San Francisco Paramedic Schools with Course Overviews

There are eight schools within roughly 45 miles of downtown San Francisco that have paramedic courses and training programs. To find out which one is right for you, explore the admission and program requirements at three of the colleges.

Paramedic Training Programs in San Francisco

Individuals interested in working as paramedics are required to complete training programs and pass the NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians) certification exam for paramedics. Those searching for education in the field can find three schools offering training within an hour's drive of central San Francisco. Read an overview of the courses and fieldwork in their programs, and then compare the colleges using the table of statistics.

  • Located about seven miles from the city's center, City College of San Francisco offers paramedic training in both certificate and associate's degree programs.
  • Foothill College also offers both a certificate and associate's degree in the field. The school's main campus is roughly 42 miles from downtown San Francisco, but the paramedic training is offered at the Middlefield campus located around 35 miles away.
  • Napa Valley College, situated about 46 miles from central San Francisco, has a paramedic training program that can be completed in less than a year and a half.

Comparison of Schools

Take a look at this table for more details on the featured schools. There is a wealth of info -- including stats on tuition, student retention and graduation rates -- to help you make an informed choice on where to pursue paramedic training.

City College of San Francisco Foothill College Napa Valley College
School Type 2-year, public 4-year, primarily associate's, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 26,299* 15,697* 6,076*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Small city
Annual Tuition & fees (2017-2018) $1,598 for in-state undergraduates; $9,010 for out-of-state undergraduates* $1,554 for in-state undergraduates; $8,752 for out-of-state undergraduates * $1,142 for in-state undergraduates; $6,758 for out-of-state undergraduates*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2017) 59%* 37%* 62%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) Open admissions* Open admissions* Open admissions*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 72% for full-time* N/A* 75% for full-time*
Graduation Rate 32% (for students who began their studies Fall 2014)* 56% (for students who began their studies Fall 2011)* 34% (for students who began their studies Fall 2014)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

City College of San Francisco

City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is a community college that offers nine campus locations and several learning sites. CCSF offers certificate and degree programs, non-credit courses and distance learning. The college offers paramedic training through its Department of Health Care Technology. The curriculum for this program is based on U.S. Department of Transportation National Standard Curriculum for the EMT-Paramedic.

Paramedic Certificate of Achievement

The paramedic certificate program, which can be completed in five semesters or less, requires the completion of 49 units of study. Students complete theory-based courses on cardiac care, trauma, the reproductive system, the endocrine/nervous system, airway management, intravenous treatment and responsibilities of the paramedic. The curriculum includes lectures, clinical experiences and field externships that provide students with supervised, hands-on training. Students complete approximately 700 hours of didactic studies, 160 hours of hospital clinicals and 480 hours in the field. When all training is completed, students can sit for the NREMT certification exam for paramedics.

Associate in Science in Paramedic Training

The paramedic associate's degree program has the same training requirements as the certificate program, but students must also complete general education courses. To enter this program, an applicant must show proof of EMT-Intermediate certification, pass the EMT review test, submit two letters of recommendation and attend a mandatory orientation session.

Foothill College

Located on 122 acres, Foothill College is a public school that offers almost 200 certificate and associate's degree programs. Included as part of these offerings is the paramedic training program, which is held at the Middlefield campus. Students can choose from a certificate of achievement program or an associate's degree in paramedic training.

Paramedic Certificate of Achievement

The paramedic certificate program requires completion of 58 units of study. The program takes 15-18 months to complete and consists of 4-6 quarters. Students spend the first three quarters completing didactic instructions; hospital specialty rotations are added into the mix in the second quarter. The final quarters of the program consist of emergency room clinicals and ambulance externships. Students learn to provide advanced emergency care to patients in a pre-hospital setting. Course topics include dosage calculations, pharmacology, airway management, advanced cardiac care, bleeding control, shock management and intubation.

Associate in Science in Paramedic

Students interested in earning an associate's degree must complete general education courses in addition to the paramedic courses. Prior to starting this program, applicants must complete biology and show proficiency in English and math. Applicants must have high school diplomas and must be licensed EMTs with six months of full-time experience or at least 960 hours of part-time experience. They must also have American Heart Association CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) for Healthcare Providers or American Red Cross (ARC) Professional Rescuer certifications. Before starting clinicals, the student may be required to show proof of a physical examination, current immunizations, criminal background check and drug screening. With the exception of the general education courses, the 70.5-unit associate's degree program has the same requirements as the certificate program.

Napa Valley College

Part of the California Community College System, Napa Valley College (NVC) offers academic programs designed to prepare students for their career choices. The Health Occupations division at NVC includes programs in nursing, respiratory therapy, psychiatric technicians and paramedics. The paramedic program offers students a hands-on learning method of training.

Emergency Medical Technician - Paramedic Program

The 15-month paramedic program includes classroom studies in the first two semesters (fall and spring). Students spend the summer semester completing hospital clinicals, with field internships throughout the city in the final fall semester. Admission requirements include completion of anatomy and physiology, American Heart Association Basic Life Support Healthcare Provider certification, at least 2,000 hours of EMT work within last three years, EMT-Basic training, a current California EMT license and a passing score on the school's entrance exam. Individuals who want to earn an associate's degree must complete from 15-18 units of general education courses, in addition to the paramedic courses. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs accredits NVC's paramedic program.


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