Bachelor's Degree in Emergency Medical Services (EMS): Program Overview

Developed primarily for currently licensed paramedics, 4-year EMS degree programs provide individuals with an academic pathway to careers as supervisors, executives or administrators in the pre-hospital emergency medicine sector.

Essential Information

Degree programs such as the Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Services are a relatively recent addition to healthcare educational options. Since bachelor's degree programs in EMS train students to take on senior positions in the field, courses generally emphasize topics such as EMS leadership principles, pharmacology and medical assessment, among others.

Due to the advanced nature of this material, many programs require applicants to be currently licensed as a paramedic. This means that they have completed training at a technical or vocational school, passed the EMS licensure examination and typically gained employment as professional paramedics or emergency medical technicians. A high school diploma, letters of recommendation and admissions essay are also often required.

Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Services

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. The combination of these courses gives students the critical-thinking skills and industry knowledge necessary to effectively manage medical personnel.

  • EMS communications
  • Emergency medical assessment
  • Disaster preparedness
  • EMS ethical issues
  • Public health emergencies

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 future 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.

Most students in EMS bachelor's degree programs are paramedics who want to receive additional training in science, emergency medical assessment and management in preparation for advanced EMS roles. They can also go on to work in the field as medical professionals or educators.

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