The Distance Learning Dental Assisting Program


Indiana University School of Dentistry Distance Learning Program was established to appeal to candidates living in rural areas where access to traditional dental assisting programs was difficult. The distance learning program can also be a good choice for students who must juggle an education with job and family responsibilities. This program is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation and is the first online dental assisting program in Indiana and one of a few, offered in the United States.

This program uses I.U's educational management system, Oncourse, to teach non-clinical subjects and to communicate with students. Laboratory and preclinical activities are taught at IUSD on Saturdays. All distance learning students must plan on coming to campus on Saturdays once or twice a month for pre-clinics, labs and exams.

Didactic courses are offered using block scheduling so that all courses taken during the fall and spring semesters are not open at the same time. Both programs, campus and distance learning programs take the exact same courses each semester.  The block scheduling used in the distance learning program, makes the curriculum more manageable for the students.

Clinical experiences take place in dental offices in the student's home town. Over 300 clinical hours are completed in a sponsoring dentist's general dental practice or a pediatric dental office. Distance learning students’ clinical hours begin in October. Students in this program take the Coronal Polishing and Fluoride application courses as a part of the curriculum and when successfully completed, they receive certificates for these two important employment skills. Distance learning students may elect to take the optional course: Expanded Restorative Functions during Summer I.

Technology Requirements: Distance learning students must have Internet Explorer 8 or higher, a DSL or cable modem of access to be able to access all of the materials online.

Financial Aid: Students in this program are eligible to receive financial aid. Please see Financial Aid and Scholarship tab for more information.