Schools with Medical Assisting Programs: How to Choose

Degree programs in medical assistant services train individuals to help physicians and other medical practitioners with administrative, clinical and specialized tasks. Many regionally accredited schools offer a variety of certificate and associate's degree programs in medical assisting and allied health.

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Students can find medical assistance programs through the allied health departments of certain career colleges, 2-year community colleges and universities. Certificate programs focus on the practical expertise needed to perform the job while associate's degree programs are more intensive, including topics in both general education and medical assisting techniques.

10 Schools with Medical Assisting Programs

Medical assistant programs are offered at a number of public colleges throughout the country; this is a list of reputable programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)
Anne Arundel Community College Arnold, MD 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-district $4,464; In-state $7,374; Out-of-state $12,024
Arapahoe Community College Littleton, CO 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $3,334; Out-of-state $13,052
Bunker Hill Community College Boston, MA 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $3,576; Out-of-state $8,520
Camden County College Blackwood, NJ 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-district $4,320; In-state $4,440; Out-of-state $4,440
Central Georgia Technical College Warner Robins, GA 2-year, Public Diploma In-state $2,674; Out-of-state $4,810
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Cincinnati, OH 2-year, Public Associate's In-state $3,825; Out-of-state $7,393
Mohawk Valley Community College Utica, NY 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $4,616; Out-of-state $8,576
Ocean County College Tom's River, NJ 2-year, Public Certificate In-district $4,255; In-state $5,035; Out-of-state $7,735
Pima Community College Tucson, AZ 2-year, Public Certificate In-state $1,974; Out-of-state $8,610
Youngstown State University Youngstown, OH 4-year, Public Associate's In-state $8,317; Out-of-state $8,557

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

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School Selection Criteria

Factors to consider before choosing:

  • Accredited medical assisting programs typically lead to qualification for the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) certification exams.
  • Most often, certificates can be completed in 12-18 months, and associate's degrees may take 18-24 months to complete.
  • Students interested in administrative, clinical or specialty positions in the field may look for programs offering specific concentrations or practicum opportunities in their chosen interest.

Diplomas

Diploma programs in medical assisting take 2-3 semesters to complete and may offer the opportunity to be certified through the AAMA or the AMT. Some form of clinical experience, such as an internship, externship or practicum, may be required. Coursework at the diploma level may include:

Certificates

Certificate programs in medical assisting may transfer easily to associate degree programs and could qualify students for certification. Students learn to identify administrative and clinical duties, maintain records and assist physicians. They explore the legal and ethical responsibilities found in the health care system. Certificate programs typically include multiple clinical experiences.

Associate Degrees

In associate degree programs in medical assisting, coursework typically includes general education requirements in English, mathematics, psychology and sociology. Real-world experiences in both the administrative and clinical settings may be required.

There are several 2- and 4- year colleges and universities that offer medical assistant programs where students can opt to pursue training as a medical assistant. Program costs vary, and some schools offer lower tuition to local students, which may be a factor in choosing a medical assistant program.

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