The Best Online Medical Administrative Assistant Programs: 2020 Guide

Find the top-rated and most affordable MAA programs, learn about financial aid options, and launch your healthcare career.

Last Updated: 08/03/2020
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It’s exciting. Online medical administrative assistant programs offer a flexible way to become a medical office assistant in fewer than 12 months. Grads enjoy excellent job prospects and hold professional certifications. And the skills you learn by managing a medical office translate to key skills for roles in business and other professions. Taking the first step may seem tough, but we’ve researched and vetted the top online medical administrative assistant programs from schools across the U.S. with proper accreditation and an affordable price tag. See which schools can move your medical administrative assistant education forward.

or
About the ranking

X

Methodology for EduMed’s 2020 Rankings

To be considered for this ranking, each school must have the following:

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Program(s) offered at least partially online.

School Metrics Explained

EduMed.org data scientists analyzed government higher education data and created a proprietary algorithm to rank each U.S. postsecondary institution and its online programs using 5 primary factors:

  • Cost: Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Online Program Availability: Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to Department of Education.
  • Academic Counseling: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid: Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Most recent data pull: February 2020

#School NameTypeCostOnline ProgramsMore DetailsSchool InformationOnline StudentsAcademic CounselingCareer PlacementStudents w/Institutional AidMedian Earnings 10yrs After EntryAccreditation
1Central Texas CollegeKilleen, TXPublic$3

At Central Texas College’s Administrative Medical Assisting course is combined of 6 courses and can be completed in a year. The online program is offered in a self-paced format. Students are prepared to take exams for the AMCA Medical Administrative Assistant Certification or the NHA Medical Administrative Assistant Certification. The six courses are: Introduction to Medical Assisting, Ambulatory Care Administration, Coding & Medical Billing Procedures, Medical Office Administrative Functions, Assisting with Medical Specialties, and Career Development. The curriculum covers administrative duties of front office personnel, including medical terminology, customer service, scheduling, patient confidentiality, patient documentation, and basic billing. The total program cost does not include certification exam fees.

Program Overview:

Administrative Medical Assisting Course

  • Hours: 265
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $1,645 (total program)
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: American Medical Certification Association (AMCA,) National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
16%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
2Cowley County Community CollegeArkansas City, KSPublic$1

At Cowley County Community College’s Medical Office Support Certification program, students must complete 19 hours of online education. The six required courses prepare graduates for entry-level jobs in a medical practice or with healthcare organizations. Courses are in Business Communications, Microsoft Word software, Introduction to Health Information, Medical Terminology, Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Coding, Allied Healthcare Provider Anatomy and Physiology. The Allied Healthcare Provider Anatomy and Physiology course anatomy, physiology, and basic pathology related to the human body and disease. Students learn the basics of medical billing and coding practices, medical office procedures, and patient confidentiality. The Business Communications module prepares students in organized thinking, letter mechanics, and practical psychology.

Program Overview:

Medical Office Support Certificate

  • Credits: 19
  • Length: One year
  • Cost: $300/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
66%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
3Elizabethtown Community and Technical CollegeElizabethtown, KYPublic$3

The Medical Administrative Assistant Diploma program at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College requires completion of 49 units. The program has two components: General Education/Applied Academics (7 hours), and Technical & Support Courses (49). Near the end of the program students can choose from an on-site internship or the completion of a Capstone course. Technical and support classes include studies in accounting, word processing, business mathematics, business communications, medical information management, medical office terminology, electronic health records, and technology: operating systems, database, spreadsheet, word processing, presentation, voice recognition, and telecommunications. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College is one of the 16 schools in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

Program Overview:

Medical Administrative Assistant Diploma

  • Credits: 49
  • Length: One year
  • Cost: $174/credit hour for residents, $609/out of state
  • Mode: Partially Online (Optional Internship)
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
8%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
4Georgia Northwestern Technical CollegeRome, GAPublic$1

Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Medical Front Office Assistant Certificate program prepares you to assume an entry-level position as a receptionist in a clinic, hospital, or physicians’ offices. The 22 hours of the certificate program include 16 hours in required courses with another six hours of approved electives. Required courses are: Medical Terminology for Allied Health Sciences, Document Production, Healthcare Administrative Procedures, Fundamentals of English I, and Introduction to Computer Literacy. Students are equipped to take the Medical Administrative Assistant Certification (MAAC) examination that covers billing, coding, administrative tasks, and general patient care. GNTC also offers a 54-credit Medical Assisting (MA22) Diploma program.

Program Overview:

Medical Front Office Assistant (MF21) Certificate

  • Credits: 22
  • Length: One year or less
  • Cost: $264/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: MAERB
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
5Gateway Community and Technical CollegeFlorence, KYPublic$3

The goal of the Gateway Community and Technical College Medical Assistant Certificate program is to prepare students with entry-level skills in knowledge, skills and behavior related to a front-office medical role. The program combines online classroom training with 160 hours of an on-site, supervised practicum. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from the SWSC-approved practicum site. The four-class comprehensive curriculum includes the Introduction to Medical Assisting, Fundamentals of Administrative Medical Assisting, and two courses in Clinical Medical Assisting. Graduates are awarded a Certificate of Competency (CCT). Applicants to the program must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma (or GED), and complete a reading assessment.

