5 Best Schools with Online Bachelor’s in Fire Science in 2023

Back in the day, fire protection services have been a working-class position and are usually staffed by volunteers. However, contemporary fire services have become professionalized over the years. While you can already become a fire science professional with an associate degree or diploma, you need an education that is beyond a high school diploma to work in firefighting and fire protection services.

Online Bachelor's in Fire Science - fact

Most municipalities and states these days have set a minimum education standard for firefighters. Most administrative positions, in fact, always require a higher degree.

A bachelor’s degree in Fire Science trains students to detect hazards, manage emergencies, and coordinate responses to fires. Fire science students complete the entire program armed with ample knowledge about the history, theories, and common practices of fire investigation, fire prevention, and fire suppression.

A degree in Fire Science usually features coursework in human and group management, emergency services and response, and resource allocation and leadership skills in the field. With all this knowledge, graduates can easily thrive in different fire-related careers, including fire inspection and firefighting.

The Labor Statistics Bureau reveals a projected growth of 4% in employment for firefighters from 2022 to 2032 and 5% growth for fire inspectors and investigators.

Quick Summarization

A Fire Science program is ideal for students who are interested to join in the public sector, as well as professionals who are already involved in working to protect properties, the environment, and people. With a four-year fire service program, you can easily land managerial or supervisory positions in fire investigation, firefighting, and fire safety.


Today, there are plenty of schools that provide students with the chance to earn an online bachelor’s degree in Fire Science. Through these online programs, students will have better knowledge and understanding of firefighter safety and prepare for numerous careers within and outside the fire department.

Take a look at the best Fire Science online degree programs that offer the flexibility and convenience students deserve. For each such program to make it to our list, these factors were taken into consideration:

  • Offered as a 100% online learning program or in hybrid classes designed to give students the same learning experience as the typical onsite learners,
  • Provides specialization options or emphasis, such as Fire Science Management, Fire Science Technology, Emergency Management, Aviation Emergency, Fire and Emergency Services, Terrorism, and Life Safety Education, among others.
  • Imparts the knowledge and competencies to secure careers at the state or local level, as well as in various private industries, governmental positions, or insurance companies,
  • Prepares students for a master’s degree in Fire Science,
  • Features financial aid, including scholarships, grants, and military discounts,
  • Obtained proper accreditation.

Read our Methodology for details.

Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Fire Science

Eastern Oregon University

Eastern Oregon University

Officially designated as Oregon’s Rural University, Eastern Oregon University is a public institution of higher education located in La Grande, Oregon. It was originally founded as a teacher’s college back in 1929 until it became what it is today– a center for culture, education, and scholarship across Oregon. What makes EOU stand out is how the school provides personal attention to its students from the professors while honing strong relationships with mentors and peers.

Eastern Oregon University offers more than 30 academic programs across four colleges, plus over 30 online degree programs that provide students with the personalization and flexibility they need. One of its online programs is the Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Services Administration designed to allow students to customize their program through a variety of elective courses within the program curriculum.

  • The Fire Services Administration program is nationally recognized and meets with the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training. This is also NFA Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) compliant.
  • The curriculum in this fire administration program provides excellent training in fire services. This includes communication, hazard prevention, civic management (including hazard mitigation), and critical thinking.
  • Students majoring in the program will take advantage of fire science skills, knowledge, and abilities aligned with the Standard for Fire Officer Professional Qualifications by the National Fire Protection Association.
  • The program is also a featured provider of the National Fire Academy.

This program requires 180 credit hours to complete, including the core lower and upper-division courts. The lower-division courts include the fundamentals of emergency services, plus a series of courses about fire prevention, behavior, and strategy. Upper-division courses are more on information management, analysis, and administration. These also cover topics about disaster planning and control.

Students are required to take elective courses, which include psychology, business, writing, economics, and more. The program also includes a 24-credit Wildland Track option, a pathway dedicated to meeting Interagency Fire Program Management (IFPM) GS-401 Fire Management Specialist position supplemental standards.

Eastern Oregon University is Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities-accredited.

University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati – Online

Founded as Cincinnati College back in 1819, the University of Cincinnati is the state’s oldest university. It is part of the University System of Ohio. For over a hundred years, this institution of higher education has invented cooperative education that has since successfully extended classrooms to thousands of employers worldwide. The school is ranked fourth in the country for internships and co-op, with co-op students collectively earning $75 each year.

The University of Cincinnati offers over 350 academic programs for undergraduate and graduate students. The school is also one of the very first schools to offer online courses, which is why innovation in education is at the forefront of what they do. To date, the school offers more than 110 online courses from undergraduate to doctoral programs.

One of its standout online programs is the Bachelor in Fire Science and Safety Engineering Technology. This online fire science degree is recognized as one of the most popular and the best of its kind in the entire US.

