Do you want to become a medical assistant – but don’t have the time or money to take traditional campus-based courses? Let us help you find a medical assistant program online. Our goal is to provide you with enough information so that you can make an educated decision on which school to choose.
Note to Colleges: if you don’t see your program listed and you offer an accredited medical assistant program, you can be added to our list, by reaching out to us using our contact page.
America’s Top Online Medical Assistant Programs
Rankings Updated on 10/4/2014
Our top pick for October is Kaplan University’s medical assisting program. Kaplan is a regionally accredited university offering a top-notch education and creating job finding possibilities in a competitive market. It includes three different clinical competency courses that prepare students for all medical assisting responsibilities. They also offer an on campus experience for those looking to get into their certificate program (only available to residents of Iowa, Maryland, and Nebraska). Students seeking a medical assistant career are in good hands with Kaplan. There’s a reason they are #1 on our list!
Herzing University offers two online medical assisting programs: an associate’s degree and a diploma. The associate’s program is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and can be completed in just 16 to 24 months. The diploma program is also accredited by ABHES and can be finished in as few as 12 to 20 months. Herzing also has physical campus locations in 8 different states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wyoming. Herzing’s M.A. program is also regionally accredited, ensuring credibility with any potential employer. All medical assisting graduates will be eligible and prepared to take the RMA exam through the American Medical Technologists Association (AMT). We stand by Herzing’s quality education level, and have no hesitations including them at the top of our list!
University of Phoenix
Unless you’re living under a rock, you have probably heard of University of Phoenix. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, UoP was originally founded in 1976 by by Dr. John Sperling, an economic historian professor from Cambridge. Accredited by the HLC and members of the NCA, they now boast more campus and learning center locations than any other currently on our list: offering more than 100 degree programs across 100 locations nationwide. University of Phoenix claims an average class size of 16, with a goal of helping you get the one-on-one attention you need to succeed. They pride themeselves in offering it’s sudents with a team of advisors who are “committed to your success from the moment you ask, to the day you graduate.” They also offer a unique rewards program, called the Phoenix Scholarship Reward Program that can reduce your tuition dramatically.
Harrison College, originally founded in 1902, has over 5,000 students in the United States and internationally. Originally a business school in Indiana, they have increased their specializations to include the health sciences, veterinary technology, criminal justice, and informational technology. Their highly regarded medical assistant program is a 2 year, 96 credit program that prepares students to become a highly employable M.A by providing education and proficiency in f/b office procedures, laboratory tests, administering medication, vital signs, ECG machine training, and other therapeutic modalities. Their mission statements include excellence, service, compliance, and are known for their student centered education.
Ultimate Medical Academy
UMA is another online college that allows students to take medical related courses online. Their Medical Assistant associate degree program can be completed between 61-96 weeks (60 total semester credits). Unlike other schools, all of the offered courses are online and are each five weeks in length – which can allow students to study full time and graduate rather quickly. They even offer alumni support after you graduate, which makes finding a job as a medical assistant that much easiser.
Fortis College Online is an educational leader in some of the most popular and fastest growing programs, including medical assisting. Fortis College made our list for several reasons. Most importantly they hold several accreditation statuses. Their student support is second to none. They employ a Student Services team that supports each and every student’s unique needs. In addition, their Medical Assistant program is fully online, which offers a high degree of flexibility to enrolled students. Their support doesn’t stop after graduation. Their career services department assists graduating students in their job search by contacting prospective employers and matching students with appropriate career opportunities and marketing their resumes. Their highly rated M.A. program is designed to teach students all clerical, customer, and office administration applications necessary to become an outstanding medical assistant.
Rasmussen College’s program made our list because it is not only regionally accredited by the HLC, it offers a unique and flexible online and campus-based option for select locations. Their M.A. associate’s degree offers a total of 90 degree credits – 32 general ed. and 58 Major + Core credits. (Specific program and course list can be found here). They also offer a ‘tuition lock’ which is just like it sounds – your tuition will not increase from enrollment to graduation. Their placement rate is also one of the best on our list, at a whopping 82%.
Keiser University is a state-of-the-art college that is accredited by the SACSCOC, and offers many different degrees and certifications that are in highly in demand. Their M.A. program made our list due to high student reviews and ratings across America. They also house a team of faculty to help students find the right placement after graduation, unlike many colleges that leave you hanging. Their M.A. program consists of 24 credit hours of Health Administration, and 36 credit hours of GE courses.
Westwood College offers excellent online education programs that will help you prepare for a successful career. This school has an excellent program that includes coursework that will teach you about both the front-end and back-end aspects of a medical office. This is one of the best online medical assisting programs because it provides an externship to help you gain some hands-on experience. You can also earn a medical assisting diploma through Westwood College.
San Joaquin Valley College
San Joaquin Valley College has been helping students qualify for high demand jobs for 35 years. They offer 2 different types of medical assistant training. Their certificate level medical assisting program (CMA) gives students the minimal training to work well in a doctors office, emphasizing most clinical office tasks and procedures. They also offer an associate of science degree (A.S) that give graduates the title of ‘Clinical and Administrative Medical Assistant (CAMA). This is a longer and more advanced program, with a higher level of training and increased flexibility working in both the front and back of medical offices. Their job placement rates are 61% (Certificate) and 68% (Degree), which is well above the national average.
