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The USFA is an equal opportunity institution. It does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, color, religious belief, national origin, or disability in its admissions and student-related policies and procedures. The USFA makes every effort to assure equitable representation of minorities and women in its student body. Qualified minority and female candidates are encouraged to apply for all courses.

Any person with substantial involvement in fire prevention and control, emergency medical services, fire-related emergency management activities, or allied professions is eligible to apply for NFA courses.

Applicants must meet the specific selection criteria and prerequisite criteria for each course. All National Fire Academy resident students must complete ICS 100 level and ICS 200 level training before arriving at the National Emergency Training Center. Selection also is based on the impact the applicant will have on the quality of fire protection in the local community, the potential for use of the skills acquired, and equitable and representative distribution from the total fire service.

A very limited number of opportunities exist for non-U.S. citizens to attend NFA courses.