Best Medical Assistant Programs

Build clinical and clerical skills through a medical assistant program. Qualify for medical assistant certification in a high-growth job field.

portrait of Meg Whitenton
by Meg Whitenton

Published on July 1, 2022

Edited by Madison Hoehn
Share this Article

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

Best Medical Assistant Programs
Image Credit: FG Trade / E+ / Getty Images


Medical assistants play a critical role in healthcare, providing clinical and clerical support to physicians in clinics, hospitals, and private practices. In-person and online medical assistant programs emphasize skills in medical records, vital signs, phlebotomy, and medical billing and coding. They often qualify graduates for certified medical assistant (CMA) certification.

Completing a medical assistant program can help students meet the education requirements for this occupation in their state. Medical assistants enjoy a projected job growth of 18% from 2020 to 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is much faster than the average projected growth rate of 8% for all occupations.

Best Medical Assistant Programs

Rankings Methodology:

  • Must offer less than one-year certifications
  • Accredited
  • Less than 18:1 faculty to student ratio
  • Less than $35,000 in tuition costs
  • Over 50% graduation rate
Apollo Career Center true
  • Type: Public
  • Cost: $353
  • Location: Lima, Ohio
  • Admission requirements: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Application requirements include a high school diploma or GED; completion of ACT WorkKeys; current immunizations; and AHA, BLS, and CPR certification.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete 900 hours, including an externship requirement.
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP

Graduates of Apollo Career Center's medical assisting program boast an average job placement rate of 89%. Students who complete the 43-week program are eligible for professional certification in medical assisting, phlebotomy, and medical coding and to take the CMA exam. The curriculum combines lectures, labs, and a practicum.

Visit School Page

Hunter Business School true
  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $22,203
  • Location: Levittown, New York
  • Admission requirements: Applicants must be at least 17 years old. They must possess a high school diploma or GED, complete an entrance interview, submit an application with a signed enrollment agreement and registration fee, demonstrate English proficiency, and complete financial aid paperwork and/or enter into a tuition payment plan.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete 910 credit hours, including a 160-hour externship.
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP

Hunter Business School's medical assisting diploma program can be completed between seven to 15 months through day or evening coursework, respectively. The program reported an 86% job placement rate for medical assisting graduates in 2019. Students can complete their practicum at one of Hunter Business School's partnering facilities, including real-world walk-ins and urgent care clinics.

Visit School Page

Lansdale School of Business true
  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $23,941
  • Location: North Wales, Pennsylvania
  • Admission requirements: Applicants must graduate high school, sit for an entrance interview, and submit SAT scores or undergo placement testing on campus.
  • Graduation requirements: Graduation requires completion of academic coursework and an externship experience.
  • Accreditation: ACCSC

Hunter Business School's medical assisting diploma program can be completed between seven to 15 months through day or evening coursework, respectively. The program reported an 86% job placement rate for medical assisting graduates in 2019. Students can complete their practicum at one of Hunter Business School's partnering facilities, including real-world walk-ins and urgent care clinics.

Visit School Page

Laurel Business Institute true
  • Type: Private for-profit
  • Cost: $7,604
  • Location: Uniontown, Pennsylvania
  • Admission requirements: Applicants must submit an enrollment application, including a signed statement of understanding, and undergo a criminal background check and drug screening.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete 1,245 clock hours, including 300 internship hours.
  • Accreditation: ACCSC

Laurel's 12-month medical assisting diploma program provides training in clinical and administrative tasks, including taking vital signs, venipuncture, and medical billing and coding. The clinical medical assisting program prepares graduates to pursue CMA or phlebotomy certification. Laurel also offers paths for aspiring CMA-to-RN candidates.

Visit School Page

Lorenzo Walker Technical College true
  • Type: Public
  • Cost: $9,765
  • Location: Naples, Florida
  • Admission requirements: Applicants must meet minimum basic skills testing requirements and pass a criminal background check and drug screening.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete 1,300 credit hours, including a required practicum.
  • Accreditation: COE

LWTC offers the medical assisting program as part of its health science career cluster. The competency-based, applied-learning program covers medical office procedures and clinical assisting and incorporates a supervised field component. LWTC boasted a 90% retention rate for medical assisting students in 2018.

Visit School Page

Manatee Technical College
  • Type: Public
  • Cost: $4,106
  • Location: Bradenton, Florida
  • Admission requirements: Students must submit their application to schedule a mandatory virtual information session and fulfill "to-do list" requirements, including a basic skills assessment.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete 1,300 credit hours, including 200 practicum hours.
  • Accreditation: COE

MTC's medical assisting program offers in-person and hybrid learning options. The program takes approximately 11 months to complete. The program prepares graduates to pursue CMA, phlebotomist, or EDG technician certification. Graduates enjoyed a 100% pass rate in 2018 for exams, including the CMA.

Visit School Page

Polaris Career Center
  • Type: Public
  • Cost: $13,495
  • Location: Middleburg Heights, Ohio
  • Admission requirements: Students must register in person for adult career training programs.
  • Graduation requirements: Graduation requires completion of 946 hours, including a 160-hour practicum.
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP

Polaris Career Center's 38-week medical assisting program emphasizes clinical skills, including vital signs, phlebotomy, and electrocardiology. Students must attend at least 90% of in-person courses and maintain a minimum "C" grade to participate in the required practicum experience. Graduates qualify to pursue CMA or CCMA certification.

