medical assistant schools

Associates Degrees in Medical Assisting

FAQs for Associates Degrees in Medical Assisting 

What does an associates degree in medical assisting involve?

An associates degree in medical asssisting is an undergraduate credential that typically takes about 2 years of full-time study to earn. [i]  A Medical assistant associate degree can be found at some community or junior colleges, as well as online. They may be an alternative to medical assistant programs that don’t culminate in a degree, such as a diploma program. [i] In addition to career preparation courses like medical terminology and anatomy, most associate’s degree programs include general education classes to help students gain proficiency in math, science, composition, and other subjects. Additionally, your program may include a practicum to give students the experience of working in a real-life healthcare environment. Every associate’s degree program is different, so consult your prospective program’s website or a faculty member for more information on course offerings and opportunities.

What are the benefits of a medical assistant associate degree online?

Technically, medical assistants are not required by state law to undergo formal education. That said, employers may prefer medical assistants who have pursued career training such as a medical asssistant associate degree online. [i] Two or more years of full-time study should allow you to explore your field in depth, build your confidence, and practice the clinical and administrative skill sets you’ll need to pursue opportunities in medical assisting. Also, keep in mind that many medical assistant certifications, such as CMA (Certified Medical Assistant), require candidates to have graduated from an accredited medical assisting program. An associate’s degree could both fulfill that educational requirement and help you prepare for your certification exam. [i]

What’s the difference between an associate degree in medical assisting and a diploma program?

While an associates degree in medical assisting usually takes at least two years, a medical assisting diploma or certificate program can often be completed in a year or less. [i] If time is a concern, a shorter program that does not result in a college degree may be the right choice. If graduating from college is an important goal for you, however, opting to earn an associate’s degree could be the more rewarding path. For students who have just finished high school, an associate’s degree program could also allow much-needed time to explore the field of medical assisting, gain some maturity, and prepare more slowly for a future career. The choice depends on your time constraints and personal goals.

How do I choose a medical assisting associate degree online program?

At one time, students often chose their career training program based on geographic location. With today’s online learning options to consider, you now have other choices besides your local community college, with a medical assistant associate degree online. Whether attending school online or in-person, you’ll want to look for a program that is accredited and counts as the education requirement for any medical assistant certification you are thinking of pursuing. You may also be interested in finding out the graduation rates, as well as the percentage of graduates who pass certification exams. Finally, make sure your school has a good reputation for preparing students like you for successful career tracks.




Ultimate Medical Academy
A.S. Health Sciences - Medical Administrative Assistant
As a UMA student in this online program, you’ll learn how to keep the healthcare system moving forward. That includes learning how to greet patients and get them checked in, schedule appointments, assist with patient insurance claims, perform medical coding and more.
Medical Assistant Career Diploma
Offered through Penn Foster College, the self-paced Medical Assistant diploma program can help you prepare to take the next steps toward becoming a skilled medical assistant. Geared toward students who don’t want or need to earn an associate’s degree, the course will cover 41 lessons, as well as a 160-hour externship for hands-on experience.
Purdue University Global
Medical Office Administration Certificate
Purdue Global’s online medical office administration program is designed to equip you with the knowledge and technical skills necessary to pursue entry-level positions in this exciting field. Coursework focuses on areas including insurance processing and fundamental medical office administrative and clerical tasks.
Grantham University
Associate of Applied Science in Medical Admin Assistant
The Medical Administrative Assistant (AAS-MAA) associate program provides a solid foundation in basic medical office functions, teaching you the skills needed for providing administrative support to healthcare professionals. This program can also serve as a step toward a more advanced degree in healthcare. Upon completion of the program, students may sit for the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) exam, an entry-level medical assistance industry certification from the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Independence University
Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting
The Medical Assisting AOS degree program is designed to provide the students the knowledge and clinical skills for gaining entry-level employment in a medical facility in both administrative and clinical areas. Specific training is provided in preparing instruments and materials, vital signs, phlebotomy, medication preparation and administration, clinical documentation and assisting the physician with exams and procedures. Training in computer and administrative skills is also provided as they pertain to electronic health records and medical office procedures. The student will be able to function independently with administrative duties as well as clinical duties and computer functions of the office.