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The Paramedic Science Program

Paramedics respond to everything from automobile accidents and heart attacks to drownings, gunshot wounds, and heat exhaustion. Paramedics provide the same level of care to patients in the ambulance that patients initially receive at the hospital. This immediate attention is often the difference between life and death.

While a paramedics' primary scope of practice is to assess patients and prevent/reduce morbidity, paramedics' roles are being expanded. Some emerging responsibilities include public education, health promotion, and integrated healthcare (also known as community paramedicine). As the role continues to grow, paramedics will also facilitate access to care and act as first responders.

Student studying for exmas

The following criteria must be met or in progress before applying for admission into the Paramedic Science program. Meeting the admission criteria does not assure acceptance into the program. March 31st is the deadline for priority processing applications for the fall cohort. However, applications will continue to be accepted through May 31st. 

  • You must be admitted to ISU. For information on university admission, contact ISU Admissions at (208) 282-2475.
  • Prerequisite courses (or equivalents) must be complete or in progress with an anticipated end date no later than the beginning of fall classes. Prerequisite courses and requirements are:
    • Successful completion of Anatomy and Physiology (HO 0111 Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology or equivalent, four credits) with a C or better within the previous five years
    • Successful completion of Medical Terminology (CPH 2210 or equivalent) with a C or better within the last five (5) years
    • Passing the National Registry EMT exams, both written and practical, and providing the Paramedic Science program with a copy of your National Registry card (current state certifications are also accepted)
    • Providing a copy of your current AHA BLS Provider or Healthcare Provider CPR card

Here is a list of equivalent prerequisite courses: Idaho School Prerequisite Equivalents


Additional Admission Criteria for Paramedic Science

  • Submit a one-page essay describing your professional goals and why you want to be a paramedic.
  • Students pursuing the Associate of Science degree must complete the required objectives under the ISU General Education program. These can be completed before or after the four semesters of the paramedic curriculum.
  • Pay $20 application fee. 

Paramedic Science candidates will be notified by email/mail regarding acceptance. Students not accepted to the program may reapply. Upon acceptance, we require immunization records, a physical, and a background check. Instructions will be given at the beginning of the fall semester. Acceptance will be conditional until all required documents have been received.

If you have questions regarding the application process, please get in touch with Krystal Lyman at the ISU Meridian Health Science Center (208) 373-1760 or email scotkrys@isu.edu

Program costs include tuition, professional fees and miscellaneous additional expenses. Student health insurance is mandatory unless proof of personal insurance is provided each semester. See Paramedic Science 23-24 Cost of Attendance for the four paramedic science professional semesters. 2024-2025 tuition and fees have not been set by the Idaho State Board of Education at this time. 

You may apply for financial aid, scholarships, grants, and loans to help. When you pay registration fees, you are a student of Idaho State University with the privileges and responsibilities of a college student. Contact the Financial Aid Office for additional information

Course descriptions and student learning outcomes

PS Student Learning Outcomes 

Employment of emergency medical technicians and paramedics is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. Population growth and urbanization will increase the demand for full-time paid EMT's and paramedics. In addition, a large segment of the population is aging furthering spur demand for EMT services, as they become more likely to have medical emergencies.

Job opportunities include hospital and private ambulance services, fire, police, and independent third service rescue squad departments. Earnings of Paramedics depend on the employment setting and geographic location as well as the individual's training and experience.

Those in emergency medical services who are part of fire or police departments receive the same benefits as firefighters or police officers. For example, many are covered by pension plans that provide retirement at half pay after 20 or 25 years of service or if disabled in the line of duty.

  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Course and Certification
  • Biology
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Basic Computer Classes
  • Health Occupations/Health Sciences Classes

The ISU Paramedic Science program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, 9355 - 113th St. N, #7709 Seminole, FL 33775, 727-210-2350, as recommended by the Committee on Accreditation of Education Program for the Emergency Medical Services Professions, 8301 Lakeview Parkway, Suite 111-312, Rowlett, TX 75088; (214) 703-8445.

1)  Why do I have to apply twice, once to ISU and, second, to the Paramedic Science program? 

All students applying to the Paramedic Science program must already be admitted to ISU. We cannot consider anyone until they have been admitted to ISU. However, acceptance to ISU as a student does not guarantee acceptance into the Paramedic Science program. Paramedic Science is a selective program, meaning only qualified students will be accepted into the program.

