Bachelor of Science in Fire Science

A team of firefightersIf you are looking to enhance your career in fire services or pursue a career in the field, Kaplan University’s Bachelor of Science in Fire Science may be the right choice to help you reach your goal.* Kaplan University is recognized by the U.S. Fire Administration as an official Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) institution. The fire science degree program closely follows the FESHE national curriculum and is designed to provide you with foundational skills in firefighter safety, building codes, fire prevention, code inspection, and firefighting strategy and tactics.

Additionally, Kaplan University's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences has received programmatic accreditation from the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) for the Bachelor of Science in Fire Science.

Students of the degree program are assessed each term on their mastery of the course outcomes which measure the skills, knowledge, abilities and behaviors employers expect. A summary of these assessments can be found here.

Bachelor of Science in Fire Science Program Highlights

The Bachelor of Science in Fire Science prepares graduates to pursue or enhance a career in fire services. The curriculum closely follows the FESHE model and the program is IFSAC accredited. Graduates will have the opportunity to learn:

  • Analytical approaches to fire protection and investigation
  • Disaster and fire defense planning
  • Fire protection structure and system design
  • The role of the fire service within the community
  • Technical, legal, and social aspects of arson
  • The application of technology to firefighting
  • The psychological effects of fire dynamics

Accelerated Master's Degree Option

Interested in continuing on to pursue a graduate degree? Our flexible degree pathways allow you to work toward any of the following Kaplan University master’s degrees while you earn your bachelor’s degree: 

  • Master of Public Administration 
  • Master of Science in Environmental Policy 
  • Master of Science in Human Services 
  • Master of Science in Legal Studies 
  • Master of Science in Psychology 

Complete both your bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in less time and at a lower cost than completing both programs separately. Speak to an Education Advisor for more details upon enrollment in this bachelor’s degree program

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Fire Academy and Fire Service Association Articulation Agreements

At Kaplan University, we value your experience. We work closely with fire academies and fire service associations to set up articulation agreements to help you receive credit for previously completed courses, professional learning, and certifications, allowing you to earn your degree faster and save on tuition.

Articulation agreements help streamline the process for awarding credit for fire service–related certifications you may have already earned to be considered fit for duty. If you earned your certifications though an organization that is accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) or the Pro Board, including the U.S. Department of Defense Firefighter Certification System, you may be eligible to receive credit toward a Kaplan University degree program.

Eligible certifications include:

  • Fire Fighter II
  • Fire Service Instructor I, II, and III
  • Fire Officer I, II, and III
  • Hazardous Materials—Technician
  • And many more

Kaplan University also awards credit for professional coursework that has been reviewed by the American Council of Education (ACE). Organizations that offer ACE-evaluated training include:

  • Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute (MFRI)
  • National Fire Academy (NFA)

Select International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) training programs and certifications offered through California State Fire Marshal (CSFM) and California Fire Fighters Joint Apprenticeship Committee (CFFJAC) are also eligible for credit. Please contact an Admissions Advisor for details.

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Higher Education at the Highest Standards

Kaplan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and committed to the highest standards. Our specific programs hold additional industry-relevant approvals and accreditations.

What are the Career Opportunities?

The degree serves fire service professionals seeking enhanced skills and a broad spectrum of knowledge in the field of fire science. It may be a good fit for individuals aspiring to become firefighters, fire inspectors, fire investigators, first line supervisors, or managers of firefighters. The program can also help prepare graduates looking to pursue graduate-level education.

How Do I Get Started?

Kaplan University offers multiple start dates, giving you greater flexibility with your education, life, and work schedules.

04

Jan

Online and Campus Start Date

January 04, 2017

22

Mar

Online and Campus Start Date

March 22, 2017

07

Jun

Online and Campus Start Date

June 07, 2017

23

Aug

Online and Campus Start Date

August 23, 2017

08

Nov

Online and Campus Start Date

November 08, 2017

Curriculum: Standard Track

  • Bachelor's Core

    Total Bachelor's Core Credits: 33

    Total Program Credits: 180

    • CM 107: COLLEGE COMPOSITION I Change

      Building on your existing writing strengths will help develop a foundation for a successful education and career. You will learn strategies to express yourself with confidence and communicate your ideas effectively in personal, academic, and professional situations.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • CM 220: COLLEGE COMPOSITION II Change

      This course helps students apply research and critical thinking skills to develop effective arguments. Students will create professional writings, incorporating post-draft revision strategies and working constructively with colleagues.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • CS 204: PROFESSIONAL PRESENCE Change

      This course introduces students to multidisciplinary techniques and concepts pertinent to lifelong career development and professionalism. Students explore career planning as a strategy and professionalism as a method in order to pursue employment interests and career goals. Concepts include various professional communication skills appropriate for the global workplace, interpersonal relationship management, professional behavior, financial decision making, marketability, and using proper technologies to manage professional identities. 

