Our Medical Assisting (MA) graduates are prepared to work in settings such as physicians' offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, group practices, and other healthcare facilities. 

Medical Assisting is a great entry-level position to create a foundation for growth and you can go in many directions after completion of this program. Graduates are eligible to sit for the CMAA, CCMA, and CPT certification exams.

The Medical Assisting program is 3 semesters long. Students are not required to complete an additional application after enrolling at Panola College.

Medical Assistant Certificate

How to Apply

Verify you meet program requirements

  1. Students must be at least seventeen (17) years old to attend clinicals.
  2. Students must be physically and mentally capable of performing the necessary tasks and skills required of the profession.
  3. Students are required to provide proof of vaccinations and keep them current throughout the program.

Apply to Panola College

Submit official high school transcript and/or official college transcripts

Make an appointment with your MA program advisor

Practical Experience and Requirements

Grade Requirements

A grade of "C" or higher is required for satisfactory completion of all HITT/HPRS courses.

  • A student receiving a grade lower than a "C" in a HITT/HPRS course will be required to repeat that course.
  • A student will not be allowed more than a TOTAL of three (3) final grades of "D" or "F" in any HITT/HPRS course or courses.
  • When a student receives a third-semester grade of "D" or lower in any HITT/HPRS course or combination of courses, the student will be permanently dismissed from the program.

Practical Experience

Students will participate in two professional practice experiences (PPE) during their second year of study.

MDCA 1260  112 total hours, 64 hours onsite at a clinical facility, 9.5 hours online simulation, 9 hours NHA online study guide, 17 hours NHA PersonAbility online 10.5 hours practice exams in preparation for CMAA certification exam and 2 hours for taking actual CMAA exam.

MDCA 2264  224 total hours, 183 hours onsite at a clinical facility, 21 hours NHA online study guide, 2 hours clinical orientation, 15 hours practice exams in preparation for CCMA certification exam and 3 hours for taking actual CCMA exam.

PLAB 1160  48 total hours, 30 successful venipunctures, 10 successful capillary punctures onsite at a clinical facility, 9 hours NHA online study guide, 6 hours practice exams in preparation for CPT certification exam and 2 hours for taking actual CCMA exam.

  • Students must have a minimum of a "C" in all previous HITT/HPRS courses to be assigned to a clinical experience.
  • These experiences will take place in a clinical health care facility or office (placement will be determined by the instructor) and online (virtually).
  • Students are responsible for transportation to and from the clinical site.
  • Students will not be paid for their clinical hours. Students that are otherwise employed by the site WILL NOT receive clinical hour credit for paid employment. Students must be "off the clock" in order to complete their clinical hours. No exceptions will be made.

Student Requirements

  • Students are responsible for a physical exam, drug screen, immunizations, and any other pre-clinical requirements (including costs) of the clinical site.
  • Additionally, students will be subject to a criminal background check prior to beginning clinicals (cost is included in clinical course fees).  Any prior criminal offenses may disqualify the student from proceeding into clinicals. Decisions on previous offenses are made on a case-by-case basis and the final decision will lie with the program director and the Dean of Health Sciences.

Medical Assistant Links

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it take to get into the program? 

The Medical Assisting (MA) Program is an open program. Once you have completed all admission requirements for Panola College, there is nothing extra you must do in order to be accepted to this program. 


When do new students start the program?

Students start the first semester courses in the fall and spring semesters.

When are classes/clinical?

MA classes meet on Monday and Wednesdays. The clinical courses meet on Tuesday and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 


Is this program face-to-face or online?

There are certain face-to-face courses and certain online courses in this program. The face-to-face courses are only offered on the Carthage and/or Marshall campus and are only offered at one time during the day.


What credentials will I be able to sit for with this program?

Medical Assisting students will be allowed to sit for several credentials during the course of the degree plan. When students are enrolled in MDCA 1260, they will be eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). When students are enrolled in MDCA 2264, they will be eligible to sit for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA). When students are enrolled in PLAB 1160, they will be eligible to sit for the Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT).

I have always heard good things about Panola. I love the small class sizes, the course study is relatable, and the atmosphere is positive. I like the fact that Panola has an open-door policy where I can talk to my teachers about anything.
T. Pauley
Medical Assisting Staff