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Degree Overview

Associate of Science in Medical Assisting

South University 2018 Graduation

Medical assistants are multi-skilled allied health professionals who perform a wide range of roles in physicians’ offices, clinics, and other healthcare settings. They are proficient in a multitude of clinical and administrative tasks and are widely viewed by doctors as vital members of the healthcare delivery team. The Associate of Science in Medical Assisting program is devoted to a competency-based education with emphasis on the students’ mastery of clinical and administrative competencies. These competencies are validated through performance on tests, terminal performance objectives, and a clinical externship. Their training culminates in a required 200-hour, unpaid, supervised practicum at a local medical practice during their last quarter of study.

Admission Requirements

General Undergraduate Admission Requirements

To be admitted to any of the undergraduate programs at South University, the prospective student must provide proof of high school graduation as recognized by the state of residence on the date the degree was earned, or the equivalent (e.g. GED with no single test score below 145 or numeric score equivalent to 2.0 on old version or state-issued certificate designated as the equivalent of a High School Diploma) with a minimum CGPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. The prospective student must also complete the university administered placement tests prior to the start of the first quarter for campus students and during the first session of attendance for online students. South University accepts the International Baccalaureate Program diploma as meeting the requirement for high school graduation. Credentials earned outside the United States must be evaluated by a NACES or AICE-member credential evaluation service.  Please speak with an admissions representative for more information.

Students with less than the minimum CGPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale may meet admissions requirements by submitting a minimum combined SAT (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math) score of 700 or 900 on the old SAT, a combined ACT score of 18, or a satisfactory score on the university-administered admissions examination (see the Admissions Office) or meet the criteria established for acceptance as a transfer student.

Students with less than the minimum CGPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale may be admitted provisionally for two quarters. Failure to achieve a 1.5 CGPA in the first two quarters of attendance will result in dismissal.  Students may appeal the dismissal by following the Procedures for Appealing Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal Policy.

To facilitate the admissions process, unofficial documentation, such as copies of transcripts or grade reports, may be used to determine admission status. Transfer status cannot be designated, however, without some verifying documentation. Admissions test scores on university administered entrance exams will not be accepted from other universities. Prospective students must take a University administered admission exam, like the Accuplacer, at South University.

A student's failure to provide acceptable verification of proof of high school graduation within 10 weeks of his or her start date will result in the following:

  • Removal from class
  • Cancellation of enrollment
  • No final course grades
  • No transcript

NOTES: Students who do not provide proof of high school graduation within the 10-week period will not be responsible for any tuition and related fees.

South University may grant exceptions to the 10-week period for unusual situations or circumstances.  All exceptions must be submitted to the office of the University Registrar for approval.

Please see the policy on GPA Calculation for Admission for additional information

Procedure for Admission to the Associate of Science in Medical Assisting Program

In addition to general admission to the University, students should be able to meet the following technical standards for the Medical Assisting Program.

