Fire Science Technology Degree

Fire Science Technology Degree at Harper College

Earn your degree in fire science technology

Career options  Liberal Arts icon


  • Firefighting
  • Hazmat emergency response
  • Investigation
  • Safety and prevention

Get a comprehensive overview of fire science technology with this 60-credit-hour associate's degree program. You’ll prepare for the fire department application process and for positions in industrial safety, fire prevention, insurance investigation, fire investigation, hazardous material spills and public education. The program is applicable to both current firefighters and fire officers, as well as those individuals interested in entering the fire service field.

Take classes in fundamentals of fire and emergency services, fire behavior and combustion, fire prevention principles, firefighting strategies and tactics, hazardous materials, emergency services safety, building construction for fire protection and more. 

AAS degree program requirements

This 60 credit-hour program is applicable to both current firefighters and fire officers, as well as those wishing to enter the fire service. Some fire departments require a two-year degree in fire science before the student is eligible for entry-level positions, while other departments offer promotional and salary incentives to associate degree program graduates.

Many of the courses offered are articulated with the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal and count toward requirements for Instructor I, Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Officer II, Fire Apparatus Engineer, Hazardous Materials First Responder and Technician. Other areas of employment for fire science graduates include fire equipment sales and service, municipal fire protection, fire prevention and inspection in industry and private insurance companies, and emergency medical services.

Students wishing to pursue a career in fire science should discuss these opportunities with the program coordinator or a Student Development Faculty Counselor member before entering the program.

F = Fall only course S = Spring only course U = Summer only course

FIRST SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
ENG 101 3 Communications

Description: Emphasizes the writing of expository prose. Introduction to the critical reading of nonfiction prose. IAI C1 900

Prerequisite: ENG 100 with a grade of C or better. Other placement options. ENG_Placement_Grid.pdf ESL students need one of the following options: ESL 073 and ESL 074 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 086 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 099 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 with required writing placement test score; or ESL 074 with required reading placement test score.

FIS 100 3 Program Requirement

Description: Provides an overview of fire protection; career opportunities in fire protection and related fields; philosophy and history of fire protection/service; fire loss analysis; organization and function of public and private fire protection services; fire departments as part of local government; laws and regulations affecting the fire service; fire service nomenclature; specific fire protection functions; basic fire chemistry and physics; fire protection systems; introduction to fire strategy and tactics.

FIS 121 3 Program Requirement

Description: Explores the theories and principles of how and why fires start, spread, and are brought under control. Students will be able to relate the principles by which fires spread with the appropriate methods of control.

FIS 122 3 Program Requirement

Description: Provides fundamental information regarding the history and philosophy of fire prevention, organization and operation of a fire prevention bureau, use of fire codes, identification and correction of fire hazards, and the relationships of fire prevention with the built-in fire protection systems, fire investigation, and fire and life-safety education.

Mathematics1 3 Mathematics

SECOND SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
FIS 103 3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces basic principles and methods associated with fireground strategies and tactics as required of the company officer. Emphasizes the incident management system, fire behavior, basic firefighting size-up, pre-fire planning, engine company and truck company operations.

Prerequisite: FIS 100 and FIS 121 with grades of C or better.

FIS 104 3 Program Requirement

Description: Studies the components of building construction that relate to fire and life safety. Focuses on firefighter safety and the elements of construction and structure design as key factors when inspecting buildings, preplanning fire operations and operating at emergencies.

Prerequisite: FIS 100 with a grade of C or better.

FIS 132 3 Program Requirement

Description: Reviews basic chemistry, storage, handling, laws, standards and fire fighting practices pertaining to hazardous materials. Emphasis on identification, labeling, handling, firefighting, and mitigation of hazardous materials emergencies. Students who wish to satisfy the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshall Certificate Requirements must successfully complete this course as well as the required practical skills evaluation prior to taking the state examination by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (A.H.J.).

PSY 101 3 Social and Behavioral Science

Description: Investigates human and animal behavior with emphasis on the scientific nature of contemporary and classic psychological investigation. Emphasizes psychological theories, principles, and research applications. Introduces the divisions of the American Psychological Association. References biological processes, sensation, perception, learning, memory, thinking, emotional life, mental disorders, intelligence, aptitude, personality, development, daily life and everyday problems. IAI S6 900

SPE 101 3 Communications

Description: Theory and practice of oral communications. Development of poise, confidence and skill in speech organization and delivery. Emphasis on frequent speaking, development of standards of criticism and selection and organization of material. IAI C2 900

THIRD SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
FIS 102  F   3 Program Requirement

Description: Introduces the student to the role of the company officer. Provides an introduction to basic management theories, practices and functions with an emphasis on fire service leadership from the perspective of the company officer. Provides an introduction to the organization and management of a fire department and the relationship of government agencies to the fire service.

Prerequisite: FIS 100 and FIS 121 with grades of C or better.

FIS 145 3 Program Requirement

Description: Provides instruction to individuals in the fire and emergency services. Provides basic fundamentals in human relations in the teacher-student learning environment, methods of instruction and proper methods of writing lesson plans.

FIS 260 3 Program Requirement

Description: Provides a foundation of knowledge and understanding of safety as applied to emergency services. Examines the need for safety in the everyday performance of all aspects of their jobs and gain an understanding of the essential elements needed to reduce accidents and injuries.

Humanities+ 3 Humanities
Natural Science2 3 Natural Science

FOURTH SEMESTER:

Number Course Title Credits Category
FIS electives3 15 Program Requirement

1 - Students must take MTH 080 or above, or MGT 150 or MTH 225.

+ - Students need to choose a course to meet this requirement that also meets the World Cultures and Diversity graduation requirement. See full list of AAS General Education Electives.

2 - See full list of AAS General Education Electives.

3 - Choose at least 15 credit hours from the following courses: EMG 101, 103, 107, 253; FIS 106, 109, 200, 210(S), 212(F), 230(S), 240(S), 250(S), 270(S), 280+(F).

Program learning outcomes

  • Determine the origin and causes of fires.
  • Apply skills to identify and solve firefighting problems.
  • Apply tactics and strategies to emergency fire incidents.
  • Respond to emergencies related to hazardous materials.
  • Demonstrate fire safety and emergency scene safety procedures.
  • Demonstrate fire prevention procedures and techniques.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of arson investigation procedures.
  • Demonstrate ability to function as a member of a team.
  • Demonstrate physical fitness and health consciousness.
  • Utilize technical fire protective and suppression equipment.
  • Effectively communicate within and outside the organization, in both written and oral formats.

Resources

Next steps

For more information about Fire Science Technology, contact Admission Outreach at 847.925.6700, or submit a request information form. You can also apply online.