Paramedic Schools in Los Angeles, CA with Degree Program Overviews

There are three schools within 30 miles of Los Angeles that have paramedic programs. Read an overview of these schools' programs, requirements and admission info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Los Angeles Schools with Paramedic Programs

To work as a licensed paramedic in California, candidates must complete an approved paramedic program and obtain EMT-Paramedic / Paramedic certification through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). In the Los Angeles area, three schools offer state-approved paramedic programs, all of which require applicants to have Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) experience.

This article looks at those schools, which are all within 35 minutes of downtown, and at the various paramedic training programs they offer. There is also a table of statistics about each institution, such as enrollment, costs and the campus setting, arranged so prospective students can easily compare them. At the end of the article is information on a couple of nearby schools that also offer relevant programs.

  • El Camino College, about 16 miles from downtown, offers a paramedic technician certificate and associate's degree program.
  • Around 28 miles from downtown Los Angeles, Mt. San Antonio College has an EMT- paramedic certificate program and an associate's degree in emergency medical services.
  • At the University of California-Los Angeles, students can complete a paramedic program or a nurse to paramedic bridge program. This school is around 16 miles from the city center.

El Camino College

The paramedic program at El Camino is offered four times per year. Students apply directly to PTI and can receive credit through ECC.

Certificate of Achievement: Paramedical Technician Option

Applicants for this certificate program must complete a prerequisite fire technology course prior to beginning the 13-week classroom phase, which takes place at PTI in Santa Fe Springs. Courses at PTI cover pre-hospital care, field assessment and reporting, basic and advanced life support and traumatic emergency care. After completing coursework, students rotate through a 4-week clinical internship at both public and private hospitals, followed by an 8-week field internship with a paramedic unit. As of 2010-2011, the estimated total cost for this program is about $2,300.

Associate in Science: Paramedical Technician Option

The 60-unit associate's degree program at El Camino includes the same 33 units of paramedic classes and internships as the certificate program. Additionally, students take required general education courses in English composition, humanities and math, as well as recommended electives, such as anatomy and physiology and a chemistry course. Students can expect coursework to cover related topics, including medical emergencies, field assessment and the legal aspects of emergency medical services.

Mt. San Antonio College

Students in the paramedic programs at Mt. San Antonio must pass each course in order to remain enrolled in the major. Students are admitted to the program based on their test and quiz scores of two preliminary Emergency Medical Services (EMS) classes.

Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic Certificate

Upon successful completion of the EMS courses, students take 19 weeks of classes covering anatomy and physiology, cardiac care, pharmacology and paramedic skills. After this, students spend six weeks in a hospital setting doing clinical internship and 10-12 weeks in field internship practicing as a paramedic under direct supervision. The total cost of this program is about $2,900, as of 2012.

Associate in Science in Emergency Medical Services

This associate's degree program combines the certificate coursework and internships with 24 units of general education classes, such as reading, math, science and social studies. Recommended electives include fire protection organization, psychology, sociology and an administration of the justice system course. Students must earn a total of 60 units of credit with a GPA of 2.0 or better in order to be awarded this degree.

University of California-Los Angeles

The 7-month program at the UCLA Center for Prehospital Care is offered in January, May and September each year. Students should take college-level general education coursework prior to beginning the program and may receive 36 units of credit for paramedic coursework from West Lost Angeles College with concurrent enrollment.

Paramedic Program

The paramedic program at UCLA has three phases and students are required to pass each phase prior to beginning the next. The classroom/lab phase includes 560 hours of classes covering pharmacology, trauma, pathophysiology and treatment modalities. A 6-week clinical internship at a hospital follows the classroom phase, after which students move on to a 480-hour field internship with an active paramedic or rescue ambulance team. Tuition for this program is $9,500, according to the school's website in 2013.

Nurse to Paramedic Bridge Program

The bridge program is designed to allow licensed registered nurses with experience and an EMT license to become paramedics by taking selected courses from the program. With the exception of the patient assessment and airway management modules, nurses may test out of most of the classroom phase. In the clinical phase, nurses may be exempted from all modules except the anesthesiology rounds. The field internship phase is the same as for paramedic non-nurse candidates. As of 2011, tuition costs ranged from $6,000-$9,000, which was based on the required courses.

Comparison of Schools

The following table contains information that individuals should consider when choosing a school for their paramedic training.

El Camino College Mt. San Antonio College University of California-Los Angeles
School Type 2-year; public 2-year; public 4-year, public
Total Enrollment (2011) 24,463* 28,780* 39,271*
Campus Setting Large suburb Large suburb Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $1,142 in-state; $6,204 out-of-state* $1,164 in-state; $6,060 out-of-state* $12,692 in-state; $35,570 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2010-2011) 48%* 62%* 71%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) N/A - Open admission N/A - Open admission 27%*
Retention Rate (2010-2011) 75% for full-time students; 52% for part-time students* 79% for full-time students; 58% for part-time students* 97% for full-time students; 50% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (for students who began in Fall 2008) 24%* 25%* 90% (for students who began in Fall 2005)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Other School Options

Within ten miles of downtown Los Angeles, East Los Angeles College offers an emergency medical assistant program. About 20 miles from downtown, East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program offers a basic EMT course.

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