Dental hygiene student

Dental Hygiene - How to Get Started

The dental hygiene program is a limited-entry program. This means you must meet certain criteria before you can apply. Eighteen applicants are selected every fall through a point-based system. Students of all races, ethnicities, ages, genders, religions, sexual orientations, socio-economic statuses, nationalities, physical abilities, and cognitive differences are Welcome, добро пожаловать! Bienvenido! ยินดีต้อนรับ!

Dental Hygiene Program Application Information

We are excited about your interest in our dental hygiene program at Mt. Hood Community College. 

Please note that the information below is based on the application requirements for fall term 2024. Requirements are subject to change every year.

Admissions Requirements

Admission decisions are based on a point system using academic and non-academic criteria. To apply for fall term 2024 admission, you must meet the requirements below by the deadline date of Jan. 26, 2024. Below are the prerequisites required as well as an explanation of the points system used as the basis for admission.

These courses are required and must be completed by the end of the fall term, December 2023. Science and math courses must be completed between fall term 2017 and fall term 2023.

Point Award System: A = four points, B = three points, C = two points

  • CH106 Biological Chemistry for Health Professions
  • BI231 Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 
  • BI232 Human Anatomy and Physiology 2
  • BI233 Human Anatomy and Physiology 3
  • BI234 Microbiology
  • WR121Z English Composition
    Students must take WR122Z for four credits. If WR122Z is taken for three credits, the student must complete WR123/WR227Z.
  • MTH065 Beginning Algebra II or higher (no points)
    If math is completed before fall 2017, you must demonstrate current knowledge by placing into MTH095 through the College Placement Test* (CPT). If the required placement is not met, you must complete the required math by the end of fall 2023. If placement is met, you do not need to retake math. CPT scores are valid for five years and cannot be older than Jan. 26, 2019. Smarter Balance Assessment, High School GPA, GED® scores and Self-Placement are not accepted for meeting the math placement requirement.

Courses must be completed with a “C” grade or higher. An overall GPA of at least 2.5 from all regionally accredited college institutions attended (this includes all college coursework, not prerequisites) is required. There is a one-point reduction (not to exceed three points maximum) each time a required chemistry and biology course is repeated within the last seven years. Audits and withdrawals do not count as repeated coursework. Courses with “Z” at the end are equivalent to the same course without the “Z.”

Completing the supporting and additional courses below by the application deadline adds to your pre-interview points and increases your competitiveness. Each course completed with a “C” grade or higher is awarded two points.

  • Supporting Courses Required to Start Program: These courses do not expire and must be completed by the end of spring term, June 2024.
    • FN225/HE225 Nutrition
    • PSY101 or PSY201 or PSY202 or PSY214 or PSY216 Psychology Course *
    • COMM100Z or COMM111Z or COMM115 or COMM218Z Speech Course
    • WR122Z or WR123 or WR227Z 3 Writing Course

  • Additional Course: This course can be taken before or during the program and does not expire.
    • SOC204 or SOC205 or SOC206 Sociology Course*  

*If you use either SOC205 or SOC206 AND select either PSY214 or PSY216 to fulfill your prerequisite requirements, then you will need to take an additional class (PSY101 or PSY201 or PSY202 or PSY237 or SOC204) to fulfill the human relations requirement for graduation. 

  • Coursework Taken at MHCC: Completion of six or more required, supporting, and additional courses taken at MHCC = two points 

  • Advanced Placement (AP), Defense Subject Standardized Test (DSST) or International Baccalaureate® (IB) Coursework: Completion of equivalent AP/DSST/IB for WR121 = one point 
  • GPA: Overall GPA will be calculated from all colleges attended.
    • 3.60 – 4.00 GPA = five points
    • 3.20 – 3.59 GPA = four points
    • 2.80 – 3.19 GPA = three points
    • 2.50 – 2.79 GPA = two points

  • Prior Degree: Points will be awarded for the highest degree earned.
    • Associate degree = one point
    • Bachelor's degree = two points
    • Master's degree = three points

  • Residency: In MHCC district = one point
    See MHCC District for zip code list. Points are awarded based on the address in your MHCC student record at the time of application.
  • Veterans:
    • Active duty: Submit Joint Transcript Services transcript = two points
    • Honorably discharged: Submit DD214 = two points

  • Dental Hygiene Volunteer Work: Five hours of dental public health volunteer experience completed between Jan. 28, 2023- Jan. 26, 2024 = two points
    See the FAQ page for a list of approved organizations.

