Accelerated Ophthalmic Medical Assistant

This award is not eligible for Financial Aid

The Certificate of Competency (CCT) in Accelerated Ophthalmic Medical Assisting is a 360-hour program that will introduce students to learning and understanding the core level of care for entry into the fascinating world of eye care in a clinical setting. The program will focus on learning how to assist and work with ophthalmologists and opticians.

The program content includes a variety of skills associated with patient services and assisting with minor surgical procedures, instrument care and maintenance. Special attention will be given to complete comprehensive eye examinations, including chief complaints, history taking, anatomy and physiology of the visual system, eye terminology, general medical knowledge, and hands-on skill instruction.

This program serves as a pathway to excellent job opportunities and a lifelong and challenging career in ophthalmology. Students will also participate in a 200-hour unpaid clinical externship at the conclusion of the program.

This is a Fast Track Certificate, which can be completed in two semesters or less.


Field of Interest
Health Sciences
Degree Type
Certificate of Competency (CCT)
Academic Plan
Accelerated Ophthalmic Medical Assistant (CER)
Academic Plan Code
Total Clock Hours Required
Effective Term
Fall 2023
Admissions criteria

1. Background check requirements:

Admission to an Allied Health program requires that students be in compliance with the Maricopa County Community College District Background Check Standards. Upon conditional program enrollment, the student must comply with all requirements of the MCCCD Background Check Policy.

2. Clinical health and safety requirements must be met. Upon conditional program enrollment, the student must comply with all requirements of the MCCCD Clinical Health and Safety Policy.

3. Inability to comply with background check requirements and/or clinical health and safety requirements at the start of classes may result in cancellation of enrollment.

4. 18 years of age to enroll.


This program is not eligible for Title IV Federal Financial Aid.

Students will be required to take a randomized urine drug screen and submit a negative result prior to being eligible to participate in the 120-hour clinical externship. The expense of the urine drug screen is the student`s responsibility.

Externship hours are site specific and may require attendance any day of the week, including during unscheduled days and times.

The Ophthalmic Medical Assistant program serves as a pathway to excellent job opportunities and a lifelong and challenging career with the future opportunity of becoming a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA).

Students must earn a grade of C or better in each course in the program.

What You'll Learn
  • Demonstrate leadership and interpersonal communication skills. (OPH105, OPH190)
  • Display problem solving and critical thinking skills. (OPH105, OPH190)
  • Maintain professional and ethical conduct in all job-related activities. (OPH105, OPH190)
  • Differentiate between the roles and responsibilities of various eye care professionals. (OPH105, OPH190)
  • Employ HIPAA standards and OSHA regulations while interacting with diverse patients in a clinical setting. (OPH105, OPH190)
  • Display quality practice management techniques through effective teamwork and collaboration. (OPH105, OPH190)
  • Perform comprehensive eye exams on a simulated and real patient with minimal to no difficulty. (OPH105, OPH190)
  • Demonstrate proficiency of various ophthalmic medical equipment and procedures in a clinical setting, including assessment, measurement, and testing. (OPH 105, OPH190)
  • Perform various scribing duties in a clinical setting at an exceptional level of expertise. (OPH105, OPH190)
Program prerequisites
Course #Course TitleClock Hours
Prerequisites: Program admission
Required courses
Course #Course TitleClock Hours
Clock Hours:360
OPH105Ocular and Refractive Clinical Assessment, Skills, and Procedures240
OPH190Ophthalmic Assisting Externship120

At Maricopa, we strive to provide you with accurate and current information about our degree and certificate offerings. Due to the dynamic nature of the curriculum process, course and program information is subject to change. As a result, the course list associated with this degree or certificate on this site does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If you are interested in pursuing this degree or certificate, we encourage you to meet with an advisor to discuss the requirements at your college for the appropriate catalog year.

Read the official description