Bachelor's Degree in Emergency Medical Services (EMS): Program Overview
Learn about bachelor's degree programs that are related to emergency medical services. Discover prerequisites and common course topics and check out some potential career options in this field.
Traditionally, paramedics and emergency medical personnel received their training at technical or vocational schools before taking an EMS licensure examination and going on to seek employment as professional paramedics or emergency medical technicians. Programs such as the Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Services are a relatively recent addition to healthcare educational options.
Developed primarily for currently licensed paramedics, these 4-year degree programs provide an academic pathway to senior positions in the pre-hospital emergency medicine sector. Emphasizing topics such as pharmacology, medical assessment and EMS leadership principles, they aim to expand on the knowledge and experience provided by the hands-on paramedic programs, with the goal of training senior emergency medical supervisors, executives and administrators.
Individuals applying to a bachelor's degree program in emergency medical services submit high school transcripts along with standardized test scores, letters of recommendation and an admissions essay. Also, because these programs are designed to train EMS managers and administrators, most programs require applicants to be currently licensed as a paramedic.
The curriculum of an EMS bachelor's degree program features a core set of emergency healthcare courses along with a set number of liberal arts and humanities electives, in topics such as English composition or history. Some sample core course titles are included below.
- Emergency medical assessment
- Disaster preparedness
- EMS ethical issues
- Types of EMS administrative systems
- EMS management and leadership
Popular Career Options
This degree program offers a number of different employment and career options. Some graduates want to seek leadership or administrative positions within the emergency medical field. Others may want to continue their studies in pursuit of research or teaching positions, helping to shape tomorrow's emergency medical policies, protocols and procedures. A few sample job titles are listed below.
- Physician's assistant
- Hospital administrator
- EMS supervisor
Continuing Education Information
For those who want to continue their education beyond the bachelor's degree level, there are advanced degree programs available. Medical school is one such option. There are also master's and doctoral degree programs in hospital administration and systems management. Examples of these degree programs include a Master of Public Administration or a Doctor of Public Health.
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