Emergency Medical Science

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are often the first responders to any emergency situation, making split-second decisions that save people’s lives. Central Piedmont offers the opportunity to earn an Associate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Science — whether you have no EMS background or are a currently-credentialed paramedic seeking to advance your education — that includes coursework that will allow you to earn your EMT and paramedic certifications.

What You Will Learn

The Emergency Medical Science (EMS) curriculum is designed to provide you with knowledge of emergency medicine and its operations and to prepare you to provide pre-hospital care in a career as an entry-level EMT or paramedic. While in our program, you will acquire basic and advanced life support knowledge and skills in cutting-edge learning environments, including classroom and laboratory instruction. Our core EMS curriculum will focus on EMS management, rescue operations management, and methods of EMS education, giving graduates experience in all facets of EMS leadership. AHA Certification in Health Care Provider CPR is also included in this program. 

The EMS associate degree coursework includes general education core courses as well as both EMS 110 (EMT Training) and paramedic training courses. Upon successful completion of the associate degree, you will be eligible to take the North Carolina EMT exam with the NC Office of EMS to be credentialed as an NC EMT - Basic. You will also be eligible for the North Carolina and National Registry Paramedic certification examinations. Additionally, the emergency medical science associate degree program will allow students who are currently certified and employed as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) or paramedics the opportunity to advance their careers by strengthening the economic and social life of our students. Those students can receive credit for the current certifications. Upon completion of the Associate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical science, you will be able to:

  • apply for the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services Paramedic certification exam and the National Registry Paramedic certification exam
  • communicate professionally and effectively with patients, significant support persons, such as police, fire, and rescue members and members of the interdisciplinary healthcare team
  • integrate knowledge of the pre-hospital emergency needs of the individual to provide an individual emergency care assessment and a transport decision.
  • practice professional emergency medical services behaviors incorporating responsibility and accountability into daily patient care practice

Apply to Central Piedmont

Why Choose Central Piedmont

The paramedic program of Central Piedmont Community College/Carolinas Medical Center Consortium is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP, caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP).

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
25400 US Highway 19 N.
Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763

To contact CoAEMSP:

8301 Lakeview Parkway
Suite 111-312
Rowlett, TX 75088
p 214.703.8445 | f 214.703.8992

Our mission is to provide the highest quality EMT and paramedic training. Practical skills are learned through demonstration, simulated lab experiences, and hands-on practice led by credentialed, highly-qualified EMS professional educators. Our EMS program graduates currently have a success rate of 95% on the North Carolina EMT - Basic exam. You will get hands-on experience via two required 12-hour rotations with Mecklenburg EMS as an observer. You will have unique hospital clinical opportunities at our region's level one trauma center; the field internship portion is completed at one of the nation’s top EMS providers. You will have access to services at both facilities including library services at the college as well as the medical college at the medical center. The paramedic consortium program has been extremely successful, with a 100% pass rate on credentialing exams.

Real World Education

At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.

EMT, Paramedic Careers and Average Salaries

Employment opportunities include Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies, fire and rescue agencies, critical care transport services, special events and government agencies. Visit Central Piedmont’s Career Coach for detailed emergency medical science career opportunities, salary information, and job openings.

Career Coach

The Details

  • Program Options

    The Associate in Applied Science in emergency medical science provides both EMS and paramedic training on one of two paths:

    • traditional: students with no emergency medical science background
    • bridge: already-established paramedics, whether you have your certification through the North Carolina Office of EMS or the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians

    The college catalog lists the Associate in Applied Science emergency medical science program options, courses, eligibility, and requirements currently available at Central Piedmont.

    If you would like information on opportunities to transfer associate degree credit to a four-year institution, please visit the Transfer Resource Center.

