Eligibility & Preparation

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Student Eligibility

To be eligible for enrollment into a paramedic course, you need to meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Be currently certified as an EMT (EMT-1/EMT-II/ AEMT) in the state of California and maintain EMT certification throughout the Program.
  • Have at least six (6) months of work experience as an EMT-1 in a prehospital setting within the past two years.  Your work experience may include full-time, part-time or volunteer work. A majority of successful applicants have a minimum of one year of full-time experience (or equivalent).
  • Have completed our Paramedic Preparation course by the start date of your paramedic program (preferably before your oral application review).
  • Have a current American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (CPR) card, renewed within the past 12 months. (CPR certification must be maintained current throughout the paramedic training.) Our Basic Life Support class meets this requirement.
  • Have a valid state driver’s license (Class C) or state identification card.
  • Have a high school diploma, certificate of completion, or GED.
  • Submit a complete program application and all supporting documents.
  • Receive a qualifying score on our Entrance Exam. Test scores are valid for one year from the date the applicant completed the exam.
  • Receive a qualifying score on the application review that may include a meeting with program faculty.

Medical Requirements

You are only required to submit the following medical documents if you receive official notice of acceptance into the Paramedic Course. For a list of low-cost resources, view the Medical Resources document available in the Related Documents section at the bottom of this page.

Physical: A current basic physical examination (conducted within the 12 months prior to the beginning of the course to which you are admitted), signed by a physician, specifying that you have no participation limitations in the classroom, hospital clinical, or field internship participation portions of the program. A copy of a recent physical examination for employment as a firefighter or ambulance attendant indicating there are no limitations on your participation and signed by a physician will suffice.

Healthcare Provider Evaluation & Clearance for Mask Fit (Respirator) Testing: We encourage you to obtain this clearance at the same time you do your physical.  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 of 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.

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. If your Hepatitis B vaccine is more than 10 years old, you will be required to get a titer showing proof of your continued immunity.
  • MMR (German Measles): Proof of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine or a positive rubella titer.
  • Tuberculosis: A negative TB skin test within three months of the beginning of the course to which you are admitted. 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).
  • Tetanus Toxoid (TDAP or DTAP): Proof of tetanus vaccine conducted within the last 10 years (or proof of immunization).
  • Flu Vaccine: Proof of Flu Vaccine or signed waiver form.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: The University of California requires all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including a booster dose, to access University facilities and programs. Students who cannot provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination may experience delays in clinical or field placement, extended completion times and the inability to meet course requirements for certification.  Limited allowance for medical and religious exemption is reviewed with supporting documentation.  Regardless of vaccination status, students may also be required to participate in periodic COVID-19 surveillance testing in accordance with UCLA and local public health guidance.

From 9/1 to 3/31, UCLA Center for Prehospital Care students must be in compliance with the LA County Public Health order for all persons in patient care settings to have the flu vaccine. Students who cannot provide proof of flu vaccination may experience delays in clinical or field placement, extended completion times or the inability to meet all course requirements for certification.

Health Insurance: Copy of health insurance card. You must maintain health insurance throughout the program.

Licensing & Background Checks

Background checks are conducted to determine if prospective paramedics have a criminal history, and are usually completed at the point of admission to the paramedic program, when applying to the State and County for licensure, and when seeking employment. In California, the background investigation typically includes an electronic fingerprint database search using Live Scan. If you have questions about what and how the State of California reviews as part of the background check for paramedic licensing purposes, please visit their web site at emsa.ca.gov/paramedic or call their Paramedic Licensing Unit at (916) 323-9875.

Live Scan / FBI and DOJ Background Check: All students enrolling in the UCLA Paramedic Education Program must complete a background check conducted by UCLA. The Live Scan background check will be conducted at the time of licensure and includes an exhaustive criminal background check by the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ).

HHS OIG Background Check: Federal law prohibits healthcare organizations such as UCLA Healthcare and other clinical site affiliates who receive reimbursement from federal health care programs from accepting individuals who have been excluded or sanctioned from participation in government programs. Possible reasons why individuals would be excluded include conviction(s) for medical fraud, billing fraud, patient abuse, etc. All students at the UCLA Paramedic Education Program will be verified against the federal government's "General Services List of Parties Excluded from Federal Programs" and the Health & Human Services Office of the Inspector General's (OIG) "List of Excluded Individuals/Entities." Students must be cleared through the through this verification process to be eligible for participation in the Program.

Recommended Preparation

The paramedic program is fast-paced and academically challenging. To help you succeed, we strongly encourage you to prepare yourself by familiarizing yourself with these courses (though they are not required):

Some of these courses are offered through the Center for Prehospital Care and many more are offered through local community colleges and programs.

Required Materials

Internet Access: Reliable internet access is mandatory. A DSL/cable modem connection of at least 1.5 mbps is required, with 3 mbps or greater preferred.

For more information on textbooks and other items such as equipment, licensing fees, and uniforms please see the Costs section of our web site.