Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant

About the Program

Learn the clinical and clerical skills necessary to become a Medical Assistant (MA) in one year. 

MAs perform vital services in medical offices, urgent care facilities, and other outpatient clinics. They handle patient check-in, take vital signs, obtain patient histories, draw blood, process lab specimens, and assist providers with routine procedures. 

In addition to the clinical role, MAs also perform general administrative duties. These can include organizing and filing medical charts, filing insurance claims, billing and coding, processing payments, and other office-related tasks. Best of all, you’ll be prepared for the future of medical care with experience that includes training in telehealth all along the way. 

If you’d prefer a position inside a hospital and with less clerical work, our PCT Program may be for you. 

Your Educational Experience

Medical Assistant is an entry-level position, making it a perfect way to join the ranks of healthcare professionals. 

At Sentara College, you’ll learn all the skills necessary to make an immediate impact in your chosen field. Our one-year program is split into two semesters of 13-15 credit hours. Courses cover everything from medical terminology and anatomy to recordkeeping and patient care. 

You’ll learn in a hybrid environment, with some online components you complete at home, then join with your classmates and instructors in classes or skills labs at our Chesapeake campus to demonstrate what you’ve learned. MA students also gain the advantage of immediate clinical experience, beginning with your very first course. In total, you’ll gain 450 hours of hands-on experience. Your clinicals take place in real medical settings, with real healthcare providers and patients. Graduates of the program are eligible to apply to take the national certification exam. Certification is required to work in Sentara facilities. 

Career Opportunities for MAs

MAs are in high demand nationwide. They work in offices and clinics, usually with consistent hours and under the direct supervision of a medical provider. Routine patient procedures are common, followed by thorough documentation of each visit, sometimes with billing tasks, as well. The wide variety of roles and responsibilities enjoyed by MAs, as well as the many types of businesses where they are employed, mean that each patient interaction can be unique.

Medical Assistant at a Glance

  • Program is one year (two semesters) 
  • Classes are hybrid, combining online learning with in-class instruction and skills labs at our Chesapeake campus
  • Precepted clinical components take place during day shift at area facilities in Hampton Roads
  • 450 hours of hand-on experience in skills labs, simulation, and clinicals
  • The Program is offered each August
  • High school diploma or GED required to apply, along with algebra and science requirements
  • Must be 18 years old by the first day of class
  • Now accepting applications for August 2024
  • Prepares you to work as a Medical Assistant at Sentara or nationwide.
  • Placement assistance is available within Sentara
  • Graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification exam. Certification is required to work at Sentara facilities.
  • 2023-2024 tuition, fees, and total cost of attendance
  • 2024-2025 tuition, fees, and total cost of attendance

To learn about this program's state authorizations and compliance disclosures, please click here.

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Accreditations & Certifications

Sentara College and the Medical Assistant are accredited and certified by:

Sentara College of Health Sciences is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)(

Sentara College of Health Sciences is certified to operate an institution of postsecondary education in Virginia by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).

Sentara College of Health Sciences is approved by the National Healthcareer Association to administer certification exams for the Medical Assistant program.

Transfer Information

IMPORTANT NOTE: These lists contain courses currently offered at local and online colleges and are intended as a quick reference guide only. This is not necessarily a complete list at the referenced college and does not take the place of a transcript review from our College. Other courses at the referenced colleges below may satisfy our general education course requirements. Sentara College of Health Sciences will assist you with approval of general education courses not on the below list.

All coursework must be completed with a "C-" or higher.

General Education Course Equivalents at Select Colleges

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