    EMS Certification

    EMT's are educated in many skills, including CPR, giving patients oxygen, administering glucose for diabetics, and helping others with treatments for asthma attacks or allergic reactions. With very few exceptions, such as in the case of auto-injectors for allergic reactions, EMTs are not allowed to provide treatments that requiring breaking the skin: that means no needles. The EMS associate degree curriculum includes courses that will allow you earn your EMT or paramedic certification (EMS 110); learn more about NC Office of Emergency Medical Services EMT requirements (PDF). Both EMS 110 and EMT 7306 at Central Piedmont will allow you to become Emergency Medical Technicians - Basics following successful completion of the course and passing the State of North Carolina or National Registry Certification exams. EMS 110 is a curriculum-based course that will earn you 8 college credits towards the Associate in Applied Science in emergency medical science. EMT 7306 is run through the continuing education department and does not count towards college credit. EMS 110 qualifies for financial aid if the student qualifies, but is not eligible for the fee waiver. EMT 7306 is eligible for the fee waiver (if applicable), but does not qualify for financial aid. This 200-hour course provides the foundation for the student to function as an Emergency Medical Technician with a pre-hospital EMS Provider. The class combines lecture with skills demonstration and practice. Successful completion requires a final written exam and a scenario based practical exam. Spring and fall EMS 110 courses run over a 16-week semester. Summer courses for EMT 7306 are six-week short sessions, Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Summer courses for EMS 110 are eight-week short sessions that are hybrid. Depending on the section you choose, you will meet either on Mondays from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. or on Wednesdays from 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

    Find registration dates. EMS 7306-03 is a public safety (non-credit) continuing education course.

    Paramedic Training

    Paramedics are advanced providers of emergency medical care and are highly educated in topics such as anatomy and physiology, cardiology, medications, and medical procedures. They build on their EMT education and learn more skills such as administering medications, starting intravenous lines, providing advanced airway management for patients, and learning to resuscitate and support patients with significant problems such as heart attacks and traumas; learn more about NC Office of Emergency Medical Services paramedic requirements (PDF). Paramedic certification training at Central Piedmont is offered as both a continuing education course and as part of the EMS associate degree program. The Center for Pre-hospital Medicine (CPM) under the Department of Emergency Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center and Central Piedmont entered into a consortium agreement in 2011 to provide primary paramedic education to the greater Charlotte Metro and surrounding areas. Both organizations had been involved in EMS education prior to the agreement. Each program standing on its own would meet the requirements for accreditation, but it was thought that together the students could gain a superior education while still having access to needed financial aid resources as well as an easy pathway to an Associate in Applied Science degree. The goal of the paramedic program is "to prepare competent entry-level Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedics In the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains." The consortium program offers training for those interested in obtaining their initial paramedic certification or pursuing advanced training opportunities. These courses follow the North Carolina Office of EMS and the National Emergency Medical Services Educational Standards set forth for initial paramedic training. Paramedic training courses operate on a bi-weekly schedule. Week one will be Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m.–5 pm and week two will be on Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

      Visiting Students

      If you wish to transfer emergency medical science course credit back to your home institution, explore how to enroll at Central Piedmont as a visiting student.

      Corporate and Continuing Education

      Central Piedmont's Corporate and Continuing Education provides non-credit, non-degree courses and programs, including job skills, industry-focused career training, certificates, certifications, professional licensure, and personal enrichment. Day, evening, weekend, and online opportunities are available.

      College Credit for High School Students

      Visit Career and College Promise to learn about opportunities for high school students to earn college credit at Central Piedmont.

    • Emergency Medical Science Program Requirements and Suggested Course Sequence

      If you plan to earn the Associates of Applied Science on the bridge path, you must earn a minimum of 19 credits at Central Piedmont in the EMS program. If you are already a credentialed paramedic, those credits do not count towards your minimum credits, regardless of if you earned your credential through our continuing education paramedic program.

      For detailed information on the Associate in Applied Science emergency medical science program options, courses, eligibility, and requirements, visit the Central Piedmont Community College catalog.


      • You may be exposed to blood-borne pathogens and infectious diseases as a student in these programs.
      • Once you are accepted into the program, you will be required to submit a health packet, including a physical.
      • Once you start the program, you will need to submit a criminal background check and drug screen per clinical agency and healthcare system requirements.

