Paramedic Certificate Program

Image of students outside the Health Sciences building.


The Department's Paramedic certificate program prepares students for careers in pre-hospital emergency medicine and enables graduates to be employed as field paramedics in a variety of settings, such as fire-rescue departments, private ambulance services and aero-medical services, to name a few.  The program can be completed in three to four semesters, depending on the student’s desired course load.  Advanced EMT is pre-requisite to the program.  Other information pertinent to this program is described below.

▼   Accreditation

The Department’s Paramedic certificate program is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) through the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the EMS Professions (CoAEMSP).

The Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) and the Alabama Department of Public Health Office of EMS have recognized and approved the University of South Alabama paramedic program. The University of South Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC).

8301 Lakeview Parkway
Suite 111-312
Rowlett, TX 75088
(214) 703-8445
fax (214) 703-8992
9355 - 113th St. N, #7709
Seminole, FL 33775

The following chart reflects the Department of EMS Education’s three-year student success averages that were reported to our accrediting body, CoAEMSP.


Student Outcomes for the Department of EMS Education
University of South Alabama

Year National Registry
Written Exam Success Average
National Registry
Practical Exam Success Average
Positive Placement
2022 92.3% 100% 81.3% 92.3%
2021 100% 100% 73.3% 100%
2020 82.4% 94% 70.8% 82.4%
3 Year Average 91.6% 98% 74.1% 91.6%
▼   Mandatory Advising

All students admitted into the Department's Paramedic Certificate Program must be advised by the EMS Coordinator prior to registration. You may contact the Department at the phone number listed below to set up an appointment for advising and to receive a New Student Packet.

▼   Admission

Criteria for general admission of paramedic students to the University are the same as those for all students.  Please consult with the University’s Admission’s office for more information about admission policies and procedures.

▼   Curriculum

The basis for the curriculum is the current Department of Transportation (DOT), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2021 National Emergency Medical Services Education Standards.

▼   Pre-requisites

Students must have a current National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) certification, State of Alabama EMT license, and a course completion certificate from a state approved Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) course. If the student has an NREMT AEMT certification, an Alabama AEMT license is required.

EMS-200 Human System and Pathophysiology (3 hrs) or BMD 252 or equivalent
EMS-210 Medical Terminology (3 hrs)

▼   Hobet V Requirements


▼   Paramedic Certificate Program

Program of Study – 3 semesters

1st Semester (P-1)
Course Credits
EMS 212 Foundations of Paramedicine 3
EMS 214 Paramedic EKG 3
EMS 216 Paramedic Assessment & OPS 3
EMS 217 Paramedic Clinical Internship I 3
Total 12


2nd Semester (P-2)
Course Credits
EMS 240 Special Populations 3
EMS 242 Paramedic Emergency Care I 3
EMS 244 Paramedic Emergency Care II 3
EMS 245 Paramedic Skills Labs 1
EMS 247 Paramedic Clinical Internship II 2
Total 12


3rd Semester (P-3)
Course Credits
EMS 295 Paramedic Field Internship 4
EMS 297 Comprehensive Review & Exam 3
Total 7


▼   Departmental Policies
Withdrawal Policy

A student may withdraw from the program at any time of their choosing. If a student decides to reenter the program at a later date, the student must follow the Advanced Placement Policy. Students should refer to the University Student Handbook, The Lowdown, for additional withdrawal procedures. The University of South Alabama academic calendar publishes drop/add dates for each semester. If the student was not in good standing (passing all coursework) on withdrawal from the program, this will be deemed a first attempt. If the student was not in good standing and withdraws during their second attempt at any of the coursework, the student will not be eligible for reentry into the paramedic program.

Refund Policy

The University of South Alabama publishes refund dates within the university academic calendar for each semester. Students should refer to the University Student Handbook, The Lowdown, for additional procedures to obtain a refund as long as it is prior to published timeline.

Advanced Placement Policy

Ideally, if a previous student wants to rejoin the paramedic program after exiting a paramedic cohort, the student does so on the next available paramedic cohort. If it has been less than one (1) calendar year, the student must reenter at the beginning of the cohort semester (P1, P2, P3) in which the student previously exited the program. If it has been longer than one (1) calendar year and the student had previously progressed to P2 or P3 before the student exited the program, the student will require readmission approval from the Program Director, Medical Director, and Paramedic Faculty; as well as pass the Advanced Placement Testing, which will be conducted by the Paramedic Faculty. If the student receives approval from those previously mentioned and passes all exams, the student may reenter in the semester cohort in which they exited (P2, P3). If the student does not gain approval or is unsuccessful on the exams, the student will be required to start at the beginning of a paramedic cohort (P1). If it has been longer than two calendar years since a student has left the program for any reason, the student must restart the paramedic program at the beginning of a paramedic cohort (P1).

Advanced Placement Testing is determined based on which cohort semester the student is wanting to reenter. If the student is reentering P2, the student must pass (80% or higher) the final exams of the P1 cohort courses (EMS 212, 214, 216). The student must also successfully demonstrate oral intubation, IV/IO placement, medication administration, and medical/trauma assessment skill stations. If the student is reentering P3, the student must pass (80% or higher) the final exams of P1 (EMS 212, 214, 216) and P2 (EMS 240, 242, 244). The student must also successfully demonstrate oral/nasal intubation, IV/IO placement, medication administration, adult cardiac arrest (ACLS), and medical/trauma assessment stations.

Transfer of Credits Policy

The University of South Alabama EMS Department does not accept paramedic coursework from other institutions.

Experiential Learning Policy

Any student wanting to obtain their paramedic education from the University of South Alabama must enter at the beginning of a paramedic cohort (P1). Students that hold other medical degrees, licenses, or certifications are not exempt from this policy.

Student Grievance Policy

If a student within the Department of EMS has a general complaint or final grade grievance, the student should initially contact the course instructor. After meeting with the instructor and the student is unsatisfied with the results, the student should next request a meeting with the EMS Program Director. After meeting with the EMS Program Director and the student continues to be unsatisfied with the results, the student should request a meeting with the Department Chair. If the student continues to be unsatisfied with the results after meeting with the Department Chair, the student should contact the Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions Dean’s office for further steps. Students may also refer to the USA Student Affairs website.

Progression and Completion Policy

To progress each semester through the paramedic program of study, a minimum final grade of 80% must be achieved in each course. Students will be allowed to repeat a course only one time. Students unable to satisfactorily complete the final comprehensive examination in EMS 297 will be required to repeat this course the following semester.

The State of Alabama mandates the National Registry of EMT's examination at the EMT, Advanced EMT and Paramedic levels of practice. Only those students who have met all academic requirements of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Registry examination.

In accordance with State EMS regulations, each student must be a state licensed EMT prior to beginning his or her paramedic instruction. All other criteria for progression and completion will be listed in each course syllabus and will be mandatory.

Biosafety Information

The University of South Alabama Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions (CAHP) is committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of its students and faculty/staff. Their goal is the adoption and promotion of safe work practices that minimize personnel occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens and other infectious materials. View the CAHP Biosafety webpage for more information.

▼   Attendance

Attendance is mandatory.  Those students who have conflicts regarding attendance to classes or clinical internships will be asked to transfer to programs more suited to their schedules.

▼   Expenses

Students are responsible for payment of all tuition and fees.  Tuition and fees are set by the University of South Alabama, upon approval of the Board of Trustees.  For current information on tuition and fees, please refer to the University's Student Accounting Office.

Students are responsible for all personal healthcare expenses, including those resulting from injury or illness, while engaged in learning experiences required by the department.  Students will be required to show proof of health insurance or a signed waiver while in the program.  Students must show proof of all required immunizations.

Students are responsible for all travel expenses to and from clinical and field internship sites.  Students are responsible for the purchase of uniforms and required clinical equipment and supplies for their internships.  Students must maintain current Healthcare Provider (CPR) certification and Advanced EMT licensure throughout the program of study.

▼   Financial Aid

The department’s Paramedic certificate program is an academic credit program of the University.  Successful completion of the program provides the student with 41 semester hours of credit.  Students who take academic credit coursework at the University may be eligible for financial assistance (i.e., Pell grant, student loans, etc.).  For more information on financial aid, please contact the University's Financial Aid office.

▼   Transcript or Completion Certificate

If an EMS student requires a copy of their Completion Certificate, please call (251) 461-1832 or email Marla Snell or emsstudent. If a student requires a copy of their official transcript, please visit the Registrar's Office.

▼   Description of the Profession

The Paramedic's scope of practice includes basic and advanced skills focused on the acute management and transportation of the broad range of patients who access the emergency medical system. This may occur at an emergency scene until transportation resources arrive, from an emergency scene to a healthcare facility, between healthcare facilities, or in other healthcare settings.

In some communities, Paramedics provide a large portion of the out-of-hospital care and represent the highest level of out-of-hospital care. In communities that use emergency medical dispatch systems, Paramedics may be part of a tiered response system. In all cases, Paramedics work alongside other EMS and healthcare professionals as an integral part of the emergency care team. The Paramedic's scope of practice includes invasive and pharmacological interventions to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with acute out-of-hospital medical and traumatic emergencies.

Emergency care is based on an advanced assessment and the formulation of a field impression.

The Paramedic provides care designed to minimize secondary injury and provide comfort to the patient and family while transporting the patient to an appropriate healthcare facility. The Paramedic has knowledge, skills, and abilities developed by appropriate formal education. The Paramedic has the knowledge associated with, and is expected to be competent in, all of the skills of the EMR, EMT, and AEMT. The major difference between the Paramedic and the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician is the ability to perform a broader range of advanced skills. These skills carry a greater risk for the patient if improperly or inappropriately performed, are more difficult to attain and maintain competency in, and require significant background knowledge in basic and applied sciences.

The Paramedic is the minimum licensure level for patients requiring the full range of advanced out-of-hospital care. The scope of practice is limited to advanced skills that are effective and can be performed safely in an out-of-hospital setting with medical oversight.

The Paramedic transports all emergency patients to an appropriate medical facility. The Paramedic serves as part of an EMS response system, ensuring a progressive increase in the level of assessment and care. The Paramedic may make destination decisions in collaboration with medical oversight. The principal disposition of the patient encounter will result in the direct delivery of the patient to an acute care facility.

In addition to emergency response, Paramedics often perform medical transport services of patients requiring care within their scope of practice.

▼   EMT Psychomotor Skills
The following are the minimum psychomotor skills of the Paramedic:
  • Airway and Breathing
    • Perform endotracheal intubation
    • Perform percutaneous cricothyrotomy
    • Decompress the pleural space
    • Perform gastric decompression
  • Pharmacological Interventions
    • Enteral and parenteral administration of approved prescription medications
    • Access indwelling catheters and implanted central IV ports for fluid and medication administration
    • Administer medications by IV infusion
    • Maintain an infusion of blood or blood products
  • Medical/Cardiac Care
    • Perform cardioversion, manual defibrillation, and transcutaneous pacing
▼   Contact Information

Paramedic Program Director
Joel Ellzie

EMS Program Advisor
Kristen McKenna

University of South Alabama
Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions
Department of Emergency Medical Services
600 Clinic Drive – Suite 400
Mobile, AL 36688-0002
(251) 461-1832