EMS students practicing CPR

EMT Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I know if the EMT program is right for me? What can I do with EMT licensure?

If you are unsure if this is the correct path for you, we strongly recommend taking the first of the three classes which is EMS 50.  Although this class serves as the prerequiste into the 2-quarter EMT program, it's also a stand-alone class that will teach you many skills including CPR, AED, bandaging/splinting, first aid, O2 adminstration, Epi-injections, child birth, backboarding, and a general overview of the 911 system.  Should you continue and become EMT licensed, you can work in ambulances, hospital emergency rooms, and any settings that require immediate emergency medical care.  EMT licensure is also required for paramedic school, fire academies, and overall is a great way to get you started in the field of medicine!

Q: Where are the EMT classes held?

At the Foothill College Sunnyvale Center, 1070 Innovation Way, Sunnyvale, CA  94089.

Visit the Sunnyvale Center website for more information.

Q: Are there any "hands-on" training in the program?

In addition to the lectures and labs, there is a required internship in the final quarter of the program!  You will be working one shift in an ER, and one shift on a 911 ambulance.  Note that this is NOT just observation - you will be performing actual EMT-level work during your shifts.

Q: How long is the EMT Program and when can I start?

The EMT program consists of two classes, EMS 52/ 52A and EMS 53/53A. In addition, a third class (EMS 50) prerequisite class must be taken. You may begin the 3-quarter sequence in any given quarter, but you may not take EMS 50, 52 or 53 concurrently.

Q: Can I skip a quarter?

No.  You must take the 3-class series in successive quarters.  This way, you keep your skills/knowledge progressing over 9 months and have a much better chance of passing the NREMT national test.

Q: Do you have a Summer-only program?

Currently, we do not.  Any Summer classes offered are either a continuation from the previous Spring quarter, or will continue through Fall quarter.

Q: When are regular EMT classes held?

EMT and EMR classes are usually held in the evening but may be held during the day.

Please go to foothill.edu/schedule for quarterly class information. Search for EMR and EMT classes using EMS dept code.

Q: How much does it cost to complete the 3-quarter (EMS 50, 52+52A, 53+53A) class sequence?

EMS 50 is a 5 unit class. EMS 52 is a 5 unit class. EMS 52A is a .5 unit class. EMS 53 is a 5.5 unit class. EMS 53A is a .5 unit class. The overall cost is approximately $1200, which includes tuition, books, outside vendor material fees, and standard basic fees. Non-resident tuition is additional. Fees are subject to change without prior notification.

Please go to foothill.edu/reg/fees.php for more specific fee information.

Q: Do I need to file a special application for the program?

No. You only need to apply with the regular college application, meet the prerequisite requirements and register at the appropriate time as listed in the schedule of classes and on this web site.

I'm a current EMT and need to re-certify. Do you offer recert classes?

Yes!  Most quarters, Foothill offers EMS 203, Basic Continuing Education courses.  You will need to complete the general Foothill College application to obtain your CollegeWide ID number if you don't have one already.  All EMS 203 students are required to attend the first scheduled class, but the amount of class hours/days you need to attend after that will vary depending on how long your license has expired.  The instructor will discuss this in greater detail with you the first day of class. 

If your license has expired more than 2 years, you are not eligible to take EMS 203 and must re-take an entire EMT program.

Q: I really want to get started in the field of medicine and want to become EMT certified to start this career path. How young can I enroll?

We strongly advise starting our 9-month (3-quarter) program no earlier than 17 1/2 years old.  This is because there is a required internship during your last quarter, and you have to be 18 to get placed at a site.  If you are younger than 17 1/2, you can prepare yourself by enrolling in CPR/first aid classes, or by taking Anatomy/Physiology (A&P) classes at Foothill.  Having a strong A&P background will make your EMS schooling MUCH easier.

Q: Is there a prerequisite I need before I enroll?

 The prerequisites for the EMT program:

  • EMS 50 or similar First Responder Course, or equivalent class work/experience/certification as determined by the Program Director. 

Q: When is the EMS 50 class offered and how do I enroll?

EMS 50 is offered every quarter during the evening, but may also be offered during morning hours.

Do I need to submit immunization information?

Not at first.  You won't need immunization paperwork for EMS 50, but you will soon after.  We look for immunizations for TB, Tetanus, MMR, Hep B and Varicella.  We encourage you to start gathering this information during EMS 50 so that you don't face any delays in the next class.  Tetanus shots have to be within 10 years, and TB within 6 months.  For MMR, Hep B and Varicella, we recommend first getting a "titer draw" from your doctor, whereby the doctor will take a sample of your blood to test for existing immunity.  Should your titer draw test shows existing immunity, you don't have to get that shot.

Can I skip EMS 50 and go directly into EMS 52/52A?

It depends.  If your skills/knowledge meets or exceeds what is taught in EMS 50 (or EMS 400), you may skip the class.  This is decided on a case-by-case basis, and you must provide proof (copies of certs/transcripts/cards, etc..) and complete a bypass form in order to skip the class.

Q: What is the difference between an EMT and a Paramedic?

A paramedic is licensed to do more advanced duties than an EMT.  Students are required to become EMT-certified before qualifying for paramedic school.  For more information about Foothill's Paramedic program, click here

Q: What are the job prospects as an EMT?

The availability of jobs can depend on where you apply to (ambulance, hospital, fire station) and the county you apply in. Please check with your local EMS agency for additional information.

Their website can be found at: http://www.emsa.ca.gov/ for more information.

Q: I see on the online schedule that there are some noncredit classes (EMS 400, EMS 401/401A, and EMS 402/402A). What are these classes and what are the benefits/drawbacks of taking the credit -vs- noncredit class sequence?

The three quarter noncredit class sequence (EMS 400, EMS 401 & 401A, and EMS 402 & 402A) covers the exact same material as the three quarter credit class sequence (EMS 50, EMS 52 & 52A, EMS 53 & 53A). The benefit of taking the noncredit class sequence is that you don't pay the per-unit fees, thus saving you money. However, noncredit classes are non-transcriptable, so these classes won't appear on any official transcripts you may order, nor are any grades officially given. Furthermore, you aren't allowed to switch from noncredit to credit, or credit to noncredit.

For more specific fee information, click here: Enrollment Fee/Basic Fee,

Sunnvyale Center Building

We're Here to Help!

Tracy Villanueva, EMS Program Director


Sunnyvale Center, 1070 Innovation Way, Sunnyvale, 94089