Texas Firefighters

Section 54.208 of the Texas Education Code. This Section, entitled “Firemen Enrolled in Fire Science Courses,” provides a limited tuition and fee exemption for Texas firefighters:

The governing boards of the states institutions of collegiate rank supported in whole or in part by public funds shall exempt from the payment of tuition and laboratory fees any person who is employed as a fireman by any political subdivision of the state and who enrolls in a course or courses offered as part of a fire science curriculum.

Attorney General's Opinion, click here to read the full Attorney General's opinion.

A Texas fire fighter is exempt from paying tuition and laboratory fees at public junior colleges and four-year colleges and universities for courses that fall within a designated fire science curriculum, as well as a course that is primarily related to fire service, emergency medicine, emergency management, or public administration, regardless of whether that course falls within a curriculum designated as “fire science.”

A fire fighter seeking an exemption from tuition need not be pursuing a degree in fire science and may already have a degree in fire science.

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board


A person who:

  1. Is either:

  2. a) employed as a firefighter by a political subdivision of this state; OR

  3. b) an active member for at least one year of an organized volunteer fire department in Texas, as defined by the fire fighters' pension commissioner, who holds:

  4. i) an Accredited Advanced level of certification, or an equivalent successor certification, under the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas volunteer certification program; or

  5. ii) Phase V (Firefighter II) certification, or an equivalent successor certification, under the Texas Commission on Fire Protection's voluntary certification program under Section 419.071, Government Code.

  6. enrolls as an undergraduate or graduate in a course or courses offered as part of a fire science curriculum

  7. if received his/her first exemption under 54.208 in fall 2009 or later, is making satisfactory academic progress toward the student's degree as determined by the institution.

For a list of institutions and programs which accept the exemption click here.