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Medical Assistant Certificate

Program Overview

The University of Providence’s Medical Assistant Certificate (MA) program is a 10-month, undergraduate certificate program designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the clinical and administrative requirements of practicing medical assistants. The program prepares students to sit for national certification as a Certified Medical Assistant through one of three national certifying boards.

The Medical Assistant Certificate program combines online, didactic coursework with in-person skill lab trainings at one of our three skill lab locations in California, Montana, or Oregon. Students are required to attend skills labs on select weekend dates – with some travel required. Additionally, students also complete a 160-hour practicum through one of our local healthcare partners.

In addition to the 10-month Medical Assistant Certificate program, the UP offers additional pathways to support currently practicing healthcare professionals achieve their goal of becoming a nationally certified Medical Assistant. Pathway enrollment is offered on a per-semester basis:

  • MA-R to MA-C Pathway: An online,16-week, standalone course for currently employed, uncertified medical assistants seeking national certification as a medical assistant.
    • The MA-R to MA-C pathway is currently available in Washington state.
  • Medical Assistant Exam Preparation Course: An online, 8-week, standalone exam-prep course for uncertified medical assistants seeking national certification as a medical assistant.


The Medical Assistant Certificate program is recognized by EduMed as one of 2024’s Most Affordable Online Medical Assistant Programs, and as one of the Best Online Medical Assistant Programs for their 2024 rankings. The Medical Assistant program was ranked alongside just 6% of post-secondary institutions, meeting specific requirements and accreditation standards.

Program Highlights

  • 10-Month Completion Time

The Medical Assistant Certificate program is designed for completion in 10-months. Students progress through the program in cohorts based on their enrollment period and skill lab location.

  • Flexible Learning Platform

The MA Certificate program combines online coursework with in-person weekend skill labs. Students are first introduced to medical assistant concepts through online coursework, before practicing and applying those skills alongside certified medical assistant coordinators and faculty during skill labs. Students participate in 14 skill lab trainings (an average of three per semester).

  • Real-World Practicum Experience

Students complete a required 160-hour practicum. During the practicum, students work alongside certified medical assistants- serving as preceptors- through our local healthcare partners. Students are required to complete 40 practicum hours per-week over four consecutive weeks.

  • National Certification Preparation

After completing the program, students are eligible to take one of three national certification exams. The program currently meets the requirements for NHA-CCMA, NCCT-NCMA, and AMCA-CCMA. National certification is important for recognizing MA skills and can be required for many MA positions. The program DOES NOT meet National Exam Credentialing Organization requirements for the AAMA.

  • Incentives & Partnerships

Currently employed healthcare professionals and Providence Caregivers can receive tuition discounts and other benefits when applying. More information on tuition discounts for healthcare professionals is available on the Healthcare Professional Tuition Incentive page, while Providence Caregivers and their dependents can find more details through the HR Service Portal.


Program Curriculum

The Medical Assistant Certificate program consists of five courses delivered over three semesters, with a total duration of 10 months. Students earn six credits in the first and second semesters, and four credits in the third semester, resulting in a total of 16 credits upon program completion.

The program incorporates a combination of online didactic coursework and in-person skills training at up to three mandatory skill labs per semester. In total, students complete 14 required skill labs. During their final semester, students complete a 160-hour, 40-hour per-week practicum over four consecutive weeks.

Before registering for courses, students complete a mandatory online Moodle Orientation course, designed to familiarize students with the online learning platform. Successful completion of the Medical Assistant Certificate program requires achieving a grade of 75% or higher in each course, as well as completing all skill labs and 160-hour practicum. Upon meeting these qualifications, students graduate with 16 college credits and become eligible to sit for national certification.

Learn more: Medical Assistant Certificate Curriculum (CourseLeaf)

Medical Assistant Certificate Major Credits

The courses offered in the Medical Assistant Certificate program are designed to equip students with the clinical and administrative skills necessary for modern medical assistants. The 16 credits are as follows:

  • XMA 101: Anatomy, Physiology & Nutrition (3 Semester Credits)
  • XMA 102: Anatomy, Physiology & Pharmacology (3 Semester Credits)
  • XMA 120: Healthcare Ethics, Legal Issues & Infection Prevention (3 Semester Credits)
  • XMA 160: Administrative Practice & Finance (3 Semester Credits)
  • XMA 195: Internship & Career Preparation (4 Semester Credits)

Total Semester Credits: 16

Program Costs

The University of Providence is committed to affordability and providing pricing transparency for all School of Health Professions programs. Pricing transparency at UP includes:

  • Accessible and up-to-date information on tuition costs, university fees, application and admission fees, deposit amounts, and additional program costs.
  • Cost of attendance worksheets outlining specific tuition layouts by program and semester.
  • Information about scholarship opportunities and tuition discounts for specific groups.
  • Information about the financial aid process.


Visit our Tuition and Fees page to access the latest pricing information. Access the Medical Assistant Certificate Cost Sheet to view pricing information for this certificate program, including a cost breakdown by semester and associated program costs.

