Two dental hygiene students work on another student as a patient

Master of Science in Dental Hygiene

The Master of Science in Dental Hygiene (MSDH) program prepares leaders in the profession for research, the healthcare industry and academia.


The Master of Science in Dental Hygiene prepares students to: 

  • Create and translate dental hygiene knowledge to promote the health of individuals, families and communities
  • Become leaders in education, industry and research
  • Develop competencies in the classroom and through experiential learning.
Keeley Flavin, MSDH


Program at a glance



The MSDH program provides three unique tracks designed to streamline your journey based on your own goals.

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Management Track

36-41 credits

The MSDH management track provides management skills for dental hygienists who wish to enter the healthcare industry. 

Offered in collaboration with the renowned Carlson School of Management’s Medical Industry Leadership Institute, the track prepares leaders with the knowledge and skills to coordinate operations, respond to an ever-changing market, influence consumer decision making and implement strategies in marketing programs, services and products. Courses prepare students for positions in healthcare organizations, including sales representatives and managers of marketing and professional relations divisions, managers of large dental clinics, practice management consulting and entrepreneurship. An internship and capstone or research project and thesis are required. This track is offered online or on campus.

Previous students have interned at Proctor & Gamble, Dentsply, Hu-Friedy, Phillips Oral Healthcare, Ultradent, the Minnesota Department of Health, and Sunstar/Butler. 

Danna Paulson at desk


Education Track

33 credits

The MSDH education track provides learners to share their knowledge and teach the next generation of hygienists. Courses provide the knowledge and skills to teach didactic, clinic and laboratory courses in dental hygiene programs, conduct research and assume administrative positions. 

The education track is delivered online through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous class sessions. This format provides access to dental hygiene professionals nationwide who wish to pursue graduate education. A two-week campus visit is required for the clinic student teaching practicum. A research study and thesis are required.

Kelly Rogers, MSDH, RDH, RF

Education Capstone Track

33 credits

Designed for practitioners who are considering a future educating dental hygienists, the education capstone track is made with your schedule and your needs in mind. Learners undergo the same coursework as those in the education track, but without a thesis requirement. Instead, the education capstone track guides students through the research process and culminates in the completion of a publishable manuscript and oral defense. 

This track is delivered online through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous class sessions, with one two-week campus visit. 

Joining the program


Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate or associate degree in dental hygiene from an accredited US institution or foreign equivalent with a minimum 3.0 GPA. If the applicant has graduated from an associate degree dental hygiene program, they must also have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited US institution. Students who have not taken an undergraduate descriptive/inferential statistics course will be required to do so prior to entry or prior to taking the required statistics course. 

Additionally, applicants must take either the Graduate Management Assessment Test (GMAT) with a minimum score of 500 or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with a minimum quantitative score of 153 and minimum verbal score of 150. 


Applications are submitted and reviewed through the University of Minnesota Graduate School Services. Required fields for the application include: intended program of study, state dental hygiene licenses currently held, memberships in professional associations and/or honorary societies, copy of dental hygiene license, three letters of recommendation, GMAT score (if applying for the management track), personal essay, resume and $75 application fee. 

Learn more and apply

Contact the program

Headshot of Yvette Reibel

Program Director

Yvette Reibel, EdD
9-372B Moos Tower
515 Delaware St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
[email protected]