In Arkansas, 23 schools offer emergency medical technician (EMT) training programs to students at varying levels, including a certificate in EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Paramedic and associate's degree in paramedic. Certificate programs take about 1 semester to complete, whereas an associate's degree can about 2 years, including a summer session.
Admissions requirements vary by program level. For example, all EMT applicants will need to meet these standards:
- Be high school graduates
- Be 18 years old
- Have current immunizations, including tuberculosis
- Submit letters of recommendation
- Have a clear criminal background
EMT-Intermediate candidates need an EMT-Basic certification, while paramedics will need to show proof of EMT-Intermediate certification. All programs include a clinical practicum.
Arkansas State University - Beebe
Arkansas State University's Beebe campus offers three levels of EMT training. The programs are available on a tiered basis: classes required by the EMT Certificate of Proficiency program must first be completed before students are eligible to take the core classes required by the EMT - Paramedic Technical Certificate program. All EMS courses are included in the A.A.S. in Emergency Medical Services - Paramedics program, in addition to general education courses. Program credit hour requirements are as follows: EMT - Basic, 15 credit hours; EMT - Paramedic, 40 credit hours; and A.A.S. in Emergency Medical Services - Paramedics, 60 credit hours. Applicants to the paramedic program must hold a high school diploma or equivalent, provide
Arkansas Tech University (ATU)
Russellville-based Arkansas Tech University offers three different EMT training programs: two certificates and one associate's degree. In order to earn an EMT Certificate of Proficiency, students must complete seven credit hours of coursework in two classes. A 60-credit-hour degree program is also offered, leading to a Paramedic Associate of Applied Science in Allied Health. Core classes must be passed with a score of 75% or better to count toward the degree. Students must pass ATU assessment exams in order to qualify to take the NREMT exam.
Black River Technical College
Located in Pocahontas, Black River Technical College offers a basic EMT certification course, an EMT - Paramedic certificate program, and an Associate of Applied Science in EMT - Paramedic degree. The EMT certification course is worth nine credit hours and is included in the A.A.S. program's curriculum. The paramedic certificate program takes five semesters to complete; the degree program can be completed in seven semesters. The certificate program consists of 53 credit hours of coursework, and the A.A.S. program is a 68-credit hour program. All tracks prepare students to take the certification exams administered by both the NREMT and the state.
National Park Community College
National Park Community College in Hot Springs offers an EMT Certificate of Proficiency, a Technical Certificate in Advanced Emergency Medical Technology - Paramedic, and an Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Services - Paramedic. Students will earn an EMT - Basic certificate following the completion of two classes worth seven credit hours. The advanced certificate program is a 31-credit-hour program, and the degree program requires the completion of 69 credit hours. The AEMT program's curriculum also constitutes the core curriculum for the A.A.S. program. Applicants to the paramedic program must be currently certified EMT - Bs, provide three letters of recommendation, and have no felony convictions.
North Arkansas College
Based out of Harrison, North Arkansas College offers four options to students desiring to train as EMTs and/or paramedics, as well as a medical responder track. The EMT - Basic Certificate of Proficiency program is available every semester to all students and costs about $827 for in-state students. The EMT - Intermediate program is open to currently certified EMT - Bs and requires the completion of one seven-credit-hour class. The EMT - Paramedic (Registry Eligible) Certificate program is a one-year program designed to allow EMTs to become certified at the paramedic level and serve in the field in less time than the degree program requires. Finally, a two-year Associate of Applied Science in EMT - Paramedic degree is offered to EMTs certified at the basic or intermediate level.
NorthWest Arkansas Community College
Located in Bentonville, NorthWest Arkansas Community College offers an EMT - Basic course and a paramedic program. Students must be CPR-certified, have taken a first responder course, and have scored a 19 on the ACT or 82 on the Compass exam in order to enroll in the EMT - Basic course. The paramedic program is only open to currently certified EMT - Bs who successfully pass both a written and practical entrance exam. The paramedic certificate program consists of 50 credit hours of coursework; students desiring an Associate of Applied Science degree must complete an additional 27 credit hours of classes, including general education courses. The basic course carries an approximate cost of $1,295 for in-state students; the paramedic certificate program costs about $6,361 for Arkansas residents.
Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas
Helena-based Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas offers one EMT training program, which results in a Certificate of Proficiency and eligibility to take the certification exams at the basic level. The EMT - Basic program consists of three courses taken concurrently; students may opt to take a single course (EMT 1010) to earn testing eligibility alone. Curriculum includes lectures as well as clinical instruction and skills practice. Applicants to the program must meet minimum reading and writing skill requirements, be at least 18 years old, and provide proof of required immunizations, including tuberculosis skin tests. Students accepted to the program must successfully pass background checks and drug tests, as well as purchase individual liability insurance.
