Medical Assistant, Specialized Diploma

Allied Health & Sciences

Specialized Diploma conferred



Health care continues to be a growth area of our economy. Varied and satisfying employment opportunities exist, even for individuals with a minimum of science education. 
Northampton developed its Medical Assistant specialized diploma program in response to requests from physicians who were looking for workers educated in administrative and clinical skills.

Students develop their skills in the academic setting prior to experiencing hands-on clinical instruction in ambulatory care. 
This program progresses sequentially. In the first semester, students will master the basic theory and skills and then move on to more challenging procedures in the second semester. The program concludes with a capstone clinical externship during the third semester when students will complete volunteer hours in a medical office under the supervision of a clinical preceptor. 

The specialized diploma is part of a career ladder that allows successful students to gain employment at the earliest point in the medical assistant career. Students may choose to continue their studies with a full or part-time schedule through direct articulation with other Medical Office Administration programs. 


Students will learn clerical skills such as coding and the fundamentals of health care reimbursement. Clinical skills include obtaining patient history, vital sign measurement, medication administration, phlebotomy, lab specimen collection, and  ECGs. 

Students can elect to attend the program on a part-time or full-time basis however, the Medical Assistant Techniques courses must be taken in sequence and are only offered once each year. This program is offered at the Fowler Southside Center and Monroe Campus. 

After completing the program, students are eligible to take the Registered Medical Assistant certification exam through American Medical Technologists to become RMA certified. The program faculty will distribute information about the exam to students at the conclusion of the program.  
Career Potential: Medical Assistant in the office of physicians, dentists, podiatrists, urgent care centers, chiropractors, and ambulatory surgical units.  


Admission Requirements

This is a selective admission program. Applicants shall have completed work equal to a standard high school course as evidenced by a diploma or GED. The minimum admission requirement to the program include: 1) one year of HS biology or NCC equivalent (BIOS105, BIOS107, BIOS115) with a grade of C or better, * and 2) one year of HS algebra with a grade of C or better or NCC equivalent (MATH022).*

Prior to acceptance, the student is required to take the English Placement Test (EPT) and be able to enroll in English 101 or be able to transfer English 101 or its equivalent.

*High school courses must be college preparatory level. Equivalents from other colleges may satisfy requirements.

After acceptance into the program, students are required to

  • Carry and maintain health insurance
  • Have physical examination
  • Submit results of required lab tests, immunizations and drug screen
  • Submit certificate in Basic Life Support for Health Care providers throughout the program
  • Submit results of Criminal History Record Information (CHRI), Child and Elder Abuse History Clearance and FBI Clearance.


Medical Assistant is a fall-start program. Students may apply to the clinical program starting October 1. Applications must be completed by July 1. Students will not be able to apply to the clinical program after July 1.

After July 1, students who wish to take general education courses toward the Medical Assistant specialized diploma may apply to the Healthcare Office Coordinator AAS Degree program of study.

Contact the Admissions Office at 610-861-5500 for further information.


Graduates of the program will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic human biology and medical terminology as they relate to the role of the medical assistant.
  • Perform the administrative, clerical, and clinical competencies of the medical assistant role.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the legal and ethical responsibilities of the medical assistant.
  • Function as an assistant to the physician or health care professional in the medical office setting.
  • Demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills in the medical assistant role.
  • Integrate biopsychosocial principles in delivering care to patients and in performing the medical assistant role.


First Semester

BIOS130Basics of Human Anatomy and Physiology

4 credits

COLS101College Success

1 credits

HCOA154Medical Terminology

3 credits

MDAS101Medical Assistant Techniques I

5 credits

MDAS102Pharmacology for Medical Assistants

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:16

Second Semester

MDAS105Medical Assistant Techniques II

5 credits

HCOA172Health Insurance Basics

3 credits

HCOA175ICD-10-CM/PCS Coding Methodologies

3 credits

HCOA176CPT Coding Methodology

3 credits

HCOA240Medical Office Management Practices

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:17

Third Semester

MDAS201Medical Assistant Externship

4 credits

Total Credit Hours:4

Total Credit Hours: 37