  1. Applicants are not eligible for admittance into any portion of the MA program if they have a felony conviction, plea, or adjudication withheld, or any disqualifying misdemeanor, for which a pardon or exemption for disqualification has not been received, including but not limited to rape or sexual abuse or molestation, and abuse, endangerment, or neglect of a child, disabled person, or elderly person.
  2. Students must complete a background check and drug screen at their own cost using the agency identified by the MA Program Director. No other background checks or drug screen will be accepted. The background check and drug screen must be completed within three weeks of the intended start date of the Medical Assisting Practicum AHS2098 clinical placement. Students with positive drug screen results will not be allowed to start the MA Practicum and will be referred to the MA Progression Committee. The Medical Assisting (MA) program follows the College of Health Professions Background Check Policy and Substance Abuse and Screening Policy located in the South University Catalog (
  3. Students must meet the technical standards describe the physical abilities and behavioral characteristics required of students for full participation, and successful completion of the Medical Assisting program, as well as to function as a fully qualified medical assistant after graduation. Prospective Medical Assisting students should carefully look over these standards and determine if they have any limitations that may interfere with their ability to satisfy any of these requirements. The requisite standards include, but are not limited to:
  • Sensory Medical Assisting students must be able to read charts, graphs, instrument scales and medication orders, prepare and maintain medical records, and use their senses of hearing and touch to recognize emergencies and to assess the patient's physical condition.
  • Communication The Medical Assisting student must be able to read and write effectively in order to transmit information to all members of the healthcare team. The student must also be able to assess nonverbal communication and respond appropriately. Additional requirements include the ability to interview and record patient histories, provide patient care instructions, use correct telephone technique, collect, prioritize and convey information.
  • Fine Motor Skills The Medical Assisting student must manifest all the fine motor skills necessary to safely and accurately use medical instruments and perform diagnostic and clinical procedures (e.g. obtaining the patient's blood pressure, heart rate and temperature, drawing blood and administering non-intravenous injections). The student must be able to perform basic secretarial skills, including using a keyboard and the operation of common office equipment.
  • Gross Motor Skills The Medical Assisting student must be able to support patients when ambulating, assist patients in and out of a wheelchair, and on and off an examination table. Students must be able to reach equipment and supplies and respond appropriately to emergency situations in a timely manner.
  • Psychological Stability The Medical Assisting student must demonstrate the ability to handle difficult interpersonal situations in a calm and tactful manner. The student must also be able to maintain a composed, competent, and confident demeanor during emergency situations.

Career Outlook

 Graduates of the Associate of Science in Medical Assisting program are prepared to help the physician examine and treat patients, perform laboratory tests, and function as a crucial member of the healthcare team that shares the clinical and administrative responsibilities of operating a medical care facility. Some of the entry-level careers, in addition to Medical Assisting, include:

  • Medical Billing and Coding 
  • Medical Office Management
  • Electronic Medical Records
  • Clinical lab assistant and Phlebotomist

Course Requirements

Associate of Science in Medical Assisting: 92 Credits
Area I General Education Requirements: 42 Credits
Professional Development
ITS1000 Computer and Internet Literacy, 4 Credit Hours
UVC1000 Strategies for Success, 4 Credit Hours
Basic Communications
ENG1100 Composition I, 4 Credit Hours
ENG1200 Composition II, 4 Credit Hours
ENG1300 Composition III, 4 Credit Hours
Choose one additional course from the list below:
COM2006 Interpersonal Communication, 4 Credit Hours
SPC1026 Public Speaking, 4 Credit Hours
Mathematics and Statistics
MAT1500 College Mathematics, 4 Credit Hours
Natural Sciences
BIO1011 Anatomy and Physiology I, 4 Credit Hours

(must be taken concurrently with BIO1012 Anatomy and Physiology I Lab)

BIO1012 Anatomy and Physiology I Lab, 2 Credit Hours
Arts and Humanities (choose one)
ENG2002 World Literature I: From the Ancient World to the Middle Ages, 4 Credit Hours
ENG2003 World Literature II: From Enlightenment to Modernity, 4 Credit Hours
ENG2011 Introduction to American Literature: 1865 to present, 4 Credit Hours
HIS1101 U.S. History I: Colonial to 1865, 4 Credit Hours
HIS1102 U.S. History II: 1865 to Present, 4 Credit Hours
HUM1001 History of Art through the Middle Ages, 4 Credit Hours
HUM1002 History of Art from the Middle Ages to Modern Times, 4 Credit Hours
HUM2101 World Civilization I: Prehistory to 1500 C.E., 4 Credit Hours
HUM2102 World Civilization II: 1500 to Present, 4 Credit Hours
PHI2301 Introduction to Philosophy, 4 Credit Hours
REL1001 World Religions, 4 Credit Hours
Social and Behavioral Sciences
PSY1001 General Psychology, 4 Credit Hours
Area II Major Program Requirements: 50 Credits
Core: 42 Credits
AHS1001 Medical Terminology, 4 Credit Hours
AHS2005 Clinical Competencies I, 4 Credit Hours
AHS2006 Clinical Competencies II, 4 Credit Hours
AHS2007 Clinical Laboratory Competencies, 4 Credit Hours
AHS2087 Medical Office Procedures, 4 Credit Hours
AHS2090 Medical Insurance and Coding, 4 Credit Hours
AHS2092 Computers in the Medical Office, 4 Credit Hours
BIO1013 Anatomy and Physiology II, 4 Credit Hours

