Earning a bachelor's in fire science online can be terrific training for students interested in serving their communities, as well as protecting people and the environment from fire-related hazards. Our guide can help prospective fire science students gain a better understanding of the training, coursework, and other benefits of obtaining a bachelor's degree in the field. Additionally, we explore common required courses, admissions requirements, and popular careers. We also answer a few common FAQs.

What Are the Best Fire Science Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 10:

  1. University of Florida - Gainesville, FL
  2. Siena Heights University - Adrian, MI
  3. University of Nebraska at Omaha - Omaha, NE
  4. University of Cincinnati - Cincinnati, OH
  5. University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh - Oshkosh, WI
  6. University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Charlotte, NC
  7. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach, FL
  8. New Jersey City University - Jersey City, NJ
  9. Fayetteville State University - Fayetteville, NC
  10. Colorado State University - Fort Collins - Fort Collins, CO

A bachelor's in fire science prepares learners to be effective in emergency services careers. Graduates are positioned for a variety of rewarding jobs in the U.S. and around the globe, such as firefighter, fire investigator, and smoke jumper. These workers respond to emergency calls, rescue victims in burning buildings, prepare reports on non-emergency incidents, and provide first aid services for sick or injured individuals. Job growth in this area of the field looks bright, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects firefighters to experience 5% employment growth in the period from 2018-2028.

How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students. Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read more about our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that's best for you.

2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Fire Science Programs

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

Located in Gainesville, UF holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. UF Online offers a bachelor's in fire science for remote students. Learners can complete degree requirements entirely online with no on-campus obligations.

Distance students at UF choose from a specialization in fire management, emergency medical services management, or emergency management. Required courses include analytical approaches to emergency medical services, fire investigation and analysis, and strategic planning.

Prospective first-year students need a 2.0 or higher cumulative GPA for consideration, while transfer students need at least a 2.3 GPA. Applicants who finished high school less than five years before applying must also submit their ACT or SAT scores.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Services
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Fire management; emergency medical services management; emergency management
Tuition: $129/credit in-state; $553/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum for first-year students; 2.3 minimum for transfer students
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (352) 273-1063
Email: fesundergraduate@dcp.ufl.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

Siena Heights University

Adrian, MI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 43%

SHU is a private university that holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The school offers a bachelor of applied science program that allows online students who are interested in fire technology to pursue a public safety professions major. Participants design their own program using the school's inverted major concept.

Students take asynchronous courses in an eight-week schedule. Bachelor's degree-seekers complete program requirements entirely online. Remote learners must maintain a 2.0 or higher GPA to remain in good standing.

Students pursuing a bachelor's in fire science online can transfer in up to 90 credits toward this 120-credit bachelor's degree. Learners can also earn credit based on exams.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Safety Professions
School Status: Private
Tuition: $530/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact

Phone: (800) 521-0009
Email: admissions@sienaheights.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

University of Nebraska at Omaha

Omaha, NE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

UNO is a public university that holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Remote students can join the school's bachelor of science in emergency management program.

Learners who enroll in this fire science online program must earn 120 credits to graduate. UNO offers more than a dozen concentration areas, including a 15-credit specialization in fire service management. Required courses include codes and inspections, fire strategy and tactics, fire prevention organization and management, and analytical approaches to public fire protection.

Incoming students must submit their ACT or SAT scores and rank in the upper 50% of their graduating high school class. UNO also expects learners to submit official transcripts that show completion of English, math, social science, natural science, and foreign language classes.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management and Disaster Science
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Aviation administration; criminology and criminal justice; fire service management; gerontology; geospatial science; information technology and communication; intelligence and security; logistics management; natural disasters; nonprofit management; planning and preparing for urban hazards; private sector management; public administration and management; public health; travel management and emergency services; unmanned aircraft systems.
Tuition: $285/credit in-state; $400/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (402) 554-4900
Email: unoemgt@unomaha.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

UC is a public institution with regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The school educates more than 44,000 students and offers remote programs, such as an online bachelor's in fire science.

Most courses follow an accelerated, seven-week schedule. Faculty also deliver a 14-week capstone course. Degree-seekers must complete three hybrid classes with required two-day, on-campus residencies. Other required classes at UC include building construction and fire science, personnel management, effective service research, and fire tactics.

Incoming students may earn credit based on prior work experience, certifications, and other professional training. New pupils at UC who already possess an associate degree in the field can apply for an internal scholarship: the Bennett Family Scholarship. Degree-seekers must earn at least 60 credits through classes completed at UC to finish this program.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Fire Science and Emergency Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $486/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: Hybrid (online/on campus)
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Contact

Phone: (513) 470-2744
Email: ucfirescience@uc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

Oshkosh, WI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 53%

UW-Oshkosh is a public institution that holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The school offers over 200 academic areas of study, including an online bachelor's in fire science for remote learners. Students choose a concentration in fire services management or emergency management.

