Earning your online medical assistant degree prepares you to enter one of the nation’s most in-demand fields. Both the aging population and demand for preventive care require physicians, hospitals, and medical facilities to hire more medical assistants to meet patients’ needs. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for medical assistants to grow 29% by 2026.
Myriad career options await those completing medical assistant online degree programs. Regardless of the path you follow, earning a medical assistant associate degree online can provide you with an understanding of healthcare fundamentals that help you provide quality patient care.
Choosing a Program
Online medical assistant program coursework varies by institution. Coursework often covers subjects like anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and pharmacology. Other covered topics might include administrative functions, such as medical coding and reimbursement methodologies.
Studies equip students with an understanding of the office and clinical tasks necessary for proper patient care. Learners can choose to specialize in either administrative or clinical work within their medical assistant degree online program. For example, you might want to become an administrative medical assistant, helping with patient intake, processing medical insurance information, and scheduling appointments. If you prefer clinical work, you may conduct laboratory tests, sterilize surgical equipment, or assist with in-office surgeries.
The variety of medical assistant online degree programs mean your student experience will largely depend on where you enroll and the professional path you follow. For example, some schools offer an accelerated program that allows you to graduate in 20 months, while others deliver blended instruction that takes place both online and on campus.
For career information, skip down:
- What Will I Learn in an Online Associate in Medical Assisting Program?
- Online Associate in Medical Assisting Careers
- Educational Paths for Online Medical Assisting Associate Programs
- Accreditation for Online Associate in Medical Assisting Degrees
- Medical Assisting Professional Organizations
Online Associate in Medical Assisting Degree Program Ranking Guidelines
We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.
The Best Online Associate in Medical Assisting Programs
1. Keiser University
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Founded in 1977, Keiser University originated as a career-centered higher learning institution for working students in Florida. Keiser remains the third-largest nonprofit university in the state. The university enrolls nearly 20,000 students across 18 Florida campuses. Keiser offers more than 100 areas of study, including online options.
Keiser’s online medical assistant program trains students in the clinical and administrative tasks required from a professional medical assistant. Students learn how to take vital signs, review patient histories, conduct lab tests, and assist physicians during patient exams. Learners also gain administrative skills in scheduling appointments, preparing insurance claims, and maintaining patient records.
The 60-credit online medical assistant degree requires courses in medical assistance, clinical education, and general education. Students must earn a “C” or higher in clinical lectures, clinical procedures, and lab procedures before beginning the mandatory externship in medical assisting. Graduates qualify for the registered medical assistant exam administered by American Medical Technologists.
Online learners access courses through Blackboard. As a nationally recognized provider of career-focused academic programs, Keiser offers a variety of support services for distance learners, including resume preparation, mock job interviews, and career counseling. Applicants to the AS in medical assisting science need to submit a high school diploma or GED. Undergraduate applicants must contact an admissions adviser to determine any additional materials required for admission.
Keiser University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
2. State Fair Community College
Home to an inaugural graduating class of just 436 in 1968, SFCC now hosts an annual enrollment of more than 5,000 students, including over 2,000 distance learners. The college serves 14 counties through seven campuses and several education centers across Missouri. SFCC offers more than 40 programs, including two fully online degrees and more than 250 eLearning courses.
SFCC’s online medical assistant associate degree prepares graduates for clinical and administrative tasks in a variety of ambulatory care environments. The associate of applied science in medical assisting includes 61.5 credits of general education courses and major classes. The hybrid program requires weekly on-campus labs in addition to online study. Students learn how to record medical information, take vital signs, prepare exam rooms, understand electronic medical records systems, coordinate appointments, and bill patients. The associate degree also helps students develop skills in active listening, reading comprehension, and communication. The program culminates in a clinical capstone experience.
Students can access courses online through Blackboard. Learners completing the AAS degree online may choose from eight-week, 12-week, or 16-week classes. Distance learners should enroll full time. Applicants to the AAS in medical assisting must submit ACT or ACCUPLACER scores, hold a minimum GPA of 2.0, and take the test of essential academic skills (TEAS) pre-placement assessment. New students begin in the fall semester. The program accepts 25 students each year.
