Interested in fighting flames and fire science? Looking to be on the front lines? Check out the Best Online Bachelor’s in Fire Science Degree!

Fires have been ravaging the west coast for years now, leaving a path of bare forests and displaced families. If you have a passion for helping others and a desire to be where the action is, a degree in Fire Science may be perfect for you. A degree in Fire Science will not only prepare you to practice emergency disaster relief firsthand, but you’ll also gain knowledge about the  administrative side of the industry. Those who are level-headed, strategic, and good at thinking critically will really excel.

What is a Fire Science degree?

A fire science degree can be for those who already work as firefighters and are looking to be promoted, or for those who have no experience at all. You’ll learn how to effectively communicate, think critically, and strategically lead teams in times of great stress.

Students pursuing a fire science degree can expect to take courses like Fire Dynamics, Applied Fire Engineering Design and Analysis, Fire Related Human Behavior, and more. Learning about human psychology is an integral part of understanding how to effectively help during disasters.

Most undergraduate programs are between 120-180 credit hours, accounting for over 30 classes of online learning experience. Depending on the school, you might enroll as a full-time or part-time student.

How much can you earn with a Fire Science degree?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a firefighter is just over $49,000 per year. Firefighters typically work 24-hour shifts at the station and get 48 to 72 hours off.

The more experience and training you have, the better. In fact, jobs in this field are supposed to grow 7 percent from now until 2026. Those who are physically fit with advanced training, including paramedic training, will have the best chances of securing a job.

Location can also be a factor in how much you make. Firefighters typically get paid more in cities because there is more going on day-to-day.

What is required for a Fire Science degree?

As most of these degree programs are aimed at students who already have some experience within the field, possession of an Associate’s in Applied Science in Fire Science or a related field in the emergency services is often required.

Along with an AAS, students must meet the minimum GPA requirements and have received at least a C in all transferring classes. No other entrance exams are necessary.

What are the best Fire Science degrees?

We have compiled a list of the 15 best schools for an online degree in Fire Science. Our ranking system is first based on the quality of the program, as indicated by student engagement, and faculty credentials. This score includes student-to-faculty ratio, graduation rates, and faculty experience and training.

Our methodology also incorporates the number of online programs and courses offered, tuition price, and acceptance rates. We also take into consideration student and alumni satisfaction in the program rankings.

  1. Colorado State University-Fort Collins

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $24,287/$41,795
    Acceptance84
    Earnings Potential60
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention80
    Student Satisfaction80
    Reputation100
    Pros
    • Can be completed in two years
    • Transfer a maximum of 64 credits
    • Taught by the same faculty and instructors who teach on-campus
    Cons
    • There’s a non-refundable $50 application fee
    • There’s a $25 Technology Fee to be paid per term
    • Designed for students with at least 60 transferable credit hours
    100%OSR Score

    The online Emergency and Fire Administration Bachelor of Science degree program at Colorado State University is made up of 120 credits. Required courses may include Essentials of Emergency Management, Trends in Fire Science Technologies, and Fire Protection Though Model Building Codes. Prior experience in fire and emergency services is strongly recommended.

  2. Fayetteville State University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $16,636/$28,244
    Acceptance93
    Earnings Potential48
    Online Presence5
    Online Program Quality86
    Retention83
    Student Satisfaction68
    Reputation98
    Pros
    • In-state students save on tuition
    • No need to visit campus at any point
    • Nationally ranked for Best Value to students
    Cons
    • Out-of-state students pay a higher rate
    • There’s a $40 non-refundable application fee
    • Textbooks, materials, and other fees are not included in the tuition
    95%OSR Score

    FSU’s online Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Services Administration program offers concentrations in Management and Investigations. Courses cover a wide variety of topics, including investigation/analysis, wellness, fire prevention organization and management, ethics, and fire-related human behavior. You’ll get a wider world view from people who have been in the field and understand the challenges faced within the industry.

  3. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $22,944/$22,944
    Acceptance88
    Earnings Potential53
    Online Presence66
    Online Program Quality38
    Retention70
    Student Satisfaction74
    Reputation95
    Pros
    • Each session is just nine weeks
    • Offers multiple start times throughout the year
    • All students receive a National Fire Academy certificate
    Cons
    • There’s a $50 non-refundable application fee
    • There is no tuition discount for in-state students
    • Textbooks, materials, and other fees are not included in the tuition
    94%OSR Score

    This 120-credit online Bachelor of Science in Emergency Services program is one of the few programs that carries the “Certificate of Recognition” from the Fire Emergency Services of Higher Education. All students must complete six FESHE core courses. You can choose to receive a specialization in Aviation Emergency Management or Fire and Emergency Services.

