Earning a medical assistant degree online prepares you to enter one of the nation’s most in-demand fields. Medical assistant jobs are growing in number, both because of the aging population and the growing demand for preventive care. Increasingly, physicians, hospitals, and medical facilities are hiring medical assistants to meet patients’ needs. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for medical assistants to grow 29% by 2026.
Many career options await those completing medical assistant online degree programs. Medical assistant online courses and degrees can provide an educational foundation in key healthcare concepts as well as instruction on providing quality patient care. The medical assistant programs ranked here offer you the chance to earn your associate medical assistant degree online and advance into a great medical assistant job.
The Best Online Associate in Medical Assistant Programs
Online Associate in Medical Assistant Degree Program Ranking Guidelines:
We selected the following degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.
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 of a professional medical assistant. Students taking medical assistant online courses will learn how to check 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 earning their medical assistant degree online 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.
Students access online medical assistant 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 associate medical assistant degree online 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 taking medical assistant online courses will learn how to record medical information, take vital signs, prepare exam rooms, understand electronic medical records systems, coordinate appointments, and bill patients. The medical assistant online degree also helps students develop skills in active listening, reading comprehension, and communication. The program culminates in a clinical capstone experience.
Students earning their medical assistant degree online can access courses 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 jobs. The 60-credit medical administrative specialist AAS encompasses four semesters of coursework in general education and major requirements. Students taking medical assistant online courses will 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.
Students earning their medical assistant degree online 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 through its Canby, Granite Falls, Jackson, Pipestone, and Worthington locations, as well as online. Students taking medical assistant online courses will focus 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.
Students earning their medical assistant degree online 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 program 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 medical assistant online 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 earning their medical assistant degree online complete assignments through 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 online 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 assistants, receptionists, and transcriptionists. The associate degree encompasses 68 credits in clerical training and basic clinical competencies. Students taking medical assistant online courses will 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. Students earning their medical assistant degree online 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 who are 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 fewer 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, as well as laboratory and diagnostic procedures. Students taking medical assistant online courses 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. Students earning their medical assistant degree online 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 online program must submit a high school diploma or GED and ACT or SAT scores. DCB may waive the standardized test score requirement for students who are 25 or older, or for 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 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 degree online 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. Medical assistant online 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 earning their medical assistant degree online 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 of “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 taking medical assistant online courses will 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 earning their medical assistant degree online 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 program. 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 assisting 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 medical assistant degree online provides a career pathway to aspiring medical administrative assistants and medical secretaries. The 60-credit associate of applied science in medical administrative assisting combines major, general education, and elective coursework. The curriculum includes a unique medical office simulation course. Students taking medical assistant online courses will also 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 earning their medical assistant degree online complete courses through 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 respectively.
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 earning their medical assistant degree online 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 degree program. Students enrolled in the medical assistant online degree program also take courses in word processing, medical terminology, and introduction to health information management.
Students earning their medical assistant degree online complete courses 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 including core courses, general education, and elective coursework. Medical assistant online 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 earning their medical assistant degree online 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. North Seattle College
Founded in 1970, North provides educational pathways 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 programs, 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 for medical assistant online courses 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.
Students earning their medical assistant degree online complete 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).
14. 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, 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 medical assistant degree online 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. Medical assistant online 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 earning their medical assistant degree online must complete a seminar course in the first year. The program concludes with a capstone project. After completing the associate medical assistant degree online, 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).
15. 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 medical assistant online 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 earning their medical assistant degree online 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).
Choosing an Online Associate in Medical Assisting Program
Medical assistant courses online may vary 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.
Medical assistant courses will 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 means that your student experience will largely depend on where you enroll and the professional path you follow. For example, some medical assistant 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.
Online Associate in Medical Assisting Careers
Graduates of medical assistant online degrees qualify for an array of medical assistant jobs. Your medical assistant degree provides the basic credentials to pursue a meaningful profession, one 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 for coding 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 the collection of information from customers to fill their prescription, measuring medication amounts, packaging and labeling prescriptions, and processing payments. In addition, it requires the customer service skills needed to answer calls and questions.
- Median Annual Salary: $31,750
- Projected Growth Rate: 12%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Educational Paths for Online Medical Assistant Associate Programs
Online medical assistant programs provide the knowledge and credentials 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 can readily 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 ways to earn your medical assistant degree online, 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 the school 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 employers look for in employees.
Medical Assistant 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.