  • Students are prepared to become fire service professionals in the program, with coursework that focuses on any type of disaster and emergency.
  • Graduates will demonstrate extensive knowledge of fire dynamics, and techniques and practices on the science. They will also have a solid grasp of firefighter safety, firefighting strategy, building codes, fire behavior, arson investigation, and everything about fire science and emergency services.
  • The course is offered at an accelerated rate. Students may also take part in learning opportunities to further expand their experience and knowledge, like the Open Learning Fire Service Program. This program will add a high degree of convenience and flexibility to a student’s professional development while keeping the level of efficiency and quality consistent with a traditional approach.
  • Each online student may receive advanced standing for Fire Inspector, Paramedic, and other state certifications issued by the National Fire Academy.

The Open Learning Fire Service Program at UC’s Fire Science degree includes courses from the National Fire Academy’s Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) program.

The University of Cincinnati is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges & Secondary Schools.

Colorado State University

Colorado State University

Colorado State University in Fort Collins and is the flagship school of the Colorado State University System. The school has roughly 2,000 faculty members scattered across eight colleges and fifty-five academic departments.

CSU offers 65 undergraduate programs, 55 master’s degree programs, and 40 doctoral degrees, delivered onsite and online. The online Bachelor’s in Fire and Emergency Services Administration degree program builds upon technical training. Students will gain the much-needed skills and education to take on various types of leadership positions in the fire science field.

  • This emergency services management degree program will help set students apart and improve their chances for promotions.
  • By completing this online program, students have the opportunity to land high-level positions. They will be challenged to develop the abilities and skills that will help them throughout their careers.
  • This fire science online program focuses on analysis and case studies so students are pushed to efficiently integrate their academic knowledge into managerial and administrative roles.
  • This fire science degree online allows students to collaborate with their peers in solving organizational programs. They will be trained to use their skills, competencies, and knowledge in fire and emergency service situations.

All the courses in this online fire science degree are taught and handled by industry experts who will help students develop the skills that they can immediately apply to their jobs. This bachelor’s degree also improves the knowledge and skills of students in:

  • Financial Management
  • Personnel Administration
  • Emergency Management
  • Program Evaluation

On top of this online fire administration degree, students can further specialize their knowledge with a degree minor and select from any of the nine minors offered:

  • Anthropology
  • Agricultural Business
  • Business Administration
  • Gerontology
  • Economics
  • Global and Environmental Science
  • Sociology
  • Media Studies
  • Political Science

This is a 120-credit hour course that can be completed in just two years. The tuition cost is the same as the in-state tuition for all at $476 per credit hour.

Colorado State University is a Higher Learning Commission-approved school.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers 90 bachelor’s degree programs, 66 master’s degree programs, and 24 doctoral across nine colleges. The school has three campuses: the main campus in the University City, the Charlotte Research Institute Campus, and the Center City Campus.

UNC Charlotte also offers several online programs for students at any stage of life with professional development certificates, academic programs, and various certifications. The Fire and Safety Engineering Technology program UNC Charlotte offers is delivered 100% online. This program focuses on both the non-technical and technical aspects of the field of fire and safety.

  • This bachelor’s degree program is dedicated to those who are preparing to work in fire and emergency services, fire protection, fire hazards, and other fire services-related positions that generally target community risk reduction.
  • This fire science degree provides extensive classes that deal with fire behavior, passive and active protection systems, and the foundational principles involved in research investigation. This gives students a sharpened ability to use strategic and critical thinking in fire safety and management.
  • Some of the major. Coursework in this degree in fire science includes Building Fire Safety, Industrial Hazards and Electricity, and Risk Management for the Emergency Services.

Those who are planning to become fire service professionals should take note that this fire and safety engineering technology program is only open to those who currently hold the Associate of Applied Science in Fire Protection or Fire Science, or any similar degree.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is a Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges-accredited school.

Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University - Online

Based in Richmond, Eastern Kentucky University is a public regional comprehensive university that also has branch campuses in Lancaster, Corbin, Hazard, and Manchester. Students can choose from many nationally recognized and in-demand academic programs, from associate degree programs to doctoral degrees.

EKU is also known for its distinguished online programs. Its fire science programs are, in fact, considered “some of the most revered degree programs in the US”, with curriculum and coursework handled by expert faculties that can be found at only a handful of universities.

The Bachelor of Science in Fire Protection & Safety Engineering Technology offered at EKU is offered entirely online. This 120-credit hour degree in fire science prepares students to use their knowledge in fire suppression and prevention in designing and recommending equipment to assist organizations in protecting life and property against explosion, fire, and related hazards.

  • This bachelor of science degree will enhance the leadership skills of future fire inspectors, fire investigators, fire chiefs, and other fire personnel, rooted in the latest science and technology.
  • This fire protection and safety engineering technology degree provides students with the skills they need to understand how fire behaves, along with the best methods to prevent fires, and how to lessen a fire’s impact.
  • This program has gained the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET’s approval.

Studying fire science at EKