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
2020 82.4% 94% 70.8% 82.4%
2019 73.3% 100% 78.9% 73.3%
2018 77.8% 100% 78.3% 77.8%
3 Year Average 77.8% 98% 76% 77.8%
▼   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's (DOT) National Standard curriculum for Paramedic education (2009).

▼   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 Skills Labs 4
EMS 297 Comprehensive Review & Exam 3
Total 7

▼   Progression and Completion Policies
To progress throughout the 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 Advanced 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.

▼   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.

▼   Contact Information
Paramedic Program Advisor
Joel Ellzie

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

▼   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