UCLA Health Medical Assistant Program

The UCLA Medical Assistant Program (MAP), offered through a partnership between UCLA Health and UCLA Extension, combines the theory and practical experience necessary to prepare students to transition successfully into a career as a medical assistant.

This program is perfect for...

  • Health care administrative personnel that want to transition into clinical practice
  • Students looking to start their career in medical assisting
  • Allied health professionals interested in expanding their skill set
  • Recent high school graduates starting their career track in allied health care

What you can learn.

  • Perform basic clinical tasks such as taking vital signs, administering medications, and collecting samples for testing
  • Perform administrative tasks in a medical office
  • Using various health information system technologies and medical equipment
  • Acquire the knowledge necessary to pass various certification exams

Train to be a health care professional.

female medical professional smilling in scrubs

Medical assistants play an essential role in providing health care. They take vital signs, administer medications and perform administrative tasks, helping physicians care for patients.

The UCLA Medical Assistant Program (MAP), offered through a partnership between UCLA Health and UCLA Extension, combines the theory and practical experience necessary to prepare students to transition successfully into a career as a medical assistant.

Our curriculum combines the theory and practical experience necessary to prepare students to successfully transition into a career as a Medical Assistant.

Instructors are working nurses, physicians, and other health care professionals working in the medical field. They maintain strong professional ties to respected organizations and are leading health care reform at UCLA Health.

  • The four-quarter program includes 68 units of course work and 200 hours of clinical internship hours.
  • Course of study prepares students for the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) National Certified Medical Assistants (NCMA) exam.
  • Curriculum is reviewed and approved by an advisory board comprised of practitioners in the field, industry leaders and UCLA physicians, nurses and administrators from UCLA academic departments.
  • A college degree is not required to enter the program.

The UCLA Medical Assistant Program is an integral part of UCLA Health. The Program shares the mission, vision, and values of the Health System, which are:

  • Mission is to deliver leading-edge patient care, research, and education.
  • Vision is to heal humankind, one patient at a time, by improving health, alleviating suffering and delivering acts of kindness.
  • Values ensure Integrity, Compassion, Respect, Teamwork, Excellence and Discovery on the work we do daily.

In alignment with the UCLA Health Mission, Vision, and Values, the Medical Assistant Program overarching goal is to provide premiere academic and technical training to develop the most highly competent medical assistants who can contribute to healing humankind, one patient at a time, by improving health, alleviating suffering, and delivering acts of kindness to meet the needs of the health care community.

In alignment with UCLA’s mission, the MA Program’s leaders established the vision to be the leading-edge educational program for Medical Assistants while providing an opportunity to persons who share UCLA values regardless of financial means.

The Medical Assistant Program at UCLA is pleased to report the following outcomes.

2023 Cohort:

  • Retention 92%
  • MA Certification 82%
  • Job Placement 82%
Source: UCLA Health Medical Assisting Program Outcomes Survey, 2023



The UCLA Health Medical Assistant Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs | 25400 US Highway 19 N., Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763 | (727) 210-2350


After Graduation

female medical assistant smiling at patient

Certification Exam

Course of study prepares students for the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT) National Certified Medical Assistants (NCMA) exam. For information on the exam, visit the National Center for Competency Testing's website.

Join the UCLA Alumni Association

UCLA Extension’s certificate program graduates are considered UCLA Alumni and are able to access resources that are only available to members of the UCLA Alumni Association. Learn more.

Career Opportunities

UCLA Health currently employs over 500 Medical Assistants and there are many open positions for which our program graduates are strongly encouraged to apply. The current starting salary for Medical Assistants at UCLA Health is 13% above the national median. More information on UCLA Health career opportunities.

How to Get Started

This program is set up in a cohort model that begins each fall quarter. Learn more about the application process and requirements below. To start your application, click "Apply Now" which is located beneath the course listings.

Important Dates

  • January 29, 2024: The application window opens for the Spring 2024 cohort. Applicants will be reviewed and interviewed on a rolling basis.
  • June 1, 2024: Application deadline and HESI exam scores due.
  • September 16, 2024: Classes begin.

Who can apply?

