Editors Pick 15 Best Medical Assistant Diploma Programs in 2023

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Why Go for a Medical Assistant Diploma?

Many US states, except Washington, do not expect MAs to be certified; however, a Medical Assistant Diploma boosts their entry-level career opportunities and adds to their credibility. Even employers prefer hiring certified MAs.

Though MAs can opt for an Associate Degree or a Certificate, the AAS is long and takes a minimum of two years to complete. The certificate program is short and can be completed within a few weeks or months with short training and curriculum. In contrast to Certificate, Diploma requires one year of a comprehensive curriculum, training, and clinical experience.

But why do we recommend a medical assistant diploma over a certificate?

Diploma holders have better job prospects and higher earning opportunities. This is due to the programs’ structure, length, and topic coverage.

When you compare Diploma with a Certificate, MAs with diplomas are far better equipped with knowledge and skills due to their long and comprehensive training. It also helps them in their further advanced studies for degrees. Also, with their higher knowledge, they can help run healthcare facilities smoothly and serve patients efficiently.

How to choose the best medical assistant diploma programs?

Many reputable private and community colleges, training institutes, and trade schools offer online, offline, and hybrid medical assistant diploma courses. While selecting where to enroll, you will have to determine which one is best for you according to your needs and aspirations. Look for the following when choosing the right college for your training:

  • Check for National accreditation
  • Scholarship opportunities
  • Total training cost and whether some of it can be offset with financial aid
  • Cancellation rules and regulations
  • Updated infrastructure, especially the lab, and equipment
  • Schedule flexibility and arrangement for missed classes
  • Externships and placement availability
  • Program duration and location
  • Student review

How we selected the best medical assistant diploma programs?

After evaluating 110 colleges with CAAHEP accreditation, we determined the following 15 to be the best for medical assistant diploma programs.

Our selection criteria are a reflection of your professional needs.

  • Affordability: We compared baseline fees while remaining considerate of the funding difference between public and private schools. The fees do not fall into the expensive or too inexpensive category but maintain the average line.
  • Accreditation type: You can sit for the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or American Medical Technologists (AMT) exams immediately after graduation if your college has CAHHEP accreditation. ABHES accreditation requires the MA to work full-time for a year before taking the exam or obtain a bachelors before sitting for the exam.
  • Graduation rate: Institutes with a high graduation rates received priority. It indicates students found the curriculum digestible and enjoyed taking the classes.
  • No. of students admitted: It is preferable for the MA programs to admit a small number of students. Fewer students allow the faculty to provide individual attention.
  • Student and faculty reviews: We poured through student and teacher opinions on institute and faculty review sites. Faculty perspective got the same importance as students, as it sheds light on the internal workings of the college.
  • Employment rate: Are the graduates receiving job offers post-exam? Is there a placement cell from the college?
  • Language support: As a medical assistant, you will have to interact with people from all regions. Your first language may not be English, either. And it does not hinder your ability to do your job. Our choice of colleges creates programs in multiple languages and has teachers fluent in more than one.

15 Best CAHHEP Accredited Medical Assistant Diploma Programs

1. Chattanooga State Community College

Course Offered: 1-year Medical Assisting Diploma

Address: 4501 Amnicola Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37406-1018

Chattanooga State Community College presents a 1-year Medical Assisting Diploma program with a tuition cost of $6,119. Students can waive the fees through loans, scholarships, and grants.

The job placement score is 96.30% for the college. Additionally, 74.07% of students pass the CMA certification on average.

You can enroll for full-time classes or attend flexible day and evening classes. Each class holds no more than 22 students. Your total school hours amount to 1290.

The campus is the most attractive part of the college. Lush greenery surrounds the main building, student center, cafeteria, gym, media and technology center, etc. The state-of-the-art simulation labs are a favorite of MA candidates.

2. Southeast Technical College

Course Offered: Medical Assistant 1-Year Diploma Program

Address: 2320 N Career Ave Sioux Falls, SD 57107

The Southeast Technical College has accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). It has the third-largest higher education graduation rate in South Dakota. All courses are less than 24 months long and have an easy refund policy. Student support includes bookstores, an I.T. lab, a childcare center, accessibility services, and recreation centers.

Students gain 47 credits on completing the 1-year-long Medical Assistant Diploma Program. Part-time evening classes are an option for working students. Students can also opt for the hybrid program, where they do the coursework online and put in the clinical hours on selected weeknights.

Financial aid is also available, along with exclusive resources for military members and their families. Additionally, the Southeast Technical College guarantees 100% placement as of the 2022 batch.

Graduates can sit for the CMA (AAMA) exam. The total program fee amounts to $13,115.

3. Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology

Course Offered: 11 Months Medical Assistant Diploma Program

Address: 540 N Harrison Roa Pleasant Gap, PA 16823-8644

The Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology (CPI) is a 1969 foundation offering programs for high school students and graduates alike. Over 1300 adults join their hands-on training programs every year. CPI alumni get placed with local companies immediately after graduation if they want.