(must be taken concurrently with BIO1014 Anatomy and Physiology II Lab)

BIO1014 Anatomy and Physiology II Lab, 2 Credit Hours
BIO2015 Human Pathophysiology, 4 Credit Hours
BUS2023 Business Communications, 4 Credit Hours
AHS2095 Medical Assisting Certification Review, 2 Credit Hours
AHS2098 Medical Assisting Practicum, 6 Credit Hours


Graduates of the AS in Medical Assisting Program should be able to:

  • Demonstrate the effective utilization of communication and inter-personal relationship skills.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic math and science skills.
  • Identify skills required to develop and maintain professionalism.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of medical assisting administration procedures.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of medical assisting clinical procedures.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology principles.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of medical terminology and its application.
  • Demonstrate application of psychology principles.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of medical law and ethics.

Program Statistics

South University, Savannah Campus: Medical Assisting Program

Year Retention
Graduate Satisfaction
Employer Satisfaction
2017 80.00% 100.00% 100.00%
2016 94.12% 100.00% 100.00%
2015 85.19% 100.00% 100.00%
2014 76.47% 94.44% 100.00%
4 year 83.00% 98.36% 100.00%
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Success Stories

Outstanding Education for Remarkable Careers

We're committed to helping our graduates make an impact in their professional and personal lives. We applaud our alumni and the difference they make. Check out what some of our healthcare graduates have to say.

Laceye A. Parker 2010
Laceye Parker Grad Alumni
Class of '13
Doctor of Pharmacy

“I had always been interested in healthcare, and as a child thought about becoming a physician. But when both my grandfathers became seriously ill, I came to a new appreciation of the vital role that pharmacists play in achieving positive outcomes for patients. As soon as I completed my master's degree, I decided to enter South University's Doctor of Pharmacy program. I've learned through my work at SCDHEC, and in my MBA program and Pharmacy School at South University, is laying a firm foundation for my career as a pharmacist.”

Crystal May 2014
Crystal May Grad Alumni
Class of '14
Bachelor of Sceince in Healthcare Management

“The staff was the heart of my experience at South. The staff worked together to provide a positive learning environment and truly had passion in educating the students. The staff helped me identify my strength and interest in the financial avenue of healthcare, and helped me see the benefits of pursuing this career. South University gave me the tools I need to be successful and validated my capabilities to be a successful professional.”

Robyn Smith 2007
Robyn Smith Grad Alumni
Class of '07
Associate of Science in Physical Therapy Assistant

“I had only heard good things about their PTA program and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I find it very rewarding and emotional when a patient of mine who hasn't walked in a while takes steps again. It makes going to work everyday worth it to know that i can help improve the quality of life for some of these people.”

Anna Langley 2014
Anna Langley Grad Alumni
Class of '14
Master of Science in Physician Assistant

“During my [admissions] interview, I really felt like South was a place that professors were encouraging, welcoming, and helpful. I also was drawn to the small groups that they present. I liked the idea of having a faculty member mentor to guide a smaller group of students throughout the entire program. The rigorous nature of the coursework prepared me well for the boards and the ability to be successful in my career. During clinical rotations, I was able to apply what I had learned and gain valuable patient experience that has helped me today”

Allyson Obluck 2017
Allyson Obluck Grad Alumni
Class of '17
Associate of Science in Occupational Therapist Assistant

“I wanted to make a difference and I knew occupational therapy was a hands-on way to improve quality of life for many people. My professors always made the effort to ensure that I understood the material and were constantly encouraging me to be better and do better. All of my experiences throughout my clinical rotations challenged me to think outside the box and to trust my instincts.”

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

The Associate of Science in Medical Assisting 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 North. Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763, Phone 727-210-2350, Email: