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Medical Assistant Certification

Medical Assistant Certificate Program Overview


The University of Providence Medical Assistant Certificate program is designed for completion in 10 consecutive months. Medical assistants are trained professionals who work in clinical settings which include outpatient care, ambulatory care, medical offices, and clinics.


A medical assistant handles both administrative and clinical tasks and responsibilities in the patient care setting. Students will learn to deliver patient-centered care using safe, accountable, and ethical behaviors within the Medical Assistant Scope of Practice.

Administrative responsibilities include greeting patients, answering telephones, scheduling patient appointments, updating patient medical records, submitting insurance claims, and arranging laboratory services.

Clinical responsibilities include preparing patients for medical examinations, recording medical histories, assisting physicians during examinations, explaining treatment procedures to patients, removing sutures and changing dressings, and performing basic laboratory tests including blood draws.

Following a required one-day face-to-face program immersion, students will complete all required coursework delivered online, perfect for anyone looking to focus on continuing education. In addition, students will be required to attend the in-person clinical skills lab sessions as part of course requirements. Students will apply their knowledge in a student-faculty practice learning environment. The fifth and final course, Internship and Career Preparation, is delivered online with two skills training labs and, includes an additional 160 hours of unpaid internship in a medical clinic. This course gives students the opportunity to apply their new skills and knowledge in an actual patient care setting under the supervision of a preceptor who practices as a medical assistant professional.

The goal of the Medical Assisting program is to prepare the entry-level medical assistant to sit for the National Credentialing exam. The student will use their knowledge and apply the skills they have learned, to their future Medical Assistant practice further supporting patient centered health care and the community need for educated, trained and competent Medical Assistants.

This program is currently being offered in California, Montana, Oregon and Washington.  The program is currently in compliance with the following state regulations on Medical Assisting programs and meets state regulations or credentialing requirements: CA, MT, OR and WA. This program is Federal Financial Aid eligible.

Program Curriculum


Medical Assistant Certification

Skills You’ll Learn

  • Vitals
  • Patient centered care and compassion
  • Patient rooming procedures
  • Electronic health records
  • Phlebotomy
  • EKGs
  • Laboratory testing


Career Outcomes

To start you career in the medical field as a certified medical assistant, all states require training and schooling. This medical assistant certificate program helps you learn the skills you will need prior to working in the medical field as an assistant professional with education and allow you to work toward advocating for quality patient services. Working as a MA can lead to different career pathways in the medical field, including, but limited to, a career in nursing or leadership, allowing students to expand their scope of practice.


Scholarship Opportunities

While scholarships are not offered for this program, other tuition reimbursements and student loans are available:

  • Benefis Employee Scholarship
  • PH Education Tuition Reimbursement


Program Admission Requirements

All students seeking admission into the Medical Assistant Certificate Program are required to obtain and pay for a Criminal Background Check, Drug Screen, Proof of Immunizations, and Proof of CPR Certification after they are admitted into the program. Click Here to access Varified Credentials which is a Third-Party vendor the University of Providence uses to manage all Program requirements. As part of your academic program, you will spend time in a learning lab and clinical placement site where the student will be in contact with other students, clients and/or patients. This requirement will ensure precautions are taken to protect you, other students, clients, and/or patients.

The results of the background check and drug screen or failure to submit proof of immunizations may determine if you will be fully admitted to the program. You must inform the Director of the program if you are convicted of a crime while enrolled in your educational program. Each learning lab and clinical site will be informed that a background check, drug screen, and proof of immunizations has been completed. Students are responsible to update and provide documentation of program requirements which expire during the 10-month program, to Verified Credentials. Failure to provide updated information to Verified Credentials may result in withdrawal from the program.

For Providence and Partner Organization Caregivers:

If you are a Providence Employee, have had a background check completed with Providence, and you have not taken a break in your employment from your initial background check, you do not need to register for the Background Check on Verified Credentials. Please request your Background Check via HR Service Portal, select Request HR Help > General > Caregiver File Request, please add the specific document you are requesting. You are required to register and pay for the Drug Screen & Additional Requirements Codes in Verified Credentials.

Proof of immunizations can include:
  1. Already documented immunizations that you upload.
  2. Immunizations through your local employee health department that you upload.
  3. Immunizations using Verified Credentials.
Program Cost
  • General Program Cost (those outside of PH or Benefis): $8,899 ($524 per credit x 16 credits = $8,384 + $103 lab fee x 5 labs = $8,899)
  • Benefis employees and Great Falls Clinic partner rate:$5,411 ($306 per credit x 16 credits = $4,896 + $103 lab fee x 5 labs = $5,411)
  • PH caregivers and their dependents:$5,411 ($306 per credit x 16 credits = $4,896 + $103 lab fee x 5 labs = $5,411)
  • All students are encouraged to apply for Federal Financial Aid by completing a FAFSA at https://studentaid.gov/
Additional Costs

Fees for required materials: Textbooks and applicable clinical & program fees.

