Sep 20, 2021  
2015-2016 Course Catalog 
2015-2016 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Medical Office Specialist, AAS

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The Medical Office Specialist program is designed to prepare the student to work in a variety of medical settings, including hospitals/medical centers, clinics, health insurance companies and other health-related businesses. The office specialist works with administrative areas in the practice–including front office, transcription, insurance and billing–and is often the first contact with the patient. This program, however, is not designed to prepare the student for direct patient care.

The Medical Office Specialist AAS degree includes an internship. Students are required to find their internship and have it approved by their instructor prior to the start of the semester in which they will be taking the internship class. Most internships require passing a background check. Felonies or other serious charges may keep the student from finding an internship site. Students unable to complete the internship will be unable to complete the Medical Office Specialist AAS degree. The Medical Office Specialist diploma does not require an internship; however, a felony or other serious charge may prevent the student from being employed.

To successfully complete this program, a student must complete all coursework as prescribed and maintain a 2.0 grade point average. A grade of “C” or better is required in the first course of a sequential course offering before enrolling in the second-level course of the sequence or in the prerequisite course. This includes ADM 157 , ADM 215 , BCA 131 , BCA 212  , HSC 120 , HSC 121 , MAP 141 , MAP 532 , MTR 120  and MTR 121 .

Upon successful completion of all prescribed coursework, the student is eligible to receive an AAS degree. A student completing only the first three semesters of coursework is eligible to receive a diploma.

For more information about the Medical Office Specialist program, please visit our website at

Location: Ankeny

Selected courses in this program are offered at other campuses.

Students start Fall semester.

Not all courses are offered at each campus every semester.  Academic advisors are available to assist with scheduling.

Program Entry Requirements

It is strongly encouraged to meet with an academic advisor prior to enrolling in this program.

  1. Complete an application for admission.
  2. Attend any required information/registration session. 
  3. Complete the required COMPASS testing, obtaining a satisfactory score in COMPASS Writing (70 or higher), ACT writing score of 19 or higher, completion of ENG 060  with a grade of “B” or higher or program chairperson approval.
  4. Complete the required ALEKS math placement test with a score of 9% or higher.
  5. Keyboarding speed of 40 nwpm or above as demonstrated by a five-minute test using the DMACC testing center.

Graduation Requirements

To earn a Medical Office Specialist diploma or AAS degree, a student must complete all coursework as prescribed and maintain a 2.0 grade point average.

Requirements for the Diploma

Total Credits Required to Complete the Diploma - 46

Requirements for the AAS Degree

Semester 4

Required Course(s)

Option 1 - Select 1 Course

Option 2 - Select 1 Course

Total Credits Required to Complete the AAS Degree - 64


*Challenge test available. Must earn 74%.

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$143.00 per credit

The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.

Varied Costs

  Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 Semester 4
Books (approximate) 956 746 532 631
Supplies   75   15   15   15

Approximate total for the program: $12,137*

* Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

  • Prepare and file medical charts and record information.
  • Transcribe letters, file, sort mail, make appointments.
  • Greet patients in the office and make them feel at ease.
  • Prepare case histories and medical reports.
  • May be assigned basic bookkeeping duties.
  • Act as liaison between the doctor and the patient.
  • Transcribe patient records.
  • Input information on word processors and computers.
  • Perform coding and billing for submission of medical insurance claims.

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

  • Use the following equipment: computers (including software), transcription software, copy & fax machines and other new technology.
  • Apply knowledge in medical terminology and anatomy, grammar and English, computer skills, bookkeeping and coding/billing.
  • Work with people of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Keep information confidential.
  • Show foresight in anticipating patients’ needs.
  • Follow directions accurately.
  • Work collaboratively and fulfill your team responsibilities

What Else Should I Consider about this Program or Career Choice?

  • Average starting salary A.A.S. degree $29,193 (2011-2012 Placement Report).
  • Employment opportunities exist locally, statewide and nationally.
  • Employment outlook strong locally and nationally.
  • Internships often result in a job offer.
  • All students may participate in the professional organizations.
  • Demand for thorough knowledge of computers and software.
  • To complete this program it may take more than 3 terms for the diploma and more than 4 terms for the AAS.
  • Graduates of this program have skills that can lead to becoming medical scribes, to management roles, and to working in an online environment from a remote location.

Nondiscrimination Policy

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in or allow discrimination covered by law. This includes harassment based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex (including pregnancy and marital status), sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability and genetic information. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law. Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Complaint forms may be obtained from the Campus Provost’s office, the Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. For information about the ADA, the Section 504/ADA Coordinator can be contacted at 515-964-6857. For Title IX questions and concerns contact 515-964-6850.

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