Tanya V. Mitchell, RDH, MS

About the Program

The Master of Science Degree program in Dental Hygiene Education at the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) prepares students for careers in dental hygiene education. The 36 credit hour graduate program and core curriculum is offered through a combination of online and onsite teaching and learning modalities. Out of state students are eligible to apply for the School of Dentistry Non-Resident Award.  This award covers the difference between non-resident (out of state) and resident (Missouri) tuition.  The student is responsible for paying the education fee at the resident rate, the Online Course Fee and the Information Technology/Computing Fee per credit hour.  The Award is renewable yearly upon review of the student’s continued satisfactory performance within the program. Up to five (5) awards are available each year for incoming students.

The curriculum provides academic experiences based on the career goals and interest of the graduate student. Although the curriculum is focused on preparing the student for a career in dental hygiene education, elective courses may be taken through a personalized approach – pursuing excellence together.

The graduate program has a thesis or non-thesis option. The completion of a thesis or non-thesis research project (manuscript ready for publication) is required as part of the graduate student’s academic program. The core curriculum is completed online. Full time students are required to attend a minimum of two academic years.

Requirements for Admission

Requirements for Admission

Graduation from an accredited school or program of dental hygiene, a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, and a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA are required. The deadline for application is Feb. 1 for the class beginning the following summer semester. An interview is a required component of the admissions process. Enrollment is limited.

Questions about this program may be answered by contacting the program director's office at (816) 235-2049 or

A check list for applying to the program can be found here.

The director’s reference form, reference forms, and the supplemental application can all be found in the UMKC online application.

Three references are required, one of which is the Director of the Dental Hygiene program from which you graduated. Send the appropriate reference form to the three (3) references, director and 2 college faculty members/administrators who can inform us as thoroughly as possible of your academic and personal qualities and achievements as a total person. The reference forms must be sent directly to: Director, Graduate Dental Hygiene Education; UMKC School of Dentistry; 650 East 25th Street; Kansas City, MO 64108, or the forms can also be emailed to the director; Tanya Mitchell @ Reference forms must be received in the division of dental hygiene office by the deadline of February 1.

Tuition and Fees Schedule

Master of Science Degree Program in Dental Hygiene Education

Click here for Fee and tuition rates

Program Goals

Career Opportunities

Graduates will assume roles in a variety of employment opportunities including education, research, and administration.


Graduates will develop the foundational skills necessary to contribute to the body of knowledge in dental hygiene research.

Lifelong Learning

Graduates will demonstrate the skills of reflective thinking, problem-solving, scholarly inquiry, and evidence-based decision making in an effort to promote lifetime learning. 

Vision Statement

The UMKC School of Dentistry Graduate Dental Hygiene Program will serve as a model dental hygiene graduate program that increases the education of the dental hygienist unrelated to geographic location.

Mission Statement

The UMKC School of Dentistry Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Education (MSDHE) provides a comprehensive education of both theory and practical applications and prepares the dental hygienist to assume a variety of employment opportunities where leadership in advanced communication skills, critical thinking, problem-solving, evidence-based decision making, and lifelong learning are needed.

Program and Graduation Requirements

Student Learning Outcomes/Graduate DH Core Competencies

The Graduate Dental Hygiene Program at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Dentistry builds upon the foundation of the baccalaureate degree dental hygienist.  The program provides a variety of coursework to ensure the framework necessary to obtain employment in education, research, or administration.  Upon completion of the 36 credit hours necessary for graduation, the student will be able to do the following:

