Get Started in Dental Hygiene

If you are ready to apply to the dental hygiene program, the information on this page outlines the requirements, the application process, and pertinent deadlines.

Eligibility Requirements

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

Additional eligibility requirements can be found in the Dental Hygiene program-information-packet (pdf). If you have any questions not answered by the Program Information Packet, you may inquire at

  • All prerequisite courses must be completed by the application deadline (see Steps to Begin the Application Process):
    • 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 or CMST 205 Multicultural 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)
  • Admission Test for Dental Hygiene (ATDH)
  • Minimum of 80 hours of Community Service (see list of acceptable agencies)
  • Proctored Essay (see Proctored Essay Instructions)

Please note that completion of prerequisite courses does not guarantee admission but merely eligible to apply to the dental hygiene 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

To apply to Seattle Central College's Dental Hygiene program, follow the steps below:

  1. Attend an information session.  Held in May, August, and November, at the Health Education Center on Beacon Hill at 1200 12th Avenue S, Seattle, WA 98144.  While campus has limited access, we will not be able to conduct face-to-face information sessions. However, information sessions using Zoom will be conducted.
  2. Before applying to the Dental Hygiene program, apply to Seattle Central 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. ONLINE APPLICATION FOR DENTAL HYGIENE PROGRAM WILL OPEN ON SEPTEMBER 15, 2024, and will be open until January 15, 2025.
  4. Applicants meeting all application criteria will be invited to participate in an interview in March.
  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 in April and will 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 will be held in May. Orientation is the first opportunity to meet other members of your cohort as well as complete registration, provide emergency contact information, and other on-boarding documents.  If you work, it is recommended you request a flexible work schedule the 3rd week of April.
  3. Accepted candidates are required to have a physical, eye, and hearing exams as well as provide proof of immunizations. Accepted candidates are required to provide proof of immunizations.

    ImmunizationRequirementDocumentation Needed
    Hepatitis BPositive titer showing immunityLab results
    Influenza1-dose given (during flu season September – June)Vaccine record
    Tuberculin test2-step tuberculin test OR QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube test (GFT-GIT) showing no active TB (must be done before entering the program)Two negative test or lab results [Note: TB test is positive, it is necessary to have a chest x-ray and a TB Assessment signed by a healthcare provider]
    Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)Positive titer showing immunityLab results
    Varicella (chickenpox)Positive titer showing immunityLab results
    Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis1-dose within the last two years or TD within 10 yearsVaccine record
    COVID vaccinationMust have full vaccination (2 weeks past final 1 or 2-dose series) before entering the programVaccine record (boosters may be required every 6 months)
  4. Acceptance into the dental hygiene program 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 because we cannot provide you with copies.

Physical demands on a Dental Hygienist

The Dental Hygiene profession is extremely demanding physically and requires very fine motor skills and movement. Please visit the Scope of Practice RCW and WACs at Scope of licensee's functions—Employment—Supervision, Acts that may be performed by licensed dental hygienists under general supervision, and Acts that may be performed by licensed dental hygienists under close supervision.

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 to discuss additional options.

If you have difficulty in any of these areas, we also encourage you to seek information from the Accessibility Resource Center 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

Proctored Essay Dates and Times


Important Dates

  • Application opens:  September 1st   
  • Application closes:  January 15 (11:59 pm)   
  • Interviews for the top 40 qualifying applicants: TBD  
  • Offer sent to accepted applicants:  April   
  • Mandatory Orientation:  May TBD

Information Sessions

  • Information Session dates for the 2025 application cycle will be scheduled beginning in the Summer 2024 quarter.

Additional Useful Information