Applicants are required to:

  • Be able to work in the United States
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be competent in reading comprehension
  • Have basic arithmetic and math skills
  • Take the HESI admission exam

Selection Process/Admission is based on:

  1. Submission of a complete application including references and transcripts
  2. Satisfactory performance on the HESI entrance exam
  3. MAP Admission Committee decision to invite selected candidates to an interview
  4. Final application decisions are completed after the interview

Learn more about the HESI Exam and instructions for applicants

Application Requirements:

Applicants must provide the following at the time of application:

  1. Complete a student profile
  2. High school transcripts or GED certificate (unofficial transcripts are acceptable for initial application)
  3. College transcripts – if applicable (unofficial transcripts are acceptable for initial application)
  4. Comprehensive resumé
  5. Three (3) references who can recommend you for the program, must be completed on the reference form (PDF). One letter must be from your current supervisor (if employed). Please have each of your three (3) references email completed reference forms to MAProgram@mednet.ucla.edu
  6. Emergency contact information
  7. Submission of an essay including a personal statement describing the candidates objectives for applying to the Program, including educational and professional goals, as well as professional or personal qualities that will help the candidate succeed in the Program and in the profession.
  8. Math, Reading, Writing Proficiency as determined by a standardized nationally recognized examination (HESI). A copy of the email sent by Prometric, confirming your HESI exam appointment date and HESI exam scores
  9. $183 (this includes the nonrefundable $75 application fee and HESI exam fees)

Download reference form (PDF)

Admission or progression in the UCLA Health Medical Assistant Program will be denied if a student is unable to demonstrate the technical standards.

Technical Standards are nonacademic criteria essential for program participation. These core competencies are the minimum skills necessary for successful completion of the Medical Assistant Program.

Students must be able to:


  • Apply general care & emergency treatment to patients.
  • Help lift patients who may be unable to move themselves to and from the examination table.
  • Lift equipment up to 50 pounds and manipulate mechanical and patient care equipment.
  • Work standing on his/her feet 75% of the time.
  • Have adequate physical mobility, fine and gross motor skills, sensation, balance and equilibrium.


  • Read and comprehend written instructions, patients’ charts, and other written material.
  • Perform basic mathematical equations and dosage calculations.
  • Demonstrate sufficient critical thinking skills to provide quality patient care within the scope of practice of the Medical Assistant.
  • Provide care safely, responsibly and efficiently during medical emergencies and other stressful situations.


  • Communicate effectively (verbal, non-verbal and written) with patients, their families, and other members of the healthcare team.
  • Be able to hear and observe clinical staff and patients in order to accurately assess vital signs, elicit information, perceive nonverbal communications, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and recognize and respond to an emergency.
  • Possess appropriate interpersonal communication skills to interact positively with all persons, regardless of race, ethnicity, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.
  • Apply the principles of confidentiality, respect, and discretion.

Behavioral/Social Attributes:

  • Display flexibility to adjust to changing environments
  • Demonstrate professionalism and a positive work ethic.
  • Accept responsibility and accountability for actions in the classroom, lab, or clinic setting.

Disclosure of a Disability

Students with documented disabilities who may need accommodations should make an appointment with the UCLA Extension Disabilities Services Office. Individuals will be asked to provide documentation of the disability in order to assist with the provision of appropriate reasonable accommodations. Accommodations that fundamentally alter the nature of the academic program, could jeopardize the health and safety of others, or cause an undue burden to the program are not considered reasonable accommodations.

Functional Ability

Individuals must possess a functional level of ability to perform the duties required of a Medical Assistant with or without reasonable accommodations. If an individual experiences a change during the program, so that the technical standards cannot be met, with or without reasonable accommodations, the student will be withdrawn from the Medical Assistant Program. In order to assist with the evaluation of the student’s ability to perform the technical standards of the program, the Medical Assisting team reserves the right to require an assessment by a qualified healthcare provider, for cause, at the student’s expense.

If an applicant is selected and does not complete the registration process, the applicant must reapply and is not guaranteed acceptance in any subsequent selection process.

The provisional acceptance notice will include:

  1. Registration information
  2. Mandatory health screening and vaccination information
  3. Details of mandatory orientation

All students are considered conditionally accepted until completion of all the above items. Further information will be provided when the individual’s admission into the Medical Assistant Program is confirmed. Failure to provide required documentation will result in termination of the application process.

Tuition Discounts Available:

Cost of tuition

Scholarship /
donor support

Student responsibility

Applicants employed by
UCLA Health


Up to $21,000

As low as $2,000

Applicants not employed by
UCLA Health


Up to $18,000

As low as $5,000


High School Diploma

Estimated Cost Breakdown

All courses in this program are paid for individually, unless otherwise noted. An application form is required to establish candidacy in this program. From the 'Apply Now' button, complete the online application and pay the application fee if applicable.

Application & Candidacy Fee


Estimated Program Tuition


Estimated program textbook/materials


*The Application & Candidacy Fee establishes your candidacy in the program for a period of time covering normal progress toward completion and may allow you to access a variety of program benefits.

**Federal Financial Aid Gainful Employment Disclosures

The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges and universities to disclose certain information for any financial aid eligible program that, “prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation”. This information includes program costs; occupations that the program prepares students to enter; occupational profiles; on time completion rate; and for the most recent award year: the number of students who have completed the program, the number of students who complete the program within the estimated duration, the job placement rate, and the median Title IV and private loan debt incurred by those who complete the program. For gainful employment information for this program, visit our Financial Aid page.

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