• Dental Hygiene Program FAQ


  • Do I need to have worked in the field prior to applying?

    No work experience is needed in order to apply, however applicants do need to have a minimum of 20 hours shadowing/observation time in a dental setting. Check the Application Process & Admissions Detail page for more information. Applicants who have previous dental care experience can earn points at the time of interviews based on the type and length of experience.

    Can I work while I am in the program?
    The program is extremely rigorous. It is strongly advised to not work while you’re in the program. If you must work, let us help you make an action plan to see what’s appropriate for your situation. Students are also advised to not make large life changes while you’re in the program (i.e. getting married, have children, etc.) due to the time commitment needed to be successful.
    What happens if I fail a class while in the program?
    Let us first say that this happens extremely infrequently. We work hard to insure a student gets assistance should their academics be substandard. Students do not have the opportunity to repeat core dental hygiene coursework—at all. This is why we maintain such stringent admissions standards. With students unable to repeat coursework, we have to know you can handle the rigor of this program. Failure to pass all program courses with a grade of C or better can and usually results in expulsion from the program.
    I took my Chemistry courses at a different institution. Can this fulfill the admission requirements?

    For the purpose of the Dental Hygiene admission requirement only, the courses listed below from the stated institutions can be accepted in lieu of CH112. Additionally, the CH104/CH105/CH106 series from MHCC will be accepted.

    • CHEM& 121 and CHEM& 131 from Washington colleges.
    • CH121/CH122/CH123 from Oregon State University
    • CH102 from Portland Community College
    • CH112 from Clackamas Community College
    Can a higher chemistry series fulfill the Chemistry requirement?
    Yes, CH221/CH222/CH223 will satisfy this requirement.
    What will I have to do after I am accepted into the program?

    Immunizations - Accepted students must complete a Measles Immunization Clearance Certificate for School Attendance Form prior to the specified deadline established after admissions into the program. Students must provide documentation of two doses of the measles (rubeola), mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine or provide positive antibody test results for measles (rubeola), mumps, and rubella as well as polio. Students must also demonstrate they test negative for tuberculosis (TB).

    Criminal background checks and drug testing - The program requires students to complete a criminal background check and drug screening after acceptance. Please note, this drug screening will check for drugs that contain, amphetamines, barbiturates, opioids, benzodiazepines and marijuana. If you are taking any prescribed medication that may contain these drugs you will need to meet with the program director before completing the drug screen. If you have concerns about your background and success in the program, please attend an informational session to discuss your concerns with program faculty.

    If you have a criminal history, we strongly encourage potential applicants to call the program director at 503-491-7128 and/or the Oregon Board of Dentistry at 971-673-3200 and inquire about whether or not licensure is possible in your situation. It is often handled on a case-by-case basis at the time of licensing application, so do not wait until you have completed your education only to find that you may be ineligible for licensure, which is required for employment.

    Orientation for accepted– A mandatory program orientation will be held for accepted students in late spring / early summer each year. Attendance is required.

    How much does the program cost?
    Item* Cost
    Instruments &equipment includes loupes & light, ultrasonic scaler, curing light & handpiece $7,000
    Uniforms / Name Tag / Safety Glasses and miscellaneous clinic expenses and supplies 680
    Immunizations and Background Check 180
    Nitrous Oxide Sedation course 450
    Books (2 yrs./DH only) 900
    Licenses – National, Western Regional Boards & Oregon Licensure 3,600
    Professional Dues 130
    Current Lab/Clinic Fees 7,800
    College Service Fee ($49/term x 7 terms) + Access Fee ($39/term x 7 terms) 616
    Tuition (approximate and based on the current tuition rate as of Fall 2018).
    To view the current tuition rate, visit www.mhcc.edu/tuition .
    11,653.25
    Grand total with fees, equipment, books, insurance, and immunizations $33,009.25
    *Note: These costs are approximate and are subject to change. Students are responsible for transportation costs to clinical practicum sites. Costs are based on 7 quarters (two years). Books, licensure fees and travel are not included in financial aid reimbursable expenses.