Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening

All students in the Medical Assistant program are obligated to meet the requirements of their assigned practicum site. Some sites require students to pass a criminal background check and a drug screening. Therefore, all students must be prepared to pass a criminal background check and a drug screen prior to participating in the practicum course. Criminal background checks may be conducted annually or at the discretion of clinical affiliates.

If a charge, arrest, and/or conviction occurs while a student is enrolled in the Medical Assistant program, it is the student’s responsibility to inform the Department Chair. This notification must be in writing and must occur within two days after the event occurs. The required notification must include a description of the circumstances surrounding the charge, arrest, and/or conviction. Subsequent to this notification, the student should make an appointment with the Department Chair to discuss options. Failure to notify the Department Chair of a charge, arrest, and/or conviction may result in the student being removed from the Medical Assistant program.

The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) guidelines require students to meet certain criteria in order to participate in the Certified Medical Assistant, CMA (AAMA) exam. A full explanation of these guidelines can be found on the AAMA website ( According to the AAMA, students who have been found guilty of a felony or pleaded guilty to a felony are not eligible to participate in the CMA exam. In some instances, the Certifying Board may grant a waiver based upon mitigating circumstances. Students who need to submit a Request for Waiver should discuss this option with the Department Chair.