Penn Foster College
Penn Foster College works hard to provide its students with a quality education at an affordable price. The school has been accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council since 1957, so your degree will be legitimate and highly regarded in the work force. This medical assisting program makes the list because it includes excellent healthcare courses as well as medical law and ethics courses.
Ross Medical Education Center
Ross Medical Education Center’s medical assisting program makes the list because the school specializes in medical education. The faculty here is professional and experienced in the healthcare industry, so students learn from the best. This program also provides externships for real-world experience.
Additional Medical Assistant Schools
- U.S. Career Institute
- Ashworth College
- College of Health Care Professionals
- Anthem College Online
- Allied Health Institute
- Pinnacle Career Institute
- Daymar College Online
- St. Augustine School of Medical Assistants
- Must offer a diploma, certificate, associates, or bachelors degree in medical assisting.
- All classes required to graduate need to be available online. We do not list schools with partial-online programs. (Note: some schools listed below also offer on-site campus locations).
- Schools must be recognized by at least one Accreditation agency (more info on accreditation).
- Schools must offer or provide information on federal financial aid, scholarships, or tuition reimbursement.
- Schools must provide post graduate job placement assistance via in-house or third party services.
Should You Become a Medical Assistant?
Medical assistants enjoy excellent professional careers and may work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, physicians’ offices, long-term care facilities, and more. The medical assistant serves as a vital part of any medical establishment and is responsible for a large part of the clinical and administrative duties of the facility. The demand for qualified medical assistants is growing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment for medical assistants is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade. In order to enter this field, you must have the necessary education. There are many excellent programs that can provide you with this education and prepare you to take your place as part of a healthcare team.
How Online M.A. Programs Work
Medical assistant programs that can be taken online provide training through a variety of methods. These may include video lectures and clips, audio recordings, interactive discussions, slide show presentations, and more. Because the content is offered through electronic media, students in these programs can complete their work from any location at any time. This makes it possible for students who are currently working a full-time job and those with families to take care of to get the education they need without neglecting their current responsibilities. Do online programs provide you with everything you need to enter this field? In fact, they do. Aside from the online class work, students are also able to complete any required clinical practice through healthcare facilities near the students’ homes. This provides students with everything they need to competently and effectively work as a medical assistant immediately upon graduation.
Courses Taught in Online Programs
The goal of online medical assisting programs is identical to that of programs held in a traditional setting. The programs are designed to fully prepare students to meet the clinical and administrative tasks of the job and to work under the supervision of, and beside registered nurses and physicians. Typical areas of study in these programs includes
- medical terminology
- billing and coding
- anatomy and physiology
- office procedures
How to Choose the Best Program for You
Not all online medical assisting programs are the same. Some will provide you with the qualifications you need to be a valuable asset to any employer. Others will provide you with a degree that is not worth much more than the paper on which it is printed. The most important thing to consider when choosing a program is accreditation. Look for programs that are accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). This is especially important if you intend to become a certified medical assistant, as only graduates from these programs are eligible to sit for the certification examination. In addition, students should consider the type of program they want to complete. Certificate and diploma programs typically take around 12-18 points to complete, while associate’s degree programs require students to study for between 18 and 24 months. As with any profession, higher training often means increased employment opportunities and the potential to earn a higher salary. While all programs teach the basics of medical assisting, associate’s degree programs include general education in addition to medical assistant training. This is the best choice for those who may want to complete a bachelor’s degree program at a later time. Finally, look for programs that include certification preparation or review courses as well as those that provide internship or externship opportunities. This is especially important if you intent to become certified, or if you intend to enter a specialized position or to work solely as an administrative or clinical medical assistant.
Types of Medical Assistant Programs
- Diploma Program – A diploma program can be completed in 2-3 semesters and, if properly accredited, may qualify students for certification. Diploma programs often include training in administration, medical law, office management, anatomy and physiology, clinical procedures, medical terminology, and some form of clinical practice.
- Certificate Program – Certificate programs allow students to easily transfer to an associate’s degree program and can qualify students to take the certification exam. In these programs, students can expect to study basic concepts and to maintain records, assist physicians, and identify clinical and administrative duties. In addition, students will explore the ethical and legal responsibilities associated with the healthcare system. Finally, these programs often include multiple options for clinical experience.
- Associate’s Degree Program – Associate’s degree programs are much more in depth and involve English, psychology, sociology, mathematics, and other general education courses as well as medical assisting courses. These may include medical billing and coding, insurance billing, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, disease, accounting, laboratory procedures, and much more. These programs also typically include clinical experiences in both clinical and administrative settings.
Regardless of which type of program you choose, online medical assistant programs will provide you with everything you need to enter this amazing career field. What makes online programs the best choice is the fact that students can get their education while still working, taking care of a family, and meeting other responsibilities and obligations. If you feel like you are too busy to get your medical assistant training, online programs offer what you need on a schedule that is perfect for you.