Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) - Course Details

Course Description

The EMT Course has three components: didactic (120 hours) which includes practical, hands-on skills training, the clinical/field ride-along (minimum 24 hours total of observation with a minimum of 10 patient contacts), and final testing (4-8 hours). Through lectures, interactive presentations, skills labs, and simulations, you will build the knowledge and skills to care for patients.

Clinical/Field Ride-Along: As a student you must complete 24 hours of observation under the supervision of a preceptor at an affiliated ambulance company or hospital.  This may be completed starting mid-point through the course if you have completed all of the course medical requirements. The clinical/field ride-along must be completed within 30 days from the last day of didactic. The available shifts include day, evening, and weekends shifts (separate from the classroom hours).

The EMT Course is offered in three convenient formats: Accelerated (Weekdays), Weekend, and Evening courses.
  • For the 3-week Accelerated course, classes meet for three from Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm (with an hour for lunch). The course final exam is held the following Monday from 8:00am to 5:00pm (with an hour for lunch). The two 12-hour ride-alongs are scheduled separately.
  • For the 8-week Weekend course, classes meet on Saturday and Sundays, from 8:00am to 5:00pm (with an hour for lunch). The two 12-hour ride-alongs are scheduled separately.
  • For the 11-week Evening course, classes meet on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. The two 12-hour ride-alongs are scheduled separately.
Student Eligibility

To be eligible for enrollment into an EMT course, you do not need to have any previous medical experience.  You may enroll in the EMT course at any time, even if you have not yet meet the medical requirements. Proof of completing the medical requirements will be required by the start of the course.

The following are the minimum eligibility requirements you must meet before you start the course:

  • Age Requirement: You must be at least 18 years of age to be eligible to certify as an EMT in California.  If you are not yet 18 years old, you may enroll in the course six months prior to your 18th birthday with the understanding that your certificate of course completion will be withheld until the age requirement is met. If you are under the age of 17½ you may still take this course, however, you will not be eligible for certification as an EMT in the State of California.
  • You must submit proof of having a current American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (CPR) card preferably or a Professional Rescuer CPR card from the American Red Cross.  (CPR certification must be maintained current throughout the EMT course.)  If you need to find a CPR class, be sure to see our list of courses. Please note that no other CPR cards will be accepted.
Medical Requirements
In addition to meeting the student eligibility requirements, if you enroll into the EMT course you are required to complete and submit copies of the following medical and insurance records by the Mandatory Orientation (first day of the course).  For a list of low cost resources, be sure to view Medical Requirements & Resources.
  1. Physical: A current basic physical examination (conducted within the 12 months prior to the beginning of the course), signed by a physician, that specifies that you have no physical limitations for participating in the classroom and clinical components of the course.  
  2. Healthcare Provider Evaluation & Clearance for Mask Fit (Respirator) Testing: We encourage you to obtain this clearance at the same time you do your physical (forms are in the packet on the right).  You must repeat the evaluation if you have a significant weight change (loss or gain) in the time between the evaluation to the test.  The mask fit testing materials, supplies and mask are included in the course fees.

    Important Note: The mask fit testing done in class requires men to shave their facial hair, e.g., beard or stubble, if it interferes with the seal of the mask. If you choose NOT to shave, you must provide your own optional air-purifying respirator (PAPR) in order to meet this mandatory course requirement.  The cost for a PAPR unit is not included in the course fee.  If you choose not to shave and to get a PAPR unit instead, it will cost you $650 or more.
  3. Furnish proof of the following immunizations:
    • Hepatitis B vaccine/immunity: A Hepatitis-B vaccine [start of 3 shot series or signed refusal form] Proof of Hepatitis-B vaccine, 3 shot series, positive Hep-B titer, OR signed refusal form.
    • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR): Proof of MMR vaccine or a positive MMR titer.
    • Tuberculosis: A negative TB skin test within three months of the beginning of the course. If you had a positive reaction to a previous skin test, please submit documentation of a negative chest x-ray.
    • Varicella:  A varicella vaccination (or proof of immunization or a positive varicella titer).
  4. Copy of health insurance card. You must maintain private health insurance or worker's compensation insurance for the clinical/ride-along portion of the program, and furnish proof of insurance. You are responsible for all payment for medical care related to exposure/injuries/illnesses.
Required Materials

Textbooks are NOT sold in our office.

