Dental Hygiene


Core Courses

  • Medical Terminology
  • Head and Neck Anatomy for the Dental Hygienist
  • Tooth Morphology
  • Oral Histology and Embryology
  • Oral Radiology
  • Fundamentals of Clinical Dental Hygiene
  • General and Oral Pathology
  • Clinical Dental Hygiene II, III, and IV
  • Clinical Dental Hygiene II, III, and IV Seminars
  • Introduction To Periodontology
  • Biomaterials for the Dental Hygienist
  • Ethics and Jurisprudence
  • Special Needs Patient Education
  • Pharmacology
  • Periodontology
  • Community Oral Health I
  • Pain Control
  • Community Oral Health Service Learning Experience
  • Interdisciplinary Health Care
  • Independent Study Clinical Dental Hygiene

You will be 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.

Program Details

Award: Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
Credits: 86
Program Start: Fall

View Suggested Sequence of Study & Course Cost



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 $66,000 $73,500 $77,200

Source: 2021 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 their 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. Apply for admission at Hawkeye.

  2. Send official transcripts to Admissions.

Step #2: Demonstrate College Readiness

In order to be eligible for the Dental Hygiene program, all students must meet minimum score requirements and/or successfully complete the required college success courses in English, reading, and math with a C- grade or higher at Hawkeye Community College or comparable courses at another accredited college. For appropriate college success course placement, work with your program advisor.

Math 85 Elementary Algebra 42 Algebra  19 259 Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics 2.80 MAT-063 Elementary Algebra
Reading 76 82 19 251 2.80 RDG-040 College Preparatory Reading III
Writing 82 Sentence Skills 65 19 253 2.80 ENG-061 College Preparatory Writing II

Applicants can take the ACT assessment or the ACCUPLACER assessment at Hawkeye. Pre-registration is required.

* Success course credits do not apply towards graduation requirements.

Step #3: 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 #4: Dental Hygiene Program Admittance/Admission Processing

  • The Dental Hygiene program registers 25 students each fall.

  • Applicants who successfully meet all admission criteria 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.

  • 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

Contact Us

Admissions Coordinator Stacy Fleshner Email Stacy Fleshner 319-296-4000 Hawkeye Center 114
Dental Administrative Chair Emily Boge Email Emily Boge 319-296-4302 Grundy Hall 138
Academic/College Success Advisor Meredith Brood Email Meredith Brood
Schedule an appointment with Meredith Brood
319-296-2329 ext.1048 Tama Hall 123A
Program Advisor Katie Gisleson Email Katie Gisleson 319-296-2329 ext.1359 Grundy Hall 140
Program Advisor Alexis Rusnak Email Alexis Rusnak 319-296-2329 ext.1360 Grundy Hall 156
Administrative Assistant Brenda Bartz Email Brenda Bartz 319-296-4010 Tama Hall 110
Dean Dr. Gene Leutzinger, DNP Email Gene Leutzinger 319-296-4457 Tama Hall 110B

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