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 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
  FRE-101 Intro to Fire Protection
  FRE-102 Fire Apparatus Engineer
  FRE-103 Hazardous Material Operations
  FRE-118 Building Construction-Fire Protection
  FRE-206 Management I
  FRE-208 Fire Prevention Principles

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

Number Title
  FRE-207 Management II
  FRE-216 Tactics & Strategy I
  FRE-218 Instructor I

Also includes 12 credit hours of Fire Science electives.

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

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

Fire Science Electives

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

General Education (25 credits)

Required General Education Courses (16 credits):

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.

Number Title
  CHM-105 Chemistry and Society

Elective General Education Courses (9 credits)

Number Title
  CIS-102 Intro to Computers & Info Systems

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

Program Disclosure:

The Associates of Applied Science in Fire Science (AAS) degree program at Rock Valley College meets the requirements as recommended by the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal as well as the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. Rock Valley College has not determined if the AAS in Fire Science program at Rock Valley College meets the state Firefighter certification requirements of any other state Fire Marshal’s Office, any U.S. Territory, or the District of Columbia.  Questions pertaining to other state’s requirements should be directed to each individual state’s website.