Dental Assisting

Program Pathway

Dental Assisting Diploma

Program Details

Award Diploma
Credits 47
Program Start Fall
Number of Terms 3
Time to Complete 1 year
Admissions Application Select Academic Program:
Dental Assisting – Diploma
See Program Admission

Suggested Sequence of Study and Cost

Program Courses

Term 1
  • Chairside Assisting I
  • Dental Anatomy
  • Dental Materials I
  • Dental Radiography
  • Orientation to Dental Assisting
Term 2
  • Assisting Clinic I
  • Chairside Assisting II
  • Dental Materials II
  • Dental Office Procedures
  • Dental Sciences
  • Dental Specialties
Term 3 – Summer
  • Dental Assisting Clinic II
  • Dental Assisting Seminar

Dental Assisting program students are required to complete background screenings, including a criminal background check, sex offender registry, child abuse registry, and dependent adult registry before participating in clinicals. The outcome could possibly affect your opportunities to participate in the clinical setting.

Students are asked to produce their own patients for two radiology projects in Term 2 of the program.

See the Suggested Sequence of Study for the full list of courses, cost, and additional course details.

You have completed the Dental Assisting diploma program. Check out the Health continuing education courses to keep up to date in your profession.



Graduates can be employed in many dental career areas, including:

  • Private or group practice
  • General dentistry or specialty practices
  • Dental schools
  • Federal government dental facilities

Example Careers and Average Wages

Entry Average Experienced
Dental Assistants $34,500 $44,400 $49,300

Source: 2022 Iowa Wage Report, Iowa Workforce Development


The following is a partial list of employers who have hired graduates from this program:

Business Location
Delta Dental of Iowa Johnston, IA
Dental Associates of Manchester Manchester, IA
Henry Schein Dental Melville, NY
Iowa Department of Public Health Des Moines, IA
Kimball & Beecher Family Dentistry Waterloo, IA
Patterson Dental Supply, Inc. Des Moines, IA
Peoples Community Health Clinic, Inc. Waterloo, IA

Program Admission

STEP #1: Apply at Hawkeye

  1. Apply for admission at Hawkeye.

  2. Send official transcripts to Admissions.

Step #2: Program Admittance Score Requirements

In order to be eligible for the Dental Assisting program, all students must meet minimum score requirements in literacy. For appropriate college success course placement, work with your program advisor.

Minimum score requirements
Literacy Reading: 239 -OR-
Writing: 240
Reading: 69 -OR-
Writing: 41
Reading: 16 -OR-
Writing: 16

STEP #3: Program Acceptance

Applicants successfully demonstrating college readiness criteria are eligible for acceptance.

Applicants falling short of successful demonstration of college readiness criteria will be accepted to a Pre-Program. As a pre-program student, you will begin with general education and prerequisite classes. An advisor will help you create an academic plan to meet your program admission requirements. Once you have completed your pre-program coursework contact Admissions.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Program Contacts

Email Admissions 319-296-4000 Hawkeye Center 114
Dental Administrative Chair
Emily Boge Email Emily Boge 319-296-4302 Grundy Hall 124
Academic/College Success Advisor
Kelly Kobliska Email Kelly Kobliska 319-296-4014 ext.1624 Hawkeye Center 208F
Faculty Advisor
Judy Poland Email Judy Poland 319-296-2329 ext.1352 Grundy Hall 129
Administrative Assistant
Vickie Bogart Email Vickie Bogart 319-296-4010 Tama Hall 110
Troy Moran Email Troy Moran 319-296-4457 Tama Hall 110B

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