Candidates for admission to the program must be high school graduates with a 2.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale), or HSE (High School Equivalency Exam) equivalent. High school courses in biology, chemistry, and computers are strongly recommended.
Each candidate must submit the following materials to the Dental Education Advisor prior to July 1 for consideration for entry into the class beginning in the fall semester of that year. (Applications submitted beyond the July 1 deadline will be considered based upon class availability)
- Applicants must first make application to IU Northwest if not previously admitted by an Indiana University campus
- Complete an online Dental Assisting Program Application. This application is available at https://www.iun.edu/dental/certificate-dental-assisting-application.htm. A separate application must be submitted to each campus the student is interested in attending
- Submit online two IU Northwest Dental Education Recommendation Forms at https://www.iun.edu/dental/dental-assisting-reference-form.htm
- Submit official college and university transcripts, if applicable
In July, upon receipt of all application materials, applicants are required to attend the Dental Assisting Applicant Open House. Applicants will be notified by e-mail concerning the date and time of the Open House. Class size for the dental assisting program is limited. Therefore, each applicant is encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Dental Education Advisor of the dental assisting program and to apply early. Please contact the Dental Education Department at (219) 980-6770 or [[dmarcini]] for an advising appointment.
Dental Assisting Career Options
Employment opportunities are available in private practice (general or specialty); hospitals; educational institutions; businesses; dental sales companies; and federal, state, and community clinics.
Dental Assisting Curriculum
Certificate in Dental Assisting
The dental assisting program at IU Northwest is a one year, 37 credit hour certificate program. A dental assistant is a member of the dental health team who is educated to assist the dentist. The dental assistant aids the dentist in the detection, care, and treatment of the patient’s oral health.
Graduate dental assistants have completed a professional, accredited college program that entitles them to take a national certification examination administered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Upon successful completion of this examination, the assistant becomes a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).
Clinical Externship Hour Requirements
A minimum of 300 clinical externship hours are required to meet academic and accreditation standards. Therefore, all clinical externship hours are mandatory and all missed time must be made up.
You may be considered for advanced standing if you have successfully completed a dental assisting vocational program in high school. If advanced standing is granted, you will be given credit for 50% of the externship hours required in the program, and your externship schedule will be modified accordingly.
IU Northwest offers an educational program that allows students to apply a select number of their dental assisting credits toward a Baccalaureate Degree in General Studies.
Transfer of Credit
Indiana University Northwest
A maximum of 30 credits hours earned through the Dental Assisting Program can be applied to the Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) degree. All students must achieve at least a 2.0 grade point average for courses to apply to the B.G.S. degree at Indiana University Northwest.
Credits Eligible for Transfer from Institutions Other than Indiana University
Indiana University Northwest offers transfer students the opportunity to finish a bachelor's degree on campus or online depending upon the program. If you have completed at least 12 credit hours of college coursework, you are eligible to apply as a transfer student. Courses taken at other institutions in which the student earned a C- or below will not be eligible for transfer credit.
High School Credit
College-bound juniors and seniors have many opportunities to earn college credit while still in high school. Dual credit programs allow high school students to earn high school and college credit concurrently.
DHYG H242 Introduction to Dentistry Exemption
Students who have completed a dual credit dental assisting course through Portage High School within the last five years and earned a C or better may request an exemption from H242 Introduction to Dentistry.
The Dental Assisting Program at Indiana University Northwest is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, a specialized accreditation body recognized by the Council of Post-Secondary Education and by the United States Department of Education.