Apply to the Dental Hygiene Program

Admission to the DVC Dental Hygiene Program is based on the general admission policies for DVC (see the DVC College Catalog), guidelines consistent with state and federal law, and guidelines established by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The program provides equal opportunity in education and employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or handicap in accordance with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1992 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Application period

The application period for the DVC Dental Hygiene Program is from December 15 to February 15 each year. All applicants must apply to DVC and receive a Student ID and Insite Portal login to access the Dental Hygiene Program application.

Prerequisite and Required Coursework

  • Students must achieve a “C” grade or higher in each course to meet the program requirements.
  • Prerequisite courses need to be taken only on a "for grade" basis.
  • An overall GPA of 2.75 or higher in prerequisite coursework is required for program admission.
  • Science courses must have been completed within the past seven years.
  • In-progress coursework will not be accepted. 

Science Prerequisites 

  • BIOSCI 139-Human Anatomy
  • BIOSCI 140-Human Physiology
  • BIOSCI 119-Fundamentals of Microbiology or BIOSCI 146-Principles of Microbiology
  • CHEM 108-Introductory Chemistry 
  • CHEM 109-Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry 
    • An equivalent course must include Biochemistry
    • An integrated Inorganic, Organic, Biochemistry course will not satisfy this requirement
  • NUTR 160-Nutrition Science and Applications

General Education Prerequisites

  • COMM 120-Public Speaking or COMM 130-Small Group Communication
  • ENGL 122-First-Year College Composition and Reading
    • Test scores of 3 or higher in AP English Language and Composition or AP English Literature and Composition will be accepted as equivalent
  • SOCIO 120-Introduction to Sociology
  • PSYCH 101-Introduction to Psychology or PSYCH 122-Psychology in Modern Life
  • MATH 135- College Algebra or 142-Elementary Statistics with Probability
    • Any 3-unit or higher Math course that satisfies the CSUGE Area B4 or IGETC Area 2 requirement does not need course substitution
    • Test scores of 3 or higher in AP Statistics, AP Calculus AB, or AP Calculus BC will be accepted as equivalent

International Coursework

Foreign college transcripts must be translated/evaluated by a foreign evaluation service that is a NACES member. The evaluation must include a course-by-course report with semester unit equivalencies that distinguish between upper-and lower-division coursework and include letter grades. If foreign coursework is to be used to satisfy a Dental Hygiene prerequisite, catalog descriptions will be required to show course equivalencies. English coursework taken at a foreign college will not equate to English 122.

Dental Hygiene Procedures Observation

The Diablo Valley College Dental Hygiene Program requires dental hygiene applicants to observe an oral prophylaxis or periodontal maintenance appointment, and a non-surgical periodontal therapy (scaling and root planning) appointment to gain an understanding of dental hygiene practices.  Our goal is that applicants will be better informed regarding the daily activities of the clinical career path. 

The applicant can observe 2 different hygienists in 2 separate offices or the same hygienist for both procedures. Each observation requires a minimum of 3 hours and a maximum of 8 hours.  The observations must be completed and the forms signed by the dentist and dental hygienist regardless of the employment experience of the prospective applicant. The forms must be submitted in PDF format.

Download the Prophylaxis or Periodontal Maintenance Observation Form

Download the Non-surgical Periodontal Therapy Observation Form

Official Transcript Submission

Official college transcript showing completion of all prerequisites must be sent to DVC Admissions and Records by the application filing period closing date.  Exception:  Transcripts from Diablo Valley College, Los Medanos College or Contra Costa College do not need to be sent.

It is the applicants’ responsibility to ensure official transcripts have been received.

  • Electronic transcripts:  Official transcripts should be sent to from the granting institution or transcript vendor only.  Transcripts sent from personal or student email will not be considered.
  • Hard copy transcripts: Official unopened, sealed transcripts should be sent through USPS, FedEx, or other carriers to DVC Admissions and Records, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill, CA. 94523.  They can also be hand delivered to the Admissions and Records office on the Pleasant Hill campus.
  • Additional information regarding transcripts can be found at the DVC Admissions and Records Transcript page.