Required Textbook and Supplement: You need to buy the required textbook and supplement for the course before the first day of class. The textbook, Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured, 10th Edition, by AAOS, is available for purchase through the suggested vendors listed in the box on the right: uclacpcbooks.org and J&B learning.

Recommended Textbook and Workbook: The Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured Workbook is available for purchase separately or as part of a package with the required textbook and supplement through the suggested vendors at uclacpcbooks.org and J&B Learning.  As an optional textbook, the American Heart Association's Fundamentals of BLS for Healthcare Providers is also available for purchase through the suggested vendor at uclacpcbooks.org.

Internet Access: Access to our course companion website will be distributed on the first day of class. Reliable internet access is required when attending our course as this will allow you easy access to the course companion web site, grades, on-line office hours, and much more.

Dressing for Clinicals: During the skills sessions in class and during the clinical phase, student must wear closed-toe shoes. When completing your ambulance or hospital clinical session, you must wear a plain white collared shirt (e.g., a polo shirt with no insignias), black or dark blue slacks, and black/dark closed-toe shoes.

Completion Requirements

As a student you are eligible for course completion upon successfully completing all components of the EMT course (didactic, practical, and clinical). For detailed information see the EMT Course Policy Manual.

Recommended Preparation

With every program we expect our students to commit themselves to success by studying, participating in class discussions, approaching faculty or staff members concerning extra help or problems encountered in the program, and being prepared for class on a daily basis. In return, you can expect that our faculty will commit to listen to your needs as a learner, that we will develop quality educational programs, study tips, and classroom presentations, and assist you in becoming successful in our course.

The EMT course is a fast-paced and demanding academic challenge. It typically requires you to do additional studying outside of the classroom while in the course (about 1 hour of study time per each hour of lecture). To get the most out of your EMT course and to help you succeed, we encourage you to help prepare yourself by familiarizing yourself with and completing any of the courses listed below.

While the courses below are not required for you to enroll into the EMT course, we do encourage you to complete them if possible. Not only can they help you in our course but they can also help you in future academic endeavors. Some of these courses are offered through our Center. Many others are offered through local community colleges and programs.

  • Completion of a college-level English course (English A or English 1)
  • Completion of a college-level Anatomy and Physiology course
  • Completion of an EMT Preparation Course
  • Completion of a Medical Terminology Course
College Credit

Through a relationship between the UCLA Center for Prehospital Care and the West Los Angeles College (WLAC), students enrolled in the EMT Program and who successfully complete the course are eligible to receive academic credit (7 units of Allied Health credit).

To be eligible for academic credit, each student must be enrolled into WLAC. For our accepted EMT students, enrollment is accomplished by completing a WLAC Enrollment Application and Add Permit. EMT students are enrolled into WLAC while in attendance at the EMT Program (not at the WLAC campus unless applying for financial aid).

Designated enrollment dates will be announced in each class. Students must not miss the enrollment date as students have only one (1) opportunity to complete the Enrollment Application and Course Card in class.

Financial Assistance

To enroll into one of our courses you must submit the payment for course fee(s) at the time of registration. We cannot reserve a spot in a course for you without payment. If you enroll into the EMT course you are expected and required to meet the payment requirements, without exception. Please review our payment policies and available payment methods.

If you need financial assistance, you are encouraged to contact your own local credit union or bank and inquire about what private loan services they may offer to you as a member. Please note that federal financial aid, scholarships, and grants are not available for the EMT course.

Veterans Assistance Benefits ("GI Bill"): The EMT course is approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) to certify enrollment for eligible veterans for the post-9/11 GI Bill (Ch 33), the Montgomery GI Bill (Ch 33), and other bills. 

You served our country, now let us help you!  Learn more about we offer you by visting our Veterans' section. Click here for more.

EMT Course Payment Plan: There are a few limited payment plans available for our EMT course. (Payment plans are different for the EMT Hybrid course.) Here are eight things you need to know about the payment plan:

1. If you pay your entire course fee when you enroll into the class (not using the payment plan), your cost is $1,195. 

2. If you pay for the course via the payment plan there is a $35 sign up fee and a $120 processing fee. The total course cost with the payment plan is $1,350, which must be paid in full before the start of the course. 

3. For the payment plan: your initial sign-up payment of $475 is due when you attend the required Payment Plan Workshop. (See below.) You may make your initial payment by credit card, but all UCLA credit-card payments are subject to a 2.75% convenience fee.

4. Payment Plan payments will be made on-line via electronic check (from checking or savings account) or Debit Card. Credit cards are not accepted for payment plan payments other than the initial, in-person payment.

5. You must attend a Payment Plan Workshop to begin a payment plan. Workshops are by appointment only between 10am and 3:00pm on Tuesday – Thursday only. Please call or email Darlene Karim to arrange a date and time: (310) 312-9304 / dkarim@mednet.ucla.edu. During the workshop, you will receive the details of the payment plan, your contract, and an explanation of your responsibilities.

6. All course enrollments are on a first-come first-served basis. Signing up for the Workshop does not guarantee that a spot in the course you want will be available, so plan ahead! (Paying the initial sign-fee of $475 for the Payment Plan does secure your spot in an available course.) 

7. Missing payments will lead to withholding of services (i.e., you will not be able to attend the course). 

8. You must bring a valid driver’s license or government issued ID to the Workshop.

If you are unable to attend your scheduled workshop, please notify us at least 24 hours prior by calling (310) 312-9304 or by emailing dkarim@mednet.ucla.edu to cancel or reschedule.

PARKING: please try to find street parking (read the signs!). There is parking in the building but we do not validate. Don't park in the Federal Building's parking lot: they will ticket/tow you. There is parking in UCLA parking structure 32, one block north of us at Veteran & Kinross - maximum cost is $12. Parking fees are subject to change without notice. There is also metered parking on the streets in Westwood.

If you have any questions about the Payment Plan Workshop, please e-mail Ms. Darlene Karim at dkarim@mednet.ucla.edu.

Licensing & Background Checks

In order to be certified as an EMT, you will be required by your local EMS Agency to undergo a background investigation, successfully complete a certified EMT training course, and take the National Registry of EMTs NREMT-B computer adaptive test, along with meeting the other application stipulations as set forth for California. Successfully completing the UCLA EMT courses qualifies you to take the National Registry certifying exam for EMTs. If you pass the exam you are then eligible for state certification.

Los Angeles County EMT Certification Requirements: Locally, the certifying process for EMTs in the State of California is completed through the Los Angeles Department of Health Emergency Medical Services Agency. Fee information and applications for certification in Los Angeles County will be distributed in class and are available for download here.

Background Checks: While it is not required for completing the EMT course or passing the NREMT-B exam, the local certifying agency for EMTs and most employers hiring EMTs will require a background investigation to determine if an applicant has a criminal history. In addition to background checks, employers generally seek applicants that successfully complete a DOT physical to be an ambulance driver, have a clean drug test before being hired, and have a good driving record.

In California, the background investigation often consists of an electronic fingerprint database search (Live Scan). Conviction of a crime does not automatically mean that a student is ineligible for certification. Typically any felony conviction within the last 7 years or any conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) may potentially disqualify an applicant from certification and/or employment. Failure to disclose the required information may result in refusal of certification due to falsification. Questions related to this process should be directed to the Los Angeles County EMS Agency.

Certification & Recertification

Certification as an EMT is valid for two years throughout the State of California. Each certification card will indicate an expiration date. It is the responsibility of the "practicing" EMT to recertify before this two-year period has ended. In order to recertify, students must successfully complete a prescribed refresher course or obtain 24 hours of approved continuing education for the EMT. In addition to completing a refresher course every two years or meeting the continuing education requirements, EMTs must take the standardized State of California skills exam every two years.

Should the EMT fail to recertify before the expiration date, a two-year grace period is extended for recertification, with additional requirements based upon the length of the lapsed time. During this two year period, an EMT may NOT work as an EMT until the recertification process is completed. Should the two years lapse without successful recertification, the EMT must take the entire primary training program again.

Any questions regarding certification and background checks in Los Angeles County should be directed to the Los Angeles County EMS Agency.