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Dental Assistant

Certificate of Applied Science Degree

Program Director: Robin Williams

A hybrid option is available for this program. Please contact the program director for more information.

Program Website

Program Application (Fall 2021 Application available February 15th)

Dental Assistants are important members of the dental health care team and primarily help to increase the efficiency and productivity of the dental practice by assisting the dentist in delivering patient care. Other employment opportunities and/or responsibilities include dental health education, performing expanded duty dental care on patients, business practice, or working with dental insurance or dental supply companies. Because dentists employ two or three dental assistants, employment opportunities are excellent.

The GFC MSU Dental Assistant program is a one-year (11 month) limited enrollment Certificate of Applied Science program and accepts up to 18 students each year. Applicants are advised to contact Advising or Career Center Advisors or a Program Director for further program information specific to admission requirements.

Interested students must complete an application to the program (separate from the institution application) for program acceptance. These students must have already successfully (C- or better) completed M 065 and WRIT 095 OR their equivalents OR be currently at the competency level for the program-required math and writing courses. Applicants must be in good academic standing for program entry.

Following acceptance to the program, students complete three semesters concluding with a summer semester when the students are enrolled in clinical practice. Students will be required to purchase uniform attire and provide their own transportation (and lodging, if applicable) to and from clinical site assignments.

The Dental Assistant program will:

  • Maintain an instructional curriculum that meets the accreditation standards of the American Dental Association Council on Dental Education and of the local dental community.
  • Deliver relevant learning experiences and curriculum sequencing to ensure graduates achieve adequate knowledge and skill to enable them to be employed in the field as entry level Dental Assistants.

Graduates are prepared to:

  • Sit for the national certification examination administered by the Dental Assisting National Board.
  • Perform with entry level skill and competence in assigned chairside dental assistant duties and responsibilities (including expanded duty functions as defined by the Montana Board of Dentistry).
  • Substantiate the mastery of oral radiography theory and techniques.
  • Utilize computer technology associated with the profession of dentistry, including but not limited to digital radiography, intraoral cameras, and dental-specific software for the operation of a dental practice.
  • Integrate concepts in the dental sciences, prevention, and oral health promotion to a variety of treatment situations in the dental setting.
  • Demonstrate appropriate cultural, legal, ethical, and professional values (including adherence to HIPAA standards).
  • Articulate dental language appropriate in business, clinical, and educational situations.
  • Apply OSHA infection control standards during all aspects of dental care and practice.

Estimated Resident Program Cost*

Tuition and Fees $5,175
Application Fee $30
Lab/Course Fees $425
Uniforms $250
Program Fee $402
Books/Supplies $946
Total $7,228


Fall 2020 MUS Student Health Insurance Premiums will be changing. Please check the Health Insurance website and/or Student Central for confirmed premium rates. Students will be charged an additional fee of $21 per credit for online/hybrid courses.

Many students need preliminary math and writing courses before enrolling in the program requirements. These courses may increase the total number of program credits. Students should review their math and writing placement before planning out their full program schedules.

The Dental Assistant program sequence is as follows:

(The student, however, may complete any or all of the general education coursework (non-DA) prior to entry to the Dental Assistant program, i.e.: M 090 or higher, and/or COMX 115 or PSYX 100)

A grade of C- or above must be achieved in all courses to advance in the program and to graduate.

First Year
DENT 110 Theory of Infect Ctrl and Dis *,+ 1
DENT 115 Head, Neck and Oral Anatomy *,+ 4
DENT 116 Dental Office Management *,+ 2
DENT 120 Oral Radiology/Radiography I *,+ 3
DENT 123 Chairside Theory and Pract I *,+ 4
Select one of the following:
WRIT 101 College Writing I **,+ 3
WRIT 121 Intro to Technical Writing **,+ 3

First Year
DENT 121 Oral Radiology/Radiography II *,+ 2
DENT 124 Chairside Theory and Pract II *,+ 4
DENT 140 Dental Sci/Prevent Dentistry *,+ 4
DENT 145 Dental Specialties *,+ 3
M 090 Introductory Algebra (or higher) **,+ 3

First Year
DENT 195 Clinical Off Practice and Sem *,+ 7
Select one of the following:
COMX 115 Intro to Interpersonal Communc + 3
PSYX 100 Introduction to Psychology + 3
Total Credits43


Indicates prerequisites needed.


Placement in course(s) is determined by placement assessment.


A grade of C- or above is required for graduation.

All required Dental Assistant program coursework must be successfully (C- or better) completed prior to enrollment in DENT 195, with the exception of Intro to Interpersonal Communication or General Psychology, which may be taken during the summer term.