Administrative Medical Assisting Certificate

Cerro Coso IWV campus

What can I do with this?

The Administrative Medical Assisting Certificate

  • Prepares students for the State Exam for Medical Assistants (CCBMA).
  • Provides the students with the opportunity to develop the necessary administrative skills needed to be an effective medical assistant.
  • Focuses on the physician's front office including receptionist, office management, billing, and coding.

You can use this to:

  • Enhance career opportunities as a Medical Assistant

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical Assisting is one of the nation's fastest growing careers with an expected growth of 34% between 2012 and 2018. Approximately 62 percent of medical assistants work in physician offices; 13 percent work in public and private hospitals including inpatient and outpatient facilities; 11 percent work in other health practitioner settings, such as chiropractor's and optometrist's offices.

What will I learn?

  • To research online and traditional reference materials effectively to stay informed about emerging trends and breakthroughs in healthcare issues related to the medical assistant's administrative role.
  • To perform Administrative Medical Assisting procedures competently, such as OSHA standards, electronic technologies, and medical records.
  • To achieve entry level Administrative Medical Assisting competencies, such as verbal communication, basic banking procedures, and medical insurance which satisfy industry needs.
  • To identify State of California regulations that govern the healthcare industry for Medical Assistants.

What courses do I take?

Note: Some courses within the major may have a required prerequisite. If you feel you have equivalent knowledge and skills to those included in the prerequisite course through professional experience, licensure, or certification, you have the opportunity to submit a Prerequisite Challenge to be reviewed by the faculty chair. For the Prerequisite Challenge to be considered, you must submit documentation/verification to substantiate the basis for the challenge. Please consult a counselor for more information regarding Prerequisite Challenge.

Complete all of the following courses:

Medical Assisting Core Courses

9 hours lecture/27 hours laboratory. This course is designed for those with little or no computer experience. Learners practice file management, email, instant messaging, and Internet browsing and searching. This course includes a brief introduction to industry standard word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation application programs. Computer terminology and identification of fundamental hardware and software applications are also introduced. (Formerly CSCI C070.)

Advisory: ENGL C101

36 hours lecture. This course is designed to prepare the student to recognize human behaviors and communicate effectively with clients and other healthcare providers in the workplace. Topics include verbal and non-verbal communication techniques, listening skills, therapeutic communication skills, and communicating with other healthcare providers. This course meets the competency standards for Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants (CCBMA) certification.

Advisory: ENGL C101

27 hours lecture. This course is designed to explore the theories, models, and principles that serve as guides for ethical behavior within the medical assistant context. The student explores the complexities of the ethical and legal aspects of patient care related to the medical assistant's practice, while learning the importance of principled behavior in personal and professional situations.

Advisory: ENGL C101

27 hours lecture. This course covers concepts and techniques for managing and maintaining manual and electronic health records (EHR). Topics include structure and use of health information including data collection and analysis, data sources/sets, archival systems, and quality and integrity of health care data. The focus of this course is system-wide clinical documentation guidelines and regulatory standards.

54 hours lecture. This course is designed to familiarize the student with the language of medicine. The components of medical terminology are highly beneficial for any individual with a healthcare employment objective. The course presents the components of medical works including word roots, combining forms, suffixes, and prefixes. Using medical terminology as a focal point, the instructor discusses the systems of the body.


Administrative Medical Assisting

Advisory: ENGL C101

9 hours lecture/27 hours laboratory. This course provides the learner with a basic understanding of word processing with Microsoft Word, including document creation, formatting, and editing. Learners create, edit, and format business letters, multiple-page reports, newsletters, and cover letters. This course begins preparation for the Microsoft Office User certification exam for Word.

Advisory: BSOT C075, ENGL C101

9 hours lecture/27 hours laboratory. This course provides a basic understanding of Microsoft Excel beginning with spreadsheet design, creation, revision, formatting, and printing a workbook. Basic formulas, functions, and syntax are introduced along with an introduction to using charts and graphs. Problem solving for Excel solutions is also emphasized. This course begins preparation for the Microsoft Office User Certification exam for Excel.

Prerequisite: HCRS C150, HCRS C130, HCRS C131, HCRS C132

Advisory: ENGL C101

54 hours lecture. This course enables the student to gain a wide range of skills that may be required in a medical front office, which is an area that requires a high level of adaptability. This course covers basic office procedures, which include receptionist, appointments, scheduling, telephone techniques, interpersonal relations, computer data entry, oral communication, and medical-legal doctrines.

Prerequisite: HCRS C150, HCRS C130, HCRS C131, HCRS C132

Advisory: ENGL C101

54 hours lecture. This course presents the basic functions of the insurance and billing practices for healthcare workers. Topics include management of basic financial activities for healthcare facilities including medical insurance, methods of establishing professional fees, billing laws and regulations, banking, and bookkeeping.

Co-requisite: HCRS C133

Advisory: BIOL C121, ENGL C101

36 hours lecture. This course presents a thorough overview of basic International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding. Procedural coding and International Classification of Diseases provides students with the detailed knowledge to implement the specialized coding needed for billing insurance companies.

Prerequisite: HCRS C133, HCRS C134, HCRS C135 or concurrent enrollment

90 hours volunteer work experience. The Administrative Medical Assistant (AMA) Externship is a practical application of the theory and skills learned in the classroom. The student participates in front office procedures under the direct supervision of the physician and the office manager and the indirect supervision of the classroom instructor.


All students must complete a Certified Background Check before participating in the program.

This program is authorized by California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants. To learn more about the agency or to submit a complaint about Cerro Coso Community College's program after trying to resolve the issue through the local Student Complaint Policy, contact the agency at

Program Pathways

All classes needed for this certificate are available at the following campuses: CC Online

See Counseling for specific help with enrolling and completing this major.

How can I afford it?

This certificate requires 20.5 units and will likely take 2 semesters.

Approximate Total Costs

CA Residents

20.5 units

at $46 per unit

Equals $943 in tuition and fees

Plus approximately $1,230* for books and supplies

Total cost $2,173 for 2 semesters


20.5 units

at $388 per unit

Equals $7,954 in tuition and fees

Plus approximately $1,230* for books and supplies

Total cost $9,184 for 2 semesters

*This is an estimate. Actual costs will vary.

Need help? Financial Aid can help with fee waivers and scholarships and other aid. Make sure to fill out your FAFSA every January.