Dental Hygiene

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The Dental Hygiene Program is designed to assist students learn foundation knowledge which forms the basis for dental hygiene theory and practice, critical thinking, professionalism and the promotion of health/wellness. The curriculum also encourages social responsibility, life-long learning, and the creation of independent learners.

The faculty of the VCC dental hygiene program is committed to facilitating learning through sound, current and varied educational approaches such as: abilities/outcomes based education, diversity of learning strategies, teaching and learning in context, learner centered perspective and authentic evaluation.

The Dental Hygiene is an annual selection based program. If you are applying for the September 2020 program, you must meet all educational requirements, any in progress courses must be completed in the winter term (January to April 2020), to be eligible for selection for September 2020. Applicants that do not meet the educational requirements cannot be assessed for selection and their application will be cancelled.

Applications for September 2020 will be open from June 1, 2019 to February 21, 2020 at 4:00 PM. Final transcript and in progress transcripts must be received in the Registrar’s Office on or before February 21, 2020. Final transcripts for in progress courses in the Winter 2019 term (January to April) must be received by the Registrar’s Office on or before May 22, 2020.

The top 40 applicants with the highest GPA will be selected to write the Candidates questionnaire. Those selected will be contacted by the Dental Hygiene Department at the beginning of March 2020 with information and next steps.

Program Hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm with the exception of community outreach experiences. Students will be advised of their community outreach hours once registered and attending the program.

Program Status:
Accepting applications Applications for September 2020 will open June 1, 2019

Program one-pager
Start Length Credentials Campus Part- or Full-time
Sep 2 years Diploma Downtown Full-time

Apply Now

Apply Now

Applicants who are completing their academic requirements by April 2018 must apply by February 23, 2018.  Applications must include interim grades for courses currently in progress (either with a transcript or a letter from an instructor). If interim grades have been submitted with the application, final transcripts must be submitted by May 25, 2018.

All post-secondary transcripts must be sealed and official and mailed directly to the VCC Admissions Office from the originating institution. Late transcripts will not be accepted.

Educational documents not from a Canadian or American institution must be evaluated by the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES). The ICES report should include a Comprehensive evaluation of the applicant's post-secondary education and a VCC Dental Hygiene Supplemental Report. For an evaluation application and current fee information, email ICES at icesinfo@bcit.ca or call toll free at 1-866-434-9197.

After the May 25, 2018 final transcript deadline, GPA's and questionnaire scores are reviewed. The top 22 applicants will be offered seats in the September 2018 intake.

There will be no alternative date for the Candidate Questionnaire. Applicants who decline the 2018 program must re-apply. Seats are not reserved for a later intake. Unsuccessful applicants must submit a new application and official transcripts for each year they apply.

Online Mail In Person
If you're ready and know the program you want, apply now. Download and complete the (PDF) application/registration form and mail it to VCC Registrar's Office Visit us at one of our campus locations.

After you apply, you can check application status to see if all of the requirements have been met or to update contact information. Please use the temporary login ID and Personal Identification Number (PIN) that you used to complete your original online application.

Program Description

Program Description

The Dental Hygiene Program integrates the Entry-to-Practice National and Provincial standards and the National Competencies. These support the dental hygiene process of care by more clearly articulating the abilities inherent in the assessment, diagnosis/decision-making, planning, implementation and evaluation of dental hygiene services. There is a focus on biomedical sciences, dental hygiene theory of practice, and behavioural sciences in the program. Instruction builds upon the knowledge and abilities of the first year university pre-requisite courses and introduces more advanced community and client care entry-to-practice level concepts in the final year.

Learning is fostered through seminars, lectures, labs, clinical practice sessions, group work, independent study, problem based learning, community outreach, and clinical rotations. Students have opportunities to apply knowledge and practice various abilities while working with the public in the VCC Dental Clinic. In addition, rotations to a wide variety of health care and community facilities are organized for students to learn and apply abilities and knowledge in context. Course work focuses on the development of informed decision making skills, communication skills and intra- and interprofessional teamwork strategies; as well as proficiency in self and peer evaluation. Other important curriculum threads are development of evidence-based inquiry skills, critical thinking and problem solving abilities. This focus is designed to foster the development of professionalism, a commitment to life long learning, and dedication to a self-regulating helping profession.

This program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC).

Classes are Mon to Fri from 9 am-5 pm. Occasionally instructional activities are scheduled on evenings or weekends. Students should plan to review, study and complete assignments for approximately three to four hours per evening. In addition, weekend time is needed to manage course work. The actual time varies from student to student.

The Downtown Campus Advising Services and Dental Hygiene Departments hold Information sessions in January, April, July and October to answer your questions. Check "Information Sessions and Tours" on the VCC homepage.

To check the transferability of first-year university courses, go to the Online Transfer Guide at http://www.bccat.bc.ca. This website lists the credits established for all university transfer courses offered by BC post-secondary institutions. Students can also find a user-friendly guide to transferring at the BCCAT website, by clicking on the "Transfer TIPS" icon on the homepage.

If you need assistance in course planning, contact Advising Services at 604.443.8453

NOTE: As entry to the Dental Hygiene program requires completion of first year post-secondary education, students currently in Grade 12 are ineligible to apply

More information can be found on the British Columbia Dental Hygienists' Association (BCDHA) website: http://www.bcdha.com.

Students are expected to have regular access to email and internet services and the capability to print necessary documents. In addition, some vehicular travel is required between VCC Downtown campus and community agencies for rotation requirements.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements


This program welcomes applications from Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Program options for international students can be found at VCC International.

As Vancouver Community College is a post-secondary institution committed to educating adult learners, applicants should be 16 years of age or older or a graduate of a secondary school.

Please note that you must submit official transcripts and educational documents to support your application; unfortunately, we cannot accept photocopies or fax versions.

Program Specific

Missing prerequisites? VCC offers courses in Adult Upgrading and English as an Additional Language to help you meet your goals.


SELECTION: The 40 applicants with the highest GPA participate in a candidate's questionnaire. Approximately 22 applicants with the highest scores are offered seats.

  • Applicants must have completed the following first year university transfer credit courses with an overall grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better:
    • Biol 1120 & Biol 1220 or equivalent Human Anatomy & Physiology (including labs) (minimum 6 credits)
    • Chem 1121 & Chem 1223 or equivalent Chemistry (including labs) (minimum 6 credits)
    • Engl 1100 & Engl 1200 English (Literature) or Engl 1101 & Engl 1001 + Engl 1102 & Engl 1002 or equivalent English (minimum 6 credits)
    • Psych 1100 & Psych 1200 or equivalent Psychology (minimum 6 credits)
    • Math 1111 or equivalent Introductory Statistics (minimum 3 credits)
    • Elective - unspecified, University Transfer course (minimum 3 credits)

    Applicants are advised to ensure that all academic work is transferable to a BC University and constitutes a complete university academic year or 30 credits.

    Where the academic standing of applicants who have completed 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year courses in the required subject(s) is higher than that of the 1st year courses, the higher grade will be considered.

  • English Language Proficiency

    If English is not your first language, successful completion of six credits of University transfer English courses (C+ grade or higher in each course), or completion of an English language assessment is required.

  • If your educational documents are not from a Canadian or American institution, you must submit an evaluation of foreign credentials. You may contact the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) located at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) or other approved credential evaluation services. For an ices evaluation application and current fee information, email ICES at icesinfo@bcit.ca or call toll free at 1-866-434-9197
  • As a comprehensive evaluation of your education is required, you must provide an ICES VCC Dental Hygiene Supplemental Report or equivalent

Upon acceptance:

  • Current "C" certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation CPR
  • Proof of a negative TB skin test. If the skin test is positive, proof of a negative TB chest x-ray is required. For further information about Health requirements click here
  • A Criminal Record Check (CRC) is required in accordance with the Criminal Records Review Act. All individuals who work with vulnerable adults and/or children must complete a Criminal Records Check through the Ministry of Justice. Applicants to this program should be aware that some practicum placement in hospitals and schools may require completion of a Criminal Records Check indicating no relevant criminal record. After submitting an admissions application, applicants will receive by email a web link and unique college access code to apply and pay for a Criminal Record Check online
    • Conviction for relevant offenses may preclude registration with the College of Dental Hygienists' of BC after graduation.
  • A complete immunization record. Immunizations in the following are strongly recommended and may be required for practice placement in the program:
    • Diphtheria/Tetanus
    • Polio
    • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
    • Hepatitis B
    • Influenza (required on an annual basis)
  • Current certification in Emergency First Aid from St. John's Ambulance or the Red Cross

Recommended Characteristics:

  • Interest in people and a career in a health profession
  • Ability to communicate effectively in spoken and written English
  • Good overall health, musculo-skeletal health, including good eyesight, hearing and manual dexterity, including fine psycho-motor skills
  • Positive self-image with high standards of personal integrity and maturity
  • Desire to help others to be successful
  • Ability to attend to detail, to work accurately and neatly, and to manage time effectively
  • Ability to take initiative and handle responsibility
  • Ability to manage a full-time commitment to an academic program
  • A caring personality style

As dental hygiene practice necessitates close contact with patients, it is strongly recommended that successful applicants consider with their physician's advice the following protection for themselves and others: testing and updating of immunization for polio, tetanus, diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella; immunization against Hepatitis A & B, strains of influenza, meningococcal disease and bacterial pneumonia. For more information about vaccinations click here.

Students must have a physical dental examination from a licensed British Columbia dentist prior to entering the program for legal reasons. It is also preferred that your dental and dental hygiene healthcare be complete and current.

Students must be physically and psychologically healthy to be able to perform fine psychomotor skills to practice as a dental hygienist. Physical and mental demands of the profession may worsen back, wrist or shoulder problems. Materials used in oral health care may affect persons living with conditions such as latex sensitivity or other allergies. Please review Important Health Requirements for the VCC School of Health Sciences.

Course Schedule

Courses Schedule

Fees and Other costs

Application Fee $35
Tuition Fee $18,168
Student Union Fee $330
College Initiative Fee $205
Laundry Fee $628
Uniform Fee $30
Student Union Health Plan Fee $292
Student Union Dental Plan Fee $292
U-Pass Fee $820
Other Costs Tests
$40 - Graduation Fees
$363 - Campus Resource Fee
$244 - Material Fee
$30 - Tool Deposit
$13,000 - Approximate textbooks and clinical equipment/supplies,
$2,400 - Approximate Professional dues and Exams
At the time of acceptance, a $300 non-refundable deposit will be required to hold your seat if accepted more than two months before the start date of the program. Full payment of the first installment will be required within two months before the start date.

For book lists and prices, check Bookstore.

Fees are approximate and subject to change without notice. Students are responsible for any increase in fees if advanced payments are made. The application fee is non-refundable. Fees are refunded according to the refund policy. For further clarification, see withdrawals and refunds information page.

Info Sessions

Info Sessions

Learn more about an exciting career in dental hygiene.

Vancouver Community College has been a leader in dental hygiene education for more than 25 years. This program prepares graduates with the knowledge, skills and attitude to succeed in a demanding job market.

Learn about the dental hygiene program, the admissions process, and take a tour of our dental clinic.

Date Day Time Room Location
November 21, 2019 Wednesday 5 - 6 p.m. 501 Downtown
January 22, 2020 Wednesday 5 - 6 p.m. 501 Downtown
February 5, 2020 Wednesday 5 - 6 p.m. 501 Downtown

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Program Highlights

Program Highlights


Course Schedule

Courses Schedule


Term 1

(DHYG 2114) Dental Hygiene Care 1
course schedule schedule
7.5 credits  course outline
(DHYG 2124) Clinical Foundations
course schedule schedule
6.5 credits  course outline
(DHYG 2134) Professional Practice 1
course schedule schedule
6.0 credits  course outline
(DHYG 2144) Oral Health Sciences 1
course schedule schedule
7.0 credits  course outline

Term 2

(DHYG 2214) Dental Hygiene Care 2
course schedule schedule
8.5 credits  course outline
(DHYG 2224) Clinical Practice 1
course schedule schedule
8.5 credits  course outline
(DHYG 3244) Oral Health Sciences 2
course schedule schedule
8.5 credits  course outline
(DHYG 3254) Health Sciences
course schedule schedule
9.5 credits  course outline

Term 3

(DHYG 3314) Dental Hygiene Care 3
course schedule schedule
8.0 credits  course outline
(DHYG 3324) Clinical Practice 2
course schedule schedule
6.5 credits  course outline
(DHYG 3364) Community Foundations
course schedule schedule
7.0 credits  course outline
(DHYG 4344) Oral Health Sciences 3
course schedule schedule
6.5 credits  course outline

Term 4

(DHYG 3424) Clinical Practice 3
course schedule schedule
9.0 credits  course outline
(DHYG 3434) Professional Practice 2
course schedule schedule
8.5 credits  course outline
(DHYG 4414) Dental Hygiene Care 4
course schedule schedule
8.0 credits  course outline
(DHYG 4464) Community Practice
course schedule schedule
8.5 credits  course outline