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dental student at the dental clinic

Dental Education Programs Advising

Dental Assisting Admissions Procedures

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)

  1. Applicants must first make application to IU Northwest if not previously admitted by an Indiana University campus
  2. Complete an online Dental Assisting Program Application. This application is available at   A separate application must be submitted to each campus the student is interested in attending
  3. Submit online two IU Northwest Dental Education Recommendation Forms at
  4. 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. 

Student Consumer Information About this Program 

Dental Assisting Curriculum

Certificate in Dental Assisting

The dental assisting program at IU Northwest is a one year, 36 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.

Advanced Degree

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.


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.