Graduates of Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) and Diploma in Dental Hygiene (DDH) programs are eligible to be licensed as independent, unsupervised oral health care professionals. There is a societal, professional, and educational expectation that these graduates have attained the level of knowledge and clinical experience to ensure competence in their profession. This level of knowledge is established through nationally accredited sequential, lock-step curricula that are designed to ensure that graduates meet the standards expected of a recently qualified dental or dental hygiene practitioner. 

Courses offered in any given year of each program are designed both to build upon previous knowledge and skill development and to complement each other. Courses are structured sequentially, with each year of the program scheduled to bring about the progressive learning required. Content is integrated across disciplines and domains to ensure that there is the comprehensive understanding and application of knowledge required for professional practice. Requisite skills are established through experiential laboratory and clinical sessions. 

These are not unique, isolated courses that can be segmented out in varying timelines. They are interrelated and must be taken in sequence. Separating these courses, or course components, through part-time participation severely disrupts the necessary pedagogy of learning practical, psychomotor-based skills and the integration of three streams of learning: biomedical foundational learning, patient care learning, and clinical skills learning. As such, courses in the DDS and DDH programs are only offered once a year and students in, or applying to, these programs do not select the timing of required courses. 

Furthermore, competence in performing clinical procedures and delivering patient care is demonstrated regularly and consistently over a period of time, not as an individual one-off event. Developing competence requires a certain amount of time and repetition of procedures; simply completing an activity once or twice, or passing a skill or knowledge-based exam is not sufficient in and of itself to determine competency. 

When conferring a DDS degree or DH diploma, the Faculty attests that the student has participated in the entire educational experience defined by the curriculum to achieve: a level of competency as measured by performance through discrete evaluative components of the program; demonstrated overall aptitude and fitness for the profession through the application of professionalism, knowledge, clinical decision-making skills, and reasoning; and the ability to practise independently. These determinations are dependent upon the established, accredited lockstep full-time educational programming and are not commensurate with non-accredited individualized or part-time programming.

Approved by Faculty Council on June 8, 2021


Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

The Faculty of Dentistry offers a four-year, fully-accredited Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program, designed to graduate competent general dentists who will be ethical, compassionate, caring, knowledgeable, and skilled practitioners. We also offer a three-year DDS Qualifying Program that prepares graduates of international dental programs to become certified to practise dentistry in Canada.

Diploma in Dental Hygiene/Bachelor of Dental Hygiene

For over 50 years, the School of Dental Hygiene has been providing outstanding education in dental hygiene. Our two-year Diploma in Dental Hygiene program delivers a current, scientific, and professional education in a positive, student-centered learning environment.

We also offer a degree completion program. Students may complete the one-year program on a full-time basis, or over two years on a part-time basis. Graduates are awarded a bachelor of dental hygiene degree.

Graduate studies

Explore our graduate and post-doctoral programs.