News & Updates

  • The Medical Assistant Program begins a new class every Fall.
  • In MA 072, students will be required to complete clearances that include a background check and drug screen, basic physical exam and immunizations, and CPR card from the American Heart Association.
  • The required uniform will be required in Externship Classes – MA 074 and 086


The Medical Assistant Program at Imperial Valley College has been active since 1997. Preparation is available for front and back office certification. After completion of 26.5 units, an IVC Certificate of Achievement in Medical Assisting is awarded, and students prepare to take the certification exam to become certified in California.

Duties of a Medical Assistant

MAs help physicians examine and treat patients and perform routine tasks to keep offices and clinics running smoothly. MAs usually handle clerical and clinical duties and report directly to the office manager or physician. Some administrative (front office) duties include answering phones, greeting patients, updating patient medical records, filling out insurance forms, and arranging for hospital admission and lab services. Some clinical (back office) duties include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, explaining treatment procedures to patients, preparing patients for exams, and assisting during the exam.Medical assistant employment is expected to grow in the next decade. The expansion of healthcare industries and an emphasis on cost containment will result in an increased use of medical assistants by healthcare establishments.

Characteristics, Working Conditions, and Salary

A Medical Assistant is considered a member of the Allied Health team and is a multi-skilled health professional used in ambulatory areas such as clinics and doctor's offices. An MA is expected to be proficient in the administrative, clinical, and lab components of the workplace. Characteristics include organization, critical thinking, excellent communication skills, a compassion demeanor, being a good listener, customer service oriented, trustworthy, being honest and having integrity, competent, adaptable, team player, humility, self-motivator, and having a smile contribute to a great MA. The annual salary is from $30,320 to $40,400 depending on location. The average hourly rate in California ranges from $12 to $18, sometimes higher pending location.

Course of Study

 MA Course of Study   Units Hours 
 AHP 100

Medical Terminology (Prerequisite)

 3   54
Core Courses
 MA 070  Administrative Medical Assistant I  4.5  81 
 MA 072

 Administrative Medical Assistant II

 4.5  81 
 MA 074

Externship - Clinical (Front Office)

 2  108
 MA 080  Specimen Collection & Lab Procedures  3.5  81
 MA 082

 Exam Room Procedures 

 3.5 81
 MA 084

Pharmacology & Administration of Medication

 3.5  81
 MA 086

Externship - Clinical (Back Office)

 2  108
Total Units/Hours  26.5  675


Schedule of Classes:

Semester 1 - Fall

 Winter Session
 Semester 2 - Spring  Fall Session
 MA 070  MA 074  MA 080  MA 084
 MA 072    MA 082  MA 086


How to Enroll

  • Apply to the College (for new and returning students)
  • Complete the prerequisite course - AHP 100, Medical Terminology – with a C or higher grade.
  • Enroll in Semester 1 MA classes and follow the sequence

A grade of C or higher is required for successful completion of each course; students cannot progress to the next course if a C is not obtained. Check the course syllabus for details. Students with previous credit are advised to meet with a counselor for direction. Refer to the IVC Syllabi Site for course syllabus

Medical Assistant Program General Information

Required Materials and Cost:

Costs include required textbooks, uniform and accessories, and the certification exam. Additional costs include enrollment fees and parking.

Tuition (26.5 units) $46/units x 3 sem = $1,219

$25 per semester = $75

Textbooks $135
Clearances $270-$300

Required Clearances

Students must receive full clearance before entering any of the externship sites. Information is provided to students upon enrolling in MA classes. The following clearances are required:

  • A background check and urine drug screen
  • Current BLS CPR card
  • Physical exam, TB screen, and immunizations (Influenza [during flu season Oct-Mar], 2-step MMR, Hepatitis B series, Tdap, and Varicella).


Students are advised to meet with the Nursing & Allied Health Program Counselor for guidance and direction on their educational plan. The counselor is located in the Counseling Department, Building 100 – Stella Orfanos-Woo, 760-355-6543 – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Certification Exam

Year-round testing is conducted by the Certifying Board for Medical Assistants (CCBMA) Students take all sections of the exam - Basic plus Administrative and Clinical - to become certified as Medical Assistants in California. Students apply for the exam during MA 084.

Additional Resources:

The Medical Board of California -

Certification Testing -

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) -