The School of Dental Hygiene Studies (DHS) at Pacific University offers a bachelor of science in dental hygiene. This program includes two years of dental health courses completed at Pacific University, following completion of required prerequisite coursework. The school also operates a 16-chair Pacific Dental Hygiene Clinic at the Pacific University Hillsboro Campus and provides continuing education opportunities for dental hygienists.

Our Mission

The mission of the School of Dental Hygiene Studies at Pacific University is to provide an outstanding education to prepare leaders in the dental profession that will deliver compassionate patient care in a variety of settings and demonstrate exemplary service to the community and the profession.

Our Vision

To create and sustain a reputation of excellence in education, service and scholarship that is widely recognized and respected in both the profession and the community.

Our Goals

The goals of the School of Dental Hygiene Studies are:

  • Education – Prepare dental allied professionals for leadership roles in clinical practice, public health, education, research, administration and advocacy.
  • Patient Care – Provide equitable, inclusive and culturally appropriate patient-centered care that is based on current standards of practice.
  • Scholarship – Foster an environment that promotes discovery, application and dissemination of evidence-based research.
  • Service – Promote a commitment to service through professional association involvement, community partnerships and interprofessional collaborations.

In Our Dental Hygiene Program

  • You will find faculty who care deeply about the learning process and are committed to your success in the program
  • You will enjoy a broad educational experience which emphasizes communication skills, critical thinking, cultural awareness, community service, and professional leadership
  • You will learn in a supportive environment which embraces creativity, flexibility, and diversity
  • You will study in state-of-the-art classroom and clinical facilities at our Hillsboro Campus along with graduate students in physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, professional psychology, pharmacy, healthcare administration and audiology
  • You will provide care to diverse patient populations in our 16-chair Dental Hygiene Clinic which provides dental health services to the community with special emphasis on patients who have limited access to dental care
  • You will complete clinic enrichment experiences in a variety of healthcare settings which include a dental school, public health clinic, community hospital, Indian Health Services dental clinic, managed care clinics and a long-term care facility
  • You will have a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary study with students and faculty in Pacific University's other professional programs and through a broad range of community affiliations

Upcoming Events

9 a.m. | Monday, June 17, 2024 to 9:15 p.m. | Friday, June 21, 2024
Hillsboro, Other Location


Kristen Thomas is an alum of Pacific University’s dental hygiene program, graduating in 2010. She then worked as a clinical restorative dental hygienist for several years in a managed care organization before pursuing a career in education.

Holly Erenfield graduated from Oregon Health and Sciences University in 2002 and has 17 years of clinical experience as a dental hygienist. She completed her master’s degree in dental hygiene from the Ohio State University, focusing on education and leadership. 

Harbison has been practicing dental hygiene since 2000. In 2016, she returned to school to advance her dental hygiene knowledge and career, earning her master’s at Idaho State University.