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EMT Classes in Chicago with Course Descriptions

There are around ten schools in the Chicago area that have emergency medical technician (EMT) training programs. Read an overview of the programs, requirements, and admission info at three schools within 30 miles of downtown and find out which school is the right one for you.

Comparison of EMT Class Options in Chicago, Illinois

Several schools in the Chicago area offer EMT training that meets state and national standards. This article examines three schools within 35 minutes of downtown and their relevant certificate and degree programs. There are also facts about each institution, such as enrollment, campus setting and costs. This information is arranged in a table that allows prospective students to easily compare these schools. Information on a few other school options in the Chicago area is provided at the end of this article.

  • Just three miles from the city center, Malcolm X College offers EMT-Basic and EMT II-Paramedic certificate programs as well as an EMT II-Paramedic associate's degree.
  • At Moraine Valley Community College (MVCC), students can train through a certificate and an associate's degree in emergency medical services (EMS). This institution is almost 23 miles from downtown Chicago.
  • The College of DuPage (CoD), 26 miles from downtown Chicago, has certificate programs for EMTs and paramedics and an associate's degree program in EMS.

Comparison of Schools

This table contains information useful to aspiring EMT students who are deciding on a school.

Malcolm X College Moraine Valley Community College College of DuPage
School Type Public, 2-year Public, 2-year Public, 2-year
Total Enrollment (2017)* 6,713 14,620 26,165
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)* $3,506 for in-district students; $8,126 for in-state students; $11,906 for out-of-state students $4,266 for in-district students; $9,426 for in-state students; $10,956 for out-of-state students $4,050 for in-district students; $9,660 for in-state students; $11,760 for out-of-state students
% of Students Receiving Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 83% 56% 72%
Acceptance Rate (2017)* N/A - open admissions policy N/A - open admissions policy N/A - open admissions policy
Retention Rate (2017)* 60% for full-time students, 35% for part-time students 69% for full-time students, 41% for part-time students 74% for full-time students, 51% for part-time students
Graduation Rate (Students began Fall 2014)* 15% overall, 13% transfer-out 27% overall, 24% transfer-out 23% overall, 30% transfer-out

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics' (NCES) College Navigator.

Malcolm X College

EMT training classes available at Malcolm X College are provided through the school's department of emergency medical services. Eleven faculty members teach EMT courses. Graduates of all programs are eligible to be licensed by the State of Illinois Department of Public Health.

EMT-Basic Certificate

The EMT-Basic certificate program consists of a single course, worth eight credit hours. The class includes traditional lecture-based instruction, CPR certification, class-based skill practice and ten hours working in a hospital-based clinical setting. Students are trained in basic life support skills and graduate ready to work at the basic EMT level. Applicants to the program must be 18 or older, hold a high school diploma or equivalent, and interview with the department chair.

EMT II-Paramedic Advanced Certificate

The paramedic certificate program offered by Malcolm X College begins in the fall semester, the first of three consecutive semesters; applications are accepted the preceding spring. The program consists of 34 credit hours in classes designed exclusively for the paramedic program. Coursework includes 10 credit hours of practicum and a field internship. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the National Registry for EMTs examination for certification or the equivalent offered by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Associate of Applied Science, EMT II-Paramedic

The core classes for the EMT II-Paramedic certificate program are identical to those required of students pursuing a degree in the same major. The difference between the two awards is the completion of general education coursework required of degree-seeking students. The A.A.S. program is offered in cooperation with the Chicago Resource Hospitals and the Chicago Fire Department.

Moraine Valley Community College

Moraine Valley Community College offers two levels of training to students desiring to serve in the emergency medical services (EMS) field. All programs require that applicants be over the age of 18. Coursework includes internships and/or field practicum requirements.

EMT-Paramedic Certificate

Applicants to the paramedic program at MVCC must be licensed at the EMT-Basic level before they are able to continue their education as a paramedic. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the State of Illinois Paramedic Examination for certification by the state. All classes are taught at Advocate Christ Medical Center. Recommendation letters are required from all applicants; experience in the field as an EMT-I (Basic) is preferred.

Associate of Applied Science, Emergency Medical Services

The A.A.S. in EMS program at MVCC is designed to prepare students for certification exams required by the state. The program requires the completion of 62 credit hours: 19 credit hours in general education classes, 38 credit hours in career courses, and 5 additional credit hours in electives of the student's choice. Curriculum includes comprehensive training in pre-hospital care, including intubation, cardiac defibrillation, and the administration of medication.

College of DuPage

The College of DuPage offers three program choices to students pursuing careers in EMS. The school's division of fire science offers two certificate options and one degree.

Emergency Medical Technician Certificate

The EMT certificate program at the College of DuPage (CoD) includes one 10-credit course, designed to prepare students for the first level of certification as an EMT. It is the initial requirement for more advanced EMT programs and offered each semester. Curriculum includes patient evaluation, transportation techniques, and basic life support skills. In order to qualify to take the certification exams upon completion of the program, students must have earned an 80% or better on all exams.

Paramedic Certificate

The paramedic certificate program available at CoD requires the completion of 32 credit hours and accepts new students to the program once a year. The paramedic curriculum continues where the basic program ends, providing more advanced training to students desiring to serve in the EMS field. Training includes intubation, reading EKGs (electrocardiograms), and administering medications and intravenous fluids.

Associate of Applied Science, Emergency Medical Services

EMS students who earn an A.A.S. from the College of DuPage are qualified to pursue a number of emergency medical careers, including firefighting. The program has been designed for students intending to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation; students intending on transferring to a 4-year institution should consult with an academic adviser to ensure transferability of credits. A minimum of 65 credit hours must be completed to earn the degree, 41 of which are program-specific classes.

Other School Options

Wilbur Wright College is located about 12 miles from downtown Chicago and offers EMT training classes. Other schools in the region with EMS programs include Triton College (14 miles from downtown) and Oakton Community College (22 miles).


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