Medical Assistant Applicants | Southwestern Illinois College

Application Requirements

Materials Needed to Apply

Students must apply and be formally accepted into the Medical Assistant program before beginning program courses.

Applicants must submit the following to the Enrollment Services Office:

1. Medical Assistant application
  • Applications are available between March 1 and June 1 each year for fall start.
  • Applications are available between Aug. 1 and Nov. 1 each year for spring start.

Students must select semester and campus preference when applying. Supporting documentation (transcripts, test scores, etc.) must be on file by identified deadlines.

Proof of completion of prerequisite courses:

A computer literacy requirement must be completed to be considered for admission.

  • Grades earned in college courses must be at least a C, although higher grades earn more application points.
  • The most recent grade in courses meeting these requirements will be used.
2. Official transcripts
  • Official high school transcripts or proof of GED
  • Official transcripts from all colleges, universities or accredited schools of Medical Assistant attended
  • SWIC transcript evaluation form, a requirement for the transfer of credits from another institution
3. Test Scores

Complete the SWIC placement test: The placement test identifies skill levels in math, reading and writing. Students must score high enough to be eligible to enroll in ENG 101 and MATH 94. If placement test results are too low, students must complete required developmental courses prior to enrolling in ENG 101, BIOL 105, PSYC 151, SPCH 151 and MGMT 214.


For an individual review of your application, contact the Health Sciences coordinators’ assistant.

Prepare to Apply

Complete Prerequisite Requirements

A computer literacy requirement must be completed to apply for the Medical Assistant program.

Fill out the Planning Guide

Entrance into the MA program is highly competitive. The MA Application Planning Guide explains application requirements and offers suggestions on how to maximize points in each section to increase chances of being accepted to the program.

Understand the Application Point System

Applications are rated by a point system, with points based on:

Meet with an Advisor

Meet with an academic advisor for more information on entrance requirements for the MA program.


For an individual review of your planning guide, contact the Health Sciences coordinators’ assistant.

Applicant Selection

Application Point System

Applications for the MA program will be rated on a point system, with points based on:

  • Grades earned in prerequisite courses or computer literacy test (higher grades receive more points)
  • Credit hours of general education courses completed with a B or better (more credit hours earn more points)
Notification of Acceptance:

Applicants will be notified of their status regarding admission as quickly as possible given the number of applications received.

Fewer Candidates than Seats Available:

In the event that there are fewer qualified candidates than there are spaces available, applications will continue to be accepted until the program’s maximum capacity has been reached at each of the campuses or until the first week of classes during the fall or spring semesters.

The college reserves the right to fill the program in those years when there are fewer applicants than spaces available by whatever means it deems necessary to assure both academic integrity and fairness in the selection process.

More Candidates than Seats Available:

In the event that there are more qualified applicants than spaces available at a campus of preference, students will be offered a seat at the alternate campus for the same semester or the opportunity to have a seat in the subsequent semester at the campus of their preference.

Applicants residing outside the SWIC district or in a district that does not have a joint agreement with SWIC for this program will not be eligible for consideration or admission if there are more applicants than positions to be filled. Search the college catalog for Interdistrict Cooperative Agreements. Residency status is determined by address on file with the Enrollment Services Office by June 15 for fall admission and Sept. 1 for spring admission.

The admission procedures for the MA program are in accordance with Illinois law. The law requires that programs with insufficient space and resources to accommodate all applicants will accept the best qualified applicants using rank, ability and achievement scores as guides, with preference given to students residing in the district. Out-of-district students will be considered as in-district status for this application process if their community college has an Inter-district Cooperative/Career agreement with SWIC. Search the college catalog for Interdistrict Cooperative/Career Agreements to see if your college is listed. To qualify for the application process, the student must submit paperwork from their home district to SWIC Enrollment Services by the application deadline. Contact the secretary of the Board of Trustees at your home district school to get the required paperwork.

Other Requirements

The following criteria are required of accepted applicants, and all information will be explained in detail at program orientation meetings.

Orientation & Performance:

Applicants accepted to the Medical Assistant program must attend all required orientation sessions and be able to perform essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations. Applicants and enrolled students are encouraged to meet with the Disability & Access Center to discuss potential issues associated with meeting these requirements.

Health Insurance:

Health insurance is required during clinical education courses. Students are personally responsible for any costs incurred for injuries occurring during their clinical experience.

Medical Requirements:

These requirements do not have to be fulfilled until they are explained at the orientation meeting. MA students will be required to show proof of current CPR certification at the Healthcare Provider level, immunizations, TB test and physical examination before beginning any clinical experience.

Background Checks and Drug Testing:

Background check and drug testing are required.

A list of disqualifying convictions is available from the Illinois Department of Public Health website. Students with convictions must possess a waiver from the IDPH to participate in the program.
Drug testing will identify illegal and prescription drugs. If results are positive, the student must provide proof of prescription in his or her own name in order to pass the drug test. Medical marijuana, which is not FDA approved, is also considered a positive drug testing result.

Graduation Requirements:

Applicants admitted to the program must follow the requirements for graduation at the time they are admitted and must meet all course, program, degree and sequencing requirements specified. Students are responsible for program policies as listed in each year’s MA Student Handbook. Students who fail to meet program specific requirements will be dropped from the program and may be required to re-apply and compete for admission in the succeeding semester.