Academic Calendar Fall 2020

Health Sciences

Certified Dental Assistant certificate

Certified Dental Assistants are essential members of the dental health care team, working toward the common goal of providing quality oral care for dental clients. Individuals who have a passion for helping people, enjoy working with their hands, and are team players are most likely to be successful and will find this to be a rewarding career.

The 10-month (September–June) Certified Dental Assistant certificate program is designed to provide students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes necessary for employment as a certified dental assistant. This program combines lectures and clinical practice in preparation for a career in private practice, dental clinics, and other public health facilities. Students gain extensive clinical experience throughout the program. In addition to working at the UFV Dental Clinic, the curriculum includes two practica, which provide full-time experience in a dental office.

Because this program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, graduates are eligible to write the National Board Exam and then register with the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C.

Entrance requirements

  1. B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent, and a minimum grade of C in the following two courses: (English Studies 12, English First Peoples 12, ENGL 099, or ENGL 091) and (Anatomy and Physiology 12, Biology 12, or BIO 093).

    Note: Students may also present English 12, English Literature 12, English 12 First Peoples, AP English, IB English A (standard level or higher level), or out-of-province equivalent.

  2. A work reference and a personal reference from non-relatives.
  3. A satisfactory interview with the program faculty, who will assess applicants':
    • Knowledge of and motivation towards a career as a dental assistant;
    • Financial preparation;
    • Communication skills;
    • Experience with patients in the health-care field as a volunteer and/or employee; and
    • Experience in working with the public.
  4. Signed medical certificate indicating physical fitness and emotional stability. (Form will be provided at information session.)
  5. Completion of an immunization program prior to the program start date. Immunization forms will be included with the letter of acceptance.
  6. Dental Oral Health certificate. (Form to be signed by the dentist will be included with the letter of acceptance.)
  7. Two full days spent in a dental office observing office routine and dental procedures. (Form to be signed by the dentist.)
  8. Successful completion of a security clearance check. Criminal record check forms will be provided upon admission to the program.

Note: Personal suitability of applicants will be assessed using a point rating system. Applicants will be accepted based on points achieved on the applicant rating. Prior to the interview, it is beneficial for applicants to complete two days of dental office observation and to submit a confidential reference form for any volunteer experience.

Students who do not meet these requirements might consider Qualifying Studies.

When to apply

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis throughout the year. Applications should be received by January 31 for the Fall intake. Qualified applicants are considered for the next intake in which there is space. See Continuous application process for more information.

How to apply

  1. Apply online at and submit the following documents to the Office of the Registrar:
    • Proof of B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent (except for secondary school students, who may apply once they are registered in Grade 12).
    • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
    Once these documents have been received by the Office of the Registrar, an application date will be recorded and the application will be forwarded to the Certified Dental Assistant program.
  2. Submit all remaining documents to the School of Health Studies, Chilliwack campus:
    • Dental Assisting program application (available at
    • Work reference letter.
    • Personal reference letter.

    Additional documents required for a complete application:

    • Dental Assisting application form.
    • Proof of B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent.
    • Official transcripts (or interim transcripts) from all post-secondary institutions attended showing grade/course achievement as per entrance requirements. To be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly to UFV from the originating institution; see the Transfer Credit section for details.
    • Work reference letter.
    • Personal reference letter.

    Note 1: Additional health forms required for acceptance into the CDA program will be provided at the information session. Applicants whose prerequisites are completed will have first priority for the seats available. Those with incomplete prerequisites decrease their chances of being accepted into the program.

    Note 2: Students who are currently enrolled in Grade 12 must provide a letter by April 10 from their counsellor verifying that prerequisite courses are in progress and will be successfully completed, and that they are expected to graduate. Please submit correspondence to the School of Health Studies. An official transcript, showing that all academic requirements have been met, will be required by the end of the first week of August.

  3. Attendance at a program information session is required for all "complete" applicants. At this time applicants will be provided with an overview of the program as well as additional forms (Medical, Dental Office Observation, Dental Exam, Immunization record, Criminal Record Search, Interview questionnaire) that must be completed prior to acceptance into the program. At the information session, applicants will also be required to write an application essay outlining why they want to become a CDA.
  4. An interview with a program faculty member is also required.
  5. Applicants will be accepted based on points achieved on the applicant rating form.
  6. Applicants will be notified in writing (via email) regarding their acceptance. Upon admission to the program, applicants will be provided with registration information. A deposit is required by a specified date in order to reserve a seat in the program. This money will be applied toward tuition fees. If applicants do not register for courses and pay course deposits, their place will be given to the next person on the program waiting list and they must reapply to the program.
  7. If applicants meet the minimum requirements but are not selected to the class, their application will be held for consideration for the next intake. If applicants are not selected for a second intake, they will be required to re-apply.