Program Overview:

Medical Assistant Certificate

  • Credits: 830 hours
  • Length: 34 weeks
  • Cost: $174/credit
  • Mode: Partially Online (Practicum)
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
13%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
6Central Georgia Technical CollegeWarner Robins, GAPublic$1

The Medical Front Office Assistant Certificate program combines technical courses with business studies. The 22-hour certificate course requirements include studies in computer literacy, document production, English fundamentals, medical administrative procedures, and medical terminology. The balance of the program emphasizes the three credits of business electives that include classes in medical insurance, medical transcription, customer service, office management, electronic health records, medical office billing/coding/insurance, anatomy, and medical terminology. In addition to the diploma program, CGTC offers a Medical Assisting Associate Degree and a Medical Assisting Diploma.

Program Overview:

Medical Front Office Assistant Certificate

  • Credits: 22 hours
  • Length: 9 months
  • Cost: $100/credit hour
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
2%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
7Riverland Community CollegeAustin, MNPublic$$3

Riverland’s Associate of Science in Medical Assisting is a 62-credit program that can be completed in two years. Designed for Medical Administrative Assistants, the associates program combines technical and liberal arts general education courses that meet the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum for students planning to go on to a bachelor degree program. The online degree includes a laptop computer plan that includes software students will use in the workplace. Students take MAA courses in business communication, medical terminology, anatomy/physiology, office procedures, medical coding, transcription, electronic health records, account management, and employment search skills. Entering students are requir3ed to take the Accuplacer test of their English or Math aptitude.

Program Overview:

Associate of Science in Medical Assisting

  • Credits: 62
  • Length: two years
  • Cost: $12,202 total cost
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: ACBSP
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
17%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
8Georgia Piedmont Technical CollegeClarkston, GAPublic$1

In Georgia, medical assistant positions require completion of post-secondary education in the form of an associate’s degree or diploma. The Medical Administrative Assistant Specialization Diploma at Georgia Piedmont is focused on a business technology curriculum specifically tailored to the career skills required for medical office administration. Core classes are in financial accounting, medical terminology, word processing , business document formatting, medical administrative procedures, interpersonal relations, basic psychology, college mathematics, and three occupational specific guided electives. Additional courses are in electronic file management and communication skills. According to the school, Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s Medical Assisting program at has a job placement rate of 70%.

Program Overview:

Business Technology Diploma – Medical Administrative Assistant Specialization

  • Credits: 53
  • Length: Under two years
  • Cost: $100/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
9Minnesota State Community and Technical CollegeFergus Falls, MNPublic$$2

Graduates of Minnesota State Community and Technical College’s Medical Administrative Assistant - Associate of Applied Science (AAS) program complete a curriculum of 59 credits of studies in the field along with 9 credits in General Education. Fifteen of the total courses are in electives related to the major. Required courses include medical terminology, medical documentation, office procedures, billing/insurance, coding, medical transcription, office management, anatomy/physiology, and human diseases. Electives are available in psychology, lifespan development, abnormal psychology, and interpersonal communications. Towards the end of the degree program, students are required to complete a Medical Office Capstone that a project that demonstrates abilities in appointment scheduling, health information management, patient registration, billing and financial operations.

Program Overview:

Associate of Health Science Degree in Medical Administrative Assisting

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: Two years
  • Cost: $5,502/year
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: HLC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
5%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
10Alexandria Technical & Community CollegeAlexandria, MNPublic$$1

Alexandria Technical & Community College’s Medical Administrative Specialist AAS Degree is a 60-credit, two-year program. It combines medical-technical, computer, and general education courses that include anatomy and physiology, disease processes, medical terminology, and pharmacology. To satisfy general education requirements, students take courses in AS areas that make up the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum. The entire program is completed online. Major courses include medical terminology, health information, computer skills, basic pathology, ICD coding, electronic health records, medical office management, medicolegal/reimbursement issues, and job seeking skills. It is recommended that online students dedicate 20 hours a week for studying. Each fall and spring semester, ATCC offers general scholarships. You can apply for these online.

Program Overview:

Medical Administrative Specialist AAS Degree

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $199.00/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: HLTH
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
31%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
11Ogeechee Technical CollegeStatesboro, GAPublic$1

The Medical Administrative Assistant Certificate program at Ogeechee Technical College is comprised of 54 class meetings that are attended online. The program is focused on training students to handle the varied administrative and clerical positions throughout the healthcare industry. Instruction includes an overview of the healthcare industry to introduce students to the roles available for medical administrative assistants. The course materials cover scheduling and general office duties, medical records management, ethical and legal issues, communication skills, medical accounting, billing and coding procedures, health insurance coverage, and more. Note: Ogeechee Technical College is not currently accepting applicants to the program. Contact the school.

