health risks.
  • Provide community oral health services in a variety of settings.
  • Manage infection and hazard control of bloodborne pathogens.
  • Assess data on all aspects of patient/client health using methods consistent with dental hygienist scope of practice and legal principles.
  • Formulate a comprehensive dental hygiene care plan in collaboration with the client and other health professionals.
  • Provide preventive and therapeutic services that promote oral health according to the needs of the patient/client.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented client/patient dental hygiene care plan and modify as needed.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented clinical and educational services and modify as needed.



Graduates of the Dental Hygienist program are able to find employment as the following:

  • Dental Hygienist

With additional education and/or work experience, dental hygiene graduates also may find employment as:

  • Dental Hygiene Instructor
  • Public Health Hygienist
  • Dental Laboratory Technician
  • Dental Sales Representative
  • Member of Dental Examining Board
  • Public School Hygienist
  • Dental Hygiene Administrator in hospital setting