Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Apply to Dental Assisting

To join this program, you must apply for admission. This moderately competitive program accepts 45 students in the full-time program starting in fall term, and 18 students in the part-time program starting in spring term. If more qualified students apply than we have space to accept, the incoming class will be selected by lottery. Learn more to help you decide between the full-time and part-time programs.

Questions? Attend an information session or talk with a program advisor.

How to apply

  1. Apply to PCC

    Applying to PCC is free and only takes a few minutes. Complete this step as soon as possible so you can start using PCC resources. On the application, choose Associate of General Studies for your major. (Your major will be updated after you’re admitted to the program.)
    Apply to PCC angle right

  2. Application timeline
    Full-time program
    Term you want to start Apply to Dental Assisting
    Fall 2021 January 2021 – July 1 2021
    Fall 2022 January 2022 – July 1 2022
    Part-time program
    Term you want to start Apply to Dental Assisting
    Spring 2022 August 5 – December 15 2021
    Spring 2023 To be announced
    Check basic qualifications

    If you are accepted into this program, you’ll be required to pass a criminal background check and a drug screen.  If you have questions about how a criminal record affects admission, talk with a program advisor[opens in new window].

  3. Prerequisites

    The following prerequisites need to be completed by the end of winter term 2022 (part-time program) or spring term 2022 (full-time program):

    • WR 115: Intro to College Composition, or placement into WR 121: College Composition
    • Any college course with at least 2 credits (besides MP 111)
    • Full-time program only – MP 111: Medical Terminology (or a competency exam, if you’ve completed this course at another school)
  4. Job shadowing

    Complete 12 hours of shadowing in a dentist office or dental clinic and submit the shadowing hours form. Or, get information for DA alternative shadowing.

  5. Write supplemental essay

    Write a one page essay describing any special skills, work experience or training you have that might be helpful to you in the program. Explain how you heard about this program and why you are applying.

  6. Submit application

After you apply

You’ll be notified about your application status in mid-July for the full-time program, and after January 10 for the part-time program. Check your MyPCC email: all communication is done through your PCC email account.

After being accepted, students will obtain CPR certification, complete and pass a criminal background check, drug screen, and provide proof of all required immunizations.


Although not required for admission, it is highly recommended that students are familiar with computers.

All students, especially those with transfer courses, are encouraged to meet with a health admissions advisor[opens in new window].