Certified Medical Assistant Degree

The associate of applied science degree program in Certified Medical Assistant provides students with educational opportunities in a quality learning environment that fosters competence, compassion, and dedication to the expectations of their chosen profession.

The primary goal of the Medical Assistant degree program is to prepare competent entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. The Certified Medical Assistant program prepares students to assist health care providers in settings including private practice, hospitals, community clinics, and free-standing emergency and surgery centers.

The program integrates learning with the exploration of spirituality and ethics to promote intellectual and personal growth and development. Students actively participate in a competency-based curriculum, both within the classroom and through various clinical sites. Students engage in critical thinking activities, demonstrate cognitive, psychomotor, and affective competencies, and develop professional behaviors. Congruent with the mission of Finlandia University, graduates of the Certified Medical Assistant degree program are dedicated to excellence, growth, and service in the practice of clinical and administrative medical assisting.

The Medical Assistant Associate Degree is a two-year, five-semester program, including one summer semester. Freshman-level students take such courses as College English, math, anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and computer applications. Later, students will take courses in medical office administrative procedures, medical office clinical procedures, and lab procedures. One externship is also required, in which both clinical and administrative skills are practiced. Upon graduation, a student will have completed 72 credits and will be eligible to sit for the CMA (AAMA) national board exam.

This curriculum provides the student with the opportunity for progression from the associate degree to a bachelor’s degree in other disciplines such as health care administration, health sciences, nursing, nutrition, and health care law.

Under the direct supervision of a licensed medical professional such as a physician or nurse, the medical assistant is responsible for performing clinical procedures including medical and surgical asepsis, vital signs, assisting the health care provider with examinations and surgery, administering electrocardiograms (ECGs), and medication administration. The medical assistant is also responsible for performing basic laboratory procedures including specimen collection and testing procedures within the ambulatory health care setting. Administrative responsibilities include scheduling, general office procedures, insurance billing and coding, computer applications, medical transcription, and medical records management. Medical assisting graduates are equipped with flexible and adaptable skills, providing the individual with a rewarding career in the field of helping others.

The program can also be used as a focus toward a cross-curricular 2+2 bachelor’s degree in healthcare management through the Finlandia University International School of Business. It prepares students for careers in a wide range of healthcare-business related occupations including healthcare human resource functions, healthcare finance, office management, healthcare billing and admissions. Learn more about the Healthcare Management 2+2 option.

Clubs & Organizations

AAMA – American Association of Medical Assistants
The mission of the American Association of Medical Assistants is to provide the medical assistant professional with education, certification, credential acknowledgment, networking opportunities, scope-of-practice protection, and advocacy for quality patient-centered health care.

CMA (AAMA) Core Values:

  • Actively participate in the delivery of quality health care.
  • Promote patient safety and well-being.
  • Contribute to a positive health care experience for patients.
  • Demonstrate integrity and respect, and protect patient confidentiality.
  • Advocate the essential value of certification and continuing education.
  • Embrace change, growth, and learning.


Scholarship Opportunities

Program Policy

Medical Assistant degree program policies are presented in the Medical Assistant Student Handbook distributed to students upon entry into the technical component of the Medical Assistant associate degree program. Students who have successfully completed the first year of the Medical Assistant curriculum are required to complete a letter of application for entry to the technical component. A limited number of eligible students are accepted to the technical component each summer, based on available clinical site placements. If the number of eligible applicants exceeds the number of positions available, the faculty reserves the right to select the applicants based on academic qualifications and performance. The remaining applicants will be placed on a waiting list and are encouraged to apply for admission to the Medical Assistant technical component the following year.

Transfer students are advised to contact the Medical Assistant program director for assistance planning their academic plans of study.

Progression Criteria

Progression into the technical component (second year) of the Medical Assistant program requires the following:

  1. Successful completion of the first-year Medical Assistant curriculum with a minimum GPA of 2.5.
  2. Successful completion of all required coursework with final grades of “C” or better. Required courses may be repeated only once.

Once Admitted to the Technical Component of the Program, Students Are Required to:

  1. Maintain a GPA of 2.5 and earn at least a “C” in all courses. Required courses may be repeated only once.
  2. Complete all sequentially numbered courses in order. Note: some courses are only offered once per year. All prerequisite courses must be successfully completed prior to entering the final externships.
  3. Demonstrate the professional and academic behaviors as outlined in the Medical Assistant Student Handbook.

Participation In The Clinical Setting Externship Requires The Following

  1. Written documentation of a current criminal history check 30 days prior to entry into the externship component of the Medical Assistant degree program.
  2. Submission of the required health forms, including a recent physical examination completed by a licensed health care provider, documentation
    related to sensitivity or allergy to latex, and a current immunization record for tetanus/diphtheria, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella. Proof of
    immunization for Hepatitis B is recommended; students who do not wish to comply must sign a waiver to decline and a Release of Responsibility form obtained through the Medical Assistant program office.
  3. Yearly documentation of a negative skin-test (2-step), or chest x-ray, for tuberculosis.
  4. Submit evidence of current training and certification in CPR and basic first aid.
  5. Uniforms and attire that comply with the dress code as outlined in the Medical Assistant Student Handbook.
  6. Although health insurance is not required, it is strongly recommended.

