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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

Majors Overview March 15, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in emergency medical services (EMS) and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

Training is traditionally imparted to emergency medical personnel and paramedics at vocational or technical schools before they take an EMS licensure exam and go on to work as emergency medical technicians or professional paramedics. In recent times, schools have begun offering the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Emergency Medical Services (EMS), among other healthcare educational options for those interested in this field.

These four-year degree programs, wherein admission is primarily given to currently licensed paramedics, are devised to enable graduates to gain occupation in senior positions in the pre-hospital emergency medicine field. Coursework emphasizes topic areas such as principles related to EMS leadership, medical assessment, and pharmacology, which are aimed at expanding on the experience and knowledge gained through hands-on paramedic programs to serve the ultimate goal of providing training to senior emergency medical administrators, executives, and supervisors.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to submitting an admissions essay, letters of recommendation, and standardized test scores. Incoming students to most programs are also required to be licensed paramedics given that the programs are intended to train EMS administers and managers.


Core coursework covers emergency healthcare courses, in addition to electives in the humanities and liberal arts in subject areas such as history or English composition. Coursework may include core topic areas such as:

•EMS ethical issues
•Disaster preparedness
•Emergency medical assessment
•EMS management and leadership
•Types of EMS administrative systems

Career Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program may seek entry-level careers in administrative or leadership positions in the emergency medical industry. Others may seek positions in academia or research, aiming at shaping the emergency medical procedures, protocols, and policies of the future, and tailor their continued education choices accordingly. Graduates of the bachelor’s program can choose from popular career options such as the following:

•EMS supervisor
•Physician’s assistant
•Hospital administrator

Continuing Education Choices

Graduates from the bachelor’s degree program can seek continuing education by earning an advanced degree, such as in medical school. Additionally, they could pursue masters or doctoral degree programs in systems management and hospital administration. For instance, they could try to earn a Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) or a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.).

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