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Fire Science


Continued technical progress and expanded emphasis on fire prevention, fire safety and pre-fire planning have created increased demands for skilled fire service personnel. The Fire Science curriculum is designed to serve the needs of Philadelphia firefighters and volunteer firefighters desiring to progress in expertise, skill and rank. Philadelphia firefighters who earn the A.A.S. Degree in Fire Science receive an additional half point on all Philadelphia Fire Department promotional examinations. The Fire Science Curriculum also serves students interested in becoming fire safety professionals. They may work in pre-fire planning or as fire code enforcement officers, building inspectors, fire protection technicians and designers, fire prevention equipment sales representatives or technical experts, and fire safety officials or risk managers for businesses, school districts and government agencies.

Program course offerings accommodate diverse schedules. The program has a dual admissions agreement with Holy Family University that allows our students desiring to continue their studies in fire science to transfer all of their credits there with guaranteed junior standing.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this program graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate skills needed for leadership in the fire service or a position in a related field, such as code enforcement, pre-fire planning, building inspection, risk management, or emergency planning.
  • Explain the various requirements for fire detection and suppression systems in differing types of occupancies and structures.
  • Prepare a pre-fire plan for a building using computer-assisted design software to draw floor and site plans.
  • Explain fireground strategy and tactics and identify the occupational risks firefighters face and the health and safety management strategies available to reduce injuries.
  • Apply the principles of the scientific approach to fire investigation and explain the important role that fire investigation and fire prevention programs play in reducing a community’s risk of fire.
  • Conclusively determine the type of building construction and explain how this interfaces with hazardous materials and their impact on operations at emergency scenes. 

Program Entry Requirements:

This program is open to all interested students. New students are normally required to take College placement tests at their time of entry. Students identified as needing developmental course work must satisfactorily complete the appropriate English and mathematics courses as part of their degree program.

Program of Study and Graduation Requirements:

To qualify for the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Fire Science, a student must complete a minimum of 62 credits as prescribed and attain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 (“C” average).

Fire Science Course Sequence

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.

First Semester

FSCI 104 – Fire Prevention and Building Codes   3  
ENGL 101 - English Composition I   3 ENGL 101
FSCI 111 – Emergency Scene Management   3  
FNMT 118 - Intermediate Algebra or higher   3 Mathematics
FSCI 142 – Introduction to Occupational Health and Safety for Firefighters   3  

Second Semester

ENGL 102 - The Research Paper ENGL 101 with a grade of “C” or better 3 ENGL 102, Info Lit
FSCI 181 – Building Construction for the Fire Service   3  
CHEM 110 - Introductory Chemistry   4 Natural Science
FSCI 271 – Hazardous Materials   3  
CIS 103 – Applied Computer Technology   3 Tech Comp

Third Semester

Social Science Elective   3 Social Sciences
FSCI 172 – Fire Detection and Suppression Systems   3  
FSCI 221 – Fire Prevention and Protection   3  
Foreign Language (first of two semester sequence)   3 Humanities, Am/Global Diversity
PHYS 105 – Survey of Physics   4  

Fourth Semester

Social Science Elective   3  
FSCI 281 – Fire Investigation   3  
FSCI 241 – Fire Administration   3  
FSCI 291 – Computer Assisted Pre-Fire Planning   3  
Foreign Language (second of two semester sequence)   3  

Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate: 62

General Education Requirements:

All General Education requirements are met through required courses (as indicated above) except for the Writing Intensive requirement and the Interpretive Studies requirement. Therefore, in order to graduate, students in this program must choose one course that is designated Writing Intensive and one course that is designated Interpretive Studies. The same course may be used to fulfill both requirements. View the courses that fulfill all degree requirements and receive a more detailed explanation of the College’s general education requirements to help in your selection.

For More Information Contact:

The Division of Liberal Studies, Room BR-21, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Telephone (215) 751-8450; or the College Information Center (215) 751-8010.