UW-Oshkosh operates as part of the University of Wisconsin System. Learners in this bachelor's program can transfer in up to 60 credits toward their degree. Students complete accelerated classes entirely online in seven-week sessions.

Prospective students who already possess an applied associate degree in fire science need a 2.0 or higher GPA. Interested learners without an associate degree need a firefighter 1 and 2 or EMT basic credential and national registry, three years of full-time experience in the field, and two letters of recommendation.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Applied Science in Fire and Emergency Response
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Fire services management; emergency management
Tuition: $360/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum for applicants with an associate degree

Contact

Phone: (920) 424-0234
Email: oce@uwosh.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Charlotte, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

UNC Charlotte is a public university that holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school offers a fully online bachelor of science in engineering technology in fire safety. The major is a +2 distance education program that only accepts incoming students who have an associate degree.

Fire safety distance students complete courses entirely online, including required classes like organizational psychology, administrative behavior, engineering economics, active fire protection, and building fire safety. Most students must complete at least 61 credits at UNC Charlotte before graduating.

Applicants to this online fire safety program must possess an associate degree in fire science or a related field. Incoming students may transfer up to 64 credits from their associate program toward their bachelor's degree.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology in Fire Science
School Status: Public
Tuition: $158/credit in-state; $612/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 2 years (degree completion)

Delivery

Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: Students may need to submit SAT or ACT scores

Contact

Phone: (704) 687-5057
Email: dlshaver@uncc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Daytona Beach, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 19%

ERAU is a private university located in Daytona Beach, Florida. Through its Worldwide campus, the school offers a bachelor of science in emergency services for distance students. Learners choose a specialization in aviation emergency management or fire and emergency services.

This bachelor's in fire science consists of 120 credits. Remote learners complete courses entirely online with no on-campus requirements. Coursework includes specialized classes such as applications of fire research, disaster planning and control, managerial issues in hazardous materials, and fire-related human behavior.

Prospective students should possess a 2.5 or higher GPA. Applications must include official transcripts that reflect a course history in English, mathematics, history, and science. While enrolled, learners can take advantage of ERAU's partnerships with the Dallas-Fort Worth Fire Training Research Center and the Aircraft Fire Fighting Working Group.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Emergency Services
School Status: Private
Available Concentrations: Aviation emergency management; fire and emergency services
Tuition: $429/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact

Phone: (800) 522-6787
Email: worldwide@erau.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

New Jersey City University

Jersey City, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 39%

Located in Jersey City, NJCU holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school offers one of the only university-based programs in fire science in the state, and distance learners can earn their bachelor's in fire science online.

In total, learners need to earn at least 123 credits to finish the program. Required courses include introduction to ladder company operations, fire prevention and related codes, hydraulic technology, firefighting tactics, and fire department organization and administration.

Prospective students need a 2.0 or higher GPA for consideration. The curriculum of this bachelor of science degree prepares students for careers as firefighters and fire officers. Upon completion of the program, graduates should understand code enforcement, fire protection systems, and fire investigation.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Fire Science
School Status: Public
Tuition: $408/credit in-state; $735/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 123 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: Online or hybrid (online/on campus)

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (201) 200-3407
Email: wnugent@njcu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 35%

FSU is a public institution that holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the university oversees a bachelor's in fire science online degree completion program.

Prospective learners need at least 60 transferable credits with a 2.0 or higher GPA. Interested students must submit their official college transcripts and hold an associate or bachelor's degree. Up to 84 credits from previous college coursework may count toward bachelor's degrees at FSU.

Bachelor's degree-seekers need to earn a total of 120 credits to graduate. Required core courses for the fire science degree include political and legal foundations of fire protection, applications of fire research, community risk reduction for fire and emergency services, and applied fire service ethics.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Services Administration
School Status: Public
Tuition: $101/credit in-state; $252/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 2 years (degree completion)

Delivery

Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (910) 672-1111
Email: admissions@uncfsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

Colorado State University - Fort Collins

Fort Collins, CO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 71%

Located in Fort Collins, CSU is a public institution with regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Remote students can take advantage of the school's bachelor's in fire science degree completion program, which has no on-campus obligations.

Students need to earn a total of 120 credits to graduate. Students have the option to pursue one of nine minor options, including business administration and political science. Upon completion of the program, CSU students possess essential knowledge and skills related to emergency management, program evaluation, financial management, and personnel administration.

