Top School with a Dental Assisting Degree Program - San Diego, CA

Students interested in studying dental assisting in San Diego, CA, have only a few schools to choose from. Read about a top local school's degree programs and tuition info to help you decide if it's the right one for you.

School Information

The majority of schools in San Diego that offer dental assisting programs are for-profit institutions. Based on distinctions, school type, program offerings and student population, the following college is considered a top school in San Diego for dental assisting studies:

  • Winner: San Diego Mesa College is the only public postsecondary institution in the city to provide dental assisting studies. It is also the largest San Diego-based school in terms of student enrollment to have these types of programs. Students can earn a certificate or an associate's degree in this field of study.

School Info Chart

Category San Diego Mesa College
Distinctions Largest school in the San Diego Community College District and one of the largest community colleges in California*
Location San Diego, California
School Type 2-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2013-2014) Undergrad: $1,142 (in state); $5,702 (out-of-state)**
Dental Assisting Programs Offered Certificate and associate's degree
Dental Assisting Certificates and Degrees Awarded in 2012-2013 27**
Most Popular Dental Assisting Level in 2012-2013 Certificate (20 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2010 Entering Class 20%**
Noteworthy Dental assisting program accredited by the Dental Board of California and the Commission of Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association; 50,000 square foot Allied Health Building opened in 2009 houses lecture and lab rooms, a dental clinic and radiography room*

Sources: *San Diego Mesa College; **NCES College Navigator

San Diego Mesa College

  • Dental assisting programs combine classroom instruction with hands-on lab exercises
  • Clinical experiences in dental clinics or private offices are included in the curriculum
  • Graduates of the dental assisting program are prepared to sit for Certified Dental Assistant and state Registered Dental Assistant written exams and practical boards

San Diego Mesa College is a 2-year public school enrolling more than 24,000 students and offering a total of roughly 110 programs of study. The School of Health Sciences and Public Service offers a Dental Assisting Certificate of Achievement and an Associate in Science in Dental Assisting through its Allied Health Department.

The 33.5-credit hour certificate program requires two semesters of study, and the 60-credit associate degree program can be completed in two years. All students must complete a dental communications course as well as courses covering X-ray equipment operation and films processing, dental support procedures, patient care, instrument sterilization, infection control, preventative dental care, clinical business management and dental materials. Students in the associate degree program also complete general education courses as well as a directed clinical practice and independent study. Earned credits may transfer to a 4-year school.


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