State Fair Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
3. Alexandria Technical & Community College
Among Minnesota’s highest-ranking colleges for retention, graduation, and career placement rates, ATCC focuses on education for working adults. The school offers a variety of two-year degrees, transfer degrees, certificates, and professional programs that can be completed in just one year. ATCC provides more than 10 online programs in lucrative majors such as business, healthcare, and IT.
Students pursuing the medical assistant degree online gain the technical and computer skills needed for administrative medical assistant positions. The 60-credit medical administrative specialist AAS encompasses four semesters of coursework in general education and major requirements. Students explore medical terminology, health information and medical records, technical writing, and healthcare systems and practices. The program culminates in a unique mentor-led capstone experience. The program stresses accuracy, confidentiality, and an advanced understanding of the technology commonly used in contemporary healthcare environments. All students complete an internship.
Online learners access courses through D2L Brightspace. Students may begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. Support services for eLearners include virtual tutoring, writing assistance, study groups, and disability services.
Applicants must possess a high school diploma. High school students may apply to ATCC as early as the 10th grade. These students can begin college-level courses through the college’s unique postsecondary enrollment options (PSEO) dual-credit program.
Alexandria Technical and Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
4. Minnesota West Community and Technical College
Granite Falls, Minnesota
Formed in 1997 through the merger of Southwestern Technical College and Worthington Community College, Minnesota West now occupies seven campuses across the state. The college ranks among the nation’s best for military friendliness, medical assistant programs, and online degrees. Minnesota West offers more than 60 academic programs, including more than 35 available online.
Minnesota West offers a medical administrative secretary AAS on its Canby, Granite Falls, Jackson, Pipestone, and Worthington locations, as well as online. The medical assistant online degree focuses on the advanced administrative skills necessary to manage a medical office, including medical billing, bookkeeping, appointment scheduling, and insurance claim processing. The AAS requires 60 credits, including general education classes and elective courses. To train students for the wide variety of tasks in medical administrative secretary positions, the curriculum also builds skills in ordering supplies, phone and email etiquette, transcription, and patient interviewing techniques.
Online learners complete assignments in D2L Brightspace. Minnesota West offers comprehensive support for online learners through an advanced digital library system, an online college bookstore, and virtual tech support. Applicants to the AAS in medical administrative secretary at Minnesota West must fulfill the basic high school diploma or GED requirement. Once admitted, students must take an assessment test and attend an orientation.
Minnesota West Community and Technical College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
5. Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Fergus Falls, Minnesota
A key member of the Minnesota state system of higher education, M State was formed in a merger between Fergus Falls Community College and three Northwest Technical College locations. The college enrolls more than 8,000 students and offers 70 academic programs in career-oriented and liberal arts disciplines.
M State’s online medical assistant program encompasses the full range of administrative skills needed to become an office assistant for a medical facility, insurance company, public health center, long-term care facility, or government agency. The 44-credit curriculum emphasizes skills in maintaining medical records and charts, drafting correspondence, billing patients, and scheduling appointments. Core courses explore college-level writing, medical transcription, and medical office technology tools. Students may complete the program in as few as three consecutive terms.
Students complete assignments online in D2L Brightspace. M State offers free round-the-clock Smarthinking tutoring to all online learners. The school also provides convenient online registration and orientation services for new students. Applicants to the medical assistant program may complete an ACCUPLACER assessment evaluation to determine whether they have met math, reading, and writing prerequisites. Students only need to submit a high school diploma or GED for initial application to M State.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
6. Olney Central College
One of four community colleges serving eastern Illinois, OCC serves an enrollment of nearly 1,200 students. The school offers affordable academic and professional training programs in fields such as nursing, automotive repair, and radiography. The college hosts an especially robust selection of online degrees, offering more than 45 programs and hundreds of courses. More than 450 distance learners attend the school in any given semester.
OCC’s online medical office assistant degree caters to aspiring medical office assistants, receptionists, and transcriptionists. The associate degree encompasses 68 credits in clerical training and basic clinical competencies. Students explore topics such as business computer systems, medical transcription, and anatomy for medical secretaries. In the third semester, students must complete a medical office seminar course and begin part one of a medical office internship experience. Learners must finish a professional portfolio and part two of their internship during the fourth and final semesters of the degree.