Full-time students with transfer credits typically complete the program in two years. Part-time pupils may take 3-4 years to graduate. Prospective learners need a minimum 2.0 GPA and must possess a sufficient number of applicable transfer credits.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Services Administration
School Status: Public
Tuition: $476/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 total credits
Program Length: 2 years (degree completion)

Delivery

Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (970) 491-7468
Email: terrance.dickens@colostate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Texas A&M University - San Antonio

San Antonio, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

A&M-SA is a public institution with regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Distance students can enroll in its bachelor's in fire science program, choosing a fully online or hybrid format.

Incoming students without transfer credits can expect to take four years to graduate. Required courses include fire prevention organization and management, disaster planning and response, community risk reduction, applications of fire research, and public budgeting and financial management of the fire service.

Current Texas firefighters are eligible for a tuition exemption in this program. Applicants must submit their official high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores for consideration.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Services Administration
School Status: Public
Tuition: $180/credit in-state; $472/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: Online or hybrid (online/on campus)

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT (unless applicants hold a 3.25 GPA or higher or rank in the top 25% of their graduating class)

Contact

Phone: (210) 784-2301
Email: cynthia.kinney@tamusa.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Upper Iowa University

Fayette, IA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 43%

UIU is a private school located in the city of Fayette. With regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, UIU offers an online bachelor's in fire science program.

The school's bachelor's in public administration with a concentration in fire science allows students to diversify their studies by learning from management and social science perspectives. Required courses include management principles, public budgeting process, and conflict resolution. Students take at least 15 credits in their concentration area.

Students interested in this program need to hold an associate degree in a related field, have work experience in the field, or possess at least 15 related transfer credits. Incoming students can earn up to 30 credits based on prior learning experiences and military experience.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Public Administration
School Status: Private
Available Concentrations: Fire science or law enforcement; general studies; emergency management; or policy and politics
Tuition: $1,413/three-credit course
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (800) 553-4150
Email: info@uiu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

Eastern Oregon University

La Grande, OR Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 33%

Located in La Grande, EOU offers students remote access to more than 20 online programs, including an online bachelor of science in fire services administration. This public university holds regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and University.

Required courses include principles of emergency services, fire strategy and tactics, fire prevention, and personal management for the fire and emergency services.

Prospective students must submit an undergraduate application with an application fee, official high school transcripts (or GED scores), and SAT or ACT scores. Students with a 2.75 or higher cumulative high school GPA receive automatic admission to EOU. Applicants with lower GPAs may submit supplemental materials, such as a personal statement and two letters of recommendation.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Fire Services Administration
School Status: Public
Tuition: $252/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: Online

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (541) 962-3373
Email: kwalker@eou.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Anna Maria College

Paxton, MA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 46%

Anna Maria is a private university located in Paxton, Massachusetts. The school boasts regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education and offers remote students access to a bachelor's in fire science online program.

This degree completion program features 10 fire science courses, six exploration classes, and four elective classes. Required major courses include disaster planning and control, fire-related human behavior, and fire investigation and analysis.

Prospective fire science students must possess a 2.0 or higher GPA for consideration. Additionally, the school only accepts students who possess an associate degree or at least 60 transferable credits from a regionally accredited college or university. Online learners can also pursue a fifth-year option, in which they earn credits toward a master's degree in public administration.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Fire Science
School Status: Private
Tuition: $410/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 2 years (degree completion)

Delivery

Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (877) 265-3201
Email: admissions@annamaria.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, KY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

EKU is a public university that holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Located in Richmond, EKU offers students a bachelor's in fire science online. Distance learners complete the program without ever visiting campus.

The curriculum of this bachelor's in fire science features 120 credits. Up to 90 credits may come from courses completed at other accredited colleges or universities, but at least 30 credits must come from courses at EKU.

Learners follow an eight-week, accelerated course schedule and may begin classes on one of six designated starting dates per year. Required classes in this program include fire prevention organization and management, hazardous materials, fire dynamics, and principles of energy services.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor's in Fire Protection Administration
School Status: Public
Tuition: $409/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 or higher for full admission; 2.0 minimum for provisional admission
Standardized Tests: ACT and SAT optional

Contact

Phone: (859) 622-9951
Email: onlinedegrees@eku.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Online Bachelor's in Fire Science Program Overview

Students pursuing a bachelor's in fire science online complete a diverse curriculum that prepares them for a variety of roles in public service and community safety. Through courses such as arson investigation, fire prevention methods, firefighting strategies, and building codes inspections, bachelor's in fire science programs offer broad training in emergency response skills that fire services professionals use every day.

Most colleges and universities ensure that fire science students receive a comprehensive overview of the foundational leadership, organizational, and managerial skills to pursue both entry-level and managerial roles in the field.

