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Frequently Asked Questions


1.  Will a specific course be accepted for the General     Education and/or pre-requisite requirements?

The dental hygiene department cannot answer questions regarding general education requirements.  You must see a counselor on campus.  For the pre-requisite courses of Chemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, and Microbiology, if you have taken one or more of these at another college, they will be acceptable as long as they have covered the basic introduction to the subject and are at least a 4 unit class including a lab.  The nutrition course must have covered the basic principles of normal and therapeutic nutrition and is at least a 3 unit class.

2.  What test do I need to take?

The AHPAT test that was required in the past is no longer given.  Currently, there is no test requirement.

3.  I am a graduate of a dental school out of the country.  Do I have priority for admission to the dental hygiene program?

While we value your past education and degrees, we are unable to give you any advanced standing.  Pre-requisite courses must have been taken within the past 5 years.  Additionally, you must see a Cerritos College counselor to have your general education requirements evaluated.

4.  Can I have courses in progress when I apply?

Yes, you may have up to 2 pre-requisite courses in progress when you apply.  However for each pre-requisite course that you complete with a grade of "A" or "B", you will receive extra points, so if that course is in progress, you will not get that benefit, which may hurt your chances of acceptance considerably.  You will want to have as many general education courses completed as possible.

5.  Do I need dental office experience?

Any office experience will give you some extra credit, but it is not required.  It is suggested that some volunteer work in a dental office would help you make a good decision about your career choice.

6.  How often can I retake classes to improve my grade?
Classes may be repeated ONE time, and the most recent grade will be counted.

7.  Should I take extra science courses?

Two or three additional science courses (at least 4 units plus a lab) with a grade of "A" or "B" will minimally enhance your application score.

8.  Do I have priority having been an RDA?

Persons with a dental assisting certificate from any program and/or some dental office experience will receive extra credit.  However, this section has minimal impact on the final application score.
9.   If I am a graduate of a dental assisting program will I need to take all courses offered in the Dental Hygiene program?
Yes.  Vocational units from a dental asissting program are not applicable for advance placement in the professional portion of the program.  Skill proficiency may, however, make course work easier in given subjects. 


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Last Update: 7/15/2019