Program Overview:

Medical Administrative Assistant Certificate

  • Credits: 54 class sessions
  • Length: 100 hours
  • Cost: $1,299 (total cost)
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
12Minnesota State College SoutheastWinona, MNPublic$$2

The Associate of Applied Science degree program at Minnesota State College Southeast is offered entirely online. Technical studies for the degree amount to 45 credits, while students tackle 15 credits of general education classes. Technical courses include Spreadsheets Concepts and Applications, Business Communications, Anatomy & Physiology Disease Conditions, Medical Terminology, Healthcare Documentation, Advanced Medical Office Procedures, Medical Insurance, Introduction to Health Information Management, and Pharmacology. Students work with documents from clinics and hospitals to learn a real-world system for the management of records. General education courses in Written and Oral Communications, mathematics, social/behavioral sciences, and humanities are designed for transfers to four-year degree programs.

Program Overview:

AAS in Medical Office Assistant

  • Credits: 45
  • Length: 24 months
  • Cost: $13,975 (total cost)
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: HLC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
13Allen County Community CollegeIola, KSPublic$1

The online Medical Office Assistant Certificate from Allen County Community College prepares graduates to work in a broad range of medical settings. In the first semester, you’ll take classes in Microsoft Office, medical terminology, medical administration, and the creation and maintenance of long-term care medical records. In the second semester, the certificate program features courses in the daily skills required to keep a medical office running smoothly. These include business communications, medical insurance billing, medical coding, legal issues, and medical office accounting. Overall, ACCC offers 60 guaranteed transfer courses and a reverse-transfer program for students planning to move on to work on their bachelor’s degree.

Program Overview:

Medical Office Assistant Certificate

  • Credits: 25
  • Length: One year
  • Cost: $124/credit hour
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: HLC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
73%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
14Dakota College at BottineauBottineau, NDPublic$1

Graduates of the Dakota College at Bottineau’s Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) in Medical Office Assistant are prepared to take the Certified Medical Office Assistant (CMOA) exam through American Medical Technologists (AMT). The 25-credit degree program requires fewer general education courses typically required for an associate’s degree in order to focus your education on essential skills and procedures for administrating a medical office. First-year courses include studies in medical disorders, terminology, anatomy/physiology, business mathematics, healthcare law/ethics, computers, pharmacology, and human relations. In the second year, classes are in accounting, procedure and diagnosis coding, medical transcription, and office management. Those wanting to enter the field in as little as 12 months can enroll in Dakota College’s online 34-credit Medical Coding Certificate program.

Program Overview:

AAS in Medical Office Assistant

  • Credits: 62
  • Length: Two Years
  • Cost: $227.13/credit
  • Mode: Partially Online
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
42%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
15West Virginia Junior College-MorgantownMorgantown, WVPrivate, For-Profit$$$4

West Virginia Junior College-Morgantown is a private, for profit college with associate degrees and certification programs in medical office administration. The hybrid associate degree can be completed in two years. Associate graduates are prepared to sit for three National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certification exams certificate exams: Certified Medical Administrative Assistant, Certified Billing and Coding Specialist, and Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist. The didactic classes are offered entirely online. The Clinical Medical Assistant degree program requires an on-the-job externship where students can apply their newly learned skills and meet potential employers. WVJC also offers a Medical Assisting Diploma with online options.

Program Overview:

Associate Degree in Medical Office Administration

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: Two years
  • Cost: Private school. Contact the college for information.
  • Mode: Partially Online (Externship)
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
31%
AccreditationAccrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
16Northland Community and Technical CollegeThief River Falls, MNPublic$$3

The two-year Medical Administrative Assistant AAS Degree at Northland Community and Technical College is designed to give students a well-rounded education in the skills of medical secretaries and medical office managers. First-year courses cover health information management, office procedures, medical terminology, pharmacology, medical billing and insurance, documentation and anatomy/physiology. In the second year, students complete courses in CPT/HCPCS coding, ICD coding, customer relations, psychology, pathophysiology, and business communications. An online medical office simulation course works like an externship where students mesh classroom learning with medical office experience. There are six credits in electives in public speaking and interpersonal communications. Some requirements may be waived for applicants with recent experience in health-related fields.

Program Overview:

Medical Administrative Assistant AAS Degree

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: Two Years
  • Cost: $199/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: THLC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
or
About the ranking

X

Methodology for EduMed’s 2020 Rankings

To be considered for this ranking, each school must have the following:

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Program(s) offered at least partially online.

School Metrics Explained

EduMed.org data scientists analyzed government higher education data and created a proprietary algorithm to rank each U.S. postsecondary institution and its online programs using 5 primary factors:

  • Cost: Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Online Program Availability: Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to Department of Education.
  • Academic Counseling: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid: Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Most recent data pull: February 2020

#School NameTypeCostOnline ProgramsMore DetailsSchool InformationOnline StudentsAcademic CounselingCareer PlacementStudents w/Institutional AidMedian Earnings 10yrs After EntryAccreditation
1Madison Area Technical CollegeMadison, WIPublic$2

The two-year hybrid Medical Administrative Specialist Associate Degree at Madison Area Technical College prepares graduates to take the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certification exam and tests for the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA), Certified Billing & Coding Specialist (CBCS), and Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS). The business-oriented degree requires 63 credits over four semesters. Courses include Business Document Applications, Medical Language for the Business Professional, Business Spreadsheet Applications, Business Information Management, Healthcare Documentation Techniques and Procedures, Specialized Insurance Claims, and Psychology of Human Relations. During the final semester, students complete a 72-hour, supervised internship in a healthcare setting. MATC also offers a 25-hour Medical Billing Specialist Diploma.