Student Selection and Program Entrance Requirements

Class space is limited to 20 students. Applicants successfully meeting the primary admission requirements will be entered into the lottery. Applicants will be notified through the email provided on the application of provisional acceptance, non-acceptance, or rank on an alternate list by mid-April. 

All provisionally accepted students must enroll in and attend all class meetings of DENHY 101-Dental Hygiene Orientation held in late April and early May.  Please check the DVC Spring Schedule for specific dates and times. Admission to the program is contingent upon completion of this course with a grade of 75% or higher. A seat in the class will be awarded to the next alternate if a provisionally accepted student (1) does not submit their Candidate Acceptance Form within five days of notification, (2) declines acceptance into the program, or (3) does not attend all meetings or successfully pass the Orientation Course. 

Applications are not carried over from one year to the next. If you wish to be considered as a candidate each year, you must submit a completed new application containing all materials as directed. Application requirements may change from year to year.

Background Check and Drug Test

Prior to the start of Summer courses, students who have successfully passed DENHY 101 will be required to pass a background check and a certified drug test.  The drug test identifies Amphetamines, Barbiturate, Benzodiazepines, Cocaine, MDMA [Urine Testing], Methadone, Methaqualone, Opiates, Oxycodone, Phencyclidine, Propoxyphene.  A positive result that cannot be justified by a physician’s prescription may result in denial of acceptance to the program.

Infectious Disease Policy

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 grants specific benefits including the right to access health care and education for individuals with communicable diseases such as Hepatitis B (HBV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Proven HBV and/or HIV transmission to patients is rare; however out of an abundance of caution, DVC Dental Programs follow the CDC guidelines that recommend a professional review panel determine whether providers with HIV and/or HBV could continue to perform exposure-prone procedures.

Centers for Disease Control. Recommendations for preventing transmission of human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis B virus to patients during exposure-prone procedures. MMWR 1991; 40:1-9. [PubMed]

DVC Dental Programs follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for vaccinations as part of our Blood Borne Pathogen and Aerosol Transmission Programs. These vaccines include: Covid 19, Influenza (annually), Hepatitis B, MMR, Tdap, Varicella, and Meningococcal.  A TB test is required with recommended follow-up based on results. In addition, students will be required to complete physical and vision examinations and a CPR/BLS certification course for Health Care Providers. Reporting documents will be distributed with the acceptance letters. 

State Licensing Requirements 

All states require dental hygienists to be licensed. Licensure requires successful completion of an associate or baccalaureate degree from an accredited dental hygiene program, passing the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination, and a regional clinical exam.  Effective January 01, 2024, students who graduate from an accredited dental hygiene educational program approved by the Dental Hygiene Board of California (DHBC) within the preceding three years may waive the requirement of a regional clinical exam. Please see the DVC College Catalog for additional general education requirements to complete the associate degree.

Licensees are required to be of good moral character and citizens of the United States (or lawfully entitled to remain and work in the United States). Fingerprinting is required and checked by the Department of Justice and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation prior to state licensure. Prospective students are advised that if they are not lawfully entitled to remain and work in the United States upon program completion, have a felony or misdemeanor conviction, or have a history of substance abuse or infectious disease, they may be precluded from subsequent licensure as a California dental hygienist. Applicants should contact the Dental Hygiene Board of California for more information.

Online Application

Please review the sample application to ensure you have all the required information. You will need your Insite Portal login information to access the online application when it becomes available.

No guarantee can be made that an applicant will be accepted into the dental hygiene program. Falsifying statements on the application, issues with the certified background check, or failing the drug test are cause for denial or dismissal from the program. If an applicant is not admitted into the dental hygiene program, DVC offers other programs that may be of interest. Please contact a DVC counselor for more information at (925) 969-2140.

Applicants will be notified through the email provided in the application of provisional acceptance, non-acceptance, or rank on an alternate list by mid-April. Please DO NOT contact the program prior to April 20 with inquiries as to your acceptance status.



Related links

Contact Dental Hygiene

Chair: Tonette Steeb
Telephone: 925-969-2658
Office location: LHS-108