Fire, Arson and Explosion Investigation Bachelor’s Degree Curriculum

Fire, Arson and Explosion Investigation Bachelor’s Degree Curriculum

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Core Courses 9 hours

Supporting Course Requirements*  14 hours                                

  • CHE 101: Introductory Chemistry l and CHE 102: Introductory Chemistry ll  
  • FOR 301: Introduction to Criminalistics
  • MAT 114: College Algebra

*Some supporting courses will count toward the General Education Requirements. See catalog for details.


Free Electives 13 hours

EKU General Education Requirements 40 hours
(See catalog for details.)

Total Hours Required for Degree Completion 120 hours

For a full list of course descriptions please see section 7 of the university undergraduate catalog.


Course Descriptions

FSE 101 – Fire Prevention

An introduction to fire and safety related codes; fire prevention methods; mechanical systems; and engineering solutions for hazards. An in-depth look at the Life Safety Code, the function and testing of fire related building components.

FSE 120 – Fire Behavior and Combustion

Introduction to the chemistry and dynamics of fire; including basic terminology and concepts that are applied to the physical and chemical properties of the development and spread of fire in a structure; hazardous materials and the Computer Fire Analysis.

FSE 200 – Applied Fire and Safety Analysis

Analytical and statistical concepts and procedures for the treatment of fire and safety related data. Includes quantitative and qualitative techniques, descriptive and inferential statistics. Credit not awarded to students who have credit for OSH 200.

FSE 201 or 201S – Building Construction

A review of the analysis of building construction methods and terminology. A systems approach to designing building fire safety; the Life Safety Code; the function of and testing of rated building components, evaluating plans for code compliance.

FSE 221 – Fire Protection Systems

Prerequisites: FSE 101, FSE 120. Introduction to fire detection, protection, control systems and extinguishment. Fixed and portable systems of the following types will be studied: automatic sprinklers, standpipes, dry chemical, foam, halogenated agents, fire alarm systems and diction.

FSE 223 – Fire and Emergency Scene Operations

Prerequisite: FSE 201. Principles of Incident Management including emergency scene decisions, strategies, and tactics. Utilizing emergency control resources such as personnel, apparatus, and equipment.

FSE 225 – Legal Aspects of Fire Protection and Safety

A study of legislative and legal decisions relating to personnel practices, employee safety, and public protection. Emphasizes the legal responsibilities, liabilities, and authority of the fire service practitioner. Credit not awarded to students who have credit for OSH 225.

FSE 250 – Introduction to Fire Arson and Explosion Investigations

An introductions to fire, arson, and explosion investigation. Topics include a historical overview of arson and terrorism statues, sources of information, the federal role in fire and explosion investigation, explosives and improvised explosive devices.

FSE 260 – Proving Criminal Acts

A study of crimes and the methodical steps in the investigation and proving of criminal acts. Explore defense/legal remedies to enable the student to understand the obligations of managing an investigation.

FSE 280 – Constitutional Criminal Procedure

Examines the legal implications of obtaining evidence directly from the suspect. The fourth, fifth and sixth amendments and rules of evidence are discussed as they relate to the investigation of criminal acts.

FSE 300W – Technical Report Writing for Emergency Services

Prerequisite: ENG 102. Develop oral and written communication skills specific to the public emergency service sector’s needs. Focusing on the technical aspects involved in supporting public initiatives operating within the legal system and learning the specific requirements for submitting documentation to various technical committees.

FSE 305 – Hazardous Materials

Prerequisite: FSE 120. Study of hazardous material problems in transportation, storage, and use. Chemical properties relating to specific reactions, engineering controls, and control in an emergency situation. Emphasis on the role of pre-emergency planning, combating, coordinating, and controlling a hazardous materials incident. Credit not awarded to students who have credit for OSH 305.

FSE 320 – Principles of Emergency Services

An overview of organizational and management practices in the fire and safety fields. Emphasis on supervision and leadership styles, motivation, morale, and organizational behavior.

FSE 330 – Principles of Criminal Investigation

Prerequisites: FSE 300W, FSE 260 and FSE 280. A detailed study of the investigative procedure as it applies to fire, arson, explosion and other personal property crimes.

FSE 349 – Applied Learning/Cooperative Education

See undergraduate catalog.

FSE 350 – Fire Arson and Explosion Investigation I

Prerequisite: FSE 120. An in-depth study in the analysis of fire, arson, and explosion scenes. Emphasis will be placed on the principles and techniques of scene preservation and analysis, management of investigative functions, documentation of the scene, and determination of the cause and origin of fire.

FSE 355 – Fire Dynamics

Prerequisites: CHE 101, FSE 120, and MAT107. An introduction to fire-related measurement techniques, advanced fire and combustion concepts and associated terminology. This courses includes basic numerical methods for understanding fire dynamics.

FSE 370 – Electrical and Mechanical Systems Failure Analysis (Residency requirement)

Prerequisite: FSE 355. Overview of design criteria for electrical and mechanical systems and components relative to fire safety via laboratory experiments, exemplar components and photographs that depict system and component failures that result in fire. Learning opportunities include engaging in destructive and non-destructive analysis of components and systems. See residency information.

FSE 380 – Fire and Explosion Scene Analysis (Residency requirement)

Prerequisite: FSE 350. In-depth study of fire, arson, and explosive investigations. Emphasis will be placed on the principles and techniques of scene preservation, analysis, management of investigations, documentation of the scene and determination of cause and origin. See residency information.

FSE 450 – Advanced Explosion and Bombing Investigation (Residency requirement)

Prerequisite: FSE 380. An in-depth study of explosion scene investigation. Emphasis will be placed on the principles and techniques of scene preservation analysis, management of investigative functions, documentation of scene and determination of the cause of explosions. See residency information.

FSE 495 – Fire Arson and Explosion Case Preparation (Residency requirement)

Prerequisites: FSE 450. Preparation of the fire, arson, and explosion case for trial, including preparation of demonstrative evidence, scene documentation for presentation, rules of evidence, case review and analysis, and testimony. See residency information.

FSE 499 – Practicum

Prerequisite: FSE 200 or departmental approval. Supervised field observation, research, and/or experience.

MAT 114 College Algebra

(3) I, II. Formerly MAT 107. Prerequisite: MAT 098 with a minimum grade of “C”, a minimum score of 22 on the mathematics portion of the ACT, a minimum score of 510 on the mathematics portion of the SAT, or a passing score on an algebra placement test. Real and complex numbers, integer and rational exponents, polynomial and rational equations and inequalities, graphs of functions and relations, exponential and logarithmic functions. Use of graphing calculators. 

OSH 261 – Principles of Occupational Safety and Health

History of the development of occupational safety and health. Methods of accident prevention and hazard control. Introduction to safety programs, workers’ compensation, emergency preparedness and accident investigation.