Online courses at OCC follow the traditional on-campus schedule. Fall and spring courses last for 16 weeks, while summer courses typically span eight weeks. Support services for distance learners include academic advising, library services, and tech support. Like all OCC associate degrees, the online medical assistant program can lead to an entry-level career or a four-year degree. Applicants at least 17 years of age must submit a high school diploma or GED and standardized test scores. Transfer students may apply credits from other regionally accredited institutions.
Olney Central College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
7. Dakota College at Bottineau
Bottineau, North Dakota
Opened in 1906, DCB began as a forestry school that promoted forest growth in North Dakota. Today, the college offers one of the best natural resource programs in the nation. DCB currently serves more than 900 students in 25 areas of study.
Students pursuing the medical assistant degree online qualify for the registered medical assistant exam. The AAS emphasizes practical coursework and requires less general education courses than comparable degrees. Students explore topics such as basic procedure and diagnosis coding, computer applications for healthcare, and healthcare law and ethics. The curriculum also covers clinical procedures, first aid and CPR, and laboratory and diagnostic procedures. Students may choose from a variety of wellness electives to round out required coursework. Distance learners also complete a 180-hour cooperative education experience in a qualifying medical facility.
DCB delivers online courses through the Starfish platform. Distance learners may choose a fully online or hybrid format. Medical assistant students who enroll full time can complete the AAS degree in just one year. Applicants to DCB’s medical assistant program must submit a high school diploma or GED and ACT or SAT scores. DCB may waive the standardized test score requirement for students age 25 or older and students with 24 or more transferable college credits. Candidates must undergo a background check as part of the admissions process.
Dakota College at Bottineau is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
8. Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health
Founded in 1891, NMC ranks as one of the top providers of healthcare education in Nebraska. The school maintains a long-term partnership with one of the state’s largest hospital systems. NMC serves enrolls over 1,000 students and offers dozens of undergraduate, master’s, doctoral, and professional programs in medicine and allied health. The school hosts 10 state-of-the-art academic laboratory facilities on campus, enabling all students to participate in hands-on learning.
NMC’s health studies department offers an associate of science degree with an emphasis in medical assistance. The medical assistant online degree requires 61 credits in arts, sciences, and professional courses. The program is designed for students who already hold a certificate in medical assistance, surgical technology, or radiologic technology. Courses include wellness coaching for the healthcare professional, language and culture in healthcare, and psychology throughout the lifespan. The program culminates in a professional portfolio emphasizing communication skills. Students may apply certificate credits toward the professional course requirement. Learners must complete at least 15 professional credits at NMC. Graduates may either obtain entry-level work or pursue a bachelor’s degree.
Students complete assignments asynchronously through the MyMethodist online learning portal. Each online course lasts for five weeks. NMC students may enroll full time or part time in a fully online or hybrid format. Applicants must demonstrate a minimum 2.5 GPA and possess a CAAHEP or JRCERT certificate. Students may transfer in credits earned with a grade “C” or higher from a regionally accredited institution.
Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and Allied Health is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The medical assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
9. Rochester Community and Technical College
Minnesota’s oldest public two-year college, RCTC resides in the state’s fastest-growing and third largest city. One of 24 two-year colleges and seven state universities in the Minnesota higher learning system, RCTC enrolls more than 12,000 students. The school offers more than 70 programs and 130 areas of study.
RCTC’s 60-credit medical assistant online degree combines general education and career-focused training. Students explore topics in technical communication, medical terminology for health professions, and medical office procedures. Humanities-based general education courses emphasize communication skills. Though not required, the program encourages students to complete a job-shadowing experience in a medical office during their last semester. The AAS in medical assistance program meets general education requirements for pathway programs leading to a bachelor’s degree.
Students may enroll on a part-time or full-time basis. RCTC offers the majority of AAS courses online during the fall and spring semesters, with limited availability during the summer term. Candidates must undergo a background check to qualify for admission into the AAS degree in medical assisting. Per RCTC’s open door policy, applicants only need a high school diploma or GED for admission. The school may consider other factors on a case-by-case basis. Students applying to the AAS in medical assistant must also meet a minimum keyboarding prerequisite of 35 net words per minute.
Rochester Community and Technical College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
10. Northland Community and Technical College
Thief River Falls, Minnesota
Established in 1949 as the Thief River Falls Area Vocational School, NCTC operates campuses in East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls, Minnesota, as well as an aerospace campus and a satellite location in Roseau. NCTC serves an enrollment of nearly 5,000 students through dozens of undergraduate and professional programs in technical sciences and liberal arts.
NCTC’s online medical assistant degree provides a career pathway to aspiring medical administrative assistants and medical secretaries. The 60-credit associate of applied science in medical administrative assistant combines major, general education, and elective coursework. The curriculum includes a unique medical office simulation course. Students explore critical topics in medical assisting, including medical billing and coding, business communications, electronic health records, and anatomy and physiology. Students must choose an additional elective in interpersonal communication or introduction to public speaking. Graduates demonstrate advanced skills in leadership, oral and written correspondence, and morals and ethics in the field of medicine.
Students complete courses online in D2L Brightspace. Some online courses follow an accelerated format. Students can access online resources including test proctoring, web-based messaging, online payment processing, and supply orders through the NCTC bookstore. Applicants must submit a high school diploma or GED and consult an admissions adviser to discuss next steps. Students must also take the ACCUPLACER assessment to determine if they meet program prerequisites. Candidates should achieve scores of 78 and 50 in reading comprehension and arithmetic.
Northland Community and Technical College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
11. Minnesota State College – Southeast Technical
Founded in 1949 as the Winona Area Vocational-Technical School, MSC Southeast was the second public college of its kind in Minnesota. Today, MSC Southeast serves nearly 3,000 students across two historic campuses in Red Wing and Winona. The college offers dozens of associate degrees and certificates in majors such as business, technology, and the liberal arts. Students may complete nearly 30 programs entirely online.
MSC Southeast offers a broad selection of medical support programs, including a medical assistant associate degree online. The 60-credit program emphasizes the administrative skills needed to become a successful professional medical assistant. Students must complete general education courses in written and oral communication, mathematics, social sciences, and the humanities. These courses satisfy prerequisites for transfer into a bachelor’s program. Students enrolled in the medical assistant online degree also take courses in word processing, medical terminology, and introduction to health information management.
MSC Southeast delivers online coursework through D2L Brightspace. The college supports distance learners through online services such as interactive evaluations, virtual assessments, online tuition payment options, and online course registration. Applicants to MSC Southeast must submit ACCUPLACER scores and proof of a high school diploma or GED. Once accepted into the program, students must attend an online orientation and registration session.
Minnesota State College Southeast is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
12. Guilford Technical Community College
Jamestown, North Carolina
Founded in 1958, GTCC serves 40,000 students each year. The school offers more than 80 programs in aviation, technical skills, and the liberal arts. The third-largest community college in North Carolina, GTCC operates seven primary campuses, three aviation locations, and two small business centers.
GTCC’s AAS in medical office administration emphasizes skills in health records, patient services, and medical billing and coding. Graduates qualify for administrative assistant and medical secretary positions within medical facilities, dental offices, hospitals, medical laboratories, insurance companies, and medical supply firms. Students pursuing the medical assistant degree online complete 66 credits of core, general education, and elective coursework. Courses explore topics in office procedures, medical legal issues, electronic health records, and customer service. Learners may choose from technical electives in areas such as medical office administration, emerging technologies, social media for office professionals, and records management. The program culminates in an office administration capstone experience. Graduates qualify to sit for Microsoft Office user specialist exams.
Students can complete the online AAS in four semesters of full-time study. The program offers courses in the fall and spring terms, with most new students beginning in the fall semester. GTCC delivers online courses through the Moodle platform. GTCC applicants only need to submit a high school diploma or GED. Candidates should consult an admissions adviser to determine if they need to complete additional assessments or placement tests.
Guilford Technical Community College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The medical assisting programs are accredited by the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB) of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
13. Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
One of the nation’s top providers of cooperative career training programs, CState serves more than 150 local businesses with specialized workforce training programs. The school maintains partnerships with more than 600 corporate entities nationwide. CState offers more than 100 associate degrees, professional certificates, and courses throughout its four campus locations and online branch.