University of Arkansas at Monticello
Three levels of EMT training are offered by the University of Arkansas at Monticello through four programs; all programs lead to certification eligibility at the corresponding level, following the successful completion of written and practical exams. The EMT - Basic course is an eight-credit-hour class leading to a Certificate of Proficiency. The EMT - Intermediate Certificate of Proficiency program consists of 14 credit hours of curriculum earned in three classes. The college also offers a Technical Certificate as an EMT - Paramedic. The paramedic program requires the completion of 47 hours of coursework and includes clinical hours and a paramedical internship. Finally, students in the paramedic program may opt to earn an Associate of Applied Science in General Technology by fulfilling the general education and elective requirements outlined by one of two options available for the degree award.
University of Arkansas Community College - Morrilton
The Morrilton campus of the University of Arkansas Community College offers students a choice between a single EMT - Basic course to prepare them for certification testing and completing an 18-credit-hour EMT certificate program. The basic course consists of at least 120 hours of lecture and a minimum of 48 hours of clinical practice. Practicum requirements include 24 hours of supervised service in an emergency room setting and at least six ride-along calls with an ambulance service. Students seeking an award program may complete an additional ten hours of related curriculum to earn a Certificate of Proficiency.
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
The College of Health Related Professions at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock offers a number of programs through its Department of Emergency Medical Sciences. An introductory course is offered to students desiring to study solely in preparation for the EMT - B certification exam. The paramedic program can result in either a certificate or an Associate of Science; in addition to the core curriculum required by the certificate program, degree-seeking students must also meet minimum general education requirements. Applicants to the paramedic programs must hold current EMT - B and CPR Healthcare Provider certification in Arkansas. Students entering the paramedic program in the fall will complete 46 credit hours of courses; paramedic students beginning in the spring semester will earn 43 credit hours in classes. Currently certified paramedics who have a GPA of 2.5 or better may be interested in earning a bachelor's degree in EMS.
In order to be certified by the state to serve as an EMT or paramedic, graduates of emergency medical services (EMS) training programs must pass the written certification exam administered by the National Registry of EMTs (NREMT). Additionally, once registered with the NREMT, candidates must also pass the practical skills exam administered by the state. An overview of EMT programs in Arkansas is listed below.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||EMT Certificate and/or Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Arkansas State University - Beebe||Public, two-year, fringe town|| EMT Certificate of Proficiency,
EMT - Paramedic Technical Certificate,
A.A.S. in Emergency Medical Services - Paramedics
| $2,880 in-state
|Arkansas Tech University||Public, four-year, remote town|| EMT Certificate of Proficiency,
Paramedic/ Emergency Medical Services Associate of Applied Science in Allied Health
| $7,524 in-state
|Black River Technical College||Public, two-year, rural|| EMT certification course,
EMT - Paramedic Certificate,
A.A.S. in EMT - Paramedic
| $3,168 in-state
|National Park Community College||Public, two-year, rural|| EMT Certificate of Proficiency,
Emergency Medical Services - Paramedic Technical Certificate,
A.A.S. in EMS - Paramedic
| $3,750 in-district
|North Arkansas College||Public, two-year, remote town|| EMT - Basic Certificate of Proficiency,
EMT - Intermediate course,
EMT - Paramedic (Registry Eligible) Certificate,
A.A.S. in EMT - Paramedic
| $2,280 in-district
|NorthWest Arkansas Community College||Public, two-year, small city|| EMT - Basic course,
Paramedic Technical Certificate,
A.A.S. in Paramedic Science
| $3,238 in-district
|Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas||Public, two-year, remote town||EMT - Basic Certificate of Proficiency|| $2,930 in-district
|University of Arkansas at Monticello||Public, four-year, primarily associate's, remote town|| EMT - Basic course,
EMT Certificate of Proficiency,
EMT - Paramedic Technical Certificate,
A.A.S. in General Technology in EMT - Paramedic
| $7,462 in-state
|University of Arkansas Community College - Morrilton||Public, two-year, distant town|| EMT - Basic course,
EMT Certificate of Proficiency
| $3,140 in-district
|University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences||Public, four-year, mid-sized city|| Intro to Emergency Medical Technology course,
EMT - Paramedic Certificate,
A.S. in Emergency Medical Sciences - Paramedic,
Baccalaureate degree in EMS
| $8,197 in-state
Source: *NCES College Navigator.