Best Online Fire Science Degree Programs

If you're drawn to public service, consider earning a bachelor's in fire science. Find the right fire science degree program for you with our list of top-ranked schools.

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Updated April 27, 2022

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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? 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

Related Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

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

Best Online Fire Science Programs

  1. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $10287

    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
    Location

    Adrian, MI

    Tuition

    $19526

    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
    Location

    Omaha, NE

    Tuition

    $12105

    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
    Location

    Cincinnati, OH

    Tuition

    $20085

    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
    Location

    Oshkosh, WI

    Tuition

    $12819

    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
    Location

    Charlotte, NC

    Tuition

    $14987

    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
    Location

    Daytona Beach, FL

    Tuition

    $18922

    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
    Location

    Jersey City, NJ

    Tuition

    $12476

    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
    Location

    Fayetteville, NC

    Tuition

    $5685

    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
    Location

    Fort Collins, CO

    Tuition

    $17914

    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

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.

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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.

Fire Science Careers

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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Looking for something else? Explore these other online degrees.

Additional Reading and Resources

Want more? We have additional resources to help you in every stage of your educational journey.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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