Get Started in Dental Hygiene

Whether you're a student or professional looking to take a new direction or career, it's never been easier to apply to the program for Dental Hygiene education.

Eligibility Requirements

To be successful in the Dental Hygiene program, a foundation in the basic sciences along with general education pre-requisite courses is required. To be considered for the program, the following pre-requisite courses must be completed with a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average (GPA).

  • All pre-requisites must be completed by the application deadline (see Process to Apply):
    • BIOL& 160 General Biology or BIOL& 211 Cell Biology
    • BIOL& 241 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
    • BIOL& 242 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
    • BIOL& 260 Microbiology
    • CHEM& 121 Introduction to Chemistry
    • CHEM& 122 Introduction to Organic Chemistry or CHEM& 131 Biochemistry
    • ENGL& 101 English Composition I
    • ENGL& 102 English Composition II
    • HUM 105 Intercultural Communication
    • MATH& 146 Introduction to Statistics
    • NUTR& 101 Human Nutrition
    • PSYC& 100 General Psychology
    • Humanities electives (Refer to the VLPA Requirements in the College Catalog)
  • TOEFL or IELTS test (for English as a Second Language applicants only)

Please note that completion of the prerequisite courses does not guarantee admission but merely eligible to apply to the program. If you repeat courses, the most recent grade will be used during the selection process. Math and science courses must have been taken within five (5) years of the application deadline.

Steps to Begin the Application Process

The application deadline will be the week after fall quarter grades are posted. To apply for Seattle Central College's Dental Hygiene program, follow the steps below:

  1. Attend an information session, held in May, August, October, and December, at the Health Education Center on Beacon Hill at 1200 12th Avenue S, Seattle, WA 98144.
  2. Before applying to the Dental Hygiene program, first apply to Seattle Central College, you must be a student of the college. Complete the 5-Step Enrollment Process for Seattle Central College, which includes English and Math placement testing and transcript evaluations to ensure eligibility of courses taken at other colleges.
  3. Review and complete the Application for the Bachelor of Applied Science in Allied Health - Dental Hygiene.
    DISCLOSURE: Application submission does not guarantee admission into the program.
  4. Applicants meeting all application criteria will be invited to participate in an interview.
  5. Once scores from the application criteria and interview are calculated, the top 20 applicants will be offered a position in the dental hygiene program to begin Summer quarter.


  1. If admitted into the program, students will be sent a link to have a criminal background check. This must be completed prior to orientation. Results from the background check are sent directly to the program by the company conducting them.
  2. Attendance of a mandatory orientation. Orientation is the first opportunity to meet other members of your cohort as well as complete registration, provide emergency contact information, and other departmental forms. If you work, request a flexible work schedule that week.
  3. Accepted candidates will need a health history, physical exam, an eye exam, proof of immunizations, and hearing exam. Exams must be completed by a healthcare provider.
  4. Proof of TB testing must include a two-step TB test or QuantiFERON TB GOLD blood test.
  5. Acceptance requires professional membership in the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and Washington Dental Hygienists’ Association (WDHA).

Any documents submitted to Seattle Central College's Admissions Office or the Dental Hygiene program will become the property of Seattle Central College. Please keep copies of documents for your records.

Physical demands on a Dental Hygienist

The Dental Hygiene Profession is extremely demanding physically and requires very fine motor skills and movement.

If you have difficulty in any of the areas listed below we strongly encourage you to discuss the impact of these difficulties on a career in dental hygiene with your physician.

If you are still concerned after discussing with your physician, we encourage you to make an appointment with the Executive Director of Dental Programs, 425.934.3184, to discuss additional options.

If you have difficulty in any of these areas, we also encourage you to seek information from Disability Support Services office to determine if there is a reasonable accommodation available to support your progress in the program.

Visual Acuity

  • Acute enough to read small printed labels on medications.
  • Acute enough to read small numbers on instruments.

Hearing Acuity

  • Acute enough to hear and understand words spoken when muffled by a mask.
  • Acute enough to hear blood pressures and heart rate with stethoscope.

Speaking Ability

  • Verbal expression clear and distinct enough to enunciate dental terminology while wearing a facemask.
  • Ability to express thoughts clearly.

Digital Dexterity

  • Agile enough to handle dental instruments with both left and right hands.
  • Able to bend at the wrist.


  • Able to complete required tasks/functions under stressful conditions.
  • Self-directed.
  • Able to interact professionally with all members of the dental team.

Important Dates

Monday, July 1, 2019: Applications open for Class of 2022
Friday, December 20, 2019: Applications close at 11:59 p.m.
Thursday, February 6, 2020: Qualifying applicant interviews
Wednesday, April 1, 2020: Positions for Class of 2022 offered to accepted applicants

Information Sessions

Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 24, 2019, 10:00 a.m.
Friday, December 13, 2019, 2:00 p.m.
(Visit the information session page.)

Additional Useful Information