  • Textbooks: Varies by course, please check the University of Providence online bookstore for up-to-date lists, ISBNs, and costs.
  • $134 for a background check, drug screen and to upload immunization records.
  • $180 certification exam fee.
  • $130 prep material
  • $50 EPIC Access fee
  • Textbooks $400, stethoscope approx. $100, scrubs approx. $40, shoes approx. $50.


For caregiver tuition reimbursement, please reach out to your Human Resource Department for your current tuition reimbursement rate.

Program Format
  • All students are required to complete an online Moodle Orientation course in order to register for their first course in the MA Program.  This is also the prerequisite to attending the mandatory student immersion session as part of the MA program orientation.
  • The program is 10 months in length. This sequential, cohort model, provides students with a sense of community as they progress through the program with the same group of students. 
  • Small class sizes allow for individual attention.
  • New cohorts begin in January and August each year with students earning 16 college credits.
  • Courses are taught by licensed RNs and/or, Certified Medical Assistants who have earned a Medical Assistant Associate Degree in Technical Arts along with additional Certified Medical Assistant faculty teaching in the skills lab training sessions.
  • Coursework is delivered online with 2-3 required mandatory skill lab sessions, per course, completed in an in-person clinical skills lab training environment. 
  • Students complete one 8-week course which includes both online using the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS) and in-person skills lab sessions (80% online, 20% in-person in the clinical skills lab training environment.)
  • Clinical skills lab training locations include Beaverton, OR, Issaquah, WA, Northridge, CA and Great Falls, MT, and are held on Saturdays or Sundays (weekend dates vary course to course). Skills Lab Calendars are provided prior to the start of each cohort. 
  • Students must earn a 75% in each course and successfully complete the 160 hours of unpaid clinical externship over a period of four (4) consecutive weeks, in a clinic setting, to be eligible to sit for the National Certification exam, Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), via the National Healthcare Association (NHA). This credential is recognized by PH as an accepted credential for hire.  
    • The MA program meets the national exam credentialing organization requirements for the NHA-CCMA, NCCT-NCMA, and AMCA-CCMA.  The MA program does not meet the national exam credentialing organization requirements for AAMA.
  • Students will have access to certification exam preparation materials throughout the program. The University of Providence is approved to proctor the certification exam for students who have successfully completed the program.
Program Curriculum
  • XMA 101 Anatomy, Physiology & Nutrition
  • XMA 102 Anatomy, Physiology & Pharmacology
  • XMA 120 Healthcare Ethics, Legal Issues & Infection Prevention
  • XMA 160 Administrative Practice & Finance
  • XMA 195 Internship & Career Preparation
Program Themes
  • Patient Centered Compassionate Care
  • Patient Safety and Quality
  • Personal Accountability
  • Ethical Professional Behaviors
  • Effective Communication Skills
  • Lifelong Learning
Program Learning Outcomes
  1. Provide compassionate and culturally appropriate care across care settings and life span.
  2. Provide high-quality and safe care with every patient encounter.
  3. Perform within the ethical and legal boundaries of the Medical Assistant Scope of Practice.
  4. Demonstrate communication skills to improve the work environment and patient outcomes.

Note: The University of Providence does not guarantee employment after completion of the Medical Assistant program

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long will it take to complete the Medical Assistant Certificate?

This program will take 10 months to complete.

Is the 160-hour Practicum paid?

No, per accreditation requirements, students are to complete 160-hours of unpaid practicum.

Can I complete my practicum at my current job?

No, per accreditation requirements, students are to complete their practicum at a facility they do not work at.

How many classes are in person and how long?
  • 2-3 in person skills labs per course


  • Attendance is mandatory, 8:00am – 5:00pm with 1 hour lunch and two 15-minute brakes.


  • Link to MA Program Skills Lab Calendar
I’m already a MA and want to be certified Is there a certification exam prep course I can take?

Yes. The University of Providence offers an Online Medical Assisting Certification Exam Prep Course. This 100% online course is designed to support the working Medical Assistant looking to obtain their certification to become a Certified Medical Assistant.

“This course does NOT replace formal MA training/education required by WA DOH or national testing organizations. If you have questions regarding your training and/or education and if they meet WA DOH or national testing organization requirements, please contact them directly.”

Does the MA Program require COVID-19 Immunizations?

The MA Program highly encourages students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine due to hospitals and healthcare settings requiring the vaccination.  The University of Providence does have a process for religious or medical waiver for immunizations that students can file. The university has the right to accept or deny a waiver request. Also, hospitals or clinics may require students to have received the COVID-19 vaccine and may not accept a waiver for the practicum placement, the university does not have control over hospitals or organizations decisions to accept or deny a student’s placement. The MA Program Director and MA Program Coordinator will work with students to find a setting suitable for a practicum placement that will accept the COVID-19 waiver, however, we cannot guarantee a practicum placement without the vaccination.

Contact Information


Hayley Chang

MA Program Director

Kari Thurston

Director of Admissions Operations/SHP Program Management

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