Medical Assisting

Admission to the program

The Medical Assisting program accepts 24 students each spring and fall term. Spring term students begin at Willow Creek Center, Fall term students begin at Cascade Campus. Students are selected based on a competitive point system. For information on how to receive points, see the advising guide. Please check your PCC email regularly during the admission process. All communication related to your application and admission will be done through your PCC email account.

When to apply

Students with the same number of points will be accepted in the order their completed application was received, so apply early.

Application deadlines
Term you want to start First chance to apply Deadline
Spring 2019 – Willow Creek Center October 22, 2018 December 13, 2018
Fall 2019 – Cascade Campus April 15, 2019 June 21, 2019

Complete prerequisite classes

The following prerequisite classes are available at Portland Community College. If you believe you have met the core requirements of any of these classes at other colleges, please contact to have your transcripts "unofficially" evaluated to determine completion of requirements. Your classwork may need to be evaluated by the Department Chair as well, before you will be advised on whether your previous coursework meets PCC class requirements.

  1. WR 121 – English Composition
  2. MP 111 – Medical Terminology
  3. MTH 60 – Introductory Algebra, 1st Term or MTH 58 – Math Literacy I
  4. BI 120 – Survey of Body Systems (will also accept BI 121 or 231 and 232)

ALSO RECOMMENDED: CAS 133 – Basic Computer Skills and/or CAS 121 – Computerized Keyboarding. Students should type 35 wpm to begin the program. Some employers require 45 wpm to be eligible for employment.

Students are also encouraged to take MP 140, MP 135 and an approved Human Relations elective (See Admissions for a list of approved options) before starting the program to reduce their course load once admitted to the program. If students chose BI 121 they are recommended to take BI 122 before admission. If students chose BI 231 and 232 they are recommended to take BI 233 before admission. No additional points are given for taking these classes before admission, though.

All prerequisite classes must be passed with a grade 'C' or above. Prerequisite may be in progress when you submit your application but must be complete by the end of the application period.

Receiving admission points

  • Students will receive admission points for grades in prerequisite classes, two short answer essays, experience working and volunteering in four different areas and two recommendation forms.
  • For detailed information on the point system used for admission see the advising guide.
  • Students will be ranked in order of points and time of application, so it is to your advantage to get your application in early in case your points put you at the cutoff for admission. Often a student has the same points as a student entering the program, but will miss the opportunity to join the program because of a late application.

Complete application for admission

  1. You have two options to complete the Medical Assisting Program Application.
    1. You can complete the application as a PDF.
    2. You can complete the application online. If you choose this option you will also need to send the Recommendation Form link to two people you choose to recommend you for this program. They will follow the link and complete the form.
    With either option, we are accepting applications October 22 – December 13, 2018 for the Spring 2019 Cohort. Please do not submit your application before the first day of admissions. Applications received before October 22 will not be processed until the end of the day October 22. All materials must be received by 5pm on December 13 for your application to be considered complete. Students who have applied in the past six months can reapply, if they choose, with a one page reapplication form. Contact the Admissions Coordinator to receive this form.
  2. Include unofficial transcripts from colleges/universities you have attended other than Portland Community College.
    • You do not need unofficial transcripts if you have had your transcripts officially evaluated by Student Records, and your transcripts are on file with PCC.
    • If you are currently enrolled in coursework at another college you must provide proof of enrollment with your application listing any required classes that are in progress. Your grade for this class must be received in admissions within one week after the grade is posted.

Admission notification

You will receive notification of your admission status via PCC email within one month of the close of the application period. Applicants who have been conditionally accepted into the program will be invited to a mandatory orientation. A basic oral communication skills assessment will be administered at the orientation. Students who attend the orientation and pass the communication assessment will be officially admitted to the program. 

Applicants who qualify, but do not have the top points for admission will be notified of their status as a program alternate. Often, alternates are eventually selected for the program. Alternates will be listed in order of points, and in the case of students receiving the same points, the order of applications were received by admissions.

Cohort and schedule

Students will become part of a cohort (a group of students who take classes together). The Medical Assisting program is a Certificate program, and students go full time for 3 terms during the day.

Practicum Requirements

After admission to the program I will be required to complete some or all of the following: criminal background check, proof of immunizations, and a ten-panel drug screening. I also understand that laws and clinical site requirements are subject to change, and that PCC may have very little to no influence on this process. If I am unable to pass the background check and drug screen required by the sites at the time I am scheduled for directed practice, or provide proof of immunizations from a licensed healthcare professional, I may need to find my own practicum site. This may limit my ability to complete my clinical rotations, graduate from the program and be employable. There will be a cost to the student associated with completing this requirement (see program costs). For more information about practicum requirements contact Admissions at or 971-722-5667.