      Credits:

      3

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    Choose Your Courses Below

    • MM 150: SURVEY OF MATHEMATICS Change

      Students will improve their background in mathematical concepts and skills utilizing real-world scenarios to solve math problems. Students will also enhance their own knowledge by demonstrating the ability to explain and interpret concepts, which is a valued skill in many fields. The topics may include sets, variables, measurement, and statistics.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • MM 212: COLLEGE ALGEBRA Change

      This course covers topics of algebra including linear functions, equations, and inequalities, systems of equations with two variables, polynomial functions, rational and radical equations and inequalities, exponential and logarithmic functions, ratios, proportions, variation, and graphing.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • HU 200: ARTS AND HUMANITIES—MODERN CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS Change

      As a human, you have the unique ability to appreciate beauty. This course will help you to discover human potential as expressed through the arts and humanities. In this course, you will evaluate the impact of creative expression on cultures by studying examples from the humanities disciplines. You will investigate how creative expressions broaden perspective. As an arts and humanities student, you will analyze forms of creative expression, and discover how to apply this new found insight to your career goals, community, and daily experience.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Any college composition course

    • HU 245: ETHICS Change

      In this course, students develop sound ethical reasoning and judgment through the study of practical applications of ethical theories. Topics studied include ethics as it relates to business, health care, society, and the environment. Emphasis is on practical applications of ethical principles and analytical methods.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Any college composition course

    • HU 250: HUMANITIES AND CULTURE Change

      In this course you will be introduced to the humanities through a survey of human social and cultural life in a global setting. By investigating the social, artistic, religious, and economic developments of countries throughout the world, you will better understand each country’s cultural identity as well as begin to appreciate cultural continuity and change as defining characteristics of the human experience.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Any college composition course

    • SC 200: DISCOVERING SCIENCE—CURRENT ISSUES IN A CHANGING WORLD Change

      This course is designed to introduce students to some of the most important concepts in science including inheritance, energy, randomness, and measurement. In addition, the course will give students a chance to explore the human aspects of science: how people put science into practice, how societies think about scientific findings, and why science depends on ethical practices. Knowledge gained in the course will help inform further study in many disciplines and will help students better understand how science affects their personal and professional lives. 

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • SC 235: GENERAL BIOLOGY I—HUMAN PERSPECTIVES Change

      In this introduction to biology, students will explore the living world of humans. The course emphasizes the processes of life from the molecular work of genes and proteins to human organ systems, all the way up to food webs and overpopulation. Practical applications of biology in everyday life are stressed throughout the course. No prior study of biology is required to enroll in this nonmajors course.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • SC 246: FUNDAMENTALS OF MICROBIOLOGY Change

      Fundamentals of Microbiology will review basic microbial cell structure, function, and genetics. The role of microorganisms and their effect on humans and the environment will also be explained. Aspects of medical and public health will be emphasized, as will bacterial and viral diseases, parasites, immunology, and epidemiology. Course material and labs are directly relevant to studies in health sciences, biological sciences, nursing, and genetics.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • SC 250: SCIENCE FOR EVERYDAY LIFE Change

      Science for Everyday Life is designed to help students recognize the importance of science as it impacts their daily lives in so many different ways. In this course, students will explore different rooms within a typical home and discover what role science plays as they investigate areas such as their kitchen and bathroom, the garden, and even the impact science has on their families and pets. The knowledge gained in this course will help garner a new appreciation for the science applications already around us and how to interpret the strengths and weaknesses of information streaming in from various sources.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • SS 211: THE 1960S—RESHAPING THE AMERICAN DREAM Change

      This course will take an in-depth look at the 1960s as a significant era in American history. Adopting multiple perspectives, we will explore the societal impact of such issues as the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Vietnam War, the Countercultural, Civil Rights, and Feminist Movements, the advent of the birth control pill, and many others. Through exploring the music, political climate, and advancements in technology and medicine of this historical era, we will discover how our individual lives and society as a whole were forever changed.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Any college composition course