  4. University of Florida-Online

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $17,656/$30,360
    Acceptance83
    Earnings Potential41
    Online Presence7
    Online Program Quality88
    Retention67
    Student Satisfaction57
    Reputation84
    Pros
    • Choose to take classes full-time or part-time
    • Benefit from virtual career fairs and other career services
    • UF’s online programs are ranked among the best in the nation
    Cons
    • Must have at least a 2.3 overall GPA
    • Non-Florida residents pay a much higher rate of tuition
    • Needs 60 transferable credits to qualify, but AA not required
    93%OSR Score

    The Bachelor of Science degree in Fire and Emergency Services at UF is offered through the College of Design, Construction, and Planning. This degree program will not certify you as a firefighter or provide you with an EMS certification. You may choose from one of the following areas of specialization: Fire, Emergency Medical Services Management, or Emergency Management.

  5. University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $30,268/$46,602
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential33
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention80
    Student Satisfaction83
    Reputation86
    Pros
    • Offers accelerated 7-week courses
    • Transfer up to 60 credits from an accredited university
    • The rate of tuition is the same no matter your residency
    Cons
    • There’s a $50 non-refundable application fee
    • All students must pay a distance-learning fee
    • Tuition for FT students is a flat-rate, while PT students pay per credit
    92%OSR Score

    The Bachelor of Science in Fire And Safety Engineering Technology is offered through UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. Required courses may include Fire Tactics, EMS Special Operations, Terrorism Awareness and Planning, and Political and Legal Foundations. There are plenty of scholarship options for students, including the Barbara Barkley Memorial Scholarship and the Chief William Flamm Memorial Scholarship.

  6. University of North Carolina at Charlotte

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $21,421/$34,855
    Acceptance90
    Earnings Potential56
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention73
    Student Satisfaction82
    Reputation80
    Pros
    • Unique in that all students receive a degree in Engineering
    • Online students can access classes on their own schedules
    • Benefit from a number of online services available to online students
    Cons
    • There are only two admission periods per year
    • Non-residents pay a much higher rate of tuition per credit hour
    • Designed for students who already hold an associate’s in a related field
    90%OSR Score

    UNC Charlotte’s Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology: Fire Science emphasizes both technical and non-technical aspects within the field. Required courses may include Principles of Fire Behavior, Active Fire Protection, Industrial Hazards and Electricity, and Applied Fire Engineering Design and Analysis. Online courses may require a proctored exam and the cost of taking an exam is your responsibility.

  7. Eastern Kentucky University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $24,894/$33,778
    Acceptance63
    Earnings Potential47
    Online Presence12
    Online Program Quality56
    Retention63
    Student Satisfaction75
    Reputation80
    Pros
    • Up to 90 hours in transfer credits are accepted
    • Tuition is billed at a flat rate regardless of residential status
    • Offers convenient eight-week class formats and customizable pace
    Cons
    • No discount for in-state students
    • There’s a $35 non-refundable application fee
    • Additional costs include textbooks, fees for online proctors, etc.
    89%OSR Score

    Eastern Kentucky University’s 120-credit online bachelor’s degree in Fire Protection Administration combines the latest science and technology so students have a competitive edge in the job market. All students must complete 66 hours of core courses, including Hazardous Materials, Fire Dynamics, Building Construction, and more. EKU also offers bachelor’s degrees in Fire, Arson and Explosion Investigation, and Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology.

  8. University of Nebraska at Omaha

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $21,666/$34,356
    Acceptance90
    Earnings Potential59
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention85
    Student Satisfaction79
    Reputation82
    Pros
    • In-state students receive a discounted tuition rate
    • Ranked the number one university for military friendliness
    • The same faculty who teach on-campus teach UNO’s online courses
    Cons
    • A capstone course is required
    • There’s a $45 non-refundable application fee
    • Online students must pay a $35 Distance Learning Fee per credit hour
    89%OSR Score

    UNO’s 120-credit online Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management trains students for careers that prevent, plan, and respond to disasters in both the private and public sectors. Students may choose two concentrations from a list of 15, including Public Health, Natural Disasters, and more. Completing two concentrations will grant you a minor in Fire Service Management.

  9. American Public University System

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $16,280/$16,280
    Acceptance82
    Earnings Potential51
    Online Presence30
    Online Program Quality90
    Retention78
    Student Satisfaction82
    Reputation75
    Pros
    • APU offers monthly course starts
    • Up to 90 hours in transfer credits are accepted
    • There is no fee to complete the APU admission application
    Cons
    • There is a $50 Technology Fee per course
    • The program typically takes four years to complete
    • In-state students don’t receive a discounted tuition rate
    88%OSR Score

    The 120-credit Bachelor of Science in Fire Science Management at American Public University doesn’t require applicants to have any prior experience. Required courses may include Fire Protection Systems, Psychology of Disaster, and Managerial Issues in Hazardous Materials. Books are provided online at no cost if you are enrolled in undergraduate courses for credit.