The Medical Assistant Certificate program is eligible for federal financial aid (FASFA). Visit our Financial Aid page to learn more about the financial aid process and to see if you’re eligible.


Careers In Medical Assisting

Graduates with a Medical Assistant Certificate and national certification can find employment as medical assistants in various healthcare settings such as physician offices, hospitals, outpatient centers, urban or rural clinics, and more. These professionals combine both clinical and administrative skills to provide optimal care to patients throughout their healthcare journey. Common clinical and administrative responsibilities for medical assistants include:

Clinical: Responsibilities include preparing patients for a medical exam, recording patient medical histories, assisting physicians during patient exams, explaining treatment procedures to patients, removing sutures, changing dressings, basic laboratory tests and blood draws.

Administrative: Responsibilities include general office work, greeting patients, performing patient intakes, answering phones, scheduling patient appointments, updating patient medical records, submitting insurance claims, and arranging laboratory services.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for Medical Assistants will increase faster than the national workforce average over the next ten years. The industry is expected to add 105,900 jobs between 2021 and 2031. Salaries for Medical Assistants vary, with medical assistants making from $33,000 to $47,000 or more. Nationally, medical assistants make an average salary of $40,464. Individual salaries vary by job location, demand, certifications, employer, and experience.


Application & Admission Requirements

The University of Providence’s Medical Assistant Certificate program accepts applications for fall and spring enrollment. Application deadlines are August 16 each year for fall enrollment and December 20 for spring enrollment. For updated information on undergraduate application requirements, deadlines, and to view program-specific requirements, please visit the University of Providence admissions page.

View the following application and admission requirements for the MA certificate below:

Program Application: Applicants must complete an online undergraduate application.

Official Transcripts: Applicants must submit their official high school transcript. Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Admissions Office from your high school. Include transcripts from any dual enrollment or other pre-college programs attended, and results of any AP tests.

Submit official transcript(s) from any university/college where undergraduate coursework was completed. Transcripts can be sent directly to the following address: University of Providence | Admissions | 1301 20th Street South | Great Falls, MT 59405, or may be submitted electronically directly from the institution.

Minimum GPA Requirements: Applicants applying to the MA program must have a minimum GPA of 2.75. If a minimum 2.75 GPA was not achieved in prior high school or college coursework, an additional admission essay and academic review will be required for admission into the program.

Verified Credentials: Applicants seeking admission into the Medical Assistant Certificate program are required to obtain and pay for a criminal background check, drug screening, proof of immunization (including COVID-19), and Proof Of CPR Certification once accepted into the program. Verification of these documents is done through the University of Providence’s third-party vendor, Verified Credentials.

  • Proof of Immunization includes:
    • Already documented immunizations.
    • Immunizations through your local employee health department
    • Immunizations using Verified Credentials
  • Criminal background checks & drug screen results may determine eligibility.
  • Failure to provide a background check or drug screen may determine eligibility.
  • Those convicted of a crime while enrolled in the program must notify the MA Program Director.


FOR PHS CAREGIVERS: Caregivers who have had a background check completed with Providence, and have NOT had a lapse in employment from the initial background check, DO NOT need to register for the background check on Verified Credentials.  Caregivers can request background check results via the HR Service Portal by following these instructions:

Request HR Help > General > Caregiver File Request > Specific Document

Caregivers are still required to register and pay for a drug screen and are required to still meet all other requirements through the Verified Credentials third-party service.

IMPORTANT: If required documentation is set to expire WITHIN the 10-month period of the MA program, students are responsible for securing and submitting updated documentation to Verified Credentials. Failure to do so may result in withdrawal from the MA program.

Additional Program Information

Program Themes

Discover program themes for the Medical Assistant Certificate program:

  • Patient Centered Compassionate Care
  • Patient Safety & Quality
  • Personal Accountability
  • Ethical Professional Behaviors
  • Effective Communication Skills
  • Lifelong Learning
Learning Outcomes

Discover learning outcomes for the Medical Assistant Certificate program:

  • Provide compassionate and culturally appropriate care across care settings and life span.
  • Provide high-quality and safe care with every patient encounter.
  • Perform within the ethical and legal boundaries of the Medical Assistant Scope of Practice.
  • Demonstrate communication skills to improve the work environment and patient outcomes.
Skills You’ll Learn

Discover the skills you’ll learn in the Medical Assistant Certificate program:

  • Taking and recording patient vital signs
  • Patient centered care and compassion.
  • Patient rooming procedures
  • Correct usage of protective equipment
  • Understanding and navigating electronic health records
  • Taking patient blood draws
  • EKGs
  • Laboratory testing
Skill Lab Locations

Discover the skill lab locations offered in the Medical Assistant Certificate program:

  • Hillsboro, Oregon
    • Providence Reeds Crossing: 7305 SE Circuit Dr Ste 270, Hillsboro, OR 97123
  • Northridge, California
    • Providence Facey Medical Group: 9111 Corbin Ave, Northridge, CA 91324
  • Great Falls, Montana
    • Benefis Medical Office Building #4: 1401 25th St S, Great Falls, MT 59405

Healthcare Professionals Tuition Incentive

The University of Providence is committed to supporting the healthcare workforce by empowering current healthcare professionals to start, enhance or advance their career in healthcare. The Healthcare Professionals Tuition Incentive (HPTI) Program provides currently employed healthcare professionals with the opportunity to apply tuition discounts to in-demand programs offered through our School of Health Professions catalog.

