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Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)

Health Science career cluster

Quick Program Facts

  • Number of courses: 11
  • Total hours: 712
  • Length of program: 22 weeks
    • Schedule: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Times offered: fall and spring
  • Accreditation:
  • Cost:
  • Financial aid: TPEG, TCC Foundation, VA Benefits
  • Campus: Northeast 
  • Admission: Requires acceptance into program
  • Types of instruction: classroom, laboratory, clinical, practicum (externship)
  • Certificates:
    • TCC Certificate of Completion
    • Registered Dental Assistant Certification
    • Nitrous Oxide Monitoring Certification

Program Description

Our 22-week program of prepares you to work as a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA).

  • Didactic portion: Teaches you the fundamentals of dental assisting procedures and job entry skills.
  • Clinical portion: Gives you access to actual work situations.

Graduates of our program must meet the requirements for:

Eligibility Requirements and Prerequisites

You must:

  • Attend an orientation session
  • Provide a copy of your high school diploma or GED certificate
  • Take the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment—Reading & Math
    provide copies of your scores on SAT, ACT, TSI or ACCUPLACER (valid for 5 years) for review
    TAKS/THEA or STARS (valid for 5 years)—if verified as exempt per Academic Advising
    provide degree verification
    provide veteran-exempt / military waiver
  • Complete 12 observation hours in a dental office
  • Complete all required forms
  • Complete the Immunization and Health Record Form
  • Provide a copy of current immunizations record, including the annual flu vaccine
  • Pass a drug test
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Provide copy of current CPR Card (Health Care Provider)
  • Provide proof of health insurance
    • We do not offer College-sponsored student health insurance.
    • The following companies offer student insurance but are not endorsed by TCC:
      • Associated Insurance Plans International, Inc.
      • E.J. Smith & Associates
      • Insurance for Students
      • Student Benefits International
      • eHealthInsurance

Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening

Before being accepted to the RDA Program, you must undergo and pass:

  1. criminal background check.
    • This check will be administered through the GroupOne and will be at your expense.
    • There are no exceptions.
    • For students who may have a criminal background:
      • Be advised that the background could keep you from being registered by the State of Texas.
      • Contact Laurie Semple, Program Coordinator, if you have a question about your background and state registration.
      • Know you have the right to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the applicable licensing agency.
  2. The required drug screening before you are placed in a clinical site.

How It Works

If you fail to follow instructions, you will incur additional costs.

  1. Complete Application 
    • We will notify you by email when all your admission paperwork has been completed.
  2. Background Check
    • Our program coordinator will tell you to complete a criminal background check through GroupOne.
    • We will send you an email with your link to GroupOne.
    • You will go online to complete your background check.
  3. Admissions Status
    • Based upon a review of your background check results, our program coordinator will email you to let you know your admissions status.

Credentials in Detail

After successfully completing our program, you will receive:

Courses You Will Take

Check availability: Go to the Course Sections Offered by Term page and scroll down to Continuing Education Terms.

Additional Courses

Orientation Sessions

For Spring 2019

  • Time: 1–3 p.m.
  • Location: NHSC 1112 (map)
  • Day: Tuesday
  • Dates:
    • November 6
    • December 4

How to Apply

Register for the RDA courses.

Explore Our Professional Development Courses



Northeast Campus

NE Workforce Programs / Technology, Health & Business
Laurie Semple, Registered Dental Assistant Program Coordinator
817-515-6151 or

Updated October 26, 2018