• A minimum of 2.0 must be earned in each prerequisite course. (pass/fail or credit/no credit grades are not acceptable.)

  • A minimum of 2.5 cumulative GPA in all prerequisite courses must be achieved.

  • Limited retakes of dental hygiene prerequisites are permitted.  A maximum of three prerequisite courses may be taken (each retake one time only) to improve course grade.

  • A minimum of 8 prerequisite courses must be complete by the end of winter quarter of the year applying.

  • A minimum of 5 natural science prerequisite courses (chemistry, a & p, microbiology, statistics, nutrition) must be complete by the end of winter quarter of the year applying.

  • Instruction in all "lab" science courses must be continually under the direct supervision of the instructor.  Online labs do not meet prerequisite requirements.

  • All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to fall entry into the dental hygiene program.

  • The following courses must have been completed within five years of application to the program: ​chemistry; inorganic, organic, and biochemistry; anatomy/physiology; microbiology; nutrition

  • Completion of the dental hygiene prerequisite courses does not guarantee admission into the dental hygiene program.  Acceptance is based on the final selection criteria.​


  • CHEM 109 Principles of Chemistry Lecture &  Lab 

  • CHEM 209 Introduction to Organic/Biochemistry Lecture &  Lab 
    **CHEM 209  or the equivalent must have a biochemistry component 

  • ENGL& 101 English Composition I  

  • ENGL 102 English Composition II.   Two college level composition courses are required; Literature

  • and creative writing are not accepted.

  • ENGL 203  Research Paper

  • NUTR 101 Human Nutrition 

  • BIO  241 Human Anatomy & Physiology I (BIOL 109 -General Biology – required prerequisite to BIOL 230 & 231)          

  • BIOL 242 Human Anatomy & Physiology II

  • BIOL 260 Microbiology 

  • MATH& 146 Introduction to Statistics

  • PSYC& 100 General Psychology

  • SOC& 101 Introduction to Sociology or ANTH& 206 Cultural Anthropology 

  • CMST& 101 Introduction to Communication  or CMST& 210 Interpersonal Communication or CMST& 220 Intro to Public Speaking or CMST 280 Intercultural Communication                                                                                                    

​(The course numbers listed above are offered at Yakima Valley College. Courses, which appear to be equivalent, may be accepted upon the recommendation of appropriate college officials.)

 ​**YVC course description for CHEM 209              

Introduction to Organic /Biochemistry :  This is a one-quarter survey of organic chemistry emphasizing the principles of organic chemistry and their application to the structure and function of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins.  An overview of enzymes and metabolic pathways is included. Prerequisite courses: CHEM 109 or CHEM& 162 with a grade of C or better.

***Note CHEM 100 or high school Chemistry - required prerequisite to CHEM 109 & 110

 The Dental Hygiene education curriculum is a postsecondary and scientifically oriented program of study.

  • Skills development is rigorous and intensive. 

  • Enrollment is limited by the facility and faculty.

  • Special program admissions criteria and procedures are established for selecting students who have the potential for successfully completing the program.

A minimum of 2.0 must be earned in all prerequisite courses.

Dental hygiene prerequisite courses total approximately sixty quarter credits. Applicants are encouraged to earn the best grades possible. All prerequisites must be completed before fall enrollment in the program. The average GPA of applicants selected is well above 3.0.

Limited Retakes of dental hygiene prerequisites are permitted. A maximum of three prerequisite courses may be retaken (each retake one time only).

  • First retake or original course grade (whichever grade is higher) will be used to calculate the GPA.

  • Science and Nutrition courses must be 5 years current.

Prerequisite coursework may take up to two years to complete in order to qualify for entrance into the Dental Hygiene Program.

All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to enrollment into the dental hygiene program. No assurance can be given that applicants successfully completing the dental hygiene prerequisite courses will be admitted to the Dental Hygiene Program.

  • Since each quarter of the dental hygiene curriculum is up to 23 credits per quarter, applicants are strongly encouraged to carry full time academic loads during the process of completing the prerequisite courses.

  • Additional credit toward selection will be awarded applicants who demonstrate the ability to master a full time (15 credits) college-level, science based curriculum:

  • Course loads taken prior to spring quarter of the year applying.

  • At least one course must be a dental hygiene prerequisite course.

  • 3.0 quarter GPA or above, earned.

  • In order to most efficiently complete the dental hygiene prerequisite courses, applicants are encouraged to begin the biology, math and chemistry requirements early on. ◦Placement in math 95 is required as a prerequisite to Chemistry 100 {without high school chemistry}

  • General Biology with Lab, BIOL& 160, ​is a prerequisite to BIOL 241, 242, 260

  • Instruction in all "Lab" Science courses must occur in "seated labs" continually under the direct supervision of the instructor. This mode includes learning activities in laboratories, clinics, or workplaces where students receive hands-on-learning experience continually supervised by the instructor. Work is normally completed in the learning environment, but may include out-of-class assignments


Verification of prerequisite course equivalency is the applicant's responsibility. Applicants seeking prerequisite course equivalency verification may be required to submit a college catalog and a course syllabus to the dental hygiene department. Equivalency of most courses taken at colleges in the state of Washington may be determined by referring to the "University of Washington Transfer Guide". This guide may be found in college libraries or career and counseling centers. Course numbers and titles vary among colleges. Equivalency of prerequisite transfer credits is determined by course content. Credits transferred from another college or university may be evaluated by the Registrar's office to determine equivalency.

Yakima Valley College Dental Hygiene Program does not grant admission with advanced standing for credits earned in other dental hygiene programs.