Basis for admission decision

Students will be rated based on the points achieved on the applicant rating form. Points will be given for academic performance on prerequisite courses, work/volunteer experience, personal essay, reference(s), and personal interview.

The requirements will be rated as follows:

  1. Academic prerequisites: The higher the applicant GPA on required academic prerequisites, the more points awarded.
  2. Work/volunteer experience: Points will be allocated for dental office experience according to duration. Experience in working with the public and volunteer experience will also be awarded points, again according to the nature and duration of the experience.
  3. Letter of reference: Applicants will be awarded points depending on the content of their letter of reference.
  4. Persistent efforts to upgrade: Applicants will be awarded a point for persistent interest in the program as evidenced by efforts to upgrade, and repeated applications.
  5. Application essay: All applicants will be given points on the basis of meeting the criteria and the writing skill demonstrated.
  6. Interview: Applicants will be given points related to their knowledge of dental assisting, organizational skills, planning of financial aspects, management of commitments, communication skills, knowledge of own learning, and problem-solving skills. The interview is intended to help determine readiness to enter the CDA program.

Applicants with the highest number of points will be given priority for program seats.

Fees and additional costs

See the Fees and Other Costs section.

Students should be prepared to meet other additional costs of approximately $2,000. This includes the purchase of uniforms, lab coats, shoes, textbooks, workbooks, and lab fee supplies. Students should also be prepared for the additional cost to complete the Basic Rescuer — CPR (Level C) course.

Requirement — Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)

Upon completion of the UFV Certified Dental Assistant certificate program, and prior to practising as a Certified Dental Assistant, students will need to write the National Dental Assisting Board Examination and will need to register with and be licensed by the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C.

The following fees are reflective of the 2019/20 fees, and are subject to change for 2020/21.

  • National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB): $525
  • College of Dental Surgeons of B.C.:
    • Application fee: $337
    • Temporary licence: $12.50/month
    • Criminal record check: $28

Note: Registration and licensing fees are subject to annual increases.


Uniforms, duty shoes, name tags, lab coats, gloves, masks, and safety glasses are required during daily clinic sessions. Neatness and good grooming are essential at all times.

Dates and location

The Certified Dental Assistant certificate is 10 months in duration and is completed in a full-time capacity. All courses are taught at the Health Sciences centre at the Chilliwack campus. Format includes self-directed, independent study, group work, and lecture presentation of material. Demonstrations are given before practical sessions. Classes are held Monday to Friday, and there are approximately two hours of homework every evening.

Program outline

Course Title Credits
DENT 130 Dental Professionalism 1.5
DENT 131 Basic Dental Assisting 1.5
DENT 132 Patient Assessment 2.5
DENT 133 Dental Office Emergency 1
DENT 134 Preventive Dentistry 2
DENT 135 Dental Radiography 2.5
DENT 136 Dental Restorative 2.5
DENT 137 Lab Procedures 1.5
DENT 138 Dental Practicum I 3
DENT 139 Dental Exam I pass/fail
DENT 140 Dental Specialties 3.5
DENT 141 Community Dental Health 1.5
DENT 142 Dental Reception 1.5
DENT 143 Patient Care Procedures 1.5
DENT 144 Applied Dental Sciences 1.5
DENT 145 Dental Chart and Annotation 1
DENT 148 Dental Practicum II 3
DENT 149 Dental Exam II pass/fail
DENT 152 Clinical Dental Assist 5
DENT 162 Clinical Patient Care 3.5

Note: In addition to the above courses, students must have completed a valid Basic Rescuer — CPR (Level C) course prior to the second term (Winter) of the program.

Undergraduate continuance

Students enrolled in undergraduate courses (courses numbered 100 or above) must maintain an undergraduate Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of at least 2.00 to remain enrolled in Good Academic Standing at UFV. Students in Good Academic Standing will have no registration limits placed on them. Failure to meet the minimum CGPA requirement will result in restrictions on registration and may eventually lead to academic suspension from undergraduate studies at UFV. Students on Academic Warning or Academic Probation are limited to registering in 10 credits. For further details, see the Academic standing and undergraduate continuance section of the academic calendar. Academic standing is governed by UFV's Undergraduate Continuance policy (92).

Course listings

For complete details on courses see the course descriptions section.

Current Students