  1. Our graduates will produce original and scholarly research projects
    • ​​Apply the research process to an identified problem using the National Dental Hygiene Research Agenda as a guide.
    • Synthesize information from evidence-based literature to apply a research problem.
    • Apply the (scientific) research process to an identified problem.
    • Develop a research proposal, obtain IRB approval, grant monies if needed, and report findings in a manuscript format ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. 
    • Discuss research findings with peers, faculty, and other allied health professionals.
    • Demonstrate effective and professional written, oral, and electronic communication skills.
    • Design and disseminate to other professionals appropriate to your area of research a scholarly presentation at a regional, state, or national conference with other health professionals. 
  2. Our graduates will utilize computer technology to advance teaching and education
    • Discuss different technologies used in classroom and online delivery modalities in dental hygiene education.
    • Design courses that use technology to reach individuals regardless of geographic location.
    • Create teaching opportunities  that employ technology to engage student learning in the clinical and classroom setting.
    • Develop an electronic program portfolio.
  3. Our graduates will explain the relationship between higher education and oral health care policy (issues) in dental hygiene
    •  Identify issues related to higher education policy and procedures.
    • Examine methods used to facilitate access to care and development of new workforce models’ impact on oral and overall health.
    • Recognize the impact of interacting with diverse communities and cultures to serve individuals of all backgrounds.
    • Evaluate the impact of legislation and policy on trends in oral health at the national, state, and local levels.
  4. Our graduates will have the knowledge to demonstrate through behavior, high standards of ethics, integrity, and responsibilities in professional situations
    • Display the ability to self-assess in enhancing professional self-development.
    • Demonstrate a commitment to life-long learning in the profession of dental hygiene.
    • Recognize responsibility and accountability for actions in various roles of the dental hygienist.
    • Explain the obligation to be active in society to make changes in one’s health and welfare.
    • Foster high standards of personal and organizational integrity, honesty, and respect for people of all communities.
    • Exhibit knowledge of legal, ethical, and social issues related to developing technology and communication/social networks.
  5. Our graduates will have the ability to plan and integrate new teaching and educational programs in dental hygiene
    • Demonstrate the process of program development including assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation to accomplish program goals.
    • Be knowledgeable in the process of seeking funds for the implementation of new programs.
    • Articulate a plan for the development of new programs.
    • Use basic organizational, administrative and human relations skills in a group environment.
  6. Our graduates will be leaders in their communities, organizations, institutions and work environments
    • Analyze interactions of human, social, and dental hygiene theories and how they affect individuals and professions.
    • Apply leadership skills when working with groups to attain personal and professional goals.
    • Support change and improvements in the profession of dental hygiene through service and affiliations with professional associations.
    • Successfully communicate to others with effective written, oral and electronic correspondence skills.

Core curriculum courses are taken in conjunction with students enrolled in the UMKC degree-completion program. In addition to a UMKC campus program orientation (usually in August), online students are required to attend class sessions on average an additional two times during the student’s program of study. More information on these campus visits can be discussed with the program director. Additional on- site campus visits for the graduate student are determined between the research committee chair and the student. The student is encouraged to attend another on-campus visit as their research project deems necessary.

Required Courses

DENT-HYG 4130Introduction to Instructional Technologies and Online Learning1
DENT-HYG 5502Foundations of Teaching2
DENT-HYG 5500Introduction to Educational Methodology3
DENT-HYG 5510Student Teaching and Conference I2-4
DENT-HYG 5516Special Issues in Higher Education for Health Professional3
DENT-HYG 5530Clinical Instruction and Conference I2-4
DENT-HYG 5553Evidence Based Decision Making in the Clinical Practice of Dental Hygiene2
DENT-HYG 5595Writing in Science2
DENT-HYG 5599Research And Thesis1-6
RES-ME 5700Introduction To Research Methodology3
RES-ME 5703Thesis Writing1
RES-ME 5704Introduction to Biostatistics3
DENT-HYG 5585Portfolio Capstone Course1
Total Credit Hours27-36

It is highly recommended that the student take the following:

DENT-HYG 5512Student Teaching and Conference II2-4
DENT-HYG 5532Clinical Instruction and Conference II2-4

For students who do not reside in the Kansas City area (online students) some courses (DENT-HYG 5510 Student Teaching and Conference I and DENT-HYG 5530 Clinical Instruction and Conference I) require teaching (didactic or clinically) at a college/university setting other than UMKC. In those cases, an affiliation agreement is required. It is the student's responsibility to get permission from the sponsoring institution to teach in their facility. Once the student has initiated contact, the UMKC program director will contact the program director of the sponsoring institution.

The total number of credit hours required for completion of the Master of Science Degree Program in Dental Hygiene Education is 36 credit hours for either the thesis or the non-thesis option.

Graduation Requirements

  1. A minimum of a 3.0 GPA.
  2. Successful completion of 36 credit hours with a thesis or graduate research project option.
  3. All other requirements for graduation as stated in the General Graduate Academic. Regulations and Information section of the UMKC General Catalog. For more information - please visit
  4. Design and disseminate to other professionals appropriate to your area of research a scholarly presentation at a regional, state, or national conference with other health professionals.
  5. Successful completion of a portfolio as presented in DENT-HYG 5585. The final portfolio must be turned into the program director 6 weeks prior to the student's anticipated graduation date.

Other Requirements

Whenever the overall grade point average for UMKC courses taken for graduate credit by an advanced education or graduate student of any classification falls below 3.0 (B) the student’s status for the next term becomes: “On probation — See principal graduate advisor.” The principal graduate adviser will review the student’s progress and provide counsel, and the following conditions apply:

  • An advanced education or graduate student on probation who is not restored to good academic standing by the end of two successive semesters will be declared ineligible to re-enroll.
  • While on probation, an advanced education or graduate student must achieve a 3.0 term GPA in order to enroll for the ensuing term.
  • An advanced education or graduate student on probation will not be restored to good standing until a cumulative graduate-credit GPA of at least 3.0 is achieved.

UMKC is An Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer