Department Chair: Richard Kuiters
Department Secretary: Pamela Coles
Room: W-225
Phone: (201) 879-7021

Our Mission

The Bergen Community College Department of Criminal Justice and Legal provides a foundation for understanding the key components of criminal justice, homeland security, and emergency management. The department is dedicated to promoting critical thinking, communication, and analytical skills necessary for careers in public service. The fire science program within the department is designed to prepare students for career in the field of fire science or to enhance the working knowledge of practitioners.

The Fire Science Certificate of Achievement program has the following learning outcomes:

  • Students will be able to describe the history and evolution of the fire service.
  • Students will be able to explain and apply the principles relevant to hazard control, structural design, fire detection, suppression, and limitation of loss.
  • Analyze the basic components of fire as a chemical reaction, the major phases of fire, and examine the main factors that influence fire spread and fire behavior.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of fire ground strategy and tactics, the occupational risks firefighters face and management strategies available to manage resources and reduce injuries/fatalities of firefighters and civilians.

Career Paths

The fire science certificate of achievement program is designed to provide students with the coursework needed to pursue a career in the field of fire science or to enhance the working knowledge of practitioners. The program provides the fundamental concepts and practices needed for fire prevention, protection and suppression. Career opportunities include federal, state, and municipal fire services, federal and local forest and park fire services, arson investigators, and corporate and private security firms. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with Bergen Community College faculty and Career Services as they begin to explore career options.

Transfer Opportunities

Students pursuing the professional studies Associate of Science degree (A.S.) in criminal justice can transfer into majors, such as criminal justice, law, and legal studies. Students are encouraged to work closely with Bergen Community College faculty and Advising Transfer Services. Students planning to transfer to a four-year institution in NJ can explore the “Transfer Programs” feature on NJ Transfer