The 11-month-long Medical Assistant Diploma program clocks 1124 hours of coursework. The tuition fee is a nice $11,980, made further accessible by financial aid options. Those admitted should have a high school degree or equivalent and no prior record of child abuse or other criminal behavior.

The college does not allow enrolment of more than 24 students per class. You will also have to keep an externship journal for your professor to grade. The college will help you find an externship, but you can also search for one independently. Course end, you will learn how to administer injections, clean medical equipments, and assist with surgery.

4. Wilkes Community College

Course Offered: 1-year Medical Assisting Diploma

Address: 1328 South Collegiate Drive, Wilkesboro, NC 28697

The Wilkes Community College proudly boasts an 80% course completion rate and a 100% placement rate. 100% of the students also passed their exam for the year 2019, as seen in their 2021 report.

Students from Ashes, Alleghany, and Wilkes counties generally migrate to the college. The campus is well-stocked with a library, a bookstore, clubs, and a canteen. They show genuine support toward disabled students and also grant veteran benefits. Financial aid, scholarship programs, and academic goal support enable students to achieve the diploma at $2323. In the absence of aid, the course fee can be $14,778.

The CAAHEP accredited diploma program will enhance your administrative skills and make you an expert at preparing examination rooms. Students also learn part of psychology toward the semester’s end.

There is a 2+2 opportunity to take the Associate and bachelors courses one after another.

5. Wake Technical Community College

Course Offered: 1-year Medical Assisting Diploma

Address: 1328 South Collegiate Drive, Wilkesboro, NC 28697

Students achieve 43 credits at the end of the 1-year extended medical assisting diploma program. Classes occur on the Perry Health Sciences Campus during the day. Financial aid helps cover some of the semester fees, which is $19,168 in total. With scholarships, you can reduce it to $6767.

You can take the CMA exam at the program’s end or earn an associate degree.

The program retained 87.8% of its student in 2021, 88.37% of whom passed the exam. 88.24% of whom went on to place a job recommended by the college.

Their e-portal lets students catch up on classes they missed, except for hands-on training days. Students can access libraries, bookstores, computer labs, testing centers, and clubs. You can also volunteer for extra credits.

6. Sampson Community College

Course Offered: 1-yearMedical Assisting Diploma

Address: 1801 Sunset Avenue P0 Box 318, Clinton, NC 28329

Sampson Community College awards students 40 semester credits upon finishing the Medical Assisting Diploma program. Over 3 semesters or 1 year, you must also submit an additional 240 clinical hours to graduate. A feat completed by 100% of students in 2020, with 86% getting placed in the same year.

MA diploma holders become intimate with OSHA and HIPAA regulations, learn first aid, and can handle a wide range of patients. All this allows them to sit for the AAMA exam.

The student infrastructure is top-solid with disability services, online tutoring, a bookstore, testing, counseling, and distance learning options. The total tuition fee is $3157, without accounting for the additional costs of textbooks and other services. Students also get a 75% refund if they choose to opt out.

Parents can apply for the childcare center facility from the college.

7. Gaston College

Course Offered: 1-year Medical Assisting Diploma

Address: 201 Highway 321, South Dallas, NC 28034

The 1-year Medical Assisting Diploma from Gaston College counts towards 48 credit hours. It takes another 20 credits to convert it into an associate’s degree. Classes occur during the day but online, except for the skill-based ones.

99% of the class takers were placed through Gaston’s connections. Most of them went on to pass the CMA (AAMA) examination. Gaston College does expect students to have good math and English scores before applying for the course.

The total tuition for out-of-state students parks somewhere around $12,814. In-state tuition is $3,648. Financial aid and veteran benefits bring down the number. Gaston College also has unique rooms, such as the Writing Centre.

8. Minnesota West Community and Technical College

Course Offered: 1-year Medical Assistant Diploma

Address: Luverne Educational Center for Health Careers, 311 North Spring St Luverne, MN 561561541

The Minnesota West Community and Technical College grounds used to serve as a hospital until 2005. The converted Luverne campus is infinitely suitable for medical assistant training for this reason. The short-term MA diploma program grants students 44 credits in 1 year.

An associate’s degree is achievable if they stick around for another semester. Many students take the course online and only appear on campus for hands-on training. The total cost is around $18,886. If you are eligible for a scholarship, you may only have to pay $11,439.

9. Riverland Community College

Course Offered: 1-year Medical Assistant Diploma

Address: 1900 8th Avenue NW, Austin, MN 55912

The Medical Assistant Diploma program from Riverland Community College runs for 1-year and awards students 36 credits. It begins during the fall in Austin. Course takers should not have any criminal record. Nor should they fall behind on Immunization vaccinations.

The total cost across three semesters is $7314.12. They also have to spend on medical supplies along with an analog watch. Students can pay off their tuition with grants, scholarships, student loans, work-study, and military assistance.

