NYU Dentistry Launches Accelerated Dental Hygiene Degree Program

Dentistry Today


The New York University College of Dentistry will offer an accelerated degree track within its dental hygiene program for advanced students, creating a path for dentists with international dental degrees who want to pursue careers in dental hygiene in the United States. Students will earn an associate of applied science (AAS) degree in dental hygiene in the 12-month program.

The first of its kind in the country, the advanced standing dental hygiene track responds to a growing interest from internationally trained dentists looking for a viable career path in the United States. Its rigorous curriculum accounts for their prior education but ensures they complete the coursework, labs, and clinical experience necessary to become a dental hygienist, NYU Dentistry says.

“We’ve heard from many dentists with international degrees who are passionate about oral health and want to care for patients here in the US but can’t devote another two to three years to additional dental education to be licensed as a dentist,” said Dianne Sefo, RDH, MEd, interim chair of the Department of Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting and clinical associate professor of dental hygiene. 

“This new accelerated track in the dental hygiene program enables them to get back to seeing patients more quickly as critical members of the oral healthcare team,” said Sefo.

“We are pleased to offer these dentists the opportunity to build on their previous knowledge and training and to focus on the preventive aspects of dentistry,” said Lisa Stefanou, RDH, MPH, director of the Dental Hygiene Program and co-developer of the advanced standing track. 

NYU offers the only dental hygiene programs hosted by a dental college in the state of New York, giving students the opportunity to learn in integrated clinical settings alongside dental students as well as with faculty members from dental hygiene, dentistry, and specialty areas in state of the art facilities that attract the largest, most diverse population in the nation, the school reports. 

Also, community-based relations further enable students to gain valuable clinical experience while helping to educate patients about the importance of oral health and promoting healthy habits, NYU Dentistry says. 

The advanced standing track is a new pathway within NYU’s overall dental hygiene program, which is accredited by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation. Graduates are qualified to take the clinical board examinations and the dental hygiene national boards, which are requirements for state licensure. 

Most dental hygiene programs take two to three years to complete. NYU Dentistry’s 12-month advanced standing track builds on the success of its 17-month AAS fast track, according to the school. The advanced standing track is now accepting applications for its first class, which will begin in spring 2020.

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