Medical Assistant

In Demand

Online Medical Assistant Diploma

If you are looking for a career in healthcare where you can help others, prepare for an in-demand role as a certified medical assistant with Penn Foster's accredited, online Medical Assistant Career Diploma. You'll study the skills needed to work as a medical assistant and gain hands-on training with a required externship.

  • Our online Medical Assistant Diploma teaches the basics of clinical procedures, including anatomy, physiology, and psychology.
  • Helps prepare students for careers in a variety of healthcare settings, including doctors' offices, outpatient and urgent care clinics, and hospitals.
  • Courses help you prepare to sit for industry-recognized certification exams including:
    • American Medical Technologists (AMT) Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) Certification
    • The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certification offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
    • The National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) certification offered by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)
    • The Clinical Medical Assistant Certification (CMAC) offered by the American Medical Certification Association (AMCA)
  • Certified medical assistants are in high demand. 
  • 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 $600 Ends 10/11/2023

Cost of Program


$2,399 Save $600


$59/month, Start for as low as $20

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

What You Will Learn

  1. How to understand and apply privacy laws in day-to-day healthcare work.
  2. How to complete and submit billing paperwork and understand reimbursement methods for health insurance.
  3. How to effectively complete electronic medical records for patients, including recording patient histories.
  4. How to develop the hands-on skills to be an effective medical assistant through a required externship at a clinic, urgent care, or physician's office.
  5. How to become certified by sitting for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam, offered through the National Healthcareer Association.
Full Program Goal & Outcomes

Medical Assistant Career Outcomes

Medical Assistant







Our online Medical Assistant Diploma program is designed with job-readiness in mind. You'll study the skills that can help you prepare to be a successful medical assistant while taking the next steps toward earning your industry certification and gaining valuable on-the-job experience through your externship.

State Licensing Requirements

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in certain fields are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your 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.

Medical Assistant Diploma Curriculum

  • 98.9 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  • 35 exams
  • 5 projects
  • 1 externship

Estimated completion time:

  • Fast track = 9 months
  • Average time = 15 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.

In our Medical Assistant Diploma curriculum, you'll learn the skills and hands-on training required to effectively work in an office or clinic assisting doctors, physician's assistants, and patients. Your courses include:

  • Medical Billing and Health Insurance
  • Body Systems and Medical Terminology
  • Pathology and Pharmacology
  • Clinical Procedures Theory

Show Full Curriculum
medical assistant sitting at her desk and smiling.

Medical Assistant Externship Details

Penn Foster's online, accredited Medical Assistant Career Diploma Program includes a required externship to gain hands-on experience in the field. After completing your studies online, you'll work alongside experienced staff to apply what you learned to real-world situations before graduating.

The externship is a minimum of 160 hours, to be completed at a clinic, office, or urgent care near you. Our externship coordinator will work with you directly to secure a site to complete your skills.

Medical Assistant Success Stories

Penn Foster medical assistant graduates have gone on to start their healthcare careers in clinics, hospitals, and physician's offices. Learn more about their experiences and how the Penn Foster program worked for them.
View Student Success Stories
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Melonie E.

2021 Penn Foster Graduate

"I would recommend Penn Foster to anyone... It’s a convenient way for you to accomplish your goal. You work at your own pace, nobody else's."

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Medical Assistant Diploma Tuition

Penn Foster's Medical Assistant Career Diploma online program tuition is meant to be affordable for any budget. Choose a customized payment plan that fits your needs and take the next steps toward a career you want today!

Option 1: Pay in full

Save up to $600 Ends 10/11/2023

Cost of Program


$2,399 Save $600

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

Option 2: Monthly Auto Pay Plan

Save up to $600 Ends 10/11/2023

Cost of Program


$2,399 Save $600

  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $20 down
  • All major credit and debit cards accepted
Enroll Now

Option 3: Monthly Mail Pay Plan

cost of program


  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $49 down
  • Mail your payments
Enroll Now

California residents please click here for 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.

Tuition & Payment Options

We're here to help. Call 1-800-471-3232 9AM - 9PM ET

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Our Proven Healthcare Learning Model

Empowering students to reach their professional goals


  • Start anytime
  • No exam due dates
  • Self-paced  


  • Digital study guides
  • Self-check quizzes
  • Simulations and videos


  • 24/7 access to online resources
  • Online student community
  • Student Portal Help Center


  • Expert faculty
  • Dedicated student services 
  • Robust learning resources 

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Medical Assistant Diploma FAQs

What does a medical assistant do?

Medical assistants complete both administrative and clinical tasks in an outpatient setting. While job duties can vary depending on their work environment, most assistants are responsible for collecting and recording patient information, measuring patient vital signs, scheduling appointments, and administering injections or medications at the direction of the doctor or physician’s assistant.

How can I become a certified medical assistant?

Becoming a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) or Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) most often requires successful completion of a medical assistant career program or college degree. After completing a recognized program, the next step is to sit for and pass an industry exam such as the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certification offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). Once you’ve earned your certification, you’ll need to maintain the credential by recertifying after a certain time period and completing continuing education requirements.

Where can medical assistants work?

Most medical assistants work full-time and find positions in doctor’s offices, hospitals, outpatient care centers, and other medical offices.

What is the salary for a medical assistant?

While pay can vary by region, experience, and work environment, the average annual salary for medical assistants in 2021 was $37,190.*