  10. Eastern Oregon University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $21,851/$33,171
    Acceptance58
    Earnings Potential97
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention98
    Student Satisfaction83
    Reputation81
    Pros
    • Flexible online programs require no on-campus visits
    • Tuition is billed at a flat rate regardless of residential status
    • Access to an academic advisor who works with you one-on-one
    Cons
    • There’s a $50 non-refundable application fee
    • There is no tuition discount for in-state students
    • Textbooks, materials, and other fees are not included in the tuition
    88%OSR Score

    Eastern Oregon’s Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Services Administration can be completed entirely online. Required courses may include Fire Investigation and Analysis, Emergency Services Delivery, Fiscal Management in Fire Protection, and more. EOU Online’s Fire Services program is consistently ranked among the best and most affordable.

  11. Western Illinois University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $27,495/$27,495
    Acceptance80
    Earnings Potential59
    Online Presence13
    Online Program Quality67
    Retention83
    Student Satisfaction75
    Reputation80
    Pros
    • The curriculum was written by firefighters for firefighters
    • Tuition is billed at a flat rate regardless of residential status
    • WIU offers automatic scholarships for certain GPA and test scores
    Cons
    • The curriculum was written by firefighters for firefighters
    • Tuition is billed at a flat rate regardless of residential status
    • WIU offers automatic scholarships for certain GPA and test scores
    86%OSR Score

    The 120-credit BS in Fire Protection Services Administration at Western Illinois is designed for current firefighters and officers preparing for leadership positions within the industry. Foundation courses focus on introductions to the fire service, firefighter safety, fire tactics, fire prevention, ethics and fire service law. You may also complete an 18-semester-hour minor in Fire Administration.

  12. Bowling Green State University-Main Campus

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $24,435/$31,971
    Acceptance81
    Earnings Potential45
    Online Presence9
    Online Program Quality40
    Retention69
    Student Satisfaction74
    Reputation75
    Pros
    • No residency requirement
    • No scheduled online meeting times
    • Personalized, one-on-one advising is available
    Cons
    • Non-residents must pay additional fees
    • There’s a $45 non-refundable application fee
    • There is a $13 Technology Fee per credit hour for online students
    85%OSR Score

    Bowling Green’s 122-credit online BS in Fire Administration is offered completely online through the university’s College of Arts and Sciences. Applicants should have industry experience and must first apply to the university before being admitted into this specific program. Most students go part-time and finish this program within two or three years.

  13. Anna Maria College

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $46,142/$46,142
    Acceptance68
    Earnings Potential55
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention75
    Student Satisfaction80
    Reputation82
    Pros
    • Ranked among the Top Ten Fire Science Programs in the Country
    • Graduates will receive a certificate from the National Fire Academy
    • Recognized by the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education
    Cons
    • There’s a $40 non-refundable application fee
    • There is no tuition discount for in-state students
    • A minimum of 60 college level credits are required to start this program
    79%OSR Score

    The online Bachelor of Science in Fire Science is a completer program intended for firefighters who wish to gain a leadership position within the industry. Courses are taught by experienced fire service leaders who have served on the front lines. Required courses may include Fire Related Human Behavior, Emergency Services Management, Applications for Emergency Services Research, and more.

  14. Kaplan University-Davenport Campus

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $21,413/$21,413
    Acceptance80
    Earnings Potential61
    Online Presence3
    Online Program Quality77
    Retention81
    Student Satisfaction75
    Reputation84
    Pros
    • The university offers three start-dates per year
    • May be eligible to earn certificates like Firefighter II, Fire Officer, etc.
    • Books and course materials are provided at no cost for military members
    Cons
    • There’s a $45 non-refundable application fee
    • The tuition varies depending on your state of residence
    • All students are required to pay a $295 Technology Fee per term
    79%OSR Score

    Purdue University’s 180-credit online Bachelor of Science degree in Fire and Emergency Management will prepare you for a career as a firefighter, fire safety specialist, and more. Students will learn analytical, technical, legal, and technological skills to succeed in the field. Required courses may include Emergency Management Response, Principles of Emergency Services, Legal Aspects of Emergency Services, Crisis Management in Terrorist Attacks and Disasters, and more.

  15. Idaho State University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $22,367/$37,143
    Acceptance88
    Earnings Potential51
    Online Presence1
    Online Program Quality13
    Retention77
    Student Satisfaction80
    Reputation79
    Pros
    • All courses are taught by fire officers
    • All classes are online and feature live interaction with instructors
    • Affordable in-state tuition for all online classes regardless of residence
    Cons
    • There’s a $50 non-refundable application fee
    • Applicants should have experience within the industry
    • Textbooks, materials, and other fees are not included in the tuition
    79%OSR Score

    ISU’s online BS in Fire Services Administration requires completion of 38 credits of General Education courses. Required courses may include Principles Fire Emergency Safety and Survival, Disaster Planning and Control, Managerial Issues of Hazardous Materials, and more. ISU offers several scholarships, including the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Scholarship and the International Association of Fire Fighters W.H. “Howie” McClennan Scholarship.