​​Program Entry Requirements

  1. Complete an application for admission.
  2. Attend a Dental Hygiene program information session.
  3. Provide proof of high school graduation or GED completion.
  4. Complete required ACCUPLACER Next Gen testing, obtaining satisfactory scores in Reading (248 or above) and Writing (254 or above) or ACT scores in Reading (19 or above) and English (19 or above).\
  5. Complete BIO 164 - Essentials Anatomy/Physiology OR BOTH BIO 168 Anatomy and Physiology I AND BIO 173 Anatomy and Physiology II with a grade of “C” (not C-) or better. **BIO 168  Prerequisite: A grade of "C" or better in BIO 157 or a grade of "C" or better in BIO 104 or a grade of "C" or better in BIO 112 or a "C" or better in high school Anatomy within the last five years. **BIO 173 Prerequisite: A grade of "C" or better in BIO 168 - Anatomy & Physiology I
  6. Complete CHM 122 - Intro to General Chemistry  with a grade of “C” (not C-) or better. NOTE: The course has a prerequisite that can be satisfied through ALEKS, SAT, or ACT testing. 
  7. Complete BIO 186 - Microbiology with a grade of “C” (not C-) or better.
When transferring equivalent courses to DMACC, an official transcript must be sent to the Admissions Office as courses are completed.​
After completing the Program Entry Requirements, your name will be added to a Standby List until a position in the program becomes available.
While on the Standby list, you should take the following courses. Your position on the standby list will be determined by the number of support courses completed:
  • CHM 132 Intro to Organic and Biochemistry
  • ENG 105 Composition I
  • SPC 101 Fundamentals of Oral Communication OR SPC 122 Interpersonal Communication
  • PSY 111 Intro to Psychology
  • ​SOC 110 Intro to Sociology
Taking the liberal arts courses will reduce your course load once you are admitted to the program and will give you more time to devote to your Dental Hygiene courses.

Dental Hygiene Acceptance Deferral Change
Effective immediately 01/27/2022, Dental Hygiene candidates will no longer be allowed to defer their acceptance/start date into the program for one calendar year. Special requests for deferral need to be addressed with the program chair. Examples of special request deferrals are medical issues, active military duty and childbirth. 

If you have any special requests for deferral please contact Jackie Kollasch, Dental Programs Chair at

Without a special request granted, you will need to accept your spot for the year you are given or you will need to reapply and be moved to the bottom of the standby list.

​Other Requirements

  • Medical/Dental examinations and immunizations are required.
  • Take general education and basic science courses prior to program entry.
  • Students should not work more than 16 hours week as homework and required activities are demanding.
  • Current CPR certification is required prior to program entry and must be maintained for the remainder of the program. In accordance with the Iowa Dental Board, students must complete a CPR certification course from a nationally-recognized sponsor. This course must include a “hands-on,” clinical component. A CPR course may include an online component provided there is an in-person portions to the certification being issued.
    • CPR course must be Basic Life Support for Healthcare Professionals
      • American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS Provider)
      • American Red Cross Basic Life Support (BLS Training) 
  • DMACC Student Health and Immunization Record (PDF)​: Download, complete and submit.
  • ​Dental Report (PDF): Download, complete and submit.

Graduation Requirements

To earn a Dental Hygiene AAS degree, a student must successfully complete all dental hygiene and liberal arts support courses required in the curriculum, achieving a grade of “C” (not C-) or better in each course. In order to progress to the next semester of the Dental Hygiene program, all required courses in the current semester must be completed with a grade of “C” or better.

Criminal background checks will be completed on each student. Criminal convictions or documented history of abuse may prevent students from participating in clinical experiences. Students who do not participate in clinical education will be unable to complete the program.

Recommended Skills and Abilities

  • Participate in continuing education activities to promote lifelong learning.
  • Use empathy and understanding when relating to people with varied socioeconomic backgrounds and health status.
  • Make decisions and work cooperatively with members of the dental team and allied health community.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills through student organizations and professional association activities.
  • Communicate effectively with persons of diverse backgrounds in a variety of treatment settings.
  • Ability to be a self starter and initiate and complete tasks under general supervision.

Recommended High School Courses

Algebra, Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy & Physiology, Computer Skills