Fire Science and Emergency Management

Attention 74D Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Specialists—Your Military Training Could Translate Into College Credits.

Protecting others is more than a career; it’s a calling that comes naturally for our servicemembers and veterans. To help CBRN specialists prepare for or advance their civilian or military career in fire science or emergency management, Kaplan University offers a range of undergraduate and master’s degree programs, plus customized support for military students.*


Occupational Credit Transfer

We have evaluated select military occupations to help reduce the number of credits required to earn a degree. Occupational awards for our fire science and emergency management programs are listed below. Please note that you may still be eligible for additional credit above and beyond what is outlined.  

 Degree Program  Skill

 Courses Remaining
(Additional credit may be awarded
based on prior coursework, credit by exam, or other military training.)

Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science 10+ 15 75 15
Bachelor of Science in Fire Science 10+ 32 148 28
Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 10, 20 34 146 27
Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 30+ 47 133 25

Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science

Whether you aspire to join the fire service field or advance to a higher position in the profession, an associate's degree in fire science could help you reach your goals. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals with a postsecondary firefighter education, in addition to high test scores and paramedic training, are expected to have the best prospects.†

Option to Advance to a Bachelor's Degree Program  

Upon completion of the associate's degree, you may be eligible to apply credit toward a Kaplan University bachelor's degree in fire science or emergency management. 

Bachelor of Science in Fire Science

Earning your bachelor's degree in fire science offers you in-depth instruction on subjects such as inter-agency coordination, fire-incident command, arson investigation, and life-safety education. Expertise in these areas could help you pursue higher-level positions in the fire department and private industry. In fact, departments may require candidates for positions higher than battalion chief to hold a bachelor's degree in fire science or a related field in order to be considered for promotion.

Kaplan University's bachelor's degree program closely follows the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) curriculum model.  

Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management

The bachelor’s degree in fire and emergency management also closely follows the FESHE curriculum model and is designed to provide first responders with a broad range of administrative and managerial knowledge, while preparing them for new challenges in the areas of human resources, technology, and fiscal responsibility.

Prepare to pursue leadership roles that include managing all aspects of modern fire, EMS, and emergency preparedness agencies. Military experience within this field may also be a key advantage for many positions. 

Bachelor of Science in Fire Science 

Possible Career Opportunities and Day-to-Day Activities:

  • Firefighter: Respond to emergency calls of all types, including fires, motor vehicle accidents, and fire and emergency rescue operations. Fight fires and provide other emergency and life-saving assistance as needed.
  • Forest Fire Inspector and Prevention Specialist: Examine the interior and exterior of buildings and structures for fire hazards. Ensure that fire codes are followed by builders or owners, and that fire safety equipment is operable, maintained, and inspected.
  • Sales: Sell and install fire protection and prevention equipment.
  • Fire Investigator: Work with police or fire departments to investigate incidents of potential arson and determine the causes and origins of fires.
  • Insurance Investigator: Examine possible arson incidents for insurance companies. Discover the cause or origin of a fire to determine if deliberate or accidental.

Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 

Possible Career Opportunities and Day-to-Day Activities:

  • Emergency Management Program Manager/Director: Lead cities through comprehensive emergency planning and management. Assist in response to and recovery from natural, man-made, and accidental incidents.
  • Emergency Management Planner: Provide emergency planning and coordination in a city environment while preserving life, resolving incidents, limiting loss, and conserving property. Ensure the continuity of city operations and government during an emergency.
  • Risk Management: Manage life safety service activities, including planning and directing safety compliance and training programs and coordinating inspections. Manage staff, including environmental health and safety specialists, and fire-alarm security technicians.

Credit for Your Military Training

Kaplan University will accept up to 75% of undergraduate program credits from any combination of prior coursework, credit by examination, such as DANTES or CLEP exams, or credit for military training.  We will conduct an audit of your military transcripts and attempt to apply the maximum amount of credit consistent with insuring the learning incomes within our academic programs are fulfilled. 

Courses awarded and courses remaining reflect an educational mapping based on the completion of the standard courses required for rank advancement as well as credit for occupation duties. Exact transfer amount may vary depending on completed military courses and occupations as listed on your official Joint Service Transcript(s). State-specific requirements, as listed in, may apply. All credits must be validated on official transcript(s) to be eligible to transfer: please contact military transcript office if your military transcript is not complete.

Advantages to Learning Online at Kaplan University

  • Terms are 10 weeks (6 weeks for graduate-level business, IT, criminal justice, homeland security, and education programs)
  • Most classes have a weekly virtual seminar at a scheduled time        
  • Undergraduate tuition is reduced 55% for servicemembers, including Guard and Reserve. (That’s $165 per quarter credit.)
  • Undergraduate tuition is reduced 38% for veterans.
  • Technology fees are waived for servicemembers, including Guard and Reserve, and veterans.

The Kaplan Commitment

Kaplan University wants you to make an educated decision about your education. As a new student, you can experience real classes before deciding if you will stay and pursue your studies. If you withdraw during the introductory period, you will have no financial obligation.§

Academic Quality

Kaplan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. For more information, visit their website at

The Next Step: Earning Your Master’s Degree at Kaplan University

Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Curriculum focuses on the legal, social, business, economic, and political aspects of the industry. You will explore how societal institutions, government agencies, lawmakers, businesses, and other organizations find sustainable security and emergency management solutions on a local, regional, national, and global level.

Master of Science in Public Administration
This program’s curriculum focuses on building management and decision-making skills designed to help practicing and aspiring administrators prepare for leadership roles in a wide variety of public service fields.

Request More Information

To receive the Kaplan University Program Guide, including areas of study and associated career paths, please complete this information form.
View notes and conditions

*Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement. Additional academy training and education may be required for firefighting or emergency management jobs.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Firefighters, on the Internet at National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

In the 2013–2014 academic year, Kaplan University accepted, on average, 34% of the credits graduating military-affiliated students need to earn a degree. (Source: The Year in Review: 2013–2014, Kaplan University Academic Report, winter 2014) Individual experiences will vary. Speak to an Admissions Advisor to see how many credits you may be eligible for.

§Classes count toward a degree if satisfactorily completed. No credits are earned if the student withdraws during the introductory period (3 weeks for undergraduate students), which begins day one of the first term. Students who choose to continue their studies at the University will need to meet specific requirements. Graduate programs not included. Additional terms may apply to international and non-U.S. citizen students. For further information, see the University Catalog and the Kaplan Commitment Statement.