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Degrees, Certificates, & Transfer Programs

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The listings on this page are archived Degree and Certificate Programs information through 2020-2021.

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For 2021-2022 degree and certificate requirements and years after, see the new Foothill College Academic Catalog.

Dental Assisting Website | Biological and Health Sciences Division

Dental Assisting 2019-2020


The Dental Assisting Program is an intensive 10-month sequence of instruction. Graduates will qualify for the Registered Dental Assisting Examination of the State of California and the Dental Assisting National Board Exam. The program offers a combination of lecture, laboratory, and clinical courses in general and specialty dental practices. Students will also acquire valuable certification in coronal polishing, dental x-ray, pit and fissure sealants as part of the program curriculum. Graduates are in demand and have many different types of job opportunities available to them.

Program Learning Outcomes:

-Graduates will demonstrate entry-level competency skills mandated by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and the Dental Board of California.
-Graduates will value and implement proper radiation safety for patients, self, and others.

Career Opportunities:

Graduates can have direct patient interaction by working as a chairside dental assistant in a general practice dental office or in any of the other specialty practices including periodontics, orthodontics, oral surgery, pedodontics (children's dentistry), endodontics and prosthodontics. In addition, dental assistants can work in the front office as a receptionist and/or office manager. Other job opportunities include public health educator or administrator, sales representative, continuing education coordinator and/or consultant.

Units Required

  • Major: 58.5
  • Certificate(s): 58.5

Degree Requirements:

-English proficiency: ENGL 1A, 1AH, 1S & 1T, or equivalent.
-Mathematics proficiency: MATH 105, 180, or any MATH course approved for Foothill GE Area V, Communication & Analytical Thinking.
A minimum of 90 units is required* to include:
-Completion of one of the following general education patterns: Foothill General Education, CSU General Education Breadth Requirements or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
-Core courses (58.5 units)

*Additional elective course work may be necessary to meet the 90-unit minimum requirement for the associate degree.

NOTE: All courses pertaining to the major must be taken for a letter grade. In addition, a grade of "C" or better is required for all core courses used for the degree or certificate.

AS = Associate in Science Degree.
CA = Certificate of Achievement.

Additional Information:

Program Application:
Admittance to this program is through an application process. Program information, admission criteria details, and applications can be found at the Dental Assisting Program website:

Program Prerequisite:
High school diploma, GED or equivalent.

Core Courses (58.5 units)

D A 50 Orientation to Dental Assisting (2.5 units)
D A 51A Introduction to Chairside Dental Assisting (10.5 units)
D A 53A Introduction to Radiography I (3 units)
D A 58 Specialty Practice Procedures (1 unit)
D A 62A Dental Sciences I (2 units)
D A 71 Infection Control & Hazardous Waste Management (1.5 units)

D A 51B Intermediate Clinical Dental Assisting (3 units)
D A 53B Dental Radiography II (2 units)
D A 56 Dental Health Education (1 unit)
D A 57 Office Emergency Procedures (2 units)
D A 60A Dental Office Business Practices I (2 units)
D A 62B Dental Sciences II (2 units)
D A 73 Dental Assisting Supervised Clinic (5.5 units)
D A 100 Law & Ethics for the Dental Assistant (1 unit)

D A 51C Advanced Dental Assisting Skills (3.5 units)
D A 53C Dental Radiography III (1 unit)
D A 60B Dental Office Business Practices II (3 units)
D A 62C Dental Sciences III (2 units)
D A 63 Special Patient Populations (1 unit)
D A 74 Dental Assisting Clinical Practice (5.5 units)
D A 85 RDA Review (2 units)
D A 88 Pit & Fissure Sealants (1.5 units)

Certificate Requirements

Certificate of Achievement in Dental Assisting

Units: 58.5

The certificate of achievement is awarded upon completion of the core courses (general education courses are not required) and the following:
Proof of Current Basic Life Support Provider Certification from the American Heart Association

Note: All courses pertaining to the major must be taken for a letter grade. In addition, a grade of "C" or better is required for all core courses for the certificate.

Control Information:
2019-2020 | Status: Approved | Modified: 2019-05-30 10:59:41 | Dept Code: D A

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