Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Medical AssistingMajors Overview March 16, 2015
Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in medical assisting and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Medical Assisting
Administrative tasks and routine patient care are performed by a medical assistant employed in a healthcare facility such as a doctor’s office or a hospital. Few schools, if any, design bachelor’s degree programs specifically for medical assistants.
Formal education requirements for medical assistants are not in place in most states, and diploma, associate’s degree, and certificate programs are the most commonly accepted postsecondary programs in the field (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Schools that have bachelor’s degree programs offer these as completion programs that admit applicants who hold two-year medical assisting degrees. Students enrolled in these programs have the option of continuing their education and earning Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Health Science degrees.
More commonly, schools offer similar health science or allied health degree completion programs aimed at medical assistants and allied healthcare professionals, including dental hygienists, EMTs, and clinical lab technicians. Both online and on-campus courses are available for these programs that may also incorporate a fieldwork requirement.
Current healthcare professionals enrolled in bachelor’s programs in health science or allied health usually take about five semesters to complete the coursework, often while continuing to remain employed in their current occupations. Coursework may include instruction in areas such as healthcare management, community healthcare issues, and occupational safety.
Successful applicants usually gain junior standing in these bachelor’s degree programs. Typically, while incoming students are required to have completed an accredited associate’s degree program in health science, applicants to some programs are required to hold a medical assistant degree.
Coursework in a health science or allied health bachelor’s degree program combines general education coursework with elective and core coursework in health science. Students enrolled in the program may also have to complete a research or fieldwork experience project. Core coursework may commonly include topic areas such as:
•Health services management
Those who complete a health science and allied health bachelor’s degree program may seek managerial positions as well as occupations in work environments such as public health agencies, hospitals, and schools. They may choose from popular career options such as:
•Health care education
•Marketing and public relations
Continuing Education Choices
The program, which imparts a strong grasp of the humanities and health sciences, prepares students for continuing study through advanced degrees in numerous fields. For instance, graduates of the bachelor’s degree program may choose to earn a master’s degree in healthcare administration or public health. They may typically take an additional two years to complete these programs.