Online Medical Assistant Program | Penn Foster (2023)

Medical Assistant

Associate Degree5 months

If you have an interest in medicine and a passion for helping others, Penn Foster's Medical Assistant Associate Degree Program can help you gain the fundamental skills and credentials needed to prepare to work in the healthcare industry.You will also be able to explore a career in healthcare from home, at your own pace.

  • Learn the basics of clinical procedures, including anatomy, physiology, and psychology.
  • Our online Medical Assistant Program helps prepare students for careers in a variety of healthcare settings, including doctors' offices, outpatient and urgent care clinics, and hospitals.
  • Curriculum can prepare learners to earn industry certifications including:
    • The Registered Medical Assistant certification (RMA)
    • The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant certificate (CCMA)
    • The National Certified Medical Assistant certificate (NCMA)
    • The Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CMAC)
    • The Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) certification
  • Healthcare careers are in high demand, with medical assistant careers expected to grow 16% over the next decade.
  • Our online programs are flexible enough for you to finish them at a pace that works for you, based on how much time you can dedicate to your coursework each week.



Self Paced

Save up to $300Ends 1/24/2023

First Semester


$1,499Save $300


$59/month, Start for as low as $1

Enroll NowRequest Info

1-800-471-3232(9AM - 9PM EST)

Video Transcript

At Penn Foster our goal is to provide you with an online student experience that opens the door to career success and opportunity. That is why our Student Portal is designed to help you prepare for in-demand roles in todays fastest growing industries. Our Student Portal features live action demonstrations, animations, and interactive videos to keep you engaged and motivated from start to finish. Whether at home or on the go. We think that flexibility is essential to helping you learn at your own pace and getting you to the finish line. Our interactive learning aids help improve the understanding of foundational and technical skills. Mirroring some of the work you will be doing on the job. We are committed to delivering a learning experience that will help ensure your success in our programs and beyond. Our dynamic learning model pairs short learning bursts with relevant learning exercises to help you apply key concepts and improve the recall of skills when you are on the job. When you need help, we have ample support resources to encourage you along the way, from our instructors to an engaging student community. We have invested in the online learning experiences that we provide so that you can be confident that the skills you have gained will help you stand out to employers and help you pursue your career goals. From getting hired for a new job, to receiving a promotion or salary increase at work. Ready to get started? Learn more about how Penn Foster can open doors for the next step in your career by visiting us online or contacting us today!

What You Will Learn

  1. General body structures, functions, and processes as well as body systems such as the skeletal, muscular, and central nervous systems.
  2. How to administer injectable medications and how to help doctors with minor surgical procedures.
  3. How to identify processes, symptoms, and treatments for common diseases.
  4. How to perform administrative duties in both medical office and laboratory settings, like coding procedures for billing and medical records.

Medical Assistant Career Outcomes

Medical Assistant







Our accredited, affordable and online Medical Assistant Program can help you learn the basics of healthcare and prepare for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant certification exam. Our externship program helps you earn hands-on experience working under the supervision of a medical professional, so you can develop the necessary skills to support your career.

State Licensing Requirements

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered in the Penn Foster College Program. Prospective students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in this program. Please click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.Please review your state board requirements that are applicable to your field of study. State boards may impose a variety of different requirements, which vary from state to state.

The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) has evaluated and recommended college credit for many Penn Foster College courses. Students who plan to continue their education with another school after completing coursework at Penn Foster College should check with that school regarding credit transfer policies. No form of accreditation guarantees that any learning institution will accept credits from any school as transfer credits.

Graduates of this program will receive NHA certification prep materials and a voucher to cover the cost of the CCMA exam. These valuable certification prep materials can help you prepare and sit for your Certified Clinical Medical Assistant certification. The total value of these materials is $235 and are available to graduates for no additional costs!

As mentioned above, licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state. Prior to requesting any of the NHA CCMA-related materials provided to graduates of this program, students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine the certifications recognized in their state.

Medical Assistant Diploma vs. Degree

Online Medical Assistant Program Curriculum

  • 4 Semesters
  • 22 courses, 60 credits
  • 77 exams
  • 1 externship

Estimated completion time per semester:

  • Fast track = 5 months
  • Average time = 9 months

With Penn Foster, you can learn at whatever pace works best for you. Some learners will be more comfortable moving faster, and dedicating more time, and the fast track estimate will apply to them. The average track will apply to most learners who can dedicate a few hours per week to completing their coursework.

Penn Foster's in-depth Medical Assistant Program curriculum aims to help students develop the skills needed to perform essential administrative and clinical job skills in various settings. You will study medical terminology, various systems of the body, and procedures, as well as the clerical duties necessary to run an efficient medical practice. Your courses include:

  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Procedure Theory
  • Medical Surgical Procedures
  • Medical Coding

Show Full Curriculum

Online Medical Assistant Program | Penn Foster (2)

Medical Assistant Externship Experience

Penn Foster's online Medical Assistant Associate Degree Program features a medical assistant externship as a standard part of the curriculum. This externship provides practical, in-person training under the supervision of a certified medical assistant, nurse, physician assistant, or medical doctor. Consisting of 160 hours of clinical experience, you can gain first-hand knowledge of the daily responsibilities you'll face as a medical assistant, in addition to building professional connections. Our externship coordinator will work with you directly to secure a site to complete your skills.