Most bachelor's degrees in fire science are four-year programs that prepare you to enter the public safety and public service workforce immediately upon graduation. Many fire science degree-holders move on to careers as fire inspectors, fire educators, fire prevention specialists, administrators at fire stations and emergency centers, and fire loss insurance professionals.

Common Bachelor's in Fire Science Degree Courses

Principles of Fire and Emergency Services

This class offers an overview of fire protection and emergency services techniques commonly used by fire science professionals. Learners examine the history and essential functions of emergency services, fire loss analysis, fire departments and local governments, and relevant laws and regulations.

Fire Science and Combustion

Students explore the science and chemistry behind combustion and fire behavior. The class covers the properties of fire, the burning process, fire suppression agents, and methods for fire extinguishing. The course also examines the relationship between fire behavior and firefighter safety.

Risk Reduction and Community Safety

Learners receive a comprehensive overview of community risks, safety, and fire prevention. This class introduces bachelor's degree-seekers to applicable laws, fire safety codes, and risk reduction for dangerous occurrences. Topics include community educational services and strategic planning for fire safety and prevention.

Legal and Political Components of Fire Science

Undergraduates examine the social and political aspects of laws and legal issues as they relate to fire science professionals. Students use case studies to develop a basic understanding of common legal issues in the field. Learners also develop the ability to examine the legalities and political components of risk management.

Water in Fire Protection

The course introduces the various ways that firefighters and fire science professionals use water in fire protection, including theories and hydraulic principles. The course gives students a chance to consider the importance of water, water supply issues, and water distribution systems.

Online Bachelor's in Fire Science Admission Requirements

  • High School Diploma or GED

    Schools that offer a bachelor's in fire science typically require applicants to possess a high school diploma or GED.

  • Standardized Tests

    Many schools require fire science applicants to submit their official test scores from the ACT or SAT. In some cases, students with above average GPAs receive a test waiver. Scores often must come from tests taken within five years of the application deadline.

  • GPA

    Aside from standardized test scores, GPA is one of the primary indicators that schools use to evaluate your academic abilities. Most bachelor's in fire science online programs require degree-seekers to possess a competitive GPA. GPA requirements vary between schools. In general, perspective fire science students need at least a 2.0 GPA for consideration. Some schools expect bachelor's students to possess a 2.75 for higher for consideration.

  • General Education Requirements

    Some bachelor's in fire science programs only accept students who have already completed general education requirements. Many students take general courses — which often include classes such as English, history, sociology, and a foreign language — at a community college to take advantage of cheaper tuition rates, and then transfer to a four-year school.

  • Work Experience or Two-Year Degree

    While most bachelor's programs do not require prior work history, learners may encounter schools that expect applicants to possess some experience in the field. Depending on the college or university, bachelor's degree-seekers may need to possess a two-year degree or sufficient work experience in a related area.


Online Bachelor's in Fire Science Career Paths

Bachelor's degree-holders with training in fire prevention and response techniques can expect to obtain entry-level careers in the field. Many graduates work as firefighters or other emergency responders, and professionals in the field have the opportunity for advancement after significant hands-on work experience. Professionals with a fire science bachelor's degree may be able to pursue administrative or management roles.

Bachelor's degree-holders typically do not need to earn an advanced degree unless they wish to pursue more research-focused careers. However, some professionals take additional training courses online or in person through the National Fire Academy to bolster their credentials without pursuing an additional degree.


Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with a bachelor's degree in fire science?

Many graduates work as firefighters, fire investigators, building inspectors, and fire safety educators. Learners can also pursue other positions in emergency response. Additional training can prepare candidates for careers as EMTs, paramedics, police officers, or detectives.

What colleges offer a degree in fire science?

Both four-year and two-year colleges offer bachelor's in fire science programs. Students can pursue this popular major online, on campus, or in a hybrid format at colleges, universities, technical colleges, and community colleges.

What kind of degree is fire science?

Fire science is a valuable degree that trains future firefighters and other emergency responders with academically focused classroom work and hands-on experience. These programs help learners explore a variety of scientific areas, including fire chemistry, human behavior, community risk reduction methods, and administrative techniques in fire service settings.

How much can you earn with a bachelor's in fire science?

According to PayScale, firefighters make an average salary of $47,949 per year, while fire inspectors and fire marshals can earn an average of $51,372 and $60,997 per year, respectively. PayScale also reports that firefighters with 20 or more years of experience in the field can make an average of $68,784 per year.

How long does it take to earn a degree in fire science?

Similar to most bachelor's degrees, a degree in fire science takes most full-time students approximately four years to complete. Part-time learners may finish their program in 5-6 years.

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Additional Reading and Resources

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