Medical Assisting+



Become a certified medical assistant (MA) in just one year! This career is in such high-demand the Mercy College of Health Sciences medical assistant program can lead to many opportunities to earn a competitive wage while completing your certification and/or employer tuition reimbursement options. Earn your certificate through 100% online instruction; two, six-hour skills labs; and 160 hours of clinical practicum experience with one of our local healthcare partners.

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Hybrid Program
online coursework +
2 bootcamps


Skills Labs In-Person


Total Tuition Cost


Start Dates Per Year: April or October


Employment Rate Among Graduates1



Medical assistants provide critical physician support services to ensure healthcare facilities run smoothly. Using excellent communication and interpersonal skills, MAs help keep patients at ease throughout their visit. They are often responsible for administrative as well as clinical tasks, such as maintaining patient records, preparing patients and rooms for examination, assisting physicians with exams, and performing other critical tasks. As a MA you will act as an important patient liaison in a variety of healthcare settings — such as clinic offices for physicians, podiatrists, and other health practitioners.

Looking for a turnkey solution for your entire healthcare system? Become a partner.


+23% projected job growth from 2018-2028


160 hours of hands-on clinical experience 


Our MA faculty team includes a full-time program chair as well as many medical professionals in the clinical setting. Our full-time liberal arts and science faculty members are PhD-prepared and adept at integrating their subject matters into a comprehensive health science curriculum. As a student, you will receive an exceptional level of personalized instruction from experienced educators dedicated to your success.

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The Medical Assisting certificate and associate degree is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs (CAAHEP). At the conclusion of your MA coursework, you will be eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (AAMA) Exam.

Earning my degree online allowed me the flexibility to be home with my children and not have to rely on expensive daycares, which would have increased the cost of earning my degree. Even though I wasn’t on campus, I was able to contact my instructors, tutors, advisors, and librarians virtually and through email.

Beth D., BSN Candidate, 2020

Medical Assisting student practices giving a shot

The Medical Assisting program is a direct admit program. When you are admitted to Mercy College, you are admitted into the Medical Assisting program! To get started, complete the Mercy College application. If you are transferring credits, please visit our transfer page to learn more.

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The following courses and sequencing is a sample of required courses to graduate from the Medical Assisting program. The following courses are designed to allow students to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (AAMA) Exam.

Quarter 1
MA 101 - Medical Assisting Administrative Procedures I (4 cr)
MA 106 - Anatomy and Physiology (4 cr)
Quarter 2
MA 102 - Medical Assisting Lab Procedures I (4 cr)
MA 121 - Medical Assisting Administrative Procedures II (3 cr)
Skills Lab - Quarter 2 Skills Lab
Quarter 3
MA 108 - Diseases of the Human Body (3 cr)
MA 122 - Medical Assisting Clinical Procedures II (4 cr)
Skills Lab - Quarter 3 Skills Lab
Quarter 4
MA 201 - Medical Assisting Professional Components (2 cr)
MA 202 - Medical Assisting Practicum (4 cr)

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FALL: October

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Medical Assistant Program Outcomes1

Certification Pass Rate3 Job Placement  
100% 100%  


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much do medical assistants make?

According to, the average salary for a medical assistant is $16.11 per hour in the United States, however, compensation varies according to many factors, including location, work setting and experience.

How do you become a certified medical assistant?

After completing our one-year medical assistant program, students are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (AAMA) exam to earn their certification.

Do I need SAT or ACT scores to enroll?

No, the only requirement for this program is a high school diploma or GED.

How will I complete the required 160 hours of clinical practicum?

Mercy College will work with you to secure 160 hours of clinical practicum with one of our healthcare partners near you. This practicum is very important as it allows students to experience hands-on learning in actual medical offices.

Do medical assistants draw blood? Can medical assistants give shots?

Medical assistants in our program do learn to draw blood and administer shots as needed, however, it depends entirely on their place of employment if they will perform these duties. 

Is medical assisting a good career?

Absolutely. Becoming a medical assistant takes only one-year to complete, pays well, is a high-demand healthcare career option and provides fulfilling, meaningful work. You will never be bored with this job — every day is different. Many have found that medical assisting is a great launching pad into other advanced healthcare career fields as they gain more experience.

How hard is the medical assistant certification test?

Mercy College’s medical assistant program touts an impressive 100% pass rate among graduates for the Certified Medical Assistant (AAMA) exam. The exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions administered in four 40-minute segments. The question categories are general, administrative and clinical.

How is a medical assistant different from a physician assistant?

Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks with physician supervision. Physician assistants examine, diagnose and treat patients while working under a physician, who may or may not be on-site.

How much does it cost to complete the medical assisting program?

The MercyPLUS medical assistant program costs around $10,000. This equates out to $2,500 per quarter up to 12 credits. If financing your education is a major hurdle, there are lots of tuition reimbursement and scholarship opportunities for you to explore! 

Is the program all online or in person?

The medical assistant program is 100% online instruction through our MercyPLUS platform, however there are two in-person skills labs that must be completed in order to graduate.

Where are the medical assistant skills labs located and when do they take place?

The two, six-hour skills labs take place at one of our three cohort locations (Des Moines or Carroll, Iowa or Lexington, Kentucky) unless you have enrolled through an external cohort partnership. Mercy College is continuously expanding cohort locations as demand continues to rise across the United States. Skills labs take place in the second and third quarter or the program.

How long does it take to complete the MA program?

Mercy College’s medical assistant program takes one year to complete. This is broken out into four quarters. Our goal at Mercy College is aimed to be as flexible as possible to remove any barriers to higher education, so you can work with your enrollment coach to determine your program trajectory to fit your schedule.

What is online learning like?

The MercyPLUS online platform hosts discussions boards, educational videos, writing assignments, and other activities to enrich your learning experience — all at the click of your mouse. You can learn more about online learning here.

1. Job placement: Job placement statistics are based off of the 2018 graduate cohort. 
2. Projected growth: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Assistants.
3. Pass rates: Exam pass rate is based on 2019 graduates.

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Apply. Graduate. Save lives. Next step before transforming into a life-saving hero: complete the form below. Your enrollment coach is waiting to answer any questions you may have.

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