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Paramedic Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a Paramedic?

The paramedic is a health care provider in the emergent out-of-hospital setting. The paramedic rapidly, continuously and systematically assesses patients, then renders treatment. Communication to a base hospital to receive treatment orders was once a common practice in the delivery of care to a patient in the out-of-hospital setting. Today, paramedics are licensed professionals who are more often than not, expected to work independently to assess and treat patients prior to arriving at an emergency department.

Q: Where is the Paramedic Program held?

The Paramedic Program is currently held at the new Foothill College Sunnyvale Center, 1070 Innovation Way, Sunnyvale, CA  94089.  For more information on our campus, click here: Sunnyvale Campus

Q: How are applicants selected into the program?

Currently, we select students via a lottery system, provided that applicants have met all the prerequisites.  Applications and all supporting documents must be received by the deadline.  Although we do not select students on a first-come, first serve basis, we do recommend that applicants submit their application package early.

Q: How long is the program?

The Paramedic Program runs 15 to 18 months in length and begins in the Fall quarter each year. During the first, second and third quarters, students meet for lectures and labs. In the second quarter students also attend specialty rotations and attend a cadaver lab. During the fourth quarter, students attend ED Clinical rotations. In the fifth and sixth quarters, students complete their Field Internship for the final phase of the program. The Field Internship requires between 480 and 720 hours of patient care, which accounts for the variable length of time in finishing the program.

Q: Are there prerequisites?

Yes.  Please review the Minimum Prerequisites page for complete details.

Q: What are the rules for meeting the Anatomy/Physiology requirement?

Please review the Minimum Prerequisites page for the Anatomy & Physiology class requirements.

Q: How do I get an application?

Please go to our  Application Web Page to download the current application. 

Q: When will applications be available?

Applications will be available at the beginning of the year and are due by May 1st for each cohort.

Q: What is required as supporting documentation?

When submitting your application, you should include

  • copy of your high school diploma or GED certificate.  Note that regardless of any college degrees you may of obtained, you still need to provide proof of high school graduation.  We will accept either high school transcripts or a copy of your diploma.
  • copy of a valid (current) California EMT card (front only)
  • copy of a valid (current) American Heart Association CPR certification
  • official transcripts from any colleges you have attended
  • Copy of your Drivers License (front only) 

 If the Math and English prerequisites are not met through college courses,  we will need official transcripts from high school, or Math/English placement test results.  Call 408.745.8025 for placement test information

Q: Can I turn in other documents (additional certifications, letters of recommendation, etc...) with my application?

We don't require any additional documents other than what is required for the prerequisites, but feel free to turn in any additional items that you feel is important in letting us know who our applicants are!

Q: How much does the program cost?

The entire program is approximately $7,000 (CA residents).  Internship fees are and set by the internship site.  Please refer to the EMS Associated Costs for more detailed information.  Prices are subject to change without prior notification.

Q: When are the classes held?

Classes are currently held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  We have a new paramedic program starting every 12 months during the Fall quarter.

Q: What certificate or degree can I earn?

Students can receive a Certificate of Completion after successful completion of the didactic, clinical and internship courses. Students may also choose to earn an Associate of Science in Paramedicine by meeting additional requirements.

Q: How can I better prepare myself for admission to Foothill's program?

The paramedic curriculum is intense and demanding. Many students find it difficult to keep up with the amount of information given to them on a weekly basis due to lack of previous experience with intense course work demands in a short period of time.

Students are strongly encouraged to successfully complete college-level courses that require a similar level of intensity and difficulty before applying to the program.

Courses that are most similar and helpful include:

  • mathematics (algebra, statistics, calculus)
  • anatomy & physiology with a lab
  • chemistry with a lab
  • biology with a lab

Courses in the Arts and Humanities departments are helpful but do not replicate the paramedic experience as well.

Q: Can I work in other states as a paramedic?

A Paramedic who earns National Registry may work in other states that accept national registration as their reciprocity. Call the National Registry at 614.888.4484 for more information

Q: Is there financial aid available for the paramedic program?

Yes, Foothill college offers a wide variety of fee waivers, scholarships and grants.

Students applying for financial aid who are also enrolled in the paramedic program should be aware that the aid disbursement schedule and requirements differs from other programs and that financial aid may not be available during the internship phase of the program should your internship extend past your last quarter of registration.  We strongly recommend you speak with a representative from the Financial Aid Office to fully understand the differences so there are no surprises with your funding during the program. Please contact Financial Aid at 650.949-7245 or go to their website at foothill.edu/financialaid.

Foothill College is also proud to offer the Christopher Meadows Memorial EMS Education Fund to qualified paramedic students. This is to honor the memory of Christopher Meadows who was killed while responding to a medical call at Oceano Dunes in Southern California. For more information and to apply for this scholarship, please go to charitysmith.org/memorial-funds/christopher-meadows

Q: Does Foothill College offer advanced placement for the Paramedic program?

At this time, Foothill College does not offer advanced placement in the Paramedic program.

Q: Does Foothill College offer credits for experiential learning?

No, the Foothill College Paramedic program does not offer experiential learning credits.

Q: How many units do I need to complete the program with a Course Completion Certificate?

The Foothill College Paramedic Program requires successful completion of 76.5 units of specific course work in order to receive a Course Completion Certificate and eligibility to sit for the National Registry of EMTs paramedic examinations.  

NOTE: All core courses pertaining to the major must be taken for a letter grade and passed with a "C" or better in the recommended sequence.

How many units do I need to complete the Program and also earn an Associates Degree in Paramedicne?

A minimum of 90 units is required* to earn an optional Associates Degree in Paramedicine.  Those 90 units must include:
-Completion of one of the following general education patterns: Foothill General Education, CSU General Education Breadth Requirements or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
-Core courses (76.5 units)

NOTE: All core courses pertaining to the major must be taken for a letter grade and passed with a "C" or better in the recommended sequence.

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EMS Office: Sunnyvale Center
Glenn Kurisu, BS
EMS Program Director
Nancy Cheung, MPA, Division Dean
Health Science & Horticulture Division