  • Observation Hours: For your application to be considered for admission, complete 10 hours of observation between Jan. 28, 2023 and Jan. 26, 2024, in ALL these listed services of a dental hygiene setting:
    • Filling/Restoration
    • Local Anesthesia/Injection
    • Radiographs
    • Periodontal Evaluation
    • Dental Examination
    • Oral Cancer Screening/Exam
    • Unit Set-up/Tear-down
    • Dental Prophylaxis
    • Dental Scaling and Root Planing
    • Ultrasonic instrumentation
    • Patient Education/Oral Homecare Instructions

Use the submission form in MyMHCC to provide the email address of the dental office staff you observed and a direct link will be sent to them to verify your observation hours and experience. They must fill out the observation form by the application deadline for you to gain interview points. You may use the submission form multiple times to reach 10 hours. ALL services must be observed.

  • Resume: Upload a current resume to submit with your application. Resumes should include observation hours, volunteer hours, academic history, work (include related and non-related work), and leadership experience you may have along with specific dates, facility or location, and frequency for all work, volunteer, and observation experience. To qualify for point awarding and increase your competitiveness if invited to an interview, volunteer work that is not dental hygiene related cannot be older than 2019.

College coursework completed at a college without regional accreditation will not be considered for admissions or graduation requirements; however, it may be used toward proof of related education/experience.

For assistance with your resume, contact the career planning and counseling center at 503-491-7432.

  • Dental Hygiene Volunteer Work (Optional): To receive additional points and increase your competitiveness, applicants who complete five hours of public health volunteer experience between Jan. 28, 2023 and Jan. 26, 2024 must submit official documentation certifying this work. Official documentation must include verification of dental hygiene volunteer hours, be on company letterhead, and be signed by the supervisor. A certificate supplied by the dental hygiene program to volunteers at program partnership events is also an acceptable form of documentation. Upload the document to your application. 

How to Apply

Apply using the general admission form to MHCC if you are new to MHCC or have not attended in the last four terms. Select Associate of General Students in health professions as your major. Please note it could take one to two business days to receive your MHCC ID number.

Once you are ready to submit your application, pay the $35 non-refundable application fee. You will need to upload your payment receipt with your application.

Submit official transcripts from every regionally accredited college/university attended, regardless of program relevancy, program length, or age no later than Jan. 26, 2024. If you’re finishing prerequisites in fall term, wait until grades are posted before requesting transcripts. Otherwise, complete this step as soon as possible.

Transcripts must be issued directly by the institution from which the course(s) were taken. Coursework showing as transferred from one institution to another is not accepted. Official electronic transcripts (e-transcripts such as Parchment or EDI) via secure electronic delivery service may be submitted to [email protected]. E-transcripts cannot be sent from the student to MHCC as they are not considered official. If submitting transcripts by mail, send to:

Mt. Hood Community College – Dental Hygiene Application
Admissions, Registration and Records
26000 SE Stark St.
Gresham OR 97030

  • Regionally Accredited Institutions: Required from all institutions attended.
  • Non-Regionally Accredited Institutions: Not required.
  • AP, DSST or IB Transcripts/Scores: Required only if used for meeting the writing admission requirement and must be issued directly from the College Board, DSST, or International Baccalaureate in a sealed envelope (see credit alternatives) and sent directly to MHCC.
  • Foreign/Non-US Based Educational Transcripts: Required only if used to meet admission requirements and must first be evaluated by an outside credential service. The evaluated transcripts must be submitted by the application deadline for the program. Evaluation processing for foreign transcripts could take up to six weeks. It is best to start this process early. A foreign bachelor's degree does not fulfill the prerequisite requirements.
  • MHCC transcript: Not required, already on file.

