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


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 profession options. Students will gain knowledge in a wide variety of subjects including Fire Suppression, Building Construction, Rescue Practices, Hazardous Materials, Fire Prevention, Emergency Medical Services, and Fire Service Management. The Fire Science Program at RVC offers two learning opportunities for students:

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

Internship Sequence Option B: 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 firefighter training, and an internship with an area fire department.


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 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 an academic advisor, or the Fire Service Coordinator at (815) 921-3256.


Fire Science Core Requirements (18 credit hours)

All students, regardless of whether they are going to follow Sequence A or Sequence B must meet these core course requirements for the degree.

Number Title Credits
  FRE-101 Intro to Fire Protection (3)
  FRE-102 Fire Apparatus Engineer (3)
  FRE-103 Hazardous Material Operations (3)
  FRE-118 Building Construction-Fire Protection (3)
  FRE-206 Management I (3)
  FRE-208 Fire Prevention Principles (3)

Sequence A: Non-Internship Option (intended for fire service personnel)

Number Title Credits
  FRE-207 Management II (3)
  FRE-216 Tactics & Strategy I (3)
  FRE-218 Instructor I (3)

Also includes 12 credit hours of Fire Science electives.

Sequence B: Internship Option (intended for traditional college students)

Number Title Credits
  FRE-180 Essentials of Firefighting I (3)
  FRE-181 Essentials of Firefighting II (3)
  FRE-182 Essentials of Firefighting III (3)
  FRE-240 Fire Protection Internship (1)
Also includes 9 credit hours of Fire Science electives. 

Fire Science Electives

Number Title Credits
  FRE-106 Rescue Practices (3)
  FRE-112 Vehicle/Machinery Rescue Operations (3)
  FRE-210 Fire Investigation (3)
  FRE-217 Tactics & Strategy II (3)
  FRE-219 Instructor II (3)
  FRE-220 Management III (3)
  FRE-223 Emergency Medical Technician (9)
  FRE-225 Management IV (3)
  FRE-250 Special Topics in the Fire Service (1)

General Education (25 credits)

Required General Education Courses (16 credits):

Number Title Credits
  ENG-101 Composition I (3)
  SPH-131 Fundamentals of Communication (3)
* MTH-100 Technical Mathematics (5)
  PSY-170 General Psychology, or
  SOC-190 Introduction to Sociology (3)

* or greater

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

Note: CHM 105 is strongly recommended.

Number Title Credits
  CHM-105 Chemistry and Society (4)

Elective General Education Courses (9 credits)

Number Title Credits
  CIS-102 Intro to Computers & Info Systems (3)


Select 6 credits from the following area(s) (6 credits): Humanities; Social Science; Mathematics; Physical Science; Life Science; Fitness, Wellness and Sport; or English.