      Paramedic Training

      Admission to the paramedic program is based on the following criteria:

      • current NC or Nationally Registered EMT
      • successful completion of BIO 163, BIO 165 and 166, or BIO 168 and169
      • completed program application
      • create an account and take Fisdap Paramedic Entrance Exam; this testing will be completed at the college testing center on dates to be announced

      To graduate from the program on time, you must demonstrate the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective qualities of an entry-level paramedic. To do this, you complete:

      • all coursework with the minimum grade of “C” or better and or a “S” in courses without a grade computation in the sequence allowed by the program
      • all clinical and field internship time within the parameters of the program, including scheduling and documentation of all required patient contracts, skills, procedures, and narratives, within the time parameters established by the program
      • complete a comprehensive examination prior to the completion of the capstone course
      • the “Paramedic Portfolio”
      • an Oral Board exam by the medical director (or their designee) during the capstone course
      • general college requirements for graduation, as outlined in the college catalog

      Classes begin every August and run through December. Orientation includes American Heart Association BLS for Healthcare Providers.

      Continue reading for the steps to apply to either the EMT training or paramedic academy programs.

    • Locations and Course Delivery Methods

      Classes for the emergency medical science program are delivered in several ways:

      • In-person classes and labs are held on the Central Campus.
      • combined (classroom/lab and online)
      • online

      Certain combined/hybrid (classroom/lab and online) courses require that you do a substantial about of coursework on your own as well as meet once a week for eight hours; the in-class sessions may include formal testing and skills labs.

      Courses available and their schedules can change each semester. Check the Associate in Applied Science emergency medical science program options, courses, eligibility, and requirements each semester.

      Registration for EMS 110 follows the regular college registration schedule. Contact the program chair for registration information for any EMS 110 courses.

    • NC EMS Credentials Reciprocity

      If you currently hold EMS credentials from other states, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), or the National Academy of Emergency Dispatchers (NAED), you may be issued a North Carolina EMS credential through legal recognition. If you wish to seek legal recognition, you must reside in North Carolina, attend an EMS educational program in North Carolina, or work for a licensed North Carolina EMS provider. A North Carolina Credentialing Information System (CIS) profile must be established online prior to making application. If you currently hold a North Carolina issued EMS credential, you may only apply for legal recognition at a higher or lower EMS credentialing level. Please visit the NC Office of Emergency Medical Services website for further information about legal recognition for NC EMS credentials or grace periods for expired credentials.

    • Costs and Aid

      Central Piedmont provides real-world, affordable, hands-on education and career training. Learn how much it costs to attend Central Piedmont. Financial aid and scholarships are available.

      Emergency Medical Science Program Costs

      In addition to regular tuition and fees, there are laboratory fees assigned to courses with a lab/clinical component. Additional costs include a criminal background check, uniforms/scrubs, textbooks, workbooks, medical fees for a physical exam, and drug screening and immunizations. For example, certain courses require you to buy a testing package from Fisdap that costs $94.50. More information regarding the testing package will be sent to you once you register for classes. You will also be required to buy a uniform/scrubs through Anderson's Uniforms. The total estimated cost of the entire four-semester emergency medical science associate degree, including regular tuition and fees, is $6,060.38. The tuition fee is waived for those currently employed by a North Carolina Emergency Medical Service Agency.

      Emergency Medical Science Program Scholarships

      If you are interested in the emergency medical science associate degree program, consider the NC Association of Rescue & E.M.S., Inc. Scholarships (not managed by Central Piedmont).

    • Related Programs

    • Admitted Students: Find Your Advisor

      If you are currently enrolled and taking classes, log in to Watermark or download the Watermark Student App to find your assigned academic advisor.

      If you do not have an advisor, you can:

    Apply for EMT Training

    • Complete the steps to apply to Central Piedmont.

    • Email your student ID number to the program chair.

    • If you need to take placement tests, tell the testing center that you are taking the test for EMT so that they contact you with the results and forward them to the EMT department.

    • After your transcripts or scores have been entered into your MyCollege account, email the program chair for further instruction. (Include your student ID number in the email.)

    Apply to the Paramedic Academy

    The application periods are January 1 through April 30.

    No more than 32 students will be admitted into the program at one time. If your application is incomplete applications or you submit it after the stated deadline, your application will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The program chair will make final admissions decisions. Notification of acceptance into the program will be given by June 15.

    Contact the program chair if you have any questions.

    • Complete the steps to apply to Central Piedmont.

    • Meet with the program chair; no appointment necessary.

    • Submit the paramedic academy application.

      Attach all required transcripts, test results, and certifications to the application packet — it is your responsibility to provide all necessary documents, as the EMS Education program does not have access to any transcripts.