Rock Valley College

Fire Science Degree

Degree conferred: Associate in Applied Science – 64 credits (Limited Transferability)
Program contact: Division of Allied Health (815) 921-3200 or program coordinator, (815) 921-3256

For more information please email Amanda Lonsway at

Program Overview

Graduates of Rock Valley College's Fire Science program are prepared to enter a career in the fire service or expand their current fire service professional options. Students will gain knowledge in a wide variety  of subjects including, Fire Suppression, Building Construction, Rescue Practices, Hazardous Materials, Fire Prevention & Protection, Emergency Medical Services, and Fire Service Leadership. The Fire Science Program at RVC offers two learning opportunities for students: 

Apprenticeship Sequence: Aimed at college students with no previous firefighting experience. This option prepares students for an entry level position on a fire department; instruction includes classroom lecture, practical firefighting training, and an internship with an area fire department.

Non-Apprenticeship Sequence: Intended for firefighters who wish to expand their knowledge base and enhance current skills for personal growth and/or advancement while earning a degree.

Work and Employment

Graduates have secured positions in; firefighting, fire protection and prevention, fire service instruction, dispatch/communications, fire equipment and manufacturing sales, emergency medical services, and volunteer fire protection. With additional training, graduates may enter into a variety of fire service specialty fields such as fire inspection and fire investigation. 

More About the Program

Illinois currently allows for educational preference points for those applicants who possess an A.A.S. degree in Fire Science. While most fire departments follow standard hiring practices, each fire department may have specific requirements and/or practices. Interested students should consult with the Fire Science Program Coordinator or an Academic Advisor. 

Transfer Opportunities

Graduates of this program may transfer to Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) to pursue the Bachelor of Science B.S. in Public Safety Management. Students are advised to contact SIUC's program representative at:

Fire Science Degree – Potential Careers & Wages

Fire Science Certificates

Basic Operations Firefighter/7501

Number Title
  FRE-103 Hazardous Material Operations
  FRE-106 Rescue Practices
  FRE-112 Vehicle/Machinery Rescue Operations
  FRE-180 Essentials of Firefighting I
  FRE-181 Essentials of Firefighting II
  FRE-182 Essentials of Firefighting III
  FRE-240 Fire Protection Internship

Foundation of the Fire Service/7521

Number Title
  FRE-101 Intro to Fire Protection
  FRE-106 Rescue Practices
  FRE-118 Building Construction-Fire Protection
  FRE-208 Fire Prevention Principles

Emergency Medical Technician/7535

Number Title
  FRE-223 Emergency Medical Technician

Non-Apprenticeship Sequence (Intended for fire service personnel)

Number Title
  FRE-101 Intro to Fire Protection
  FRE-104 Fire Behavior and Combustion
  FRE-106 Rescue Practices
  FRE-118 Building Construction-Fire Protection
  FRE-205 Principles of Fire and Emergency
  FRE-208 Fire Prevention Principles
  FRE-209 Fire Protection Systems
  FRE-103 Hazardous Material Operations
  FRE-112 Vehicle/Machinery Rescue Operations
  FRE-210 Fire Investigation
  FRE-215 Introduction to Strategy & Tactics
  FRE-218 Instructor I
  FRE-219 Instructor II
  FRE-250 Special Topics in the Fire Service

General Education Requirements

Number Title
  ENG-101 Composition I
  SPH-131 Fundamentals of Communication
  MTH-100 Technical Mathematics
  PSY-170 General Psychology
  SOC-190 Introduction to Sociology

* or greater

Select one course with a lab from the Life Sciences or Physical Sciences area.

Note: CHM 105 is strongly recommended.

Program Disclosure:

All students entering into the Fire Science Degree program as of Fall 2019 will follow the curriculum shwon above. Students who entered the Fire Science Program prior to Fall 2019 will follow the curriculum as listed in their catalog. 

Fire Science Certificates – Potential Careers & Wages