Medical Assistant Program - Southwestern Illinois College

Overview of the Medical Assistant Program

Applications for Spring 2024 are open September 1 – Nov. 1, 2023.

Applications for Fall 2024 are open April 1 – June 1, 2024.

Students must apply and be formally accepted into the Medical Assistant program prior to enrolling in any MA courses.
Requirements to apply:

– Online application is available in your eSTORM Student Center

 – Online Application Procedures

  1. Log in to eSTORM
  2. Click the tile that says “Program Applications”
  3. From the drop-down bar, select the program you wish to apply for. Active and upcoming applications will be listed after clicking the appropriate program.
  4. Select “Apply Now” for the cohort you wish to apply for.
  5. Complete the application by following the steps as indicated
  6. Click “Submit”

 – Steps to Apply

Medical Assistant Program Goals

To prepare medical assistants who are competent in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains to enter the profession.

Medical Assistant Certificate and Degree

SWIC Medical Assistant instructors are experts in the field. Under their guidance and instruction, you work toward a certificate and/or an Associate in Applied Science Degree. You will also prepare for the certification exam. Course topics include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Administrative internship
  • Medical Office Clinical Procedures I
  • Medical Office Procedures
  • MA Automation I
  • MA Automation II
  • Medical Pathology I
  • Medical Pathology II
  • Cardiopulmonary Procedures
  • Health Care & Patient Communications
  • Medical Insurance & Coding
  • Medical Law & Ethics
  • Medical Lab Orientation II
  • Pharmacology and Administration Techniques

Program Capacity

In the fall semester, the Medical Assistant program generally accepts 28 students at the Belleville Campus. In the spring, 15 students are accepted at the Belleville Campus. In the summer semester, 12 students are accepted at the Wyvetter Younge Higher Education Campus.

Program Location

The Medical Assistant certificate program consists of courses beginning with the prefix MA only, while the degree program includes general education courses as well as MA courses. Both programs include clinical education experiences. Specific locations depend on the course type.

General Education Courses

The required general education courses can be taken at the Belleville, Sam Wolf Granite City or Red Bud campuses.

Medical Assistant Courses

Medical Assistant Program courses are offered at the Belleville campus and Wyvetter Younge Higher Education Campus.

Clinical Education Experiences

Clinical experiences are completed off campus in various MA employment settings during the day. Students may be required to travel outside of the college district for clinical experience courses. Background check and drug testing are required prior to clinical experiences. Specific clinical placement cannot be guaranteed.

MAERB and CAAHEP have a strict non-remuneration policy for practicum sites and students. Practicum sites cannot pay students for their time nor can students be provided with a travel allowance or a meal allowance or any other perk that involves the exchange of funds. All clinical experience must be completed to sit for the national certification examination.

Program Cost

Medical Assistant Certificate program

For details, see the MA certificate cost sheet.

Medical Assistant Degree program

For details, see the MA degree cost sheet.


Many scholarships offered, some exclusively for Medical Assisting students. Qualify if you are a full-time MA student, 2.0 GPA and write a short essay. Click here for more information: Scholarships

Financial assistance is available!

SWIC Financial Aid Office

Financial aid is available subject to financial need and satisfactory academic progress requirements set by the college.

The student work program does not require financial aid eligibility.

SWIC Foundation

The SWIC Foundation offers over 200 scholarships based on residency, enrollment and GPA criteria.

Time Commitment

Clinical experience is only offered during the day.

Full-Time Students

Students who enroll as full-time students will attend school four to five days per week throughout the 12-month program.

Part-Time Students

Students planning to attend part time must meet with the program coordinator to develop a schedule for program completion. Although students may take up to three years to complete the program, it is STRONGLY discouraged as many students have difficulty retaining knowledge of material taught in earlier semesters.

Program Accreditation

The SWIC 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
9355 – 113th St. N, #7709
Seminole, FL 33775

The program’s curriculum is guided by the standards developed by the commission. Our accreditation status means SWIC has met the standards required of the profession and helps to assure the public that our curriculum will graduate competent clinicians. It also qualifies the college’s Medical Assistant graduates to sit for the certification examination.

Verification of accreditation can be viewed at the CAAHEP website.

Certification Requirements

Upon successful completion of the 10-month MA curriculum and 200 hours of clinical experience, graduates are awarded a Medical Assistant certificate and are required to take the National Certification examination. Successful completion of this exam will earn graduates the title of Certified Medical Assistant.

Certified medical assistants earn approximately 5 to 10 percent more than non-certified medical assistants.

Certification Pass Rate and Job Placement

Year Certification Pass Rate Job Placement
2023 87% 92%
2022 89% 95%
2021 93.33% 86.67%
2020 90.48% 80.95%


94% 93.7%
2018 95.2% 90.4%
2017 95.8% 85.7%

Get Started

For more information, please fill out the contact form.

Chelsea Bergmann