Receptionist Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Receptionists are responsible for various communications aspects of an organization. Receptionists are generally required to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, but diploma, certificate and associate degree opportunities also exist in order to prepare individuals for the workplace.

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Receptionists may find work in a variety of settings, and certificate, diploma and associate degree programs are available to train individuals for work not only as general office receptionists, but also for work as medical, dental and law office receptionists. These programs may be located through the business technology departments of community colleges, technical colleges and universities.

Schools with Receptionist Programs

The following list includes a number of public and private colleges that offer receptionist programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*
Anoka Technical College Anoka, MN 2-year, Public Certificate, Diploma, Associate's $5,584
Riverland Community College Austin, MN 2-year, Public Diploma, Associate's $5,538
Spokane Community College Spokane, WA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $3,388; Out-of-state $8,726
MTI College Sacramento, CA 2-year, Private Diploma $13,950 (office administration diploma); $13,225 (legal administrative assistant diploma)
Minneapolis Community and Technical College Minneapolis, MN 2-year, Public Certificate, Diploma, Associate's $5,366
City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $1,598; Out-of-state $7,554
Emily Griffith Technical College Denver, CO 2-year, Public Certificate $3,931 (legal office certificate); $5,490 (office administration certificate)

*Sources: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); School websites

School Selection Criteria

When looking for receptionist schools there are several things to keep in mind:

  • Generally, receptionist programs should include classes in keyboarding, communications and English.
  • Aspiring receptionists interested in progressing to a position as an administrative assistant may consider degree programs that cover subjects such as accounting, business and administrative responsibilities.
  • Students can consider specializing in legal or medical administration through programs offering coursework in the relevant terminology and office procedures.
  • Some programs are available through online study for those who need a flexible schedule or can't relocate.


Diploma programs for aspiring receptionists may be completed in 2-3 semesters and could qualify students for an entry-level receptionist position in a variety of work settings. The curriculum can include courses in keyboarding and computer technology.


Similar to a diploma program, certificate programs for receptionists may also take 2-3 semesters to complete, and are designed to prepare students for an office job as a receptionist. Certificate programs may have specialty options for aspiring receptionists who wish to work in medical, legal or dental offices.

Associate Degrees

Associate degree programs for receptionists may take the form of an administrative specialist or business administration program. These degree programs typically take two years to complete and may transfer to 4-year bachelor's degree programs.

It is possible to prepare for a career as a receptionist by obtaining a certificate, diploma, or associate's degree in office administration or administrative assisting. Some programs are available online, and some offer the option of specializing to enter the legal or medical field.

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