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Medical Assistant Certificate

Course Requirements

This program of study is designed for a full-time student who completes all requirements within 3 semesters. This plan will vary for any student who has transfer credits, or who plans on completing the program over a period greater than 3 semesters.  Please consult with your program director for additional information. 

ID Title Class Lab Credits
Spring Semester
ALHT102R Medical Terminology - offered fall and spring 3 0 3
ALHT166R Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Care - offered fall and spring 3 0 3
PSYC101R Introduction to Psychology - offered every semester 3 0 3
Summer Semester
SCI103R Human Biology - (Accuplacer reading score min of 70 required) - Offered every semester 4 0 4
BCPT101R Introduction to Computer Applications - offered every semester 2 3 3
Fall Semester (only offered in the fall)
ALHT101R Communications for the Allied Health Professional  3 0 3
ALHT110R Pharmacology
(ALHT101R, ALHT102R, ALHT130R)
3 0 3
ALHT121R Medical Office Practice I
(ALHT101R, ALHT102R)
2 3 3
ALHT130R Clinical Procedures I
(SCI103R ALHT101R, ALHT102R)
3 3 4
Spring Semester (only offered in the spring)
ALHT126R Introduction to Laboratory Procedures# (ALHT130R, ALHT135R) 2 3 3
ALHT124R Medical Office Practice II
2 3 3
ALHT135R Clinical Procedures II
3 0 3
ALHT190R MA Practicum
(160 hrs) (All MA courses completed or in progress)
0 0 3
ALHT192R MA Senior Seminar (All MA courses completed or in progress) 0 0 1

Prerequisite & Co-requisites are listed in parentheses.Program of Study is subject to change.

#Students who have completed PHBC110R or a certified Phlebotomy course or sufficient experience as a Phlebotomist and have the permission of the instructor and their Program Director may take Introduction to Lab Procedures (Bridge) - ALHT127R course in lieu of Introduction to Laboratory Procedures - ALHT126R. Speak to your  Program Director directly for advising.

Mission Statement and Program Outcomes

For more information about this program, please contact Lisa Gould. 603-542-7744 x5428.

What is a Medical Assistant? The Medical Assistant (MA) is an essential link between the physician and patient, providing support services in a variety of skill areas. The Medical Assisting program includes instruction in patient care procedures, basic laboratory techniques, and administrative skills.  A medical assistant is an integral member of the health care delivery team. The many different roles that are assumed in the medical assisting profession assure a fast-moving and challenging career.

What is a CMA (AAMA)? The CMA (AAMA) credential designates a medical assistant who has achieved certification through the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

The CMA (AAMA) is becoming the allied health professional of choice for ambulatory health care delivery settings. Many employers of allied health personnel prefer, or even insist, that their medical assistants are CMA (AAMA) certified.

CMA (AAMA) Education - The CMA (AAMA) is the only medical assisting certification that requires graduation from a postsecondary medical assisting program accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

CAAHEP or ABHES Accreditation - Only graduates of medical assisting programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) are eligible to take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination.

Where CMA's work:

  • Hospitals
  • Partnerships/Group Practices
  • Surgical Specialties
  • Podiatrists
  • Chiropractors
  • Optometrists
  • Dentists
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Diagnostic Labs

In Demand - Medical assisting is one of the nation's fastest growing careers, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, attributing job growth to the following:

  • Predicted surge in the number of physicians' offices and outpatient care facilities
  • Technological advancements
  • Growing number of elderly Americans who need medical treatment
Employment of medical assistants is projected to increase 29 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than average for all occupations (7 percent).
You can see this data and more concerning the job outlook for medical assistants on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.


Job Responsibilities- Medical assistants are cross-trained to perform administrative (refer to Medical Administrative Assistant Program) and clinical duties.  Duties vary from office to office depending on location, size, specialty, and state law.

Clinical Duties (may include, but not limited to):

  • Taking medical histories
  • Explaining treatment procedures to patients
  • Preparing patients for examination
  • Assisting the physician during exams
  • Collecting and preparing laboratory specimens
  • Performing basic laboratory tests
  • Instructing patients about medication and special diets
  • Preparing and administering medications as directed by a physician
  • Authorizing prescription refills as directed
  • Drawing blood
  • Taking electrocardiograms
  • Removing sutures and changing dressings

Admission Requirements

• Meet the college requirements for admission

• Minimum Accuplacer score for course registration: SCI103 Human Biology - Reading Score 70

Program Requirements

1. Have manual dexterity, hearing, and visual abilities, to meet technical standards for a medical assisting career.

2. Participate in a personal interview with the Program Director.

3. Students will be required to submit a criminal background check and a drug screening to attend the MA Practicum.

The River Valley Community College Medical Assistant Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).”

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 US Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763

Students who have misdemeanor or felony charges involving theft, abuse, or drugs may be prevented from participating in required courses to complete the Medical Assisting program. Students that have been found guilty of a felony, pleaded guilty to a felony, or had a professional license, registration, or certification denied, revoked, suspended, or subjected to probationary conditions by a regulatory authority or certification board are not eligible for the CMA (AAMA) Exam. However, the Certifying Board may grant a waiver based upon mitigating circumstances. Applicants must submit a Request for Waiver Form.  http://www.aama-ntl.org/

Students must earn a minimum grade of “C” in all required courses to progress within the program, register for Practicum, and graduate.

The MA Practicum is an unpaid, supervised on-site work experience consisting of a 160 hour clinical rotation in an ambulatory healthcare setting, performing psychomotor and affective competencies. Transportation to the site is the student’s responsibility.

Medical Assistant students may choose a dual enrollment in the Medical Administrative Assistant Program.  The MA curriculum may also be applied towards earning an  Associate in Science Degree.

In the 2015 Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Medical Assisting, Standard V.A.4 states the following:

The Sponsor must maintain, and make available to the public, current and consistent summary information about student/graduate achievement that includes the results of one or more of the outcomes assessments required in these Standards

For the Fall of 2017, the Medical Assisting Program at RVCC reports graduates of the past 5 years averaged a retention rate of 87.23%, a job placement rate average of 90.24% and a passing rate of 83.33% for the CMA (AAMA) Certification exam. 

American Association of Medical Assistants

AAMA 2016 Medical Assisting Compensation and Benefits Report

Gainful Employment Disclosure Statement



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(603) 542-7744
1 College Place
Claremont, NH 03743


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