CState’s medical assistant online degree provides a comprehensive education in administrative duties for medical assistants and healthcare managers. The degree encompasses general education, basic skills training, and technical courses. Students must choose a first year experience elective in areas such as college success strategies, college survival skills, or the community college experience. Core courses include medical terminology, computer applications, and office procedures for medical settings. Students must also complete at least four credit hours of a cooperative learning field experience as a medical administrative assistant.
CState delivers online courses using Blackboard Learn. The college offers a free online orientation workshop to CState students. Learners considering distance education may also take the SmartMeasure placement test online. Applicants to CState must submit SAT or ACT scores and a high school diploma or GED. The school may waive standardized test scores for students who have completed prerequisites in math and English composition.
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
14. Community College of Vermont
Vermont’s second-largest college, CCV serves more than 7,000 students per semester. The college maintains 12 locations throughout the state, as well as a center for online learning. CCV provides associate degrees and certificates in over 20 areas of study. Students may also choose from hundreds of online courses.
CCV’s online medical assistant degree develops clinical and clerical competencies for medical office administrators and physician’s assistants. The 60-credit AAS in medical assisting includes general education, core courses, scientific method, and elective requirements. The curriculum covers topics such as medical terminology, intercultural communication, medical billing and coding, and introduction to phlebotomy. Students must complete a clinical medical assisting internship, as well as a seminar in educational inquiry and quantitative reasoning assessment. Graduates qualify for the national registered medical assistant (RMA) exam.
Students can access assignments online through Moodle. Learners may complete coursework entirely online or in a hybrid format. Support services for online learners include enrollment advising, skill assessments, tech support, and financial aid. Applicants must submit a high school diploma or GED. Candidates should also provide SAT or ACT test scores from the last three years. Students who do not meet standardized test criteria may take a skill assessment placement test administered by CCV.
Community College of Vermont is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
15. Georgia Northwestern Technical College
One of the many two-year institutions in Georgia’s technical college system, GNTC supports nine counties through technical and professional programs. The college offers more than 200 associate degrees, certificates, and courses in business, health, industry, allied health, nursing, and public health technologies.
One of the most skills-focused medical assistant online degrees in the country, GNTC’s associate of applied science emphasizes professional competencies and medical knowledge. The degree requires 63 credits in pre-occupational and occupational courses. Students take classes in anatomy and physiology, computer literacy, medical terminology, and legal and ethical concerns in a medical office. The program culminates in a medical assisting externship and seminar course. The hybrid AAS in medical assisting combines online coursework and in-person requirements such as anatomy and physiology labs. The unique occupational curriculum features specialized areas of medical assisting, including medical office, medical insurance, and medical practice management.
GNTC delivers online courses through the Blackboard learning platform. Students pursuing the online AAS degree may begin pre-occupational courses in any semester, but must begin occupational courses in the fall semester. Applicants must undergo the Psychological Services Bureau entrance exam. Upon admission, students must also submit to a background check and drug screening. Enrollees should maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA, current CPR certification, and professional liability insurance while completing the degree.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The medical assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
16. North Seattle College
Founded in 1970, North provides pathway and professional programs to 12,000 students in the Seattle area. The school belongs to the Seattle Colleges District. North currently offers more than 100 associate pathways, bachelor’s degrees, certificates, and professional education programs.
North’s online medical assistant associate degree emphasizes advanced communication and patient-centered care. Students complete 105 quarter credits in clinical courses and administrative skills. The curriculum includes patient care, disease and pathology, diagnostic procedures, and medication administration. Students also explore medical office management, insurance billing and coding, and medical law and ethics. The program requires an externship experience. Students must also complete general education requirements in English composition, math, human relations, and global studies. Graduates qualify for the certified medical assistant (CMA) exam and the Washington state medical assistant-certified license.
North students complete online assignments through the Canvas learning platform. Students may begin the AAS in medical assisting in any quarter. The program combines online coursework and face-to-face study. Applicants must satisfy prerequisites in math for health careers, computers in business, and English composition. Students must obtain first aid certification from the American Red Cross before enrolling in the externship experience. Distance learners must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 in all courses to earn the degree.
North Seattle College is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The medical assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
17. Pennsylvania Institute of Technology
Founded in 1953, PIT provides high-quality professional and technical programs. The state-of-the-art campus in Media is easily accessible to students in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. PIT offers 13 associate degrees and four certificates both on campus and online.
PIT’s allied health clinical medical assistant degree prepares students for entry-level employment in healthcare and healthcare administration. The program also satisfies prerequisites for a bachelor’s degree. Courses explore topics such as communications, human growth, and patient care. Students may pursue certification in phlebotomy, patient care technician, EKG technician, and certified medical assistant. Learners must complete an advanced clinical medical assistant internship to earn the degree. The online medical assistant program combines online coursework and hands-on experiences.
Online students complete assignments through Moodle. PIT offers career-oriented support services for distance learners, including job placement assistance. The school also offers free tutoring and financial counseling. Applicants must submit high school transcripts and take an academic placement test. Prospective students should schedule an appointment with an admissions adviser to discuss any additional materials required for admission to the program. The school favors students with prior experience or a certificate in medical billing and coding, pharmacy technician work, practical nursing, and clinical medical assisting.
Pennsylvania Institute of Technology is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
18. Umpqua Community College
Named for its scenic location near Oregon’s North Umpqua River Valley, UCC serves more than 13,000 students across the state. The college offers unique curricula in health, nursing, and science, and theater. UCC also houses the Southern Oregon Wine Institute, one of the premier viticulture and enology programs outside of Willamette Valley.
UCC’s online medical assistant associate degree emphasizes patient services and administrative support skills in a medical office environment. The associate of applied science in medical office administration includes 91 quarter credits. Course topics include computer information systems, electronic health records, and medical coding for the physician’s office. The program takes two years to complete, including summer courses. Students must complete a seminar course in the first year. The program concludes with a capstone in students’nurses’ final year. After completing the associate degree, learners may transfer into a BS in health informatics, nutrition and exercise science, or sport science at several four-year universities in Oregon.
UCC delivers online coursework through Canvas. New students begin the online AAS program in the fall semester. The school provides 24/7 tech support, an online library, tutoring, and career services. Applicants should have basic keyboarding skills. Students not sure of their typing or computer processing abilities should take a keyboarding assessment course. This assessment can also determine if students must complete prerequisites in math, computers, or reading.
Umpqua Community College is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
19. Cox College
Established over 100 years ago, Cox College serves 900 aspiring nurses and healthcare professionals. The school focuses exclusively on health and medical science. Cox College offers degrees and certificates in unique fields such as nutritional diagnostics, occupational therapy, imaging, and medical billing and coding.
Cox College’s online medical assistant degree promotes active learning throughout each student’s career. The 60-credit associate of applied science in medical assisting builds professional skills in communication and critical thinking. Core courses include human diseases, medical terminology, and anatomy and physiology. All students complete a hands-on practicum experience. Graduates qualify for the registered medical assistant exam. Some courses in this blended program, including clinical and administrative labs, may require face-to-face participation. Credentialed medical assistants may enroll in a 27-credit degree completion option.
Students may take courses during the fall and spring semesters. Cox College offers several support services for online learners, including virtual tutoring, library services, counseling, and a writing center. Cox College evaluates applicants for the AAS in medical assisting on a case-by-case basis. The school prefers students with strong academic performance. Upon notice of acceptance, students must pay a non-refundable deposit to secure their enrollment.
Cox College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
20. Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences
Established in 1905 as a nursing school, SLHS maintains a strong partnership with Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. After adding programs in allied health and health sciences, SLHS now ranks among the most comprehensive healthcare schools in the region. The college offers 12 programs and a post-graduate certificate in allied health, nursing, and medical assisting.
SLHC’s medical assistant online degree stresses the clinical and clerical competencies that professional medical assistants must obtain. The associate of applied science requires 60 credits, 15 of which must be completed in residence at SLHC. Students explore topics in medical terminology, medical billing and coding, exam room techniques, and patient care. The curriculum concludes with a medical assisting practicum and capstone course. Learners must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 to earn the AAS. Students typically graduate in 16 months, but may take up to three years to complete the degree.
Students complete online assignments through the Desire2Learn platform. The school provides online support services such as virtual library access and technical support. SLHC students can join the nurses’ association, student government, or honor society. Applicants must submit a high school diploma or GED and a hold minimum GPA of 2.5. Students must also score 50% or higher on the ACCUPLACER assessment, including at least 80% proficiency in basic computer processing skills. Candidates must pass a criminal background check and drug screening.
Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
What Will I Learn in an Online Associate in Medical Assisting Program?
Studying for your medical assistant associate degree online provides the kind of theoretical understanding necessary to manage practical functions in healthcare. Although schools offer different classes that allow you to fulfill degree requirements, the following provides an overview of common coursework.
- Electronic medical records: This class explores health information technology and billing cycles used by medical offices. Students study basic accounting terminology, learn how to build electronic medical records, and develop data input skills. In addition, the course equips students to enter fees and process payments.
- Pharmacology: This essential class covers topics like medication dosages, various drug classifications, and therapeutic effects on patients. Students acquire an understanding of pharmacology basics, while learning to administer medications as they relate to different systems in the body.
- Externship: Online medical assistant programs may require students to apply classroom learning to a practical setting. Through an externship, studies culminate with experience in a healthcare setting. Students may administer injections, record patients’ medical history, take vital signs, schedule appointments, and perform medical billing.
Online Associate in Medical Assisting Careers
Graduates of medical assistant online degrees qualify for an array of healthcare careers. Regardless of your career choice, you can enjoy a meaningful profession that touches people’s lives and makes a positive impact on patients’ well-being.
Medical Assistant: This professional supports physicians, hospitals, and healthcare facilities by overseeing administrative and clinical responsibilities. Job duties may include helping with patient exams, recording patient vital signs, and documenting patient history and information. This role may also entail developing and monitoring electronic medical records.
- Median Annual Salary: $32,480
- Projected Growth Rate: 29%
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians: These technicians organize and maintain medical records to ensure proper health data management. This position requires careful attention to detail and an understanding of various classification systems to code patient information.
- Median Annual Salary: $39,180
- Projected Growth Rate: 13%
Pharmacy Technician: Pharmacy technicians work closely with pharmacists to dispense prescription medication. The role requires collecting information from customers to fill their prescription, measuring medication amounts, packaging and labeling prescription, and processing payments. In addition, it requires customer services skills to answer calls and questions.
- Median Annual Salary: $31,750
- Projected Growth Rate: 12%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Educational Paths for Online Medical Assisting Associate Programs
Online medical assistant programs provide the fundamental knowledge needed to pursue a bachelor’s degree. A four-year degree can allow you to advance professionally as you assume more responsibility in the healthcare sector. In addition, career advancement often means a higher salary. The BLS reports medical and health service managers earned a median annual income of $98,350 in 2017.
- Nursing: This degree examines the principles of nursing, ensuring students possess knowledge of science, nursing theory, and protocols. This path generally requires coursework in chemistry, anatomy, and behavioral sciences.
- Healthcare management: This four-year degree helps students understand the complexities of the healthcare sector and the ethics of business so they easily identify connections between the two. Graduates often work in hospital management, medical offices, and healthcare organizations.
- Public health: Students in this program study how best to control disease outbreaks and protect the environment. In addition, learners examine health behavior and how public policy can influence public health practice.
Accreditation for Online Associate in Medical Assisting Degrees
When exploring online medical assistant programs, be sure to check for academic accreditation. Accreditation means an education authority, such as the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has carefully reviewed the school’s curricula and assessed it to be high in quality. These two agencies recognize six regional accreditation bodies that accredit schools nationwide.
You should also consider a medical assistant associate degree online program recognized by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Graduates of these programs may sit for the certified medical assistant exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants. This exam verifies the healthcare knowledge that future employers look for in employees.
Medical Assisting Professional Organizations
- American Association of Medical Assistants: This organization provides medical assistants with ongoing education, credential acknowledgement, and networking opportunities. In addition, AAMA advocates for patient-first healthcare and operates on the local, state, and national levels.
- American Registry of Medical Assistants: Established in 1992, ARMA represents medical allied professionals and operates in every state. Membership requires at least 12 continuing education activities each year to ensure proficiency and remain current in field advancements.
- National Healthcare Association: This membership association has certified more than half a million healthcare students and practitioners since 1989. It provides a nationally recognized set of standards for professional competency, study tools, and outstanding customer service, all to support professionals and improve patient care.