2)  Do I have to complete all of the general education courses before I can begin the Paramedic Science curriculum?

No. You may choose to pursue an Academic Certificate, which will consist of the paramedic Science curriculum only. If you wish to earn and Associate of Science, you must complete ISU's general education requirements. You may do this either before or after the four semesters of Paramedic Science courses. You may still complete the Academic Certificate without the general education courses. 

If you already have an associate's or a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education, your degree automatically fulfills the general education requirements at ISU.

3)  What prerequisites must I complete before I can begin the Paramedic Science courses?

The professional prerequisites you are required to complete before beginning the paramedic science program are:

  • National or state EMT certification
  • Current in Health Care Provider CPR card (AHA or American Red Cross)
  • One semester in Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology (or equivalent) with lab, four credits total completed within the last five (5) years
  • One semester of Medical Terminology, two credits completed within the last five (5) years

You do not have to have completed all of these pre-professional requirements to apply to the program or to be interviewed. Many of our students do not satisfy the pre-professional requirements until shortly before the program begins each fall. Therefore, at the time of your interview, we ask that you provide us with your plan to complete all requirements before the fall semester begins. Students in this situation are accepted to the program upon completing the requirements before the fall semester begins.

4)  Can I take my general education courses, Anatomy & Physiology, and Medical Terminology courses at ISU?

Yes, but they are only offered in Pocatello. None of these courses are taught at the Meridian campus because two other state-sponsored institutions in the Treasure Valley already offer all of these courses: Boise State University and the College of Western Idaho. As a result, most students in the Paramedic Science program take their professional prerequisites at one of these two institutions.

5)  How can I ensure that the courses I take at another institution are the correct ones to complete the ISU general education requirements?

Krystal Lyman, Program Coordinator for Emergency Services, is the person who can review your transcripts and help you identify the correct courses to meet the general education requirements at ISU. All courses from transfer schools will be evaluated through official transcripts via the ISU Registrar's Office. 

An alternative approach is to complete ALL of the general education requirements at either BSU or CWI (or any other Idaho public institution of higher education) and have that college or university declare, on your transcript, that you are "core certified." ISU can accept core certification from any other Idaho state college or university as fulfilling the ISU general education requirements.

6)  How much will the program cost?

The paramedic science coursework takes four semesters; two full-time semesters (fall and spring, 16 & 15 credits, respectively) and two part-time semesters (summer and fall, six credits each). The program is a cohort- meaning it cannot be sped up or slowed down. Students will pay ISU tuition each semester plus class fees as follows:

  • Fall Semester            $750.40
  • Spring Semester        $750.70
  • Summer Semester     $500.20
  • Fall Semester             none

In addition, there are fees for malpractice insurance ($12/year), a background check ($45), uniforms, and your books. You will also need proof of immunization, which may require some expense, and you will have to purchase student health insurance if you are not already covered by your policy. 

7)  What is the class schedule for the Paramedic Science program?

ISU's Paramedic Science program begins once each year at the beginning of the fall semester (usually the last week of August). This is a cohort program which means that a group of students go through the classes and the program together for the four semesters of paramedic science. Therefore, one cannot enter at any other time of the year.

Classes are held from 8 AM to 5 PM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays during the first fall and spring semesters. The summer semester is part-time, with two courses taught on Wednesdays from 8 AM to 5 PM each week and the Paramedic Clinical Practicum, in which students will sign up for various clinical rotation assignments. The second fall semester, the final semester of paramedic science, is the Paramedic Field Practicum. This is the internship with a local EMS agency where students spend 48 hours a week working in the field for ten weeks.

8)  How and where can I obtain my EMT or CPR certification?

Various agencies and educational institutions offer EMT or CPR training and certification. In addition, all certified courses are listed on the Idaho EMS Bureau's website. 

9)  How do I apply for federal financial aid?

Apply for federal financial aid by applying to the FAFSA website (https://fafsa.ed.gov/). Be sure to list Idaho State University as the institution you will be attending.

The link to the ISU Licensure Disclosure webpage is https://www.isu.edu/academicaffairs/program-information/licensure-disclosure/paramedic-science/.  This webpage meets the new Federal requirement for public licensure disclosure.



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