Dental Hygiene Program - Application Checklist

Students interested in pursuing admission into the Dental Hygiene program at Iowa Western Community college must complete all admission requirements listed below in sections 1 and 2. In order to be considered for admission, students must complete the requirements below by or before the acceptance deadline. 

The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission of Dental Accreditation and has been granted the status of Accreditation without reporting requirements. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago 60611, or visit the website at

Equal Educational Opportunity and Non-discrimination

It is the policy of Iowa Western Community College to provide equal educational opportunities and not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, genetic information, physical or mental disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, marital status, veteran status, AIDS/HIV status, citizenship, or medical condition, as those terms are defined under applicable laws, in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices.  Inquiries and complaints regarding equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policies should be directed to the Equal Opportunity Coordinators, phone number 712-325-3200,; or the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Citigroup Center, 500 W. Madison, Suite 1475, Chicago, IL 60661, phone number 312-730-1560, fax 312-730-1576.

Start Date Acceptance Deadline Program Capacity
Fall Semester (August) January 31st 20
It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all admissions requirements are on file with the Office of Admissions and that his or her admissions application is correct, including intended start term, start year, and location.


Section 1: College Admissions Requirements

Once you complete the application for admission you will be accepted to Iowa Western as a Prep-Dental Hygiene student and are eligible to register for general education courses required for the Dental Hygiene program. For more information on getting registered for general education courses, or for help with the admissions requirements, please contact us at or call 712.325.3277.

Section 2: Dental Hygiene Program Admissions Requirements

Additional Information


Section 3: Frequently Asked Questions

How are students accepted to the Dental Hygiene program?

Students who complete the admissions requirements before the priority deadline will be awarded points based on the point system on the next page. Points are awarded based on grade point average in Human Anatomy & Physiology I and II with Labs and Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry, prior attainment of a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree, and Healthcare Work Experience. Students with the highest number of points will be accepted.

If a tiebreaker is needed, preference will be given to students who complete the most prerequisite courses at Iowa Western. If a second tiebreaker is needed, preference will be given to students with the earliest admission file completion dates.

Why does the Dental Hygiene Program have additional admissions requirements?

The Dental Hygiene Program is a rigorous academic program which requires students to be academically prepared for success in the first semester, including a strong background in human biology, anatomy, and physiology as well as chemistry. The Dental Hygiene Department carefully designed the admissions requirements to ensure that students who are accepted to the program have the fundamental knowledge needed to be successful in the first semester of the program. 

Does the Dental Hygiene Program have a waiting list?

No, we do not utilize a waiting list. Once you have completed the College Admission Requirements and the Dental Hygiene Program Admissions Requirements listed above, you will have everything you need to be considered for admission to the program for an upcoming term. It is important to ensure that your record is up to date with the Office of Admissions, including your start term and start year. 

How long does it take to get into the Dental Hygiene Program?

Iowa Western does not utilize a waiting list, so the amount of time it takes to get into the program varies by student depending on how long it takes to complete the College Admission Requirements and the Dental Hygiene Program Requirements listed above. The prerequisite courses typically take three to four semesters to complete for students who enter the college without any college credits.

Is there a separate application process to apply for the program?

No, Iowa Western does not have a separate application process. The Office of Admissions uses what is called your "Start Term" (example: fall 2019) for acceptance in our competitive programs. It is important that the start term on file correctly reflects the semester you anticipate to start the program. Students can request to have their start term updated by submitting the Update Start Term Form

If I do not complete the requirements for the program in time to be accepted, can I reapply?

Yes. To reapply, simply update your start term - click here. You may also visit the Office of Admissions, contact us at or 712.325.3277 and request to change your start term.

How will I know if I get accepted to the Dental Hygiene Program?

Approximately two weeks after acceptance begins, which is January 31 for the Fall semester, you will receive a letter from the Office Admissions indicating your admissions status. If the program is not yet full at that time, we will continue accepting students who complete the requirements until the program fills.

What do I need to do once I get accepted to the Dental Hygiene Program?