Program Overview:

Medical Administrative Specialist Associate Degree

  • Credits: 63
  • Length: Two years
  • Cost: $9,217.45 (total cost)
  • Mode: Partially Online (Internship)
  • Accreditation: HLC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
17%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
2Rasmussen College-MinnesotaSt. Cloud, MNPrivate, For-Profit$$$3

The Rasmussen College Medical Administrative Assistant Certificate is a 38-credit, 12-course online program that students can complete in as few as nine months. Coursework is focuses on administrative procedures for a medical setting. General education courses are in practical math, communication, and natural science. Core courses cover: medical billing and insurance, healthcare customer service, medical administration technology, practice and professionalism, medical terminology, and medical law/ethics. Rasmussen College offers small class sizes to its online students. Admission requirements include immunizations, background checks and TEAS scores. Students with prior college experience may be qualified to transfer credits to the certificate program. All online students receive the same support and college resources as campus-based students.

Program Overview:

Medical Administrative Assistant Certificate

  • Credits: 38
  • Length: Nine months
  • Cost: $167/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: THLC

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
45%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
3Liberty UniversityLynchburg, VAPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$1

Liberty University is an evangelical liberal arts institution with 600+ programs of study from the certificate to the doctoral levels. The 64-hour Associate Degree – Medical Office Assistant can be completed in two years. Foundation skills requirement courses (36-39 hours) The degree is offered entirely online through 8-week courses. The 12-hour requirement in major foundational courses introduces students to technical communication, anatomy, and physiology. Students can opt for an externship at a healthcare facility. Core classes include: Medical Terminology, Medical Office Systems & Procedures, Insurance, Billing & Bookkeeping, Infection Control, Ethics & Law. Applicants must have earned a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA for any previous college classes.

Program Overview:

Associate Degree – Medical Office Assistant

  • Credits: 64
  • Length: Two years
  • Cost: $390/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
89%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
4University of Northwestern OhioLima, OHPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1

UNO’s College of Health Professions offers a 108-credit Associate Degree in Medical Office Management. The program entails satisfactory completion of 69 credits in technical and basic requirements, 32 hours of general education courses, three hours of general education electives and four hours of specialized electives. Basic requirement coursework is in database/spreadsheet applications, medical terminology, accounting software, health insurance, CPT/ICD coding, transcription, records management, and an office technology Capstone. General education courses may be transferred to an accredited four-year university. These are in algebra, composition, sociology, ands psychology. According to UNO, 90 percent of program graduates are continuing their education or have been employed in the medical office field.

Program Overview:

Associate Degree in Medical Office Management

  • Credits: 108
  • Length: 18 months
  • Cost: $275/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: HLC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
22%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
5Bryant & Stratton College-OnlineOrchard Park, NYPrivate, For-Profit$$$3

Bryant & Stratton College was founded in 1854. The college’s Medical Administrative Assistant Associate Degree program is offered entirely online with 63 credits that can be completed in 20 months. Graduates are qualified to earn their ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (ACT NCRC). Courses focus on administrative and business aspects of the medical field, not on patient care. Of the total credits, 36 hours are required in major. Courses include: Healthcare Terminology, Survey of Anatomy & Physiology, Electronic Health Records, Medical Insurance & Billing, Workplace Mathematics, Quality Improvement & Customer Service in Medical Offices, Office Applications - Word Processing & Keyboarding, Research & Writing for the Workplace. In the last section of the program students can either undertake a Capstone project or an internship.

Program Overview:

Medical Administrative Assistant Associate Degree

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: 20 months
  • Cost: $275/credit
  • Mode: Online (Internship option)
  • Accreditation: CAAHEP
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
53%
AccreditationCAAHEP
6Purdue University GlobalDavenport, IAPrivate, For-Profit$$$1

Purdue University Global offers 175 wholly online degree and certificate programs. The 57-credit Medical Office Administration Certificate program readies graduates to sit for a number of certification exams including the Certified Medical Administrative Specialist (CMAS), Certified Coding Associate (CCA), and National Certified Medical Office Assistant (NCMOA). Students will learn how to submit medical claims for re-imbursement, operate electronic billing systems, and manage office accounting and billing. The hybrid program requires students to complete a 160-hour supervised externship at a clinic or physician’s office. Online courses include: Reimbursement Methodologies, Medical Terminology, Medical Law and Bioethics, Diseases of the Human Body, Medical Coding and Insurance, Medical Records Management, and Health Care Administration.

Program Overview:

Medical Office Administration Certificate

  • Credits: 57
  • Length: Up to two years
  • Cost: $371/credit
  • Mode: Partially Online (Externship)
  • Accreditation: HLC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
7National American University-Rapid CityRapid City, SDPrivate, For-Profit$$$1

The 90-credit Medical Administrative Online Associate Degree at National American University is designed to prepare its graduates for key skills in office accounting, medical records management transcription, and healthcare coding. Major core classes (38 hours) include: Medical Terminology, Human Pharmacology, Medical Law and Ethics, Medical Records Management, Pathophysiology, Healthcare Coding and Billing, and Medical Office Procedures with Software Apps. Students can opt for a 160-hour externship or a final course in U.S. healthcare delivery. The nine-credit support core component has courses in business and management. The general education core (42 credits) is comprised of courses in communications, science, mathematics, humanities, behavioral/social science, and career success strategies.