    • SS 236: PEOPLE, POWER, AND POLITICS—AN INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN GOVERNMENT Change

      The purpose of this introductory-level American government course is to provide students with crucial knowledge about how government works and about how they, as individual citizens, fit within that system. Focus is on the rights and obligations of citizens under the democratic political system established under the U.S. Constitution; the branches and levels of government; and the role of the media. This fundamental knowledge combined with critical thinking skills will be valuable personally and professionally.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Any college composition course

    • SS 250: THE TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION—A SOCIAL SCIENTIFIC APPROACH Change

      This is a social science survey course that will examine science and technology from a variety of social science disciplines including sociology, psychology, history, political science, anthropology, and economics. The use of science and technology has been a driving force behind all of human history, and even more so today. This course will take an interactive approach to study the relationship between humanity and technology throughout time and across the globe. 

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Any college composition course

  • Major

    Total Major Credits: 115

    Total Program Credits: 180

    • CJ 246: HUMAN RELATIONS IN A DIVERSE SOCIETY Change

      This course will offer students the opportunity to examine current issues, social problems, and existing research related to culturally diverse societies. Emphasis will be placed on the need for cultural awareness and diversity education, an enhanced understanding of cultural differences, and a critical thinking and research approach that correlates with the exploration of diversity as it relates to criminal justice.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • FS 100: INTRODUCTION TO FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES Change

      This course introduces students to careers in fire and emergency services and the Kaplan University fire and emergency management programs. The field of study, skill sets, and professionalism will be discussed. Students will learn about the historical background of the modern fire service while learning research skills for the future. This course is designed to acclimate the fire science and emergency management student to Kaplan University while providing a solid foundation for success in the fire and emergency services profession.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • FS 101: FIRE BEHAVIOR AND COMBUSTION Change

      This course investigates the basic concepts of fire, its spread, and its control. The course discusses the nature and properties of the three states of matter, explains the components of fire, and describes the physical and chemical properties of fire.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • FS 102: BUILDING CONSTRUCTION FOR FIRE PROTECTION Change

      This course explores the fundamentals of building construction, types of structures, and structure designs, as well as the impact of building construction on firefighting. Students will study the forces that impact these structures and the codes applied to buildings and fire safety. They will also learn how buildings are constructed and how fire behaves with various building materials.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 101

    • FS 103: FIRE PROTECTION HYDRAULICS AND WATER SUPPLY Change

      This course explores the fundamentals of water usage in fire protection and explains how hydraulic principles are employed in the resolution of water supply problems. The course also discusses the methods used to effectively deliver water, foam, and other extinguishing agents to the fire scene.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 101

    • FS 104: FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS Change

      This course describes the principles of fire protection and system design. Students will explore fire control and suppression methods, including sprinkler, water spray, water mist, standpipe, and ultra high-speed water spray systems. The course also provides an overview of recent fire protection and suppression developments.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 101

    • FS 105: FIRE PREVENTION PRACTICES Change

      This course examines fire avoidance measures, including fire prevention education, fire safety inspection, fire code enforcement, and fire investigation. Students will gain an overview of the procedures and principles of inspections commonly conducted for control of structures, occupancy, or combined purposes.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 100 or FS 120 for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 

    • FS 201: STRATEGY AND TACTICS Change

      This course explores firefighting strategy and tactics, methods of fire attack, and prefire planning. Students will gain in-depth knowledge of fire control principles as well as how to utilize personnel, equipment, and extinguishing agents on the fire ground. This course also discusses special situations such as transportation emergencies and fires, high-rise fires, below-ground incidents, and confined space incidents.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 101

    • FS 202: PRINCIPLES OF EMERGENCY SERVICES Change

      This course provides an overview of fire protection as well as the philosophy and history of fire protection. You will gain an understanding of career opportunities in fire protection and related fields, fire loss analysis, and the organization and function of public and private fire protection services. This course discusses the role of fire departments as part of local governments, as well as fire service laws, regulations, and terminology. There is also an introduction to multiagency planning and operations as related to multialarm incidents, target hazards, and major disasters.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 100 or FS 120 for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 

    • FS 204: OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES Change

      This course examines the fundamentals of occupational health and safety for emergency service agencies. Students will gain knowledge of risk evaluation and control policies for fire stations, emergency vehicles, and training sites as well as for incidents involving fire, hazardous materials, and other EMS responses. Students will also gain knowledge of the basic principles and history to firefighter life safety initiatives. 

