Frequently Asked Questions


1. How do I apply for the Dental Hygiene Diploma program?

2. When is the application deadline for admission to VIU's Dental Hygiene Diploma Program in September?

  • March 31

3. When will I know if I have been accepted?

  • Registration/Admissions will notify successful applicants of acceptance near the end of May.

4. How are students selected for the program?

  • For admission purposes, both academic qualifications (GPA) and the personal profile are weighted.

General Questions

5. Does this program qualify for a student loan?

  • Yes. You can apply for the government student loan and grant program. You may also qualify for institutional scholarships and bursaries. Check with the Financial Aid and Awards office, located in Building 200 at the Nanaimo campus, or call 250-740-6423.

6. Does this program ladder into a university program?

  • Yes. This program ladders into the Bachelor of Dental Science (Dental Hygiene) at the University of British Columbia, and the Bachelor of Health Sciences at Thompson Rivers University.

Employment Outcomes

7. What are the starting wages a graduate can expect?

  • The average wage for a dental hygienist in British Columbia is far above the national average. According to the British Columbia Dental Hygienists’ Association the average wage for registered dental hygienists in BC is approximately $35-40 per hour.

8. Is there a demand for dental hygienists in the work place?

  • Traditionally jobs for dental hygiene graduates are abundant. Recently, some areas of the province are experiencing fewer openings due in part to the provincial economic climate, and to dental hygienists from other provinces moving to BC. However, VIU graduates are still reporting 100% employment.

Program Format

9. What is the time commitment expected from students?

  • Students will be required to complete six semesters of academic study and clinical practice. The anticipated time commitment from students is from September to the end of May for both years one and two, with an average of 30 hours per week in the classroom and additional time required for out-of-class assignments and study. Clincal and theoretical instruction is scheduled Monday to Saturday during the day and in the evenings.

10. Does the program offer prior learning assessment?

  • Not at this time.

11. What should I do if I still have unanswered questions regarding the dental hygiene program?

  • Questions related to the prerequisite courses should be directed to the Advising or Admissions departments at Vancouver Island University. It is also highly recommended that students attend the information session for the dental hygiene program (refer to the calendar for dates). During this session, faculty review the program in detail and are available to answer questions. You may also contact the Chair of the Dental Hygiene Diploma program.