Finlandia University and its affiliated health care agencies assume no responsibility for injuries or illnesses incurred while performing duties as a
Medical Assistant student.

Admission Policies

Incoming students apply to the Certified Medical Assistant program through the Office of Admissions. Admission to the first year of the CMA program requires the successful completion of one full year of high school algebra and two full years of high school science in biology and anatomy/physiology or chemistry, all with a minimum grade of “C”; and a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 point scale.

Transfer students who wish to enroll directly into the final year (three semesters) of the Certified Medical Assistant degree program must meet the required academic standards and progression criteria. Completed college-level courses require a minimum grade of “C” and a cumulative college GPA of 2.5 or better.

The number of students enrolled in the final year of the program is limited. Successful completion of the first-year Certified Medical Assistant curriculum does not guarantee enrollment in the technical phase of the CMA program. The exact number of students admitted is determined each year by the CMA program director based on academic performance, the availability of clinical site rotations, and available resources. Student admission to the CMA program is considered without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Finlandia believes it is important for the student to be exposed to the world. By fostering exchange relations with foreign learning institutions we are able to bring experts from around the world to teach on campus and offer students the opportunity to attend college overseas.

International Study Programs International Admissions (906) 487-7208 | international@finlandia.edu.

Accreditation – Certified Medical Assistant

The Finlandia University Medical Assistant Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
24500 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763

CAAHEP is the largest programmatic accreditor in the health sciences field. In collaboration with its Committees on Accreditation, CAAHEP reviews and accredits over 2000 educational programs in twenty-three (23) health science occupations. CAAHEP is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CAAHEP is also a member of the Association of Specialized & Professional Accreditors (ASPA).

Graduation/Employment Data – Certified Medical Assistant

Bureau of Labor Statistics for Certified Medical Assistants.

Medical Assistant Graduation, employment and certification exam results

Medical Assistant Graduation, Employment and Certification Exam Results
Job Placement Graduate Satisfaction Employee Satisfaction National Certification Exam Pass Rate
5 year average 96.55% 100% 100% 88%

Additional Links and Forms – Certified Medical Assistant

What you will learn

The focus is to prepare individuals dedicated to academic excellence, spiritual awareness and the practice of clinical and administrative medical assisting. The Associate of Applied Sciences in Medical Assisting degree program provides students with educational opportunities in a quality demonstrated learning environment, fostering competence, compassion and dedication to the expectations of their chosen profession. The program integrates learning interactions combined with the exploration of faith and values that promote intellectual and personal growth and development.

What Can I Do with a Certified Medical Assistant Associate Degree?

The MA curriculum provides the educational foundation for entry into the practice of medical assisting. Educational experiences are organized within the framework of identified collegiate competencies. Curricular content increases in scope and complexity as the medical assisting student progresses towards successful completion of each of the core competencies required for graduation from Finlandia University’s MA program.

Graduates will be able to:

  • communicates effectively with patients, supervisors, support personnel, and other health care team members using suitable verbal, nonverbal, and written skills.
  • applies knowledge of basic sciences and medical theory to the application and appropriate modification of administrative and clinical medical assisting procedures.
  • possesses the necessary professional behaviors to practice as a medical assistant in a variety of practice settings.
  • applies critical/creative thinking and analytical skills to make sound administrative and clinical judgments to enhance patient care.
  • delivers patient care in a respectful manner that reflects sensitivity to individual differences.
  • possesses the necessary entry level administrative and clinical skills to practice as a medical assistant in a variety of practice settings.
  • is successful in qualifying for certification/registration for medical assistant degree.

Sample Courses (CORE)

  • Electronic Health Records Management
    This introduction to the basics of medical records management provides the opportunity to put administrative skills learned in previous coursework into practice in a simulated medical setting using electronic health care records (EHR) and allows the student to learn about EHR management practices. Available summer semesters. Co-requisite: MAS 205.
  • Medical Assistant Laboratory Procedures
    Provides the student with an introduction to routine laboratory procedures while following laboratory safety requirements and federal regulations on testing. Includes laboratory. Available fall semesters. Prerequisites: BIO 172, HSC 118, HSC 246.
  • Medical Assistant Laboratory Procedures II
    Prepares students to perform laboratory procedures commonly performed in thea mbulatory care setting under the supervision of a physician. Skills learned will include phlebotomy, immunology, hematology, and chemistry laboratory procedures. Includes laboratory. Available spring semesters. Prerequisites: MAS 221 and MAS 222.

Career Opportunities

Community Health Centers, Hospitals, Long Term Care Facilities, Outpatient Clinics, Ophthalmologists’ Offices, Optometrists’ Offices, Physicians’ Offices, Podiatrists’ Offices


Samantha Saint-OngeMedical Assisting/Medical Billing and Coding Program DirectorFinlandia Universitysamantha.saintonge@finlandia.edu906-487-7367

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