CDA course descriptions
CDA entrance requirements
CEP dental clinic & laboratory
Dental screening evenings
Steps to apply
CDA fees & costs

Certified Dental Assistant Certificate

Why become a Certified Dental Assistant?

What type of career can I expect?

How will UFV prepare me for my career?

What do I need to get in?

How much does it cost? Can I afford to take this program.

I'm interested. What's the next step?

What else do I need to know?

Where will my classes take place?

Is there a program outline?

Sounds good. What do I do now?

I'm not sure that this program is for me. Can I speak with someone about my options? 

Why become a Certified Dental Assistant?
Bright, sparkling smiles, and healthy mouths are all the rage these days. Ask any qualified dentist and they will agree that today’s dental offices are inundated with people looking to improve their smiles and keep on top of oral health.
If you have a passion for helping people, enjoy working with your hands, and are interested in an occupation in a healthcare setting, a career as a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) may be for you. This fast-paced professional career is challenging, rewarding, and demands both versatility and a willingness to assume responsibility for many different tasks.

What type of career can I expect?
A career as a CDA offers a wide range of opportunities. It is considered to be one of the most diverse and interesting positions in the dental office. Career options include part-time and full-time positions in private practice, group practice, and specialty practices. This dynamic career encompasses a broad scope of practice and offers fulfillment and personal satisfaction in that you are exposed to innovative technology while providing invaluable support to the success of the dental practice.

As a CDA, you will work directly with patients, helping them to improve and understand the importance of oral health. You will also work closely with a dentist contributing to the efficiency and quality of health care services. A career in dental assisting is one you can be proud of. It offers good earning opportunities, a clean work environment, and the ability to help others.

How will UFV prepare me for my career?

This 10-month certificate program will help you to develop the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for employment as a certified dental assistant. It combines lectures and clinical practice in preparation for a career in private practice, dental clinics, and other public health facilities. You will 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 Dental Assisting Examination Board (NDAEB) examination and then register with the College  of Dental Surgeons of B.C.

Classes run from September through June and include practicum sessions.


What do I need to get in?

Consult the current UFV calendar for detailed entrance requirements.

Here’s a brief outline of what you’ll need: a B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent, with English 12 (or UFV English 091 or 099), Biology 11 & 12 (or UFV Biology 083 & 093) and Chemistry 11 (or UFV Chemistry 083), with a C+ overall average in the four courses. All applicants must provide academic transcripts, as well as current work and personal references.

Once prerequisites have been met, you will be sent a letter acknowledging your “complete” status. Each spring, complete applicants are invited to attend an information session. At the session you will sign up for your individual interview with program faculty to discuss your motivation, financial preparation, communication skills, and work experience. Additional forms will be provided (medical, dental, immunization, criminal record, etc.). These forms must be completed and returned to the Dental department prior to your acceptance into the program. If you demonstrate a sincere interest in people and an ability to work well with others, your chances of acceptance into the program will be greater.

 How much does it cost? Can I afford to take this program?

View a breakdown of expenses, including tution fees. Please keep in mind that new fees are usually set in May. In addition to tuition fees, you should be prepared to cover additional costs of about $2,000 for books, uniforms, shoes, work books, lab fee supplies and $50 to complete the Basic Rescuer CPR C certification.

It’s also worth a visit to the UFV Financial Aid and Awards office, which facilitates the disbursement each year of about $12 million in federal and provincial student loans, grants, bursparies, scholarships, and awards to UFV students. A helpful budget planning worksheet is available  at

I’m interested. What’s the next step?

Check out the UFV calendar and read the Certified Dental Assistant section carefully. To download the program application forms, follow the links to the right and left of this page'Steps to apply' or click here. Under Certified Dental Assistant program forms, select both forms. You should then fill out the application and submit it, along with the required documents and the $45 application fee, to the Admissions and Records office at any UFV campus or centre. Apply any time.


What else do I need to know?

You will require a uniform, just as you will in a working dental office. Lab coats, gloves, masks, and safety glasses are required during all clinic sessions. Because you are being prepared to work in a professional office, neatness and good grooming are essential at all times. You will be responsible for your own transportation to classes and practicum locations.
The Certified Dental Assistant program is based on the regulations governing certified dental assisting practices as defined by the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. It is also accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada. Upon completion of the UFV Certified Dental Assistant certificate program, and prior to practicing as a certified dental assistant, you will be required to write the National Dental Assisting Examination Board (NDAEB) examination. Following successful completion of this exam you will need to register with the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C.

Where will my classes take place?
The Certified Dental Assistant program is delivered on UFV’s Chilliwack CEP campus, in building A.

Program outline

Click here to view the 10-month program outline.

Sounds good. What do I do now? Apply right away. Visit UFV Advising for a step-by-step process to becoming a UFV student.  Have specific questions? Contact us at 604-795-2817.

I’m not sure that this program is for me. Can I speak with someone about my options?

Absolutely. We want to hear from you!  If you’re unsure of your direction, contact Student Services at 1-888-504-7441 to arrange a tour, attend a Becoming a Student info session, connect with an educational advisor, or arrange for career counselling.

Also feel free to contact us directly by calling 604-795-2817 or follow the links on this page to read the FAQs and other details about the program.


Become a health care assistant in 24 weeks

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