Fire Science and Emergency Management

Attention 74D Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Specialists—Your Military Training Could Translate Into College Credits.

Protecting others is more than a career; it’s a calling that comes naturally for our servicemembers and veterans. To help CBRN specialists prepare for or advance their civilian or military career in fire science or emergency management, Purdue Global offers a range of undergraduate and master’s degree programs, plus customized support for military students.*

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.


Occupational Credit Transfer

We have evaluated select military occupations to help reduce the number of credits required to earn a degree. Occupational awards for our fire science and emergency management programs are listed below. Please note that you may still be eligible for additional credit above and beyond what is outlined.

  • 74D Chemical Operations Specialist

    Service Level Credits Fulfilled Total Degree Credits Needed Courses Remaining Course Reduction for Training
    10 15 90 15 17%
    20 15 90 15 17%
    30 15 90 15 17%
    40 15 90 15 17%
    50 25 90 13 28%

  • 74D Chemical Operations Specialist

    Service Level Credits Fulfilled Total Degree Credits Needed Courses Remaining Course Reduction for Training
    10 32 180 27 18%
    20 32 180 27 18%
    30 32 180 27 18%
    40 32 180 27 18%
    50 47 180 24 26%

  • 74D Chemical Operations Specialist

    Service Level Credits Fulfilled Total Degree Credits Needed Courses Remaining Course Reduction for Training
    10 40 180 25 22%
    20 58 180 22 32%
    30 74 180 19 41%
    40 86 180 17 48%
    50 119 180 11 66%

Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science

Whether you aspire to join the fire service field or advance to a higher position in the profession, an associate's degree in fire science could help you reach your goals. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals with a postsecondary firefighter education, in addition to high test scores and paramedic training, are expected to have the best prospects.†

Option to Advance to a Bachelor's Degree Program  

Upon completion of the associate's degree, you may be eligible to apply credit toward a Purdue Global bachelor's degree in fire science or emergency management. 

Bachelor of Science in Fire Science

Earning your bachelor's degree in fire science offers you in-depth instruction on subjects such as inter-agency coordination, fire-incident command, arson investigation, and life-safety education. Expertise in these areas could help you pursue higher-level positions in the fire department and private industry. In fact, departments may require candidates for positions higher than battalion chief to hold a bachelor's degree in fire science or a related field in order to be considered for promotion.

Purdue Global's bachelor's degree program closely follows the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) curriculum model.  

Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management

The bachelor’s degree in fire and emergency management also closely follows the FESHE curriculum model and is designed to provide first responders with a broad range of administrative and managerial knowledge, while preparing them for new challenges in the areas of human resources, technology, and fiscal responsibility.

Prepare to pursue leadership roles that include managing all aspects of modern fire, EMS, and emergency preparedness agencies. Military experience within this field may also be a key advantage for many positions. 

Bachelor of Science in Fire Science 

Possible Career Opportunities and Day-to-Day Activities:

  • Firefighter: Respond to emergency calls of all types, including fires, motor vehicle accidents, and fire and emergency rescue operations. Fight fires and provide other emergency and life-saving assistance as needed.
  • Forest Fire Inspector and Prevention Specialist: Examine the interior and exterior of buildings and structures for fire hazards. Ensure that fire codes are followed by builders or owners, and that fire safety equipment is operable, maintained, and inspected.
  • Sales: Sell and install fire protection and prevention equipment.
  • Fire Investigator: Work with police or fire departments to investigate incidents of potential arson and determine the causes and origins of fires.
  • Insurance Investigator: Examine possible arson incidents for insurance companies. Discover the cause or origin of a fire to determine if deliberate or accidental.

Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 

Possible Career Opportunities and Day-to-Day Activities:

  • Emergency Management Program Manager/Director: Lead cities through comprehensive emergency planning and management. Assist in response to and recovery from natural, man-made, and accidental incidents.
  • Emergency Management Planner: Provide emergency planning and coordination in a city environment while preserving life, resolving incidents, limiting loss, and conserving property. Ensure the continuity of city operations and government during an emergency.
  • Risk Management: Manage life safety service activities, including planning and directing safety compliance and training programs and coordinating inspections. Manage staff, including environmental health and safety specialists, and fire-alarm security technicians.

Credit for Your Military Training

Purdue Global will accept up to 75% of undergraduate program credits from any combination of prior coursework, credit by examination, such as DANTES or CLEP exams, or credit for military training.  We will conduct an audit of your military transcripts and attempt to apply the maximum amount of credit consistent with insuring the learning incomes within our academic programs are fulfilled. 

Courses awarded and courses remaining reflect an educational mapping based on the completion of the standard courses required for rank advancement as well as credit for occupation duties. Exact transfer amount may vary depending on completed military courses and occupations as listed on your official Joint Service Transcript(s). State-specific requirements, as listed in, may apply. All credits must be validated on official transcript(s) to be eligible to transfer: please contact military transcript office if your military transcript is not complete.

Advantages to Learning Online at Purdue Global

  • Terms are 10 weeks (6 weeks for graduate-level business, IT, criminal justice, homeland security, and education programs)
  • Most classes have a weekly virtual seminar at a scheduled time        
  • Undergraduate tuition is reduced 55% for servicemembers, including Guard and Reserve. (That’s $165 per quarter credit.)
  • Undergraduate tuition is reduced 38% for veterans.
  • Technology fees are waived for servicemembers, including Guard and Reserve, and veterans.

The Purdue Global Commitment

Purdue Global wants you to make an educated decision about your education. As a new student, you can experience real classes before deciding if you will stay and pursue your studies. If you withdraw during the introductory period, you will have no financial obligation.§

The Next Step: Earning Your Master’s Degree at Purdue Global

Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Curriculum focuses on the legal, social, business, economic, and political aspects of the industry. You will explore how societal institutions, government agencies, lawmakers, businesses, and other organizations find sustainable security and emergency management solutions on a local, regional, national, and global level.

Master of Science in Public Administration
This program’s curriculum focuses on building management and decision-making skills designed to help practicing and aspiring administrators prepare for leadership roles in a wide variety of public service fields.


*Purdue Global cannot guarantee employment or career advancement. Additional academy training and education may be required for firefighting or emergency management jobs.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Firefighters, on the Internet at National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

The Year in Review: 2016–2017, Kaplan University Academic Report, winter 2017. Note: these data were reported prior to the March 2018 purchase of Kaplan University by Purdue University and subsequent creation of Purdue University Global. Credit earned in an associate’s degree program through Kaplan University applied earlier as part of a pool of prior degree credit is not included in this calculation. The actual percentage may be slightly higher for students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs.  Individual experiences will vary. Purdue Global does not guarantee transferability of credit from any of these sources. See University Catalog for Prior Learning Assessment policy. Speak to an Admissions Advisor to find out how many credits may be eligible to transfer.

§Classes count toward a degree if satisfactorily completed. No credits are earned if the student withdraws during the introductory period (3 weeks for new qualifying undergraduate students), which begins day one of the first term. Students who choose to continue their studies at Purdue Global will need to meet specific requirements. Graduate programs not included. Additional terms may apply to international and non-U.S. citizen students. For further information, see the University Catalog.