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Dental Hygiene

Program Pathway

Prerequisite Coursework

Prerequisite Courses Details

Credits 18
Enrollment Full-time, Part-time
Program Start Fall, Spring, Summer
Number of Terms 1
Time to Complete 4 months

Prerequisite Courses

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology II
  • Introduction to General Chemistry
  • Medical Terminology
  • Microbiology

See the Suggested Sequence of Study for cost and additional course details.

Next step: Complete the Dental Hygiene program admission requirements then continue to Term 1 of the Dental Hygiene Associate of Science (AAS) degree program.

Dental Hygiene Associate of Science (AAS) Degree

Program Details

Award Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
Credits 68
Program Start Fall
Number of Terms 5
Time to Complete 2 years
Admissions Application Select Academic Program:
Dental Hygiene – AAS
See Program Admission

Suggested Sequence of Study and Cost

Program Courses

Term 1
  • Fundamentals of Clinical Dental Hygiene
  • Head and Neck Anatomy for Dental Hygiene
  • Oral Histology and Embryology
  • Oral Radiology
  • Tooth Morphology
Term 2
  • Biomaterials for the Dental Hygienist
  • Clinical Dental Hygiene II
  • Clinical Dental Hygiene II Seminar
  • Ethics and Jurisprudence
  • General and Oral Pathology
  • Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry
  • Introduction To Periodontology
  • Special Needs Patient Education
Term 3 — Summer
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology
Term 4
  • Clinical Dental Hygiene III
  • Clinical Dental Hygiene III Seminar
  • Community Oral Health I
  • Nutrition
  • Pain Control
  • Periodontology
  • Pharmacology
Term 5
  • Clinical Dental Hygiene IV
  • Clinical Dental Hygiene Seminar IV
  • Community Oral Health Service Learning Experience
  • Composition I
  • Fundamentals of Oral Communication
  • Independent Study Clinical Dental Hygiene
  • Interdisciplinary Health Care

Dental Hygiene 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 the completion of clinical competencies in three terms 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 Hygiene Associate of Science (AAS) degree program. Check out the Health continuing education courses to keep up to date in your profession.



Our graduates can be employed in many dental areas, including:

  • Private dental practices
  • Specialty practices
  • HMOs
  • Long-term care/geriatric centers
  • Community outreach organizations

Example Careers and Average Wages

Entry Average Experienced
Dental Hygienists $68,100 $76,000 $80,000

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

In order to be considered for the Dental Hygiene program, students must provide the Admissions office with the appropriate documentation showing completion of all requirements. Appropriate documentation consists of:

  • Official high school or GED/HiSET transcript
  • Official college transcript (if applicable)

It is the student’s responsibility to:

  1. Monitor their progress towards meeting admissions requirements
  2. Notify the Admissions office when requirements have been met
  3. Provide the Admissions office evidence of meeting the requirements
  4. Keep their contact information up to date and to routinely check their Hawkeye email

Step #1: Apply at Hawkeye

  1. Apply for admission at Hawkeye.
  2. Send official transcripts to Admissions.
  3. Demonstrate college readiness.

You can check the status of your application by logging into your Admissions Account.

Hawkeye's Equal Opportunity Statement

Step #2: Prerequisite Coursework

Prerequisite coursework may be completed at Hawkeye Community College or at any accredited transfer institution. See the suggested sequence of study for a list of prerequisite courses.

Once all prerequisite coursework is completed, contact the Admissions office immediately.

Step #3: Dental Hygiene Program Admittance/Admission Processing

  • The Dental Hygiene program registers 25 students each fall.

  • Applicants who successfully meet all admission criteria and prerequisite coursework will be given an Eligible-Start Date to be Determined (ETBD) application status.

    • The Eligible-Start Date to be Determined status date is according to the student’s prerequisite completion date. If students share the same prerequisite completion date, the registration date for the final prerequisite course will be used.

    • Eligible-Start Date to be Determined (ETBD) application status does not guarantee program admittance. Program admittance is based on seat availability. It is not uncommon for students to remain on Eligible-Start Date to be Determined (ETBD) application status for two years.

  • The Admissions Office will request Eligible-Start Date to be Determined candidates to confirm their eligibility interest once a year in September/October.

  • The Admissions Office provides Eligible-Start Date to be Determined candidates with an anticipated start term update two times a year, November and February.

  • The Admissions Office begins the admittance process for the following fall in late January.

  • It is the student’s responsibility to keep their contact information up to date and to continually check their Hawkeye email.

Prior to the First Day of Classes

Prior to the first day of classes, admitted students must have a physical exam with immunization record on Hawkeye Community College form. Students must also attend a Mandatory Compliance Training session.

Changes are taking place within healthcare facilities nationally. These changes directly affect all health programs at Hawkeye Community College. The Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO), which accredits healthcare facilities across the country, enforced background screening September 2004 and has set requirements mandating that students in a healthcare field must now complete the same background check as hospital employees. As a Health student of Hawkeye Community College, you will be required to complete a criminal background check which includes fingerprinting that searches the following databases of sex offender, child abuse and dependent adult registry, and Medicare/Medicaid Fraud. The outcome could possibly affect your opportunities to participate in the clinical setting

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
Last Names A – L
Katie Gisleson Email Katie Gisleson 319-296-2329 ext.1359 Grundy Hall 135
Faculty Advisor
Last Names N – Z
Tonya Obermire Email Tonya Obermire 319-296-2329 ext.1360 Grundy Hall 133

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