Submit your application from Sept. 5, 2023, through Jan. 26, 2024. If applicable, please be sure to have your documents ready for uploading and the transcript(s) available for entering your prerequisite courses. You must have all your documents ready. Once started, your application cannot be saved.

As your application gets reviewed, the status will be updated in the portal.

Application Timeline

Fall Term 2024 Entry

  • Summer 2023: Application information available on the web.
  • Sept. 5, 2023: You may submit your application.
  • Jan. 26, 2024: Application deadline. All materials are due to MHCC. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered for admission.
  • March 2024: Interview invitations emailed to approximate top 50 applicants.
  • April 19, 2024: Interviews held with program faculty.
  • May 2024: Interview results emailed.
    The top 18 applicants are accepted into the program. The next qualified applicants are placed on a waitlist and moved into the program if any of the first 18 applicants decline their positions.
  • Sept. 23, 2024: Fall term classes begin.

Dates are subject to change. Any changes to the processing timeline will be updated here immediately. Do not inquire about the status of your application while processing is taking place.

After You Apply

  • The top approximate 50 scoring applicants will be invited to attend an interview with program faculty and other applicants.

  • Points earned prior to the interview do not carry forward to the interview. All applicants start at zero points during the interview phase.

  • During the interview phase, program faculty will look at your resume including observation hours, volunteer, academic, work and leadership experience. You will be asked to respond in writing to several questions and will have an individual interview with dental hygiene faculty. Your attention to detail and ability to follow directions and logical reasoning skills will be evaluated during the interview phase.

If you are offered a seat in the program, you will be required to complete the following to keep your position in the program:

  • Complete all four supporting classes by the end of the spring term before beginning the program (if not completed at the time of application).

  • Attend the required orientation in June (a specific date and time will be in your acceptance letter).

  • At orientation, information and due dates will be given for the required health and safety documents, criminal background check and drug screen. These must be completed and turned in by the assigned due dates.

Additional Program Information

These costs are estimations and are listed only as a guide for your financial planning. Tuition is as of fall term 2023 and subject to change. You are advised to have a financial plan in place. You are responsible for transportation costs to clinical practicum sites. Books, licensure fees, and travel are not included in financial aid reimbursable expenses.

  • Instruments and equipment, including loupes and light and curing light: $6,500
  • Uniforms, name tag, safety glasses, and additional clinic expenses and supplies: $350
  • Immunizations and background check: $250
  • Licenses, including national, Western Regional Boards, and Oregon licensure - $4,000
  • Professional Dues: $340
  • Books (Cost estimate for dental hygiene books only, two years): $1,200
  • Current lab and clinic fees: $8,100
  • Tuition and college fees: $12,772
    Based on seven terms in the program including the general education courses needed for the Associate of Applied Science in dental hygiene but does not include prerequisites/preprogram courses. If you have completed some or all the general education courses, your tuition will be less. See current tuition rate.
  • Total with fees, equipment, books, insurance, and immunizations: $33,512

Learn about paying for college

Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) reserves the right to modify the criteria and the process for selection.

Admission to the college does not guarantee admission to the dental hygiene program. Admission of all students to the program is centralized in the admissions, registration, and records office. This office has the final authority on what constitutes equivalency for all admission criteria and the sole authority to inform students of their admission status.

If you have questions regarding admission requirements and procedures, please email [email protected]

Reasons for Admission Disqualification: Withholding information or providing materially misleading information or giving untruthful information to questions on the program application or during the application process could be cause for non‐acceptance or dismissal from the program. If you were admitted and then failed a required course or were dismissed from the program or any other health related program, you may be denied admission into the program.

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 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.

Application Reopen Disclosure: In the event of an insufficient applicant pool, if you have already gone through the interview process (within the same application year), you are not allowed to reapply should the program reopen. You may reapply during the application cycle for the following year.

Previous Admission: If you were previously accepted into the program and then declined acceptance or withdrew, you may not be given priority consideration in subsequent applications. You will need to re‐apply to the program and will be required to meet the current program admission requirements and program standards. Materials cannot be brought forward from previous applications for a current application. Updated official transcripts are required only if new courses have been taken.

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