Program Overview:

Medical Administrative Online Associate Degree

  • Credits: 90
  • Length: Two years
  • Cost: Private, for-profit university. Contact for rates.
  • Mode: Partially Online (Optional 160-hour externship)
  • Accreditation: THLC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
8Pittsburgh Technical CollegeOakdale, PAPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$1

The Medical Office Administration Associate’s Degree at Pittsburgh Technical College can be completed in four quarters. The 90-credit program is offered entirely online, or on-site for students who choose to complete an Internship. In lieu of the Capstone, students can complete an online Exploration Capstone. In the first year, you’ll take courses in medical terminology, healthcare delivery, anatomy and physiology, computer applications, college mathematics and healthcare communications, psychology, health insurance and billing, diseases & diagnostic methods, and diagnostic & procedural coding. In the second year, students take courses in computerized practice management & electronic health records, advanced coding, pharmacology, career development, national exam preparation. Graduates are prepared to sit for a national coding exam by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The technical college may reimburse the cost of the exams for graduates who take them within six months of completing the program.

Program Overview:

Medical Office Administration Associate’s Degree

  • Credits: 90
  • Length: Two years
  • Cost: $14,210 (total cost)
  • Mode: Partially Online (Optional externship)
  • Accreditation: THLC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
77%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
9American National UniversitySalem, VAPrivate, For-Profit$$$1

The AAS Degree in Administrative Medical Assisting at American National University can be completed in as few as 20 months -- rather than in two years. The 12 accelerated courses are offered through the ANU’s eUniversity over eight consecutive terms. The coursework is dedicated to preparing students in five major competencies: Effective Communication (patients and staff), Health Care Law and Ethics, Operational Office Functions, Pathology and Body Systems, Care Administration (billing and coding procedures), Professionalism and Teamwork. The online program provides intensive preparation for the National Certified Medical Office Assistant examination, administered by the National Center for Competency Testing. Those who pass will receive an NCMOA credential. The AAS Degree program is also designed for those who want to go on to earn American National University’s Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Health Services management.

Program Overview:

AAS Degree in Administrative Medical Assisting

  • Credits: 96
  • Length: 20 months
  • Cost: $26,400 (total cost)
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
88%
AccreditationDistance Education Accrediting Commission
10Bryan UniversitySpringfield, MOPrivate, For-Profit$$$$2

Bryan University’s 66-credit Healthcare Administration Associate Degree can be completed in 70 weeks. Students undertake studies in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pathology and disease processes, health information technology, ICD coding, health insurance and reimbursement, healthcare quality improvement, human resources management, and data analytics. The seven-quarter program includes 15 credits of general education (mathematics, English, interpersonal communication, and critical thinking. All courses are delivered entirely on line except for a three credit, onsite supervised externship in a healthcare facility. All students complete a Capstone project toward the end of the program. Tuition is a locked fee, with the same rates for residents and nonresidents.

Program Overview:

Healthcare Administration Associate Degree

  • Credits: 66 semester credits
  • Length: 70 Weeks; 7 Quarters
  • Cost: $14,925/per academic year
  • Mode: Partially Online (Internship)
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
4%
Accreditation#N/A

Profiling Online Medical Administrative Assistant Programs

As you research online medical assistant programs, it can be helpful to look at real-world programs to get a better sense of what to expect — from how much it will cost to class structure and online learning support. While every school is different, the three we’ve profiled below will give you a great preview of what it’s like to earn your online medical assistant credential online.

San Francisco State University

San Francisco State’s “Medical Administrative Assistant” program consists of a self-paced online course followed by a voluntary 40-hour clinical externship. Students learn how to navigate the practice and ethical responsibilities in the medical industry. The comprehensive online course covers the role of the assistant, legal and ethical issues (including compliance), terminology and technology in a healthcare setting, financial and practice management. Other studies include a HIPAA review and patient bill of rights, medical records management, and insurance coverage and billing/coding procedures. You can take advantage of the career center that provides job search resources, career guidance, cover letter and resume writing. Online courses have 24/7 instructor support, student exercises, videos, labs, and animated simulations. The voluntary externship places you in the heart of the healthcare industry and provides contacts and mentorship for employment. Students receive six months access, all textbooks, and related course materials when they register. Tuition is $1,399 for the full program and financial aid programs are available.

Ashworth College

Ashworth’s 10-month medical administrative assistant certificate program is built around a flexible online study model that allows students to complete their learning at their own pace. Even students who haven’t been in school for a number of years will find easy access to the required 14 lessons and faculty support. Tools include the Binder mobile app that allows students to take their program wherever they go and ProQuest digital access to thousands of research resources. The certificate program features a continuum-based course of study from online lessons to career services. Entering students are automatically given access to Ashworth EDGE, a toolkit that provides assistance with a step-by-step course for building your resume, drafting cover letters, and interviewing – a service you can continue to use after you graduate. Tuition is $599 for students who pay up-front or $799 for students using monthly payments as low as $49/month. At specific times during the year, Ashworth offers slashed tuition rates. For example, a recent offer allowed students to start their accredited program for as little as $1.