Medical Assistant Program Success Stories

Penn Foster can help prepare you for a career in the healthcare industry on your terms. Graduates have been able to pursue new jobs and promotions. Learn more about how Penn Foster helped them reach their goals.

View Student Success Stories

Online Medical Assistant Program | Penn Foster (3)

Alysha S.

Penn Foster Medical Assistant Graduate, 2021

"The things you learn [in the program] are actually things you do in the field. Everything applies."

Looking for healthcare training for your workers?

Penn Foster currently works with hundreds of leading employers to meet their unique organizational needs.

Online Medical Assistant Program | Penn Foster (4)
Learn More

Online Medical Assistant Degree Tuition

Take the first steps toward a new career with our online Medical Assistant Degree. Simply choose from one of our low-cost customized payment plans below and get started today!

Option 1: Pay semester in full

Save up to $300Ends 1/24/2023

First Semester


$1,499Save $300

  • Best price. Best value.
  • Pay the full cost today
  • No monthly payments

Enroll Now

Option 2: Monthly Auto Pay Plan

First Semester


  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $1 down
  • Credit card, PayPal, or ACH from bank account

Enroll Now

Option 3: Monthly Mail Pay Plan

First semester


  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $39 down
  • Mail your payment using coupon book

Enroll Now

California residents please click herefor Required California Disclosures.

Need more info or ready to enroll?

Looking for more information on transfer credits, military benefits, or our refund policy? Find this information and more about tuition and enrollment here.

We're here to help. Call1-800-471-32329AM - 9PM EST

Request Info

Our Proven Healthcare Learning Model

Empowering students to reach their professional goals


  • Self-paced schedule
  • Start anytime
  • Payment Plans


  • Expert Instructors
  • Live support
  • Digital textbooks


  • Online student community
  • Career Services
  • Credentialed Instructor Assistance


  • Academic Advisors
  • Student Services
  • Peer Support

Related Programs

In DemandMedical AssistantPrepare for a career helping others in a doctor's office or clinic with Penn Foster's accelerated, online Medical Assistant Training Program.Career Diploma9 monthsAs low as $59/mo
UpdatedPharmacy TechnicianThis online, self-paced program can train you to start working toward a pharmacy technician career.Career Diploma3 monthsAs low as $59/mo
In DemandMedical Billing and CodingThis online, self-paced program can train you to start working toward a medical billing and coding career.Career Diploma11 monthsAs low as $59/mo

Online Medical Assistant Program FAQs

What is the salary for a medical assistant role?

Medical assistants have a median salary of $37,190 per year,* and job growth is projected to increase much faster than average in the next several years.

What can I do with a Medical Assistant Associate Degree?

The largest employers of medical assistants are state, local, and private hospitals, physicians' offices, outpatient care centers, and chiropractic offices. Medical assistants can also find employment in places such as drug and rehab facilities, assisted living centers, and nursing homes.

How much does a Medical Assistant Associate Degree cost?

Tuition costs up to $79 per credit, with the semester fee adjusting slightly based on our current offer. Visit our tuition pagefor the most current tuition information.

Is the medical assistant degree accredited?

Penn Foster College has been nationally accredited for over 40 years, and has met the high standards of integrity and performance set by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) in Washington, D.C.. We also participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

What medical assistant skills will I learn in this degree program?

Skills covered in the Medical Assistant Associate Degree Program include fundamentals like psychology, pharmacology, medical coding, reimbursement methodologies, law, ethics, and confidentiality, medical terminology, medical surgical procedures, clinical procedure theory, and other allied health basics. College level courses also build a well-rounded skill setin areas such as computer and information literacy, written and interpersonal skills, humanities, liberal arts, math, and sciences.

What certification will I receive from the medical assistant program?

Upon successful completion of the Medical Assistant Associate Degree Program, graduates will earn a degree in the field. Certification is offered through independent third parties and cannot be awarded by a school. However, the Penn Foster Medical Assistant Degree prepares you to sit for industry exams and includes prep materials for the National Healthcareer Association’s (NHA) Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Certification, as well as a voucher to cover the cost of the exam.

Where can I work as a medical assistant?

If a fast-paced career in healthcare interests you, look no further than the medical assistant field. While the majority of medical assistants work in physicians’ offices, those with a medical assistant degree may also work in state, local, and private hospitals, as well as outpatient care centers and even chiropractors’ offices. Most medical assistants are often required to keep flexible work schedules around evenings, weekends, and holidays.


*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. "Medical Assistants." Occupational Outlook Handbook. Accessed September 23, 2022.

Statements found in the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook are not a guarantee of any post-graduation salary, in part because the data used to create the Occupational Outlook Handbook includes workers from differing educational backgrounds, levels of experience, and geographic areas of the country.

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Graduates of this program will receive NHA certification prep materials and a voucher to cover the cost of the CCMA exam (a $235 value).

On average, learners can complete their program in as few as 9 months per semester. Faster learners, or those with more time to dedicate to their coursework, can finish in as little as 5 months per semester. If you don’t have lots of time to dedicate to your program, that’s ok too! You can learn at the pace that works for you and your schedule.

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