Paramedic certificate programs often range from 45-57 credit hours and may take three semesters to complete. Associate degree programs are also common and build upon the training at the undergraduate certificate level, including some general education and additional major courses. Specialized tracks may be available for nurses and intermediate-level EMTs. Depending on the school, full- and part-time program options may be available; labs and lecture courses may be offered entirely on campus or in hybrid format. Admission requirements to a paramedic program often include EMT- Basic certification (some schools may also require EMT work experience), a background check, and up-to-date vaccinations.
Aims Community College
Aims Community College in Greeley offers paramedic training through certificate and associate degree programs. The Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) - Paramedic Associate of Applied Science (AAS) program requires the completion of 60 credit hours, of which 29 come from courses in the major. Students pursue paramedic coursework in medical emergencies, pharmacology, cardiology, and other topics.
The EMT - Paramedic certificate program takes two to three semesters to complete, depending on the qualifications of the student. Students can choose from a traditional paramedic track, an RN (registered nurse) to paramedic track, and an intermediate to paramedic bridge track. Requirements include a minimum of EMT - Basic certification.
Arapahoe Community College
Littleton-based Arapahoe Community College offers an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) - Paramedic certificate program and an EMS - Paramedicine AAS program. Both options are offered in cooperation with HealthOne EMS and can be taken full- or part-time. Both programs offer the same major classes, with additional general education classes in the degree program. Certificate program students complete 45 credit hours, while 66 credit hours are required for the degree program. Admission requirements include a background check, mandated vaccinations, and at least one year of documented experience serving as an EMT.
Colorado Mesa University
In Grand Junction, students can pursue Colorado Mesa University's technical certificate or Associate of Applied Science paramedic programs, with the latter offered in a hybrid format that includes online instruction. The paramedic certificate program requires the completion of 57 credit hours; the AAS program requires 75 credits. Applicants to both programs must be at least 18 years old, hold EMT certification, and pass a background check.
Colorado Mountain College
Colorado Mountain College offers paramedic programs at its Vail/Eagle-Valley campus in Edwards. The 45-credit-hour Certificate of Occupational Proficiency program is a hybrid program that offers online class options and takes three semesters to complete. More than 1,000 hours of classroom-based instruction and clinical training opportunities make up the program.
The 67-credit-hour Associate of Applied Science program combines major and general education coursework. Graduates of the degree program can opt to transfer 60 credit hours toward a Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Administration/Public Safety at Colorado Mesa University.
Community College of Aurora
Aspiring paramedics attending this college in Aurora can earn a paramedic certificate or an Associate of Applied Science in Paramedicine. Applicants must be EMT-certified in Colorado. The 45-credit-hour certificate program includes classes in pharmacology, cardiology, and trauma emergencies. The AAS requires at least 61 credit hours and includes additional coursework in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and English composition. Both programs also feature internship opportunities.
Front Range Community College
Front Range Community College, located in Westminster, offers a 25-credit-hour pre-paramedic certificate program that prepares students to enter into a paramedic training program by expanding upon EMT - Basic skills training. Class topics include intravenous therapy, basic EKG (electrocardiogram) interpretation, and medical terminology. Students also take a clinical course. Applicants must have liability insurance and undergo a background check.
Pikes Peak Community College
Based in Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Community College offers an EMT - Paramedic certificate program and an Associate of Applied Science - EMS - Paramedic program. The major curriculum is the same for the 53-credit-hour certificate and 62-credit-hour degree programs. Courses include cardiology, pharmacology, and paramedic practice basics. Labs and internships are also included.
Pueblo Community College
Located in Pueblo, this college offers a paramedic certificate program. Aspiring paramedics who want to earn a degree can enroll in the AAS program in emergency medical services.
Applicants must hold current Colorado EMT - Basic certification; a bridge track is also available for individuals holding intermediate certification. The certificate program takes 63.5 credits to complete and includes coursework in anatomy and physiology, in addition to core requirements. The associate degree program requires 75.5 credit hours. All EMS programs require that a student be at least 18 years old, able to meet the physical requirements of the job as defined by the state's Department of Public Health and Environment, and able to provide current immunization records.
Red Rocks Community College
Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood offers certificate and degree options in paramedicine through a cooperative partnership with St. Anthony's Hospital, also in Lakewood. The paramedic certificate program requires 49 credits to complete. To earn an Associate of Applied Science in Paramedicine with Red Rocks, a student must be accepted to the paramedic program offered by the hospital. Admitted students are then required to complete 62 credit hours. Prerequisites for the degree program include EMT - Basic training, as well as courses in intravenous therapy and EKG interpretation. Both programs include internship opportunities.
Trinidad State Junior College
Based in Trinidad, this junior college offers a paramedic certificate program and an AAS program in emergency medical services. The certificate can be earned following the completion of 45 credit hours; the degree is awarded after completing 64 credit hours. The AAS program includes EMT certificate courses at both the basic and intermediate levels.
To gain paramedic licensing in Colorado, applicants must complete a paramedic training program from a state-recognized education provider. The candidate must then pass the written and practical exams administered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). After gaining NREMT certification, the candidate can apply for state licensure through the Emergency Medical and Trauma Services section of the state's Department of Public Health and Environment. The 10 programs profiled in this article are all state-approved.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Paramedic Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Aims Community College||Two-year, public; midsize city|| EMT - Paramedic Certificate,
EMT - Paramedic AAS
| $1,835 in-district
|Arapahoe Community College||Four-year, public; large suburb|| EMS - Paramedic Certificate,
EMS - Paramedicine AAS
| $3,918 in-state
|Colorado Mesa University||Four-year, public; small city|| EMT Technical Certificate - Paramedic Specialization,
EMT - Paramedic AAS
| $8,627 in-state
|Colorado Mountain College||Four-year, primarily associate, public; remote town|| EMT - Paramedic Certificate of Occupational Proficiency,
EMT - Paramedic AAS
| $2,220 in-district
|Community College of Aurora||Two-year, public; large city|| EMT - Paramedicine Certificate,
AAS in Paramedicine
| $3,826 in-state
|Front Range Community College||Two-year, public; large suburb||Pre-paramedic Certificate|| $3,986 in-state
|Pikes Peak Community College||Four-year, public; large suburb|| EMT - Paramedic Certificate,
EMS - Paramedic AAS
| $3,840 in-state
|Pueblo Community College||Four-year, public; midsize city|| Paramedic Certificate,
AAS in EMS
| $5,179 in-state
|Red Rocks Community College||Four-year, public; midsize city|| Paramedic Certificate,
AAS in Paramedicine
| $4,158 in-state
|Trinidad State Junior College||Two-year, public; remote town|| EMT Certificate,
| $5,160 in-state
Source: *NCES College Navigator