Top Degree Programs for Medical Assisting - Portland, OR

Jan 02, 2019

School and Ranking Information

In the Portland area, there are only four schools that offer medical assisting programs. Based on programs, price, and location, the top three schools for medical assisting include:

  • Winner: Based on its Portland location, low price, and student services and facilities, Portland Community College (PCC) is the top school for prospective medical assistants.
  • Runner-Up #1: Clark College is the only school that offers an associate degree in this field and features the highest graduation rate.
  • Runner-Up #2: Clackamas Community College offers a certificate program and low tuition costs.

These schools offer one- and two-year programs that will allow students to become certified medical assistants (CMA), and all of these schools have open admissions policies.

School Comparison Chart

Category Portland Community College Clark College Clackamas Community College
Location Portland Vancouver, WA (12 miles from Portland) Milwaukie, OR (10 miles from Portland)
School Type Two-year, public Two-year, public Two-year, public
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $3,232 (in-state),
$7,696 (out-of-state)*
$3,650 (in-state),
$8,840 (out-of-state)*
$3,908 (in-state),
$10,883 (out-of-state)*
Medical Assisting Degree Levels Offered Certificate* Certificate; associate degree* Certificate*
Medical Assisting Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 41* 27* 11*
Most Popular Medical Assisting Program in 2011-2012 N/A Associate in Medical Assisting (24 awarded) * N/A
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2008 Entering Class 14%* 28%* 14%*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator.

Winner: Portland Community College

  • Features a 100,000 square-foot educational center
  • School includes an on-campus daycare center and a free shuttle service

Portland Community College is the largest college in the state of Oregon and has three main campuses, as well as other facilities in and outside the city of Portland. The medical assisting program is offered at the Cascade campus, as well as the Willow Creek Center in Beaverton, OR, located about 12 miles from Portland. PCC offers an accredited one-year certificate program for medical assisting, and students must complete a minimum of 47 credits to earn this certificate. Coursework includes anatomy and physiology, first aid and professional CPR, and phlebotomy. The program requires students to complete unpaid directed practice work in a clinical setting. In and outside of the classroom, students learn medical office administrative duties, examination room techniques, and other tasks related to a clinical setting.

Runner-Up #1: Clark College

  • Student-faculty ratio is 18:1, according to the NCES
  • Program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

The medical assisting program at Clark College is a four-quarter professional certificate (CP) program, and students may earn an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree as well. Students must complete 74 credits in order to complete the medical assisting CP program. Students must complete directed practice and courses in medical terminology, laboratory procedures, first aid, and office procedures. In addition to certificate classes, the 97-credit associate degree includes general education requirements.

Runner-Up #2: Clackamas Community College

  • Accreditation is held based on the recommendation of the Curriculum Review Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants' Endowment
  • 61% of students received grant and scholarship aid in 2011-2012, according to the NCES

Clackamas Community College (CCC) has three campuses in Oregon City, Wilsonville, and Milwaukie, OR. The medical assisting program is offered at the Harmony Campus in Milwaukie, a suburb of Portland. To complete the accredited one-year certificate program, students must complete 55-58 credit hours. Medical assisting students take courses in medical office practices, phlebotomy, and clinical lab procedures, as well as complete an unpaid externship in ambulatory care. Students must meet standards in math, writing, and reading by taking placement exams unless they've completed previous college work in these fields. Prerequisites for this program also include CPR and first aid certification.

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