Grantham University

Grantham University’s 18 credit-hour medical administrative assistant program is accelerated and 100% online. It can be completed in less than a year, compared with many online and campus programs requiring 12-30 credits with a year and a half commitment. The six courses in Grantham’s program focuses the healthcare delivery system, medical terminology, and key skills needed in medical office assisting. New courses are offered monthly. In the program, students receive assistance with job searches, resumes, and practice interviews. They also create an ePortfolio of their skills and experiences to show potential employers. The career-focused program is designed to prepare students for certification. In fact, the final capstone course requires students to visit a testing facility to take their Medical Administrative Assistant Certification (CMAA) exam. Fees for the examination are included in the cost of the program. The undergraduate tuition is $295 per credit hour. Grantham also offers financial aid packages and provides tuition discounts to first responders, military members, veterans, and civil servants.

Inside Online Medical Administrative Assistant Programs

Before leaping into an online medical administrative assistant program, do your research. This page helps you discover the best path to the physician’s office and the best price. That means understanding the coursework, school accreditations, and financial aid resources to pay for your education. We’ll also outline career prospects and salaries and the differences between a clerical or clinical assistant.

What does an online medical administrative assistant program cover?

Each online medical administrative assistant program sets its own requirements, affecting the number and type of classes needed for graduation. However, the core subjects are based on medical industry standards. Make sure the curriculum at your target schools aim toward securing your certification. The following list identifies the core classes that most programs have in common:

Medical terminology

All allied healthcare workers must learn the basic vocabulary of communications between staff, physicians and patients. Interactive online lessons will help you to apply your learning to related physiology or anatomy. Understand the basic language of procedural terminology, abbreviations, and diagnostics. Students learn how use the language roots for analyzing and pronouncing medical terms.

The Profession of Medical Assisting

This course introduces students to the profession, its history, and options for career advancement in the allied health fields. Learn about administrative and clerical duties, certification requirements, and medical/surgical specialties. The course includes studies in law and ethics, informed consent, HIPAA requirements, the Hippocratic oath and the Patient’s Bill of Rights.

Medical Records

Students learn the fundamental procedures for charting with the SOAP charting methodology. Covers the range of cross-referenced systems in allied health and coding systems for numeric, alphabetic, and color-coded filing. Learn the required HIPAA compliance for electronic records and how to address procedural problems such as converting from paper to digital records.

Legal/Ethical issues

As a key member of the office, you’ll help ensure that both medical staff and patients are protected by laws relative to patient privacy and medical malpractice. Learn the different types of malpractice and burden of proof of the patient’s reporting responsibilities. We’ll also cover HIPAA compliance.

Insurance and claims

This course will navigate the different insurance and claims systems that may vary from provider to provider. Learn the distinctions between HMOs, PPOs, and traditional programs. Explore the differences between individual, group, and government-sponsored benefits. The course will focus on health insurance and medical claim forms currently used by allied health professionals.


The organizational and clerical skills you’ll learn at school can also be beneficial in pursuing jobs outside of a physician’s office. The use of office equipment, providing friendly customer reception, using billing software, multitasking and the ability to handle phones are all basic assets to have in a non-medical business environment. Here are Here’s a list of core skills you’ll develop in a medical administrative assistant program:

  • Customer service
  • Medical terminology and transcription
  • Insurance processing, billing and coding
  • Communications etiquette and empathy
  • Bookkeeping

How is a medical administrative assistant different than a medical assistant?

While the terms “medical administrative assistant” and medical assistant” are often considered to be the same, the key duties are not interchangeable. Medical administrative assistants keep the medical office or clinic functioning smoothly. Clinical medical assistants may undertake some clerical tasks, but their main responsibility lies in assisting the physician. The following table breaks out the distinctions:

Medical Administrative AssistantsMedical Assistants
Schedules appointmentsTakes vital signs, administers injections
Maintains medical recordsAdministers injections and medications
Codes procedures for insurance claimsAssists physicians during examinations
Updates medical office inventoryPrepares blood draws and x-rays
Coordinates visits to labs and other providersCreates and maintains medical histories

How long does it take to earn medical administrative assistant certification online?

Online MAA certification programs take about one year if the student can attend on a full-time basis. Some accelerated online programs can be completed in 9 months. It can take a few months following graduation to earn your formal certification by passing the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant exam (CMAA). The program may also offer a voluntary externship to build experience, so that program will last a week or two longer. If you go to school on a part-time basis, the additional time to complete the program depends entirely on how many courses you can take and complete at a time.

How much does an online medical admin assistant program cost?

