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About the Medical Assisting Program

photo of a student helping a patient

How to Get Started

El Centro's Medical Assisting program admits 20 to 30 students each Fall and Spring semester.

There are two official filing periods per calendar year:

  • Jan. 1-May 31 for the Fall semester (notification letters are mailed by June 15)
  • Aug. 1-Oct. 31 for the Spring semester (notification letters are mailed by Nov. 15)

Application and Selection for Specialized Imaging Programs

El Centro College offers associate degrees in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Cardiac Sonography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging, referred to collectively as Specialized Imaging programs. These programs share the same competitive application and acceptance procedure via a point system comprised of scores on a personal interview, the HESI A2 test and the applicant’s cumulative grade point average on the Specialized Imaging Core Curriculum.  
Before applying to one of the Specialized Imaging Programs, you must complete the entire Specialized Imaging Core Curriculum, which comprises selected general education support courses and health-care-related courses that introduce the theory and application of health-care concepts.

Admission Requirements for the Medical Assisting Program:

  • Application and current admission to one of our colleges;
  • Attendance at a Specialized Imaging programs information session  
  • Completion of designated courses from the Specialized Imaging Core Curriculum with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Completion of the remaining Specialized Imaging Core Curriculum courses with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.   
  • Completion of the HESI A2 test with a minimum score of 70 on each of the required sections (reading comprehension, mathematics, grammar, and vocabulary and general knowledge). 
  • Submission of a complete application packet to the Health Occupations Admissions Office by the deadline of Dec. 31 for the class that begins in June of the following calendar year.

Information Sessions

Attendance at an information session (held monthly on the main El Centro College campus) is required and will address program admission, application and acceptance policies in detail. No advance registration is necessary to attend an information session.

Get the information session schedule:

Medical Assisting Program Information Packet

Get complete information on admission requirements and application instructions in the information packet (PDF – 183KB).

Drug Testing and Criminal Background Check

Students enrolled in El Centro College’s Health Occupation programs are required by Dallas/Ft. Worth Hospital Council member facilities to undergo drug testing and a criminal background check after admission to the program but within 30 days before the start of clinical rotations.


Dallas County residents pay $177 per three-hour class — that is $59 per credit hour, or just $708 for a full-semester load of 12 credit hours.

Compare that to what you’d pay elsewhere! See tuition rates for tuition according to your place of residency. 

Rising Star Program

If you are a Dallas County high school graduating senior, you may qualify for Rising Star funds to help pay for this program. The Rising Star program offers academic support services and up to $4,000 for tuition and books, if you have established financial need. 

Courses Offered (Curriculum)

Get detailed information about the courses required for the credit Medical Assisting certificate from El Centro College.

El Centro offers a 12-month certificate program composed of six credit hours of general education courses and 33 credit hours of medical assisting-specific courses, for a total of 39 credit hours. Students perform a three-credit-hour, 160-contact-hour unpaid internship upon completion of the didactic and skills courses. 

Accreditation and Affiliations

Find out about accreditation and affiliations. 

El Centro College’s Medical Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Related Programs

Check out our other health-care-related programs, like Health Information Management, Medical Transcription, Nursing, Patient Care Technician and more. 

Other Degree and Certificate Options

See a chart of degree plans by college or visit our credit programs home page. 

Developing Skills for Success

After completing the didactic courses in the program and learning all of their skills, medical assistant students perform a 160-hour internship at a local physician’s office or clinic. 

Because this profession is very people-centered, we do not offer any Medical Assisting courses online or through distance learning.

Classes for the Medical Assisting program are held at El Centro’s Center for Allied Health and Nursing, in the Paramount Building at Market and Pacific streets, one block northwest from the main campus. Opened in June 2008 to house the college’s booming allied health programs, the center comprises 55 classrooms and labs that contain some of the most advanced equipment available to educate health-care students.

The center’s high-tech equipment includes:

  • Teaching labs that simulate surgical and hospital settings for specific program applications
  • Microphones and cameras in each classroom to capture audio and video instruction
  • Three classrooms with videoconferencing for two-way viewing
  • Two simulation labs with computerized patient mannequins

Professional Organizations

Students are eligible to join the American Association of Medical Assistants, the Texas Society of Medical Assistants and the Dallas Chapter of the Texas Society of Medical Assistants at a special student rate. 

Students who join these organizations find that the interaction with practicing, professional medical assistants is helpful in finding employment, engaging in meaningful dialogue and learning from those in the field.

Faculty Profiles

Medical Assisting faculty members not only have advanced degrees but also have professional experience, so they can relate to the challenges you will face in school and in the job market.

Instructors work with you one-on-one, helping you to make the most of your Medical Assisting education. See profiles of some of our Medical Assisting faculty.


The Medical Assisting program is designed for direct entry into the workforce. However, if you are interested in earning a degree at a four-year institution, please visit the Transfer Services website for guidance on the transfer process.

Dallas County Community College District has an articulation (transfer) agreement with Dallas Baptist University to apply the entire Medical Assisting program toward a bachelor’s degree in health services management. An articulation agreement is also in place with the University of North Texas.

Links to Additional Information

Note: Links to the following websites are provided for your convenience and information and do not constitute official endorsement by us.

  • American Medical Technologists is a nonprofit certification agency and professional membership association representing more than 46,000 individuals in allied health care.
  • The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program is the largest program accreditor in the health sciences field. In collaboration with its Committees on Accreditation, CAAHEP reviews and accredits more than 2,000 educational programs in 22 health science occupations.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the Medical Assisting program that aren’t answered on our website, please feel free to contact us.