Visit School Page

Treasure Coast Technical College
  • Type: Public
  • Cost: $10,146
  • Location: Vero Beach, Florida
  • Admission requirements: Admission requires students to complete an enrollment application and student orientation, apply for financial aid (if applicable), pay tuition and fees, and register for courses.
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete 765 credit hours, including a 200-hour practicum.
  • Accreditation: COE

TCTC's medical assisting program provides thorough clerical and clinical training, including phlebotomy, first aid, and medical office procedures. Graduates qualify to sit for the certified clinical medical assistant (CCMA) exam. Upon enrollment, students must undergo a background check and complete an annual drug screening.

Visit School Page

Trumbull Career and Technical Center
  • Type: Public
  • Cost: $19,336
  • Location: Warren, Ohio
  • Admission requirements: Admission requires a high school diploma or GED, and minimum scores of at least seven on both the reading and math sections of the Test of Basic Adult Education (TABE).
  • Graduation requirements: Students must complete 1,084 hours, including a 160-hour externship.
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP

Trumbull Career and Technical Center's medical assisting program yielded an 83% job placement rate in 2018. Graduates can pursue CMA and American Association of Phlebotomy Technicians (ASPT) certification. The price of tuition covers books, supplies, uniforms, fingerprinting background checks, and CMA and ASPT certification exam fees.

Visit School Page

York County School of Technology - Adult & Continuing Education
  • Type: Public
  • Cost: $8,228
  • Location: York, Pennsylvania
  • Admission requirements: Applicants must be at least 18 and hold a high school diploma or GED.
  • Graduation requirements: Graduation requires completion of 900 hours, including supervised clinicals.
  • Accreditation: BCTE

YCST's medical assisting program offers flexible day or evening classes and can be completed in less than one year. YCST healthcare programs offered through the Adult & Continuing Education Center yield a 98% job placement rate. YCST honors a variety of types of financial aid, including the GI BILL® and VA education and training benefits.

Visit School Page

Other Notable Medical Assistant Programs

Are There Online Medical Assistant Programs?

Many schools offer online medical assisting programs, including the following:

Steps to Become a Medical Assistant

States maintain their own requirements for medical assistants. While no formal education requirements exist, most medical assistants complete a postsecondary medical assisting program, which includes a supervised field experience. Most states do not require CMA certification. However, employers prefer CMA-certified candidates.

Below are the most common steps to becoming a medical assistant:

How Much Do Medical Assistant Programs Cost?

The average cost of a medical assistant program varies depending on location, flexibility, and in-person requirements. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, students paid an average of $3,800 for tuition at public two-year universities in 2019-2020. The average tuition for the schools on our list ranges from $300-$33,000, which may include scholarships, VA benefits, or other financial aid.

How Much Does a Medical Assistant Make?

Medical assistants enjoy stable salaries and high-growth job opportunities in healthcare fields. The BLS reported a median annual wage of $37,190 for medical assistants in May 2021. While most medical assistants work in physicians' offices, outpatient care facilities and hospitals tend to pay higher-than-average wages of $38,270 and $37,800, respectively.

Financial Aid for Your Medical Assistant Program

Many scholarships exist to help students offset medical assistant school costs. Organizations commonly offer monetary and membership awards to medical assisting students who demonstrate exceptional academic potential and financial need. The following are just a few awards offered to aspiring medical assistants.

Scholarships for Medical Assistant Programs

Maxine Williams Scholarship


Alice Newell Joslyn Medical Scholarship


Outstanding Student Award

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Assistant Programs

true Can you be a medical assistant without a degree?

Yes. There is no national education requirement for this occupation. Instead, states maintain their own criteria for how to become a medical assistant. Most states enable graduates of a postsecondary certificate program to enter the field of medical assisting.

Some states allow candidates with only a high school diploma to become medical assistants and train on the job. While a degree is not always required, students must complete clinical field training through a certificate or diploma program.

true What will you learn in a medical assistant program?

Medical assistant programs cover clinical and clerical skills, preparing graduates to interact with patients and manage daily medical office tasks. Medical assistant programs commonly include training in taking vital signs, drawing blood, and maintaining appropriate ethics and sensitivity while providing direct patient care.

Students also develop administrative skills specific to medical office management, including upkeep of electronic medical records, appointment-setting and correspondence, and medical billing and coding. Medical assistant programs also include a mandatory field component.

How long do medical assistant programs take?

While medical assistant programs vary in length, most offer completion times between nine months and two years. Many medical assistant certificate programs offer quick paths to completion, typically in 9-12 months, and prepare graduates for immediate employment or to pursue CMA certification.

A traditional associate degree in medical assisting can take two years, though many online medical assistant programs offer accelerated completion options. Students should also allow themselves plenty of time to satisfy the clinical practicum requirement and potentially seek CMA certification.

Do you have to take a medical assistant test or certification to become a medical assistant?

No, certification is not expressly required by law nationally or in most individual states. However, most employers of medical assistants prefer candidates with certification. As such, most medical assistant programs prepare students to seek certification. Common certifications include CMA, CCMA, or registered medical assistant.

Some medical assistant programs prepare students for more specialized certification. For example, programs that emphasize clinical duties may lead to eligibility for certification through the American Association of Phlebotomy Technicians. Alternately, credentials such as the certified medical administrative assistant focus on clerical tasks.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.