Calculating the cost of your online medical administrative assistant training has many variables to juggle. Tuition can vary by the type of school (community college or private assisting school), any required commuting to voluntary externships, the length of the program and how many courses are required for completion. If cost is your number one issue, contact prospective schools to inquire about enrollment deals. For instance, you could sign up for your first semester for as little as a dollar and pay off your tuition in monthly installments. You may qualify for federal or state grants to offset the total costs. Monthly tuition is higher than if you pay it all upfront. For the cost of a specific online program, find a school in the ranking above and visit its tuition and fees page. To see the range of costs, here’s a sampling of five online programs and their in-state tuition rates:

Purdue University Global
$371 per credit

Penn Foster College
$79 per credit

Three Rivers Community College
$244 per credit

Pierpont Community College
$206 per credit

Paying for Your Online Medical Office Assistant Program

Lining up your financial aid can spare you needless worry about paying for your MAA program. But you’ll have to start applying for aid as soon as possible. There are fewer federal financial aid programs for undergraduate certificates than there are for undergraduate degree programs. Beware, not all schools will accept students dependent on federal financial aid or private student loans. But take heart: there are many ways to receive tuition assistance. Let’s look them over:

1 Scholarships

There are a number of scholarships that do not need to be repaid for medical assistant students. Some are offered by the college, some by allied health professional organizations, some by individual states and others from medical assistant associations. There are online search websites such as Fastweb that can direct you to the right MAA scholarships. For example, California offers scholarships to medical assistant programs through the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. On the national level, AARP offers scholarships for women 50-years or older go to college based on need. Applications for scholarships need to be made at least several months before school begins.

2 Financial aid

There’s a common way to will measure your ability to pay and send your results to your prospective schools. You start the aid process by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). The process also evaluates your parents’ ability to contribute. Students should call the admissions or financial aid office of target program to see what’s available. Find out more at our financial aid page.

3 Loans

Don’t feel alone if you need to borrow money. The National Center for Educational Statistics reports that 46 percent of first-time college students take loans. Loans have to be repaid, so borrow carefully. Loans are available from the Federal government, from banks and credit unions, and private lenders.

4 Grants

There are grants available from the Federal government, state governments, national associations or trade organizations. One of the most-common grants is the Federal Pell Grant that offers $6,195 to first-time college students. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) pays from $100 to $4,000 a year to supplement students that cannot afford school from a Pell Grant alone.

5 Tuition discounts

Depending on the institution, colleges offering an online MAA program offer discounts for enrolling students. These can be enticements to sign up near the application deadline for the school. Other deals include a small down payment plan for signing up for the program letting you pay off the balance. Others have interest-free installment plans, but the total repayment can cost more if you don’t pay it all upfront. Check with the allied health department or college that you have in mind.

The Importance of Accreditation

It can be a mistake to attend a school or MAA certificate program that is not accredited. The right accreditation means a program’s curriculum has been approved by independent academic evaluators endorsed by the Department of Education. There are several types of accreditation: Institutional accreditation covers the entire school. Programmatic accreditation is offered to individual academic departments or specific programs. Employers in healthcare pay close attention to accreditation. They want to know that job applicants are fully prepared for their medical administrative roles before they hire them. There are other severe, negative implications. Students at schools and programs that are not accredited do not receive Federal financial aid of any kind. Moreover, graduates will not be eligible to sit for National Healthcare Association’s Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) exams. Accreditation is voluntary. In exploring schools, be on the watch for a programmatic accreditation from The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Online institutions and programs can be accredited as well, typically by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).

After Your Medical Administrative Assistant Program Online

It’s important to understand the big picture. Before signing up for a certificate program, students are rightfully curious to know how to get a license, whether there will be jobs for them, and how much they can expect to be paid. Can you continue your education to assume roles with greater responsibility and better pay? That’s what this section is all about.

Do I need certification or licensure to work in as a medical admin assistant?

According to the Department of Labor, medical administrative assistants are not required to hold certification in most states. But you can increase your hiring potential to gain certification and you can find even more opportunities by earning optional certifications. The most-common certification employers are looking for is offered after you pass the CMA Certification Exam from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Grads can also receive certification as a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) from American Medical Technologists. Optional certifications can also give your career a boost. For example, the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) from the National Healthcareer Association tells employers that you have a special aptitude for handling clerical tasks.

MOA-Certification
MOA-Certification

How much can you earn as a medical administrative assistant?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that medical assistants earn a median annual wage of $33,610. Your pay increases with experience. The lowest salary nationwide is $24,790, with a top-end of more than $47,250. The variables that can affect your salary is your education level, your certifications, and your experience. It may be worthwhile to complete a voluntary externship. The cost of living for your community also matters.

The following table shows estimated salaries for medical assistants and medical administrative assistants by experience level across the United States:

