Admission Process

Prior to applying to the program, students must have completed all prerequisite courses. No coursework in progress is accepted.

The Dental Hygiene Program candidates are chosen to fill 36 available positions per cohort (cohort begins in the Fall of the same year in which you apply). 10 alternate candidates will also be selected in the event a candidate (from the 36) declines acceptance.

NEW UPDATE: Candidates will be selected by lottery.  Each eligible candidate will be assigned a number.  Numbers will be selected at random to fill available spots in program.  Applicants not accepted as candidate or alternate must re-apply the following year.  The program has no waiting list.

The number of candidates accepted each year is subject to change at the discretion of the program director.  This can be based on but not limited to state and local orders/mandates or student cohort obligations.  The number of candidates selected to start the program may be reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing requirements for our clinic setting. 

Applicants will be selected for a position to start the program only after verification of:

  • Complete application (without errors) is received by deadline with ALL required documentation
  • Prerequisites/requirements are met and verified as such by the Dental Hygiene Program

This will be adhered to for any available position for the program, including an alternate position.

Application Period

Program Start Date Application Filing Period Opens Application Filing Period Closes/Deadline
August 2024
Fall Semester
January 31, 2024 February 7, 2024

Application Night

This workshop is intended for prospective DH applicants who have completed all prerequisites or will complete their final prerequisites by the end of fall 2023.

Topics of Discussion include:

  • Quick overview of program prerequisites required to apply
  • Online application format
  • Tips for avoiding application errors
  • Supporting documentation requirements
  • Application review process

Application Night Session Dates:

To be determined - Check back August 15th, 2024

A meeting invitation will be sent, to those who RSVP, one week prior to scheduled session.

RSVP for Application Night

Steps to Apply

Complete Application

Important: If you are not a Southwestern College Student, a Student ID number must be obtained prior to applying and sending in official transcripts. An ID number can be obtained by applying to Southwestern College.

The Dental Hygiene Admissions Application must be completed online:

  • Available online only in January 31-February 7, 2024
  • A SWC ID number is required to submit application

Dental Hygiene Admissions Application

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions are required for all prerequisite coursework taken at other colleges outside of San Diego County and San Diego County schools not listed on the SWC Dental Hygiene Prerequisite Grid (see grid on page 8 of DH Information Packet):

Tip: When in doubt if this applies to you, include course descriptions regardless of location of your college/university.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts are required by all applicants:

  • Please thoroughly read details below on how to properly request transcripts to be sent to SWC
  • Date official transcripts are received does not affect date/time application is received.

Submittal of Transcripts

Transcripts of all completed prerequisite courses must be sent to SWC directly from college/university by the application deadline date. Do not submit transcripts with online application. DO NOT SEND transcripts to the Dental Hygiene Program.

Official Transcripts must be sent to:

  • Southwestern College
    Admissions and Records
    900 Otay Lakes Road
    Chula Vista, CA 91910
  • Transcripts sent via email in PDF form must be sent to 

Application will not be considered if transcripts are not on file with the Office of Admissions and Records by the application deadline.   If you applied to the program in previous years, transcripts do not need to be re-sent unless there are updates.  Transcripts are kept on file, however, applicants will need to submit new transcripts if courses are retaken.  No transcripts need to be sent if courses were taken at SWC.

***It is the applicants responsibility to confirm with the Office of Admissions and Records that transcripts have been received and attached to their student record.  A follow-up with Admissions prior to application deadline is highly recommended.***

Application Status

Applicants will receive notice via SWC email by early May 2024.  We kindly ask that applicants NOT contact the SWC Dental Hygiene Program or Program Director for status.

Essential Information

Applicants who are accepted into the program:

  • May NOT defer acceptance but must reapply to the program.
  • Will be required to attend a mandatory orientation in May.
  • Will be required to meet with a Dental Hygiene counselor to develop a Student Education Plan (SEP) prior to start of fall classes. 
  • Will be required to submit verification of up-to-date immunizations, vaccines, TB Test and Healthcare Provider CPR certification prior to start of fall classes.

IMPORTANT: Applicants should consider preparing accordingly to ensure immunizations are up to date.  More specifically, required Hepatitis B vaccine is done in a three part series approximately two months apart (for each immunization).  It is recommended that applicants visit their medical provider early to start the series if you don't already have it completed.

Details of the aforementioned will be provided at the New DH Student Orientation for accepted candidates.

Further inquiries, contact:

Dental Hygiene Program