Visit the Healthcare Professionals Tuition Incentive Program page to learn more.


Providence Health & Services Partnership

Our unique partnership with Providence Health allows eligible Providence Caregivers and their dependents to receive an exceptional education from an accredited, faith-based, university. Caregivers and their dependents who enroll at the University of Providence may receive many possible benefits, such as discounted tuition rates and preferred admission, as part of their education benefits. Visit the Providence Human Resources Service Portal to learn more about caregiver education benefits, the application process for our programs, and tuition discounts.

MA-R to MA-C Pathway

Program Overview

The MA-R to MA-C pathway is a career development pathway for currently employed Medical Assistant Registered (MA-R) seeking national certification as a Medical Assistant Certified (MA-C). The Pathway is offered in Washington with two skill lab locations.

Enrollment for the MA-R to MA-C pathway takes place starting the first semester of the fall (August) and spring (January) enrollment cycles. The pathway is delivered in a hybrid learning format which combines online coursework and assignments with in-person skill lab training and assessment.

In total, students must attend five mandatory weekend skill labs for successful course completion. Students who complete the pathway with a grade of 75% or higher are eligible to sit for the National HealthCareer Association’s Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (NHA-CCMA) exam.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Proof of 720+ working hours as a Medical Assistant
    • Washington Students: Active DOH MA-R license
    • Washington Students: Copies of MA-R attestation/endorsement forms
  • Resume and job description for most recent MA position.
  • Employment verification elements including:
    • Job title, dates, description, and signature
    • HR contact information or clinic manager/supervisor
  • Demonstrate proper use of electronic medical records (copy of training certificates)
  • Copy of current American Heart Association BLS CPR card
  • Work on a healthcare team and respect for scope of practice for different roles
    • Letter of recommendation from employer
  • Medical assistant clinical skill evaluation form
Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted for the fall and spring enrollment. All applications must be submitted through the MA-R to MA-C Pathway program application.

Course List

MA-R to MA-C Pathway Course

  • XMA 294: MA-R to MA-C Pathway
Program Costs

Pricing information for the MA-R to MA-C pathway includes:

  • Tuition: $918
  • NHA Study Materials: $80
  • Exam Fee: $180
  • Lab Fee: $100

Total Pathway Cost: $1,278

Skill Lab Locations

Discover the skill lab locations offered for the MA-R to MA-C Pathway:

  • Mill Creek, Washington (Mill Creek Providence Medical Group Campus)
    • 12800 Bothell-Everett Highway Ste 110, Mill Creek, WA 98208.
  • Liberty Lake, Washington (Meadowwood Building)
    • 24021 East Mission Ave., Suite 105, Liberty Lake, WA 99019

Medical Assistant Exam-Prep Course

Program Overview

The Medical Assistant Exam-Prep course is a single, eight-week course designed to provide currently employed or recently graduated medical assistants with exam support. The MA exam-prep course helps students with planning, studying, registering, and paying for the medical assistant national certifying exam. Coursework is offered in an online, asynchronous format with, instructor access, student forums, and official practice exams.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Successful completion of a medical assistant program


  • Are eligible for MA Certification per state Department of Health regulations.
Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted during the fall and spring semesters. Applications must be submitted through the Medical Assistant Exam-Prep Course application.

Course List

Medical Assistant Exam-Prep Course

  • XMA 293: Medical Assistant Exam-Prep Course
Program Costs

Pricing information for the Medical Assistant Exam-Prep course includes:

  • Tuition: $640
  • Exam-Prep Materials: $80
  • Exam Registration Fee (Optional): $125 – $250

Total Course Cost: $720

Start Your Career In Healthcare With A Medical Assistant Certificate At UP

Start your journey to becoming a certified medical assistant with a Medical Assistant Certificate from the University of Providence. Our dynamic program curriculum and qualified faculty will provide you with the support and quality education you need to succeed. Enroll today.

Find out more about the program by Requesting Information.

Contact Information


Nikki Garbarino, CCMA

Medical Assistant Instructor/Program Coordinator

Elaine Monroe, M.Ed., MA-C

Medical Assistant Adjunct Faculty

Frankie Lyons, Ed.D.

Associate Dean of Health Programs
My experience at the University of Providence has been great. I like the online option and enjoy the in-person clinical skills lab. I feel the instructors are here to help and appreciate the opportunity to go through this program. While I have not been in school for several years, this has been a good experience for learning new information and brushing up on what I already know.
Tosha Matejovsky
Student • Medical Assistant Certification
I love attending The University of Providence. I really like that everyone involved in this course is very helpful. Our Clinical instructor was amazing during our first clinical. She made sure we felt comfortable and that we understood everything she taught us. She was great at answering any questions we had.
Joena Ruvalcaba-Cereceres
Student • Medical Assistant Certification