Programs And Courses

Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant 

Learn about the Medical Assistant Associate in Science Degree and Certificate Programs

What does a medical assistant do? 

A medical assistant (MA) is an allied health professional specifically trained to work in ambulatory settings. You may:
  • Answer phones, greet patients, handle billing & correspondence
  • Take medical histories, record vital signs and prepare patients for exams
  • Assist the doctor during appointments
  • Draw blood and perform lab tests
Learn more about the career  - ExploreHealthCareers.org

How much do the programs cost?

Download Estimated Expenses (pdf, rev 5/2014). 


What degree will I earn? Am I eligible for credentials? 

  • Upon successful completion, you will earn either a Medical Assisting Associate Degree or a certificate of completion.
  •  Students in both programs are required to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam prior to graduation. The American Association for Medical Assisting administers the exam.
  • A degree (vs. certificate) does not make a student more employable and salaries are similar.


What are the required courses and what is the suggested schedule? How long does the program take to complete? Where are the clinical classes held?

  • Download a list ofRequired Courses.This includes an approximate time commitment (pdf, rev 3/2014).
  • HACC offers a certificate and degree program.  
    • The medical assistant certificate program is 37 credits. The complete program is available at the Harrisburg Campus.
    • The medical assistant degree program is 61-63 credits. Completion time varies based on your need for preparatory coursework. The complete program is available at the Harrisburg Campus. We offer some required courses at other campuses and online.
    •  The degree program requires the following which the certificate program does not require:
      • A course in health care law and ethics
      •  2-3 credits of health care electives
  • HACC holds all medical assisting classes and labs in the evening at the Harrisburg campus.
  • An externship (240 hours – usually 6 weeks full-time) is required and scheduled during summer semester.  It is arranged by the college in a local physician’s office or clinic during normal daytime business hours Monday through Friday.  The college attempts to find a site that is close to the student’s place of residence but there are no guarantees.
  • We require students to practice phlebotomy and injection skills on simulators and on each other.
  • View Course Competencies

How do I enroll in the program? 

  • Admission to HACC does not guarantee admission to the clinical component of the program.  You begin as a pre-medical assisting student and work closely with your advisor (the Program Director) to prepare to apply to the clinical/core component.
  • Download Admission Criteria and Essential Qualifications (7/2014).
  • If you are a pre-medical assisting student, you are required to meet with Professor Bacon, the program director. Call (717) 221-1392 to schedule your appointment.
  • The clinical application is available online using Survey Monkey during Spring semester. The application deadline is May 31. Check back for the link.

Is the program accredited? 

The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).  

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Can I advance my education in this field?

  • Graduates have options to pursue additional education.  A degree in management or administration would qualify you to work as an office manager.
  •  Certificate program graduates who obtain the CMA credential can pursue HACC's Health Science associates degree.


What are the program goals?

Program goals are to prepare students to:  

  • become competent entry-level medical assistants
  • demonstrate competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains

What is the most current program effectiveness data?
  • Certificate:
    • Graduation rate - 85%
    •  CMA exam pass rate - 100%
    • Job placement - 87% (2-year data)
  • Degree:
    • Graduation rate - 88%
    •  CMA exam pass rate - 85%
    • Job placement - 83% (2-year data) 

How can I get more information?

View our Frequently Asked Questions (pdf, rev 3/2015).
Visit http://explorehealthcareers.org/en/Career/36/Medical_Assistant
Visit the American Association of Medical Assistants - www.aama-ntl.org
Attend a medical assisting information session -   (pdf, rev 1/13/15).  Information sessions will be held Tues, Feb 24; Fri, Mar 20, Tues, Apr 21.  RSVP required.

Who can I contact for more information?
Health Careers 
717-780-1988 or 800-222-4222, ext. 211988 

Medical Assisting Program Office: 
HACC Harrisburg Campus 
Blocker Hall 106 
One HACC Drive 
Harrisburg, PA 17110