Riverland Community College logs a 70.59% retention rate with 87.50% placement success. Many of these students got housing on campus while their diploma program was ongoing.

10. International Business College-Indianapolis

Course Offered: 1-year Medical Assistant Diploma Program

Address: 7205 Shadeland Station, Indianapolis, IN 46256-3918

The Medical Assistant Diploma Program fee at International Business College is $12,868. Students can lower it to a manageable $6,868 through grants. The faculty is considerate and provides plenty of individual attention to students, allowing them to graduate.

Classes take place at the Indianapolis campus. International students also find housing in the area.

The year-long diploma program focuses primarily on hands-on training and students have to submit 8 weeks of clinical hours through externships to pass.

11. Lake Superior College

Course Offered: 1-year Medical Assistant Diploma

Address: Duluth, MN 55811-3349

Lake Superior College won the Best Medical Assistant Programs in Minnesota award for 2020 and 2021. The diploma course is 1 year long. No more than 25 students are admitted each year. 21 of the course takers graduated in 2021, with 14 passing the CMA exam.

The accredited CAAHEP course costs $9000. Financial aid comes in the form of scholarships and cost coverage of books and medical kits. A refund is granted to those who want to drop out and inform them during the correct time period. You can also get housing, join clubs, a wellness center, and free bus rides.

12. Beal University

Course Offered: 12-month Medical Assisting Diploma

Address: 99 Farm Rd, Bangor, ME 04401-6831

The Medical Assisting Diploma course from Beal University is 12 months long, while the associate’s degree takes 18 months. On the Bangor campus, you will receive hands-on training, including collecting urine samples and minimizing the spread of infections.

In 2020, 52.17% of the admitted students lasted until the end of the semester. However, the remaining 100% graduated and got a job offer fresh out of school.

Online classes, along with flexible in-person classes, are available. You can also access the gym, library, bookstore, and cafe. Student loans, scholarships, and veteran services are available for students hoping to reduce the total fee.

You are looking at an expensive $21,393 fee on average with financial aid, so do not forget to apply.

13. Jefferson Community and Technical College

Course Offered: Medical Assisting – Diploma

Address: 109 E Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202

Part of the Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS), Jefferson Community & Technical College is part of the 16 colleges serving Kentuckians. And so you can always find a college offering Medical Assistant Diploma near you. You can also transfer between colleges under the KCTCS thanks to this scheme.

The total course run time is 1 year. Those hoping to achieve 53 credits instead of 46 may have to stick around for another semester or 1.6 years.

The general tuition cost is $16,222. If you opt for financial aid, you can reduce it to $5954. You can get a refund if you inform the management well into the 16th week of the course. Enrolled students can also choose which procedure to learn between CPR and first aid.

14. Southern Crescent Technical College

Course Offered: 1-year Medical Assisting, Diploma

Address: 501 Varsity Road, Griffin, GA 30223-2042

To enroll in the 1-year Medical Assisting Diploma program from Southern Crescent Technical College, MA aspirants should be over 18 years old. The potential student must also have a grade of C or more in relevant subjects.

The Southern Crescent Technical College does not keep a waiting list. If you get accepted, you will know.

Their clear policy has allowed them to grant 100% placement for their graduates in 2020. They have also passed the American Medical Technologist (AMT) Exam.

The tuition for the course is $17,403 without aid. However, with various financial schemes, students have gained a diploma at only $5956.

15. North Georgia Technical College-Clarkesville

Course Offered: Medical Assisting Diploma 1 year

Address: PO Box 65, 1500 Hwy 197 N, Clarkesville, GA 30523-0065

The Medical Assisting Diploma program from North Georgia Technical College takes place on the Clarkesville campus. Full of life, the campus has its own dormitory, a library, a bookstore, computer and medical labs, and hosts organized events.

The 1:16 student-to-faculty ratio is what achieved 100% graduation for 2020. The Medical Assisting Diploma lasts 3 semesters or 1 year. Tuition can be free with the proper scholarship. Without aid, you may have to pay $10,764. Even if you do not get the full cost waived, you can still reduce it to $3,438 with grants.

Does a Medical Assistant Diploma Expire?

No, a Medical Assistant Diploma is a lifetime achievement. The degree is received through accredited schooling. As such, no one can take the degree from you.

However, medical assistant certifications may have an expiry date, as the courses are more short-term and often completed online. Many practicing healthcare workers also take a certification exam to validate their expertise in the field.

The certification has to be renewed every two years from the date of issue. Oddly, the time limit for renewal extends to the credential owner’s birthday.

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Written by : Casey Gardner

Casey Gardner is both a healthcare support professional and an accomplished content creator.  She has been working as a certified health care professional with marketable skills as a physician assistant,  and a qualified medical assistant for last two decades. She has dedicated her nursing career to produce over hundreds of content pieces since 2001, and her work has been published both online as well as offline.


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