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 101

    • FS 208: LEGAL ASPECTS OF EMERGENCY SERVICES Change

      This course explores the legal issues that relate to emergency services, such as arson law and legal responsibilities of emergency services officers, as well as criminal and civil law. Students will gain an understanding of laws that impact emergency services management at both the state and local levels. The course also examines recent case law and legal decisions that impact emergency services agencies.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 100 or FS 120 for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 

    • FS 301: FIRE INVESTIGATION AND ANALYSIS Change

      This course analyzes fire ignition dynamics, flame spread, and room fire growth. Students explore all aspects of incident investigation, financial management, and other functions related to fire analysis and investigation.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 101

    • FS 302: ADVANCED PRINCIPLES OF FIREFIGHTER SAFETY AND SURVIVAL Change

      This course provides an advanced analysis of firefighter life safety initiatives as well as an evaluation of the behavioral changes necessary in emergency services. Through case studies and scenarios, students develop the effective decision-making skills that are necessary for survival in fire and related emergency situations.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 101

    • FS 304: COMMUNITY RISK REDUCTION FOR FIRE AND EMS Change

      This course analyzes theories for understanding ethical, social, organizational, political, and legal aspects of community risk reduction for fire and EMS agencies. You will learn to utilize common methods for developing effective and comprehensive community risk-reduction plans.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 100 or FS 120 for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 

    • FS 401: FIRE PREVENTION ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT Change

      This course explores the modern management and planning techniques that are utilized to organize a fire department. Students will examine fire department organization and management through community risk reduction, codes and standards, inspections, plan review, incident investigation, fire prevention research, and the relationship of master planning to fire prevention.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 100 or FS 120 for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 

    • FS 402: POLITICAL, ETHICAL, AND LEGAL FOUNDATIONS OF EMS Change

      This course explains various aspects of the government’s role in public safety as well as the American legal system, fire and emergency medical services (EMS) operations, employment and personnel issues, and emergency officials’ roles. The course also discusses legislative and political influence in fire and EMS.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 100 or FS 120 for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management

    • FS 403: LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT Change

      This course examines the knowledge and skills needed to become a responsible leader and manage a crew of firefighters. Topics include leadership and management, specifically managing budgets, personnel, and standard operating procedures. The course also analyzes challenges related to the creation of a team environment, situational leadership, and ethical decision making.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 100 or FS 120 for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 

    • FS 412: SAFETY RISK MANAGEMENT FOR FIRE AND EMS Change

      This course examines the evolution of organizational and leadership dynamics in fire and EMS agencies. Students will examine common aspects of organizational behavior and leadership, including organizational development, communications, decision making, and stress and conflict management.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 101

    • FS 413: RESEARCH ANALYSIS FOR FIRE EMERGENCY SERVICES Change

      This course explores current research methods utilized in the analysis of fire-related data. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of methods used to conduct and evaluate independent research in fire dynamics, test standards, safety, modeling, structural safety, firefighter health and safety, automatic detection and suppression systems, and transportation fire hazards. The course also introduces research methods for risk analysis and trend identification.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 101

    • FS 414: PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT FOR FIRE AND EMS Change

      This course examines fundamental issues in personnel administration and human resource development in fire and EMS agencies. Students will explore concepts and responsibilities such as management, organizational development and training, employee recruitment, selection, and productivity, as well as performance management and labor relations.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 100 or FS 120 for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 

    • FS 498: BACHELOR'S CAPSTONE IN FIRE SCIENCE Change

      This course is designed as the culminating experience of the bachelor’s degree programs in fire science. This course consists of a series of assignments that integrate concepts from the fire science curricula. The assignments are designed to test application and critical thinking skills as students work through fact-based scenarios and analyze issues affecting contemporary practice.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      Last term or permission from the Dean

  • Electives

    Total Electives Credits: 32

    Total Program Credits: 180

    • OPEN ELECTIVES Change

      Credits:

      32

      Prerequisites Required:

      N/A
      Eligible students who choose to complete an accelerated master's degree option will take four graduate-level courses in addition to selected undergraduate electives.

Curriculum: Concentration

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* Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.

Kaplan University does not guarantee transferability of credit from any of these sources. See the University Catalog for the Prior Learning Assessment policy. Testing option may not apply to all courses.

While many of Kaplan University's degree programs are designed to prepare graduates to pursue continued bachelor-, graduate-, or doctorate-level education, the University cannot guarantee that students will be granted admission to any programs.