Dental Hygiene



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 $56,300 $68,700 $74,900

Source: 2018 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

Admissions Requirements

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:

  • Updated assessment scores. -AND/OR-
  • A transcript or academic evaluation showing successful completion of course requirements (i.e. developmental coursework).

It is the student’s responsibility to:

  • Monitor his/her progress towards meeting admissions requirements,
  • Notify the Admissions office when requirements have been met, and
  • Provide the Admissions office evidence of meeting the requirements.

Step #1: Apply at Hawkeye

  1. Complete Hawkeye's online admissions application to apply and be considered for the Dental Hygiene program.

  2. Request to have your transcripts sent to the Admissions office.

Step #2: Placement through appropriate assessment scores or completion of success courses

In order to be eligible for the Dental Hygiene program, all students must meet minimum score requirements and/or complete required success courses. Success course credits do not apply towards graduation or the AAS degree.

Students must meet the minimum assessment score or have completed the required success course in each math, English, and reading.

Math 19 85 Elementary Algebra 42 Algebra MAT-063 Elementary Algebra
English 19 82 Sentence Skills -OR-
06 Essay
65 ENG-061 College Preparatory Writing II
Reading 19 76 82 RDG-040 College Preparatory Reading III

Step #3: Prerequisite Coursework

In order for a student to be moved from the Candidate list to the Eligible for Acceptance list the student must complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of a “C” or higher.

All students must also hold a 2.75 minimum GPA in the specific prerequisite courses.

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.

Step #4: Eligible for Acceptance / Waitlist Time

Applicants who meet the program admission requirements for entrance into Dental Hygiene will be placed on the Eligible for Acceptance list. Due to the popularity of the Dental Hygiene program there is a wait time in order to start the program. Once a student is placed on the Eligible for Acceptance list—meaning all prerequisite courses are complete and the grades are verified—the waitlist time will begin. Students will be notified when they have been placed on the waitlist.

During this waitlist time, many students will choose to complete the Dental Hygiene general education courses, work on additional courses for a liberal arts degree, or take time off of school and work to save money.

Completing all of the general education courses prior to full admission into the program is strongly advised.

All students using financial aid are highly encouraged to speak with the Financial Aid office before taking courses beyond the required program curriculum.

Step #5: Program Acceptance

The Dental Hygiene program begins each fall semester. In March of each year applicants on the Eligible for Acceptance list are offered acceptance based on the date their applicant file was completed. If many students share the same date for completing their applicant file, the second criteria used will be the GPA from the prerequisite courses.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Before You Start the Program

Prior to the first day of classes, accepted students must:

  1. Have a physical exam with immunization record on Hawkeye Community College form.
  2. Attend a Mandatory Compliance Training session. Students will be notified of the Mandatory Compliance Training at their orientation and registration session.
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