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Applying To Medical Assistant School: Requirements

Your state of residence and the type of medical assisting program you're applying to will determine the actual requirements you'll need to meet. Read on for a list of common ones.

Medical Assistant Program Requirements

The following covers some general requirements for certificate and associate degree medical assistant programs. Your school’s requirements may be a little different.

  • complete applications by deadline
  • proof of high school completion, GED, or HSE certificate
  • physical exam and required immunizations
  • background check (if clinical component)
  • drug/alcohol screens
  • CPR certification
  • math and English placement tests administered by school

Switching To Medical Assisting

When switching to a medical assisting program from another program or job setting you may need a cover letter explaining why you want to be in the medical assisting program. Include what makes you a strong candidate. Be sure your cover letter is grammatically correct and signed.

You may also need:

  • resume
  • letters of recommendation from employers, teachers, and coworkers
  • minimum 2.0 overall GPA
  • most recent college transcripts, high school transcripts, or GED/HSE

Other Possible Requirements

Here's a list of requirements that some medical assistant schools have, but others don't.

  • keyboarding test: 35 nwpm
  • computer competency exam (CSA Exam)
  • meet with program director

Physical Qualifications

Many medical assisting certificate and degree programs will have some type of minimum physical qualifications, since a medical assistant must be able to perform specific essential functions with or without reasonable accommodation. These qualifications may include:

  • Exert maximum physical force up to 50 pounds in order to lift, push, pull, or carry various types of equipment and safely assist and transfer patients.
  • Sustain professional activity up to 8 hours.
  • Remain standing or sitting up to 8 hours.
  • Reach above shoulder level to operate equipment.
  • Reach below waist level to operate equipment.
  • Have free range of motion (bend, squat).

Remember, all schools have their own set of requirements. Your best bet is to research more than one local medical assistant school to see which is right for you.

Try some medical assistant practice tests.


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