Texas schools offer 1- to 2-year certificate and 2- to 2.5-year associate's degree programs in the paramedic and/or emergency medical technician/services major. The curriculum is essentially the same for each option, but the degree program includes additional general education classes. Both options include classroom and field training. Applicants may need to have specific certifications or training in the field in order to qualify for enrollment.
For those who don't already have it, various types of life support certification can be earned while enrolled in the paramedic program. For the clinical portion, students must meet requirements such as submitting to a background check and drug screen, obtaining malpractice insurance and having current immunizations.
In order to be certified as paramedics in Texas, applicants must be at least 18 years old, pass a criminal background check, hold a GED certificate or high school diploma and have completed an approved paramedic EMS (emergency medical services) or emergency medical technician (EMT) training program. Finally, aspiring paramedics need to pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exams at the paramedic level. With the exception of El Paso Community College, all of the following schools mention that their paramedic programs prepare students for state or national certification exams. This article provides information on the 10 largest public colleges in Texas to offer paramedic training programs.
Austin Community College District
Students attending this college in Austin can choose between a certificate program and a degree program leading to certification as a paramedic. The paramedic certificate program requires the completion of 46 credit hours over 5 semesters. The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in EMS is a 69-credit program that can also be finished in 5 semesters. Both programs are only open to those who have EMT-Basic (EMT-B) training. All credit hours earned in the certificate program may be applied towards an AAS. The curriculum includes both clinical and practicum requirements.
Central Texas College
Located in Killeen, Central Texas College offers students both a paramedic certificate of completion program and an AAS in EMT program. The certificate program requires 33 credit hours of courses to be completed and includes EMT-B training. The degree program requires the completion of 69 credit hours and requires the same courses as the paramedic certificate program. Both programs include clinical and practicum opportunities for skills practice in the field.
Collin County Community College District (Collin College)
Collin College in McKinney offers two paramedic training programs: an EMS paramedic certificate program and an AAS in EMS degree program. The certificate program requires students to take 42 credit hours of coursework. The degree program requires a minimum of 66 credit hours. Both programs include clinical requirements. Applicants to the programs need to already have EMT-B certification.
El Paso Community College
This college in El Paso offers two paramedic programs. The paramedic certificate of completion is a 41-credit program and the AAS Paramedic program requires students to earn 66-69 credit hours. Both programs can be completed in 2 years. Students complete clinical experiences and courses like trauma management, cardiology, and emergency pharmacology.
Houston Community College
This college in Houston offers certificate and AAS programs to paramedic students. Both programs may be completed in 2 years and include EMT-Basic courses. The certificate program encompasses 43 credit hours of curriculum, and the AAS program consists of 66 credit hours of coursework. Courses include topics like emergency pharmacology, medical emergencies, and trauma management.
Lone Star College System
The Lone Star College System offers paramedic certificate and AAS programs at the CyFair and North Harris campuses in Cypress and Houston, respectively. The certificate program has 39 credits of coursework. The Cyfair campus offers an accelerated certificate program to qualifying students. The AAS program requires students to complete 67 credit hours of coursework for over 2 years. Both certificate and AAS students may take EMT-B prerequisite courses, before officially starting the paramedic programs.
San Antonio College
Located in San Antonio, this college offers paramedic certificate and AAS programs. Both programs provide EMT-B and clinical paramedic courses. Certificate program students will complete 42 credit hours of coursework. The degree program requires the completion of 62-66 credit hours over 5 semesters.
San Jacinto Community College
Students attending this college in Pasadena may earn an AAS degree or an EMT certificate. The AAS program requires 66 credit hours. The certificate program is a 39-credit program and may be completed in 5 semesters. Both AAS and certificate students complete field experiences and courses in medical emergencies and trauma management.
South Texas College
South Texas College in McAllen offers paramedic certificate and AAS programs. Both programs provide EMT-B courses. Other classes focus on topics like patient assessment and EMS operations. Clinical experiences and practicums are also required.
Tarrant County College
Fort Worth-based Tarrant County College offers paramedic certificate and EMS AAS programs. Both programs provide lectures, clinical experiences, and practicums. Course topics cover trauma management, cardiology, and medical emergencies.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Paramedic Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Austin Community College District||Public, 2-year; large city|| EMT Paramedic Certificate,
AAS in EMS
|$2,550 in-district; $10,830 in-state; $13,020 out-of-state*|
|Central Texas College||Public, 2-year; midsize city|| EMT Paramedic Certificate of Completion,
AAS in EMT
|$2,700 in-district; $3,390 in-state; $7,050 out-of-state*|
|Collin County Community College District||Public, 2-year; midsize suburb|| EMS Paramedic Certificate,
AAS in EMS
|$1,504 in-district; $2,884 in-state; $4,864 out-of-state*|
|El Paso Community College||Public, 2-year; large city|| Paramedic Certificate of Completion,
|$3,010 in-state; $4,858 out-of-state*|
|Houston Community College||Public, 2-year; large city|| Paramedic Certificate,
AAS in EMS
|$1,632 in-district; $3,360 in-state; $3,756 out-of-state*|
|Lone Star College System||Public, 2-year; small city|| EMS Professions Paramedic Certificate,
AAS in EMS Professions
|$1,600 in-district; $3,880 in-state; $5,200 out-of-state*|
|San Antonio College||Public, 2-year; large city|| EMT Paramedic Certificate,
AAS in EMT Paramedic
|$2,820 in-district; $6,300 in-state; $13,830 out-of-state*|
|San Jacinto Community College||Public, 2-year; large suburb|| EMT Certificate of Technology,
|$1,548 in-district; $2,628 in-state; $4,188 out-of-state*|
|South Texas College||Public, 4-year (primarily associate's); midsize city|| Paramedic Certificate,
|$3,780 in-district; $4,080 in-state; $7,680 out-of-state*|
|Tarrant County College District||Public, 2-year; large city|| Paramedic Certificate of Completion,
AAS in EMS
|$1,661 in-district; $3,132 in-state; $7,560 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.