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Area NameEmploymentEntry-LevelEarly CareerMid-CareerExperiencedLate Career
Alabama9,180$20,840$23,890$27,980$31,800$37,870
Alaska1,820$34,360$38,520$44,230$49,700$57,410
Arizona18,250$25,900$28,660$32,880$37,470$40,850
Arkansas3,790$21,860$25,520$29,330$34,150$39,180
California92,960$25,600$29,820$36,080$45,150$55,830
Colorado11,150$26,590$30,900$35,640$40,460$47,960
Connecticut7,700$27,880$32,640$36,950$42,440$50,900
Delaware2,560$23,770$27,810$32,560$38,410$45,000
District of Columbia1,970$29,160$34,330$41,500$48,080$55,320
Florida55,330$24,700$27,790$32,170$37,510$41,960
Georgia24,570$23,040$27,100$31,790$37,080$41,160
Hawaii3,600$27,360$31,900$37,420$44,530$50,240
Idaho3,170$25,340$28,900$33,850$38,190$41,570
Illinois23,830$25,700$29,270$34,640$40,150$48,730
Indiana14,810$25,300$27,970$32,110$37,040$40,490
Iowa5,090$26,350$29,810$34,700$39,200$46,130
Kansas4,240$22,880$26,490$30,540$35,930$40,420
Kentucky8,970$23,230$26,990$31,290$36,670$40,900
Louisiana8,490$20,040$23,460$28,120$32,850$38,570
Maine4,180$27,260$30,510$34,940$39,300$45,250
Maryland12,630$26,840$30,500$35,270$40,030$47,830
Massachusetts13,710$30,700$34,410$39,240$46,010$51,120
Michigan23,680$25,250$27,980$31,900$37,170$40,940
Minnesota10,010$32,060$35,180$39,880$46,280$50,610
Mississippi3,160$21,810$25,280$28,770$32,540$39,250
Missouri10,260$22,770$27,080$32,200$37,290$41,110
Montana1,120$26,480$29,470$34,070$38,610$44,890
Nebraska2,630$25,000$28,290$33,660$40,200$47,750
Nevada6,220$25,590$28,500$32,950$38,020$43,740
New Hampshire2,550$28,790$32,670$36,400$40,160$46,400
New Jersey19,110$26,300$29,960$35,290$40,650$48,400
New Mexico5,960$22,560$26,500$30,050$35,420$39,880
New York26,080$27,280$31,340$36,640$43,490$49,940
North Carolina18,340$24,940$28,160$32,710$37,350$40,820
North Dakota580$28,100$32,800$36,480$40,130$46,730
Ohio23,930$23,690$27,290$31,680$36,730$40,180
Oklahoma8,310$22,620$26,330$30,200$35,600$39,740
Oregon12,960$27,120$32,880$38,200$44,720$49,540
Pennsylvania27,590$24,310$27,720$31,830$37,450$43,100
Rhode Island2,390$28,290$32,320$35,880$39,360$43,550
South Carolina9,800$23,480$27,290$31,220$36,630$40,700
South Dakota950$24,150$26,870$29,660$33,110$37,510
Tennessee14,070$23,390$27,110$31,220$36,930$41,710
Texas59,930$22,080$26,340$31,030$36,950$41,240
Utah7,020$25,970$28,420$32,320$37,340$40,860
Vermont850$29,070$32,840$36,300$40,150$48,240
Virgin Islands60$24,350$27,090$30,250$35,650$41,990
Virginia14,170$24,820$28,560$33,710$39,670$48,700
Washington14,450$31,490$35,210$40,620$47,560$52,920
West Virginia3,520$21,500$24,330$27,810$31,110$36,240
Wisconsin11,350$27,980$32,430$36,430$40,440$46,840
Wyoming660$24,950$28,330$33,430$38,390$44,610
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Continuing Education & Related Degrees

As with most careers involving certification or licensing, medical administrative assistants are required to renew their credentials by completing additional education. The American Association of Medical Assistants requires working assistants to complete 60 continuing education points in a three-year period to remain certified. But there are other significant reasons to continue your education. Perhaps you want to add an undergraduate degree to create more healthcare opportunities that offer higher wages. Or you can pivot from assisting directly into another branch of healthcare. Many schools offer credit for your previous college courses, shortening your time to complete the program. If you’re already working as an assistant, online allied health programs allow you to tailor your schooling around your daily commitments. Here’s a look at a few of the degree options that may be a good fit, even if you’re still in your MAA program:

Continuing Education

Continuing Education

Online Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN):

Medical administrative assistants often find themselves called to the nursing profession. With the two-year Online Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), you can complete your coursework from the location of your choice, but typically must attend clinical labs at a designated location. The programs take from 2 to 3 years to complete. Some employers seek graduates of four-year baccalaureate nursing programs, but a registered or licensed ADN can find ample opportunities at hospitals, clinics and physicians’ offices. You must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

Online Associate Degree in Health Science:

Graduates from a two-year associate program in health science are prepared to serve in a variety of roles in healthcare assisting in specialties including patient care, health information management, insurance, and patient communication. Students increase their core knowledge in the health sector, including the fields of compliance, human resources, licensing, and community health. The degree might be suited for people changing fields or licensed practical or vocational nurses who want to complete a non-nursing degree in the business of healthcare.

Related Degrees

Related Degrees

Online Medical Assistant Programs:

Medical assisting certificate programs are designed for those who want to help in the examination room in concert with the physician. It is not a front-office specialty. It takes about a year to finish these programs that are offered at community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates of accredited online programs can sit for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam offered by the National Healthcareer Association.

Online Medical Billing & Coding Schools:

The online certificate programs are designed specifically for MAA’s who want to focus on the business side of healthcare. They take approximately 10 months to complete. Students are prepared to work with invoicing, coding for medical procedures, and insurance claims. Upon completion of the program, graduates can take the Certified Professional Biller (CPB)  or Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam from the American Association of Professional Coders.