Dickinson State University (DSU) is pleased to announce the addition of Fire Science to its degree program offerings. Applications for the limited-seat program will be accepted for the Fall 2023 cohort, which starts August 21, 2023.

The program’s development began in 2020 when the University was approached by the Dickinson Fire Department with a desire to build a local program and attract individuals into the field – serving a critical role in the community.

“We have worked with Dickinson State to develop the academic requirements for the Associate of Applied Science Fire Science degree,” stated Jeremy Presnell, Chief of the Dickinson Fire Department. “This program has the needed expertise, skills, and certifications to be prepared for working in the field.”

The program takes approximately two years to complete and consists of 62 semester hours of coursework and practical training. Courses include Hazardous Materials Operations, Fire Behavior and Combustion, Building Construction for Fire Protection, Vehicle Extrication and more.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for firefighters is $50,700 per year and employment of jobs is projected to grow 4% until 2031.

“Whenever we can work with community partners to bring programs to fruition, we meet our mission,” shared Holly Gruhlke, Dean of the College of Business, Education, and Applied Science. “The Dickinson Fire Department has spent a great deal of time working with us to put this together. We are excited to welcome the first cohort of students and make this degree a hot commodity around the region.”

In addition to in-classroom lectures, the program will provide current fire fighters the opportunity to level-up their education and complete coursework and certifications from a distance. A career academy with Dickinson High School has also been established, and DSU plans to expand this for interested area rural schools.

“It is through DSU’s dual mission that we are able to add important career and technical programs like the AAS in Fire Science,” stated Steve Easton, DSU President. “Emergency services are critical to vibrant and growing communities like Dickinson, Watford City, Williston, and others in western North Dakota. We are excited to offer this degree in our region.”

To view the complete list of courses and for more information, please click here.