Dental Assisting

What will I learn in this program?

Dental Assisting Program prepares the student to successfully pass the California State Licensure Examination to become a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) and the National Examination to become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). These courses are transferable to California State Universities and our program can be completed in either two or four semesters, for a Certificate of Completion in the Dental Assisting Program. 

The one year program (2 semesters) is designed for those individuals who already have degrees, who are reentering school, who are changing careers, or who wish to learn to be trained as Dental Assistants to enter the profession in a shorter period of time.  The two year program (4 semesters) is designed for those individuals who are taking other general education classes, working or only want to be part-time students.

The trained dental assistant is expected to develop skills to assist the dentist with treatment procedures at chairside; produce diagnostic aids for interpretation by the dentist; provide oral health instructions for child, teenage, and adult patients; perform chairside support and laboratory procedures that are required for dental treatments; and perform treatment services where state legal provisions authorize the dentist to assign such tasks.  Dental assistants are also expected to develop skills in basic business office procedures.

What kind of jobs can I get once I complete the program?  How much will they pay?  What demand is expected for these jobs?


Average Annual Salary

Expected Regional Demand

Dental Assistant


Faster than Average Growth

Registered Dental Assistant


Faster than Average Growth

Front Office


Average Growth

Sales Rep in Dental Supplies and Equipment


Average Growth

Insurance Billing Clerk


Average Growth

Office Manager


Faster than Average Growth


Does this program have any special enrollment requirements?

Students need to complete a Dental Assisting application, which is available in our office in Cloud Hall 304 and online at  Upon completing the application, we recommend students to meet or speak to the Dental Assisting Director or Admin Coordinator to answer any further questions they may have and clarification of the program and classes. 

The requirements for admitting to our 1 year program are completion of ENGL 90 or ESL 150 and above, completion of BIO 9, Anatomy 14 OR Physiology 12, and typing skills of 45wpm or better.

Note: Students with AA or BA/BS degree can waive the requirements listed above.

Although the 2 year program does not require the above requirements upon entering the program, students still need to complete these requirements before graduating from our program. 

Does this program have any special costs?

CCSF currently charges $46 per unit.  The program consists of 33.5 units, for a total of $1541.  There are lab fees, textbooks, supplies, uniforms, name tags, safety eye-wear and other miscellaneous costs for approximately $500.  The total cost to complete the program is about $2041.

How long will it take to complete this program?


Time to Complete*

Dental Assisting Certificate of Completion

1 year – 2 semesters

Dental Assisting AA Degree

2 years – 4 semesters (if without any previous general education courses)

*Based on full-time attendance or 12 units per semester

How do I get more information on this program?

City College of San Francisco
Dental Assisting Program
50 Phelan Avenue, Cloud Hall 304
San Francisco, CA 94112
Office: 415-239-3479
Fax:  415-239-3719

Director:  Tiffany Ren (
Admin Coordinator: Carol Cheng (