The state of Massachusetts recognizes three levels of EMT training: basic, intermediate, and paramedic. Training can be pursued through certificate and associate's degree programs, which include a practicum. Certificate programs could last 2-6 months, while it will take about 2 years to earn an associate's degree. Prerequisites will vary by level, but some of the requirements include being 18 years old and a high school graduate, submitting immunizations test results and having an EMT-Basic certification (for intermediate and paramedic programs).
Bristol Community College
Based out of Fall River, Bristol Community College offers an EMT certificate of recognition program that prepares students for certification at the basic level. The program consists of two classes that may be completed in one semester, totaling eight credit hours. The curriculum includes skills training using simulation technology as well as opportunities to gain practical hands-on experience.
Cape Cod Community College
Located in West Barnstable, Cape Cod Community College offers an EMT certification course and a paramedic certificate program; both are designed to prepare students to take the state-administered certification exams at the corresponding level. The EMT course is available in both the fall and spring semesters and includes classroom instruction as well as skills practice in a lab setting. The paramedic program is comprised of two classes worth a total of 15 credit hours. The first course is available in the fall and the second in the spring.
The paramedic program is open to currently certified EMTs who carry health and malpractice insurance and are able to pass a background check. Both EMS programs are taught by the college's Emergency Medical Training Services (EMTS) and carry costs different than those associated with traditional classes.
Greenfield Community College
This school, located in its namesake city of Greenfield, currently offers an EMT-Basic course and a paramedic certificate program. The EMT-Basic course is open to 30 students every semester and is available as either a for-credit course or a non-credit course. Students interested in earning six credit hours can expect to pay about $1,199 plus the cost of books and certification exams; the non-credit class carries a fee of $645 in addition to books and exam costs. The 17-month paramedic program accepts currently certified EMTs who have at least six months' experience in the field. Students will spend 11 months primarily in the classroom/lab and six months completing clinical and field internship requirements.
Massachusetts Bay Community College (MassBay)
Two levels of training are offered at MassBay in Wellesley Hills: an EMT-Basic certificate and a paramedicine certificate. The EMT-Basic program consists of one course, worth six credit hours and open to all students able to pass required background checks. The paramedicine program is offered on two schedules - one in the daytime and one in the evening. Students enrolled in the daytime paramedicine program can earn 32 credit hours of coursework in one year, starting in the fall. Paramedic students meeting in the evening start in the spring semester and can complete the program in four semesters, earning 31-33 credit hours total. Applicants to the paramedicine program must hold current CPR and EMT-B certifications; be at least 18 years old; and have completed reading, writing, and math prerequisite classes.
Boston-based Northeastern University offers an EMT-Basic course. The EMT-Basic course meets the national standards established by the Department of Transportation and requires that students be CPR-certified by the third class meeting in order to continue with the course. The 12-week class is worth nine credit hours, is offered four times a year, and costs approximately $1,500 for tuition alone.
Northern Essex Community College (NECC)
Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill offers students three programs related to the EMS field: an EMT-Basic course, a certificate in paramedic technology, and an Associate in Science in Paramedic Technology. The basic EMT course is worth seven credit hours and is offered to all students able to pass the required background checks. The paramedic program is open to currently certified EMTs who have at least one year of experience working in the field. The paramedic program is a limited-access program; only 18 students are accepted each fall. In addition to background checks, applicants to the paramedic program will be subject to drug screenings. They must also earn minimum scores on the NECC Assessment Test and meet minimum health requirements. Completion of the paramedic program earns a student eligibility to take the National Registry of EMTs certification exam at the paramedic level.
Quinsigamond Community College
Four EMT programs, including a paramedic-level program, are offered by Quinsigamond Community College in Worchester. The EMT-Basic certificate program consists of one course that includes a minimum of 160 hours of lecture and lab-based instruction. With the basic certificate award, students may also test for state certification, a prerequisite for the other programs offered by the college. The EMT-Intermediate certificate consists of six modules of instruction taken in one semester. Students interested in certification at the paramedic level may choose between the paramedic technician certificate program and the Associate in Science in Paramedic Technology program. The majority of the curriculum for both programs is identical; the associate degree requires additional general education and industry-related coursework.
This college, based in Springfield, is one of only five schools in the country to offer a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Services Management degree. The college offers courses leading to certification at the basic, intermediate, and paramedic levels as well, all of which are included in the curriculum required for the bachelor's degree. With each course completion, students earn eligibility to test at the appropriate level for Massachusetts certification as an EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, or EMT-Paramedic. The B.S. program also requires completion of 40-46 credit hours of general education classes. The EMT-Basic class (eight credit hours) is completed over two semesters, and the intermediate class (5.5 credit hours) is a one-semester course. Paramedic coursework is divided into five classes (totaling 20 credit hours) and includes clinical service and a field internship.
Once students have completed an approved training program, they must submit an application to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Office of Emergency Medical Services to be scheduled for a practical exam. Following approval, the students must then schedule to take the exam at an accredited training site. They will be notified by postcard if they pass the test; the postcard will also provide information on taking the state-administered written exam. Students can often get their EMT certification cards on the same day they pass their written exams.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||EMT Certificate and/or Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Bristol Community College||Public, two-year, small city||EMT certificate of recognition||$4,296 in-state; $9,240 out-of-state*|
|Cape Cod Community College||Public, two-year, small city|| EMT certification course,
|$4,212 in-state; $9,136 out-of-state*|
|Greenfield Community College||Public, two-year, rural|| EMT-Basic course (credit or non-credit),
|$5,210 in-state; $11,330 out-of-state*|
|Massachusetts Bay Community College||Public, two-year, large suburb|| EMT certificate,
Paramedicine certificate (day or night classes available)
|$4,496 in-state; $9,440 out-of-state*|
|Northeastern University||Private, not-for-profit, four-year, large city||EMT-Basic course||$45,530*|
|Northern Essex Community College||Public, two-year, rural|| EMT-Basic course,
Paramedic Technology certificate,
A.S. in Paramedic Technology
|$4,560 in-state; $10,344 out-of-state*|
|Quinsigamond Community College||Public, two-year, mid-sized city|| EMT-Basic certificate,
Paramedic Technician certificate,
A.S. in Paramedic Technology
|$5,302 in-state; $10,246 out-of-state*|
|Springfield College||Private, not-for-profit, four-year, mid-sized city|| EMT-Basic course,
B.S. in Emergency Medical Services Management
Sources: *NCES College Navigator.