Medical Assistant Certificate

Program Statement

The goal of the Medical Assistant Certificate Program is to prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains, as outlined by the Medical Assisting Educational Review Board (MAERB), for employment in healthcare facilities such as physician offices and clinics. 

Program Information

  • Medical assistants may also work in specialized clinical or administrative positions such as phlebotomy, EKG technician, patient care technician, or office manager/supervisor. 
  • Medical assistants are multi-skilled health professionals specifically educated to work in ambulatory settings performing administrative and clinical duties. The practice of medical assisting directly influences the public’s health and well-being and requires mastery of a complex body of knowledge and specialized skills requiring both formal education and practical experience that serve as standards for entry into the profession. 
  • Graduates of Bristol are eligible to apply to sit for the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) to be credentialed as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA). 
  • Some courses in this program are only offered during the day.  
  • Students must earn a minimum of C- in all required Medical Assistant courses. 

The Bristol Community College Medical Assistant Certificate Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Educational Review Board (MAERB), Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs, 9355 - 113th St. N, #7709 Seminole, FL 33775 

A licensing exam is not required by law in Massachusetts.

  Exam Passage Job Placement
Five-year average 100% 88%

Admission Requirements

Applicants are required to complete the following pre-admission requirements to be considered for the selection pool for the Medical Assistant Certificate program.  Minimally qualified applicants must:

  1. Have a high school diploma or state-approved high school equivalency
  2. Demonstrate successful completion (grade of C or higher) in the following pre-admission courses
    • High school biology with a lab
    • Algebra I, Introductory Algebra Competency, or higher level math
  3. Have 6 credits of college coursework with grades of C or higher

NOTE: Priority will be given to qualified applicants with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on pre-admission courses.

Applicants must attend one mandatory Health Science Information Session. Applicants are advised to preregister early as seating is limited.

Meeting these minimum criteria places the applicant in the selection pool but does not guarantee admission to the Medical Assistant Certificate Program. Successful candidates have excelled in science and/or math courses.

Transcripts from attendance at other regionally accredited colleges or universities may be required with submission of your admissions application.  Please refer to the Admissions page within this catalog for further detail  Failure to comply with these requirements may result in your application not being reviewed for the program to which you applied.

Additional Requirements and Costs

Accepted applicants must comply with Bristol Community College's Health Services requirements.This includes a physical examination, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, and varicella (chicken pox) immunizations or titres results (blood test to prove immune status). A TB test and flu vaccine are required each year. Covid-19 vaccination and booster are required to complete the program. Additional health requirements may be required by clinical agencies.

Students are responsible for associated costs such as uniforms, lab coats, name tag, textbooks, lab supplies, certification exam application fees, professional liability insurance.  Students must carry personal health insurance throughout enrollment in the program. Students must provide their own transportation to clinical assignments.

A ten-panel random drug screen is required upon entrance and/or at random. If there is a need for any re-testing, the fee is paid by the student.

Please be advised that despite Massachusetts law that permits the use of medical marijuana and the possession, use, distribution and cultivation of marijuana in limited amounts, any possession, use, distribution or cultivation of marijuana remains prohibited under College policy pursuant to federal law.  Further, any student who tests positive for marijuana will be ineligible for practicum placement.  Please refer to the College's Student Handbook for the College's complete Marijuana Policy.

Upon admission to the program, all students must undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check and a Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) check. These checks are required due to potential unsupervised contact with children, the disabled, or the elderly during a clinical experience. Students found to have certain criminal convictions or pending criminal actions will be presumed ineligible for clinical placement. The College is authorized by the Commonwealth's Department of Criminal Justice to access CORI records. Sex Offender checks shall be performed pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 6, Sections 178C-178P.

For more information regarding the College's CORI/SORI check process, please contact the Human Resource Department at (774)357-3142.

A positive CORI/SORI check may prevent individuals from working in contracted health facilities, which could prevent students from completing the program objectives.

Program Essential Functions

The practice of medical assisting involves communication with patients and direct patient care activities. Certain cognitive and psychomotor capabilities are required for the safe and skillful performance of these activities. In order to make satisfactory progress through the Medical Assistant Certificate program a student must meet the following criteria: 

  • Visual acuity such as that needed for preparation and administration of medications, observation and measurement of laboratory values, physical assessment activities, and varied administrative tasks. 
  • Hearing ability such as that required to receive verbal messages from patients and staff members and to utilize varied medical equipment. 
  • Motor skills and coordination as needed to implement the skills required to meet the healthcare needs of patients and also to operate computers and technical equipment. 
  • Communication skills such as those of speech, reading, and writing as needed to interact with and interpret patient needs and communicate these as necessary to provide safe and effective care. 
  • Reading, writing, and cognitive skills such as those required for written examination, research papers, and the composition of business letters and other business/office related communications. 
  • Mathematical skills such as those required for calculating drug dosages and financial record-keeping for the physician’s office or healthcare facility. 
  • Intellectual and emotional ability necessary to coordinate patient care and manage activities with an ambulatory care facility. 

After Bristol

Recent graduates work as entry-level medical assistants. This program is designed for graduates to enter the workforce immediately. However, many elect to continue their studies in other healthcare fields. Graduates are eligible to sit for a national certification exam. The five-year average for employer satisfaction is 100%. 

Total credits:

Course Sequencing


Academic Area

Health Sciences

Degree Offered

Certificate of Achievement in Medical Assistant

Program Code


Program Contact

Angela Tiebout
Department Chair

Dorothy Chase
Dean of Health Sciences and Nursing

CIP Code