Students accepted to the Dental Hygiene program will have to complete a few additional steps in order to be ready to begin the Dental Hygiene program, which include registering for classes, attending a Dental Hygiene orientation event, and completing criminal background check and physical paperwork. All of these steps will be included in your letter of acceptance or in additional communication from the Dental Hygiene Department.


Dental Hygiene Program - Point System

Points will be awarded based on the following criteria. To be calculated in the point total, all documentation must be on file with the Office of Admissions by the priority deadline. Possible Points
Grade Point Average for Science Courses 0 - 40 pts

Points will be awarded based on the grade point average the student earns in the three science courses required for admission to the Dental Hygiene program:

BIO-168 Anatomy and Physiology I with Labs;
BIO-173 Anatomy and Physiology II with Labs; and
CHM-132 Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry

The following scale will be used to determine the number of points the student will be awarded:

3.68 - 4.0……...40 pts
3.34 - 3.6...........35 pts
3.01 - 3.33.........30 pts
2.68 - 3.00.........25 pts
2.34 - 2.67.........15 pts
2.01 - 2.33.........10 pts
Prior Attainment of a Bachelor’s Degree or Master's Degree 5 pts

Points will be awarded based on the attainment of either a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree; points will not be awarded for both.

Healthcare Work Experience 5 pts

Points will be awarded based on work experience in a healthcare setting, including but not limited to a medical or dental office. The work experience must be a minimum of two years if the student worked full-time or a minimum four years if the student worked part-time. The work experience must be documented using the Verification Form, which is available in the Office of Admissions.


Program Mission Statement

The mission of Iowa Western Community College Department of Dental Hygiene affiliated with Creighton University School of Dentistry is to educate Associate of Applied Science Degree dental hygienists in the broadest scope of clinical practice. Graduates are competent to provide comprehensive educational and clinical services, reflecting dental hygienists’ areas of expertise. Graduates are prepared to serve the community in both private and public health settings that support optimal oral health. All aspects of the program are continually assessed to provide ongoing excellence and to guide improvement. In keeping with the mission of caring, commitment and challenge, the dental hygiene program provides a positive learner focused environment.


Program Learning Outcomes

 Graduates of Iowa Westerns Dental Hygiene program will be able to:

 Utilize evidence based decision making principles.

  1. Utilize the Dental Hygiene process of care to meet the needs of diverse populations.
  2. Operate within an ethical framework within the Dental Hygiene scope of practice.
  3. Positively motivate and effectively communicate with all populations to promote high standards of oral health.

Affiliated Program Information

The Iowa Western Community College Dental Hygiene Program was organized and established in conjunction with Creighton University School of Dentistry in 1998. Each institution offers a diverse educational and clinical experience for the students. Although IWCC is small in comparison to Creighton, our students receive the best of both worlds: exposure to an urban, private university campus with the intimacy of a small, rural community college campus.

Iowa Western has an articulation agreement with Creighton University School of Dentistry for students to complete a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene.

General Information

We adhere to CDC and OSHA guidelines. A copy of the Infection Control Policy is located in the Division Office.

Instructor Credentials


Dental Hygiene Program - Observation Form for Prospective Students

To be completed by the student and signed by the participating Dentist or Dental Hygienist.

Student name (print or type): _____________________________ Date of Birth: ___________________

The purpose of the observation is to expose applicants to a wide-variety of procedures performed in a dental practice setting. Applicants are required to observe a minimum of 16 hours with a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH). After completing the observation hours this form must signed by the supervising RDH. The completed form must be submitted to the Office of Admissions by the priority deadline.

Observation Log

Applicants are required to document the times and dates of their observation hours using the log below.



Time In


Time Out




















Total Observation Hours


Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) Certification

This section must be completed by the supervising RDH.

By signing below, I hereby certify that the information provided on this form is true and accurate.

Signature(s) of RDH: _______________________________________, __________________________________

Printed Name(s) of RDH: ____________________________________, __________________________________

Name of Practice or Facility:

Address of Practice or Facility:

Phone Number of Practice or Facility:

Applicant Certification

By signing below, I hereby certify that all information on this form is true and correct.

Signature of Student: ______________________________________ Date: ____________________