Dental Hygiene Admissions

The Dental Hygiene program is a limited-enrollment, competitive point-based entry program with only 24 seats available each year, beginning in the Fall semester. Applicants must apply each year to the program if not accepted the first time; there is no waiting list. The program is in high demand and is very competitive, so there is no guarantee of acceptance.

Changes are being made to the admissions protocol that will be implemented in two phases – Fall 2023 and Fall 2024 – and information about the changes is in the Dental Hygiene admissions packets for each of those years.

All requirements for admissions, including the minimum criteria and the competitive admissions process, are outlined in the admissions packets.

NOTE: Administration of local anesthesia by dental hygienists is now a legally allowable function in North Carolina, so students will need to be comfortable with needles and providing injections to complete the curriculum.

Updated admissions criteria for 2023 and 2024

The Dental Hygiene program has revised its competitive admissions process and will implement the changes in two phases:

Fall 2023 applicants

  • Points earned for the eight courses in our curriculum that are not DEN courses that can be completed ahead of program admission have been reduced.
  • Points will be awarded for dental assistants who have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation program or are a Certified Dental Assistant.
  • Points will be awarded for certification/graduation from select allied health disciplines.

Fall 2024 applicants (in addition to 2023 changes)

  • Points will be awarded based on scores earned by taking the Admissions Test for Dental Hygiene administered by the American Dental Association.
  • Points will be awarded for attending Wake Tech's Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene Boot Camp
  • Points will be awarded for completing a new continuing education course being developed – DEN 3020 Dental Hygiene Profession Exploratory Course

For students interested in the DEN 3020 course for 2024 admission, the course has been moved from continuing education to one offered by Career Services, and the new title is "Career Exploration in Dental Hygiene." It should be advertised on their webpage by mid- to late November. In the meantime, if you are interested, complete this form to be placed on a list of interested students. Once dates are finalized, you will be notified so you can register.

All students are required to complete an information session for admissions.

Dental Hygiene clinical applications and an admissions checklist are available on the Health Sciences Admissions website for the program. A Dental Hygiene job shadowing form is also located on that site to submit with a completed clinical application. More information on job shadowing can be found in the admissions packet.

Students who were released from the Wake Tech Dental Hygiene program and wish to restart or students who wish to transfer into the program from another American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation program must apply following the normal admissions protocol, but they also need to comply with the Restart/Transfer Student protocol.

ATTENTION: Students who are not U.S. citizens or do not have resident status cannot be licensed in North Carolina. If you are on an F-1 visa or are in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, please consider carefully before applying whether to invest your time and money in the program knowing that you will not be able to work in North Carolina. You might be able to be licensed in another state, but you would have to check with the licensing board in that particular state.


Normally, in mid-March, letters are sent related to admissions status – acceptance, alternate or declined. Once an applicant has been offered full-time space in the program or alternate status, he or she must attend a departmental orientation session. Failure to attend the scheduled orientation will result in forfeiture of the seat.

Orientation will review the following:

  • Establishing a CastleBranch account to upload documents for review
  • Signing and uploading the Dental Hygiene Department Technical Standards to CastleBranch
  • Registration and payment for a criminal background check
  • Submission of a completed Wake Tech physical examination form
  • Immunization requirements
  • American Heart Association CPR certification (Healthcare Provider course)
  • Program costs, purchase of instruments and uniforms, textbooks, etc.
  • Other information pertinent to beginning the program (schedules, clinic basics, student club, etc.)

Failure to meet deadlines provided at orientation for uploading documentation to CastleBranch may result in forfeiture of the seat.

If you have questions pertaining to CastleBranch or the criminal background check process, contact Clinical Compliance Administrator/Test Administrator Barbara Smith at 919-747-0105 or [email protected].