Contact the AAMA Certification Department for assistance in determining if you meet these eligibility requirements:

Phone | 800/228-2262

Email |

Eligibility Requirements for the
CMA (AAMA)® Exam

To be eligible for the CMA (AAMA)® Certification Exam, the candidate must meet the criteria for one of the following eligibility categories.

Candidate Eligibility Categories

Category 1  |  Completing student or recent graduate of a CAAHEP- or ABHES-accredited medical assisting program

The candidate must have graduated from or be about to complete a medical assisting program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

Completing students may take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam no more than 30 days prior to completing their formal education and practicum.

Recent graduates are those who apply for the exam within 12 months of graduation.

Category 2  |  Nonrecent graduate of a CAAHEP- or ABHES-accredited medical assisting program

A candidate who applies for the exam more than 12 months after graduation is a nonrecent graduate.

Candidates who graduate from a CAAHEP- or ABHES-accredited program that was accredited at any time during the student's enrollment, or who graduated within the 36 months prior to the program becoming CAAHEP or ABHES accredited, are eligible to apply for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam under Category 1 or 2.

Category 3  |  CMA (AAMA) recertificant

The candidate must have previously passed the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam and is applying to recertify the CMA (AAMA) credential.

Category​ 4—​Alternative Pathway | Graduate of a qualified postsecondary medical assisting program or postsecondary medical assisting apprenticeship program that meets certain requirements

Category 4—Alternative Pathway candidates must first Submit Online their documentation to be reviewed and approved before being allowed to register for the CMA (AAMA) Exam. At a minimum, a transcript and signed Attestation Form must be submitted for online review.

Candidates must have graduated from a postsecondary medical assisting ​or postsecondary medical assisting apprenticeship program which meets the following criteria:

  • Is the equivalent of two semesters and includes a minimum of 560 academic contact hours (not including practicum/externship)
  • Includes a minimum of 160-hour practicum/externship (or 1,000 hours of medical assisting experience following program completion) completed in an outpatient setting
  • Awards a diploma, certificate, or associate degree
  • Is offered by an institution accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA))
  • Has a required curriculum that includes the following:
    • Basic anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, infection control and applied mathematics
    • Theory and techniques of intramuscular, intradermal, and subcutaneous injection administration
    • Theory and techniques of phlebotomy

Knowledge and application of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and mathematics must be demonstrated to the extent and degree necessary to reasonably ensure practices that meet or exceed the current standard of care. Injection and phlebotomy must be performed successfully a sufficient number of times to demonstrate clinical competence and reasonably ensure practices that meet or exceed the current standard of care.

Once your submission materials are approved, all policies within the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam Application will apply, and your next step will be applying for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam.  

Ineligible Candidate | If you do not meet the exam eligibility requirements, your application will be canceled. The candidate fee, less a $65 administrative fee, will be refunded within four to six weeks after your application has been reviewed.