Dec 09, 2023  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED PUBLICATION]

Dental Assisting

The dental assistant works as a valued member of the dental health team and assists the dentist in performing professional duties in the operatory, laboratory, and business office. The student becomes competent in chair side assisting, laboratory procedures, x-ray techniques, and in the business related functions of the dental office/clinic.

The program offers a certificate in dental assisting and an associate of science degree with a major in dental assisting. The certificate program requires eight credit hours of prerequisite course work prior to the one academic year (two semesters) of the program. Approximately 1,150 hours of lecture, laboratory, and clinical instruction are included in the dental assisting courses. A second year of study is available which enables students to earn an associate of science degree with a major in dental assisting. Students who are enrolled in the program must achieve a grade of C or better in all courses which directly pertain to their major. An overall grade point average of 2.0 or better is required for graduation from the program.

Upon successful completion of the program, the student receives a Certificate in Dental Assisting which qualifies the student to sit for the Dental Assisting National Board Certification Examination. The dental assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation and by the United States Department of Education. The address of the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association is 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678, phone 800/621-8099.

Admission Requirements for Dental Assisting

Students seeking admission to the dental assisting program must apply for admission to USI. Admission to the University and completion of the prerequisite courses does not guarantee admission to the dental assisting program. Admission into the dental assisting program is limited to 24 students each academic year. Students are accepted into the dental assisting program based on cumulative grade point average. Applicants meeting academic requirements must also present evidence of satisfactory health status, satisfactory criminal background check, satisfactory drug screen, and capable of performing clinical practice requirements. Application materials for the dental assisting program are available at The completed application and supporting documentation must be submitted to the dental assisting program by March 1 of the year the student desires admission to the program. Applications received after March 1 will be considered on a space available basis.

Admission criteria

  • Acceptance to the University of Southern Indiana
  • submission of the dental assisting application
  • submission of a dental assisting office observation form showing completion of eight hours of observation in a dental office
  • completion of required college prerequisite courses with a grade of C or higher; and
  • minimum college grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Students who do not meet these criteria may request for admission eligibility re-evaluation following successful completion of specified courses required for the dental assisting program. Students currently enrolled in an accredited college or university other than the University of Southern Indiana must submit an official transcript of grades with their application.

Applicants are required to visit a dental office which employs a dental assistant and observe the functions and responsibilities of a practicing dental assistant for a period of eight hours. A statement verifying this observation, signed by the dental assistant or dentist, is to be submitted along with other supporting documents by the application deadline date.