Washington, DC, Paramedic Programs
There are no schools in Washington, DC, offering paramedic training; however, there are several in neighboring states. This article looks at three that are within 50 minutes of the city center and the training programs they offer. Prospective students can use a table of information to compare these schools in areas including size, tuition, acceptance rate and graduation rate. At the end of the article is information on a few other area schools that offer paramedic training.
According to Washington, DC's Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, paramedics must be certified, which requires completing training and passing the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians-Paramedic (NREMT-P) exam. A high school diploma or GED, physical exam, background check and drug test are also required.
- Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) offers paramedic training programs at the Medical Education Campus in Springfield, Virginia, about 12 miles from downtown Washington. It offers a certificate program in paramedic studies and an associate's degree program in emergency medical services.
- Students at Prince George's Community College (PGCC) can earn a certificate or an associate's degree as an emergency medical technician-paramedic. This school is in Maryland, about 14 miles from downtown Washington.
- Howard Community College (HCC) is also in Maryland, around 22 miles from downtown Washington. It offers emergency medical technician/paramedic certificate and associate's degree programs.
Comparison of Schools
Students who are looking for a school need to consider many factors. This table presents information about these institutions in a way that makes it easy to compare them.
|Northern Virginia Community College||Prince George's Community College||Howard Community College|
|School Type||2-year; public||2-year; public||2-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||51,190*||12,113*||9,476*|
|Campus Setting||Large suburb||Large suburb||Small city|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)||$5,498 in-state; $11,505 out-of-state*||$3,770 in-district; $6,050 in-state, $8,498 out-of-state*||$3,888 in-district; $5,880 in-state; $6,960 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017)||57%*||75%*||57%*|
|Acceptance Rate||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admission||N/A - Open admission|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)||73% for full-time students; 52% for part-time students*||56% for full-time students; 44% for part-time students*||69% for full-time students; 48% for part-time students*|
|Graduation Rate (for students who began studies Fall 2014)||25% (16% transfer-out rate)*||9% (20% transfer-out rate)*||19% (19% transfer-out rate)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Northern Virginia Community College
Applicants to the associate's program at NOVA must have a 2.0 GPA from previous coursework, be 18 years old and pass a criminal background check. All certificate classes are offered both spring and fall semesters.
Certificate in Paramedic Career Studies
Applicants for this program must have current Emergency Medical Technician-Intermediate (EMT-I) certification and have earned a C or better in human biology and pharmacology classes. Over the course of the 2-semester program, paramedic candidates will take classes in pathophysiology, patient assessment and professional development. Clinical and field internships in advanced life support will also be required both semesters. All classes must be passed with a C or better.
Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Services
This 5-semester program prepares students for certification in either EMT-I and/or paramedic practice. Required coursework includes general education classes in composition, social science and biology, as well as basic and advanced emergency care courses, such as ECG recognition, patient assessment and trauma care. Clinical and field internships are required during the last 4 semesters, allowing students to gain hands-on experience in hospital and pre-hospital settings. All coursework must be completed with a 2.0 GPA or higher.
Prince George's Community College
The prerequisite for both paramedic programs at PGCC include EMT licensure and at least a year of experience in the field.
Certificate in Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic
The curriculum for the certificate program covers subjects such as airway management, shock and trauma, cardiology and medical emergencies. Program coursework includes practicum courses and a preparation course for the paramedic certification exam.
Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic
The 2-year associate's program includes paramedic courses plus two human anatomy and physiology courses. Additionally, students must take general education courses, such as English, communication, psychology and math.
Howard Community College
Current certification and experience as an EMT-Basic is required for entry into the certificate and associate's degree program.
Certificate in Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic
The 53-credit certificate program generally takes four semesters to complete. Over the course of this time, students take classes in anatomy and physiology, prevention and management of emergency situations, patient assessment and microbiology. Students will also be required to take part in internships.
Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic
The associate's program combines a core general education component of classes, such as public speaking, math and composition, with the coursework required in the certificate program. Students must earn a total of 65 credits to graduate, and must earn at least a C in all math, paramedic and science classes.
Other School Options
Roughly two miles from downtown Washington, DC, is George Washington University, which offers a bachelor's degree program in emergency medical services management. This program doesn't qualify students to be paramedics, but rather seeks to prepare students for leadership and/or educational roles within the field. The College of Southern Maryland is located about 27 miles south of Washington, DC, in La Plata, Maryland, and offers a paramedic certificate program, as well as an associate's program in emergency medical services. The University of Maryland, Baltimore County, which is approximately 29 miles from downtown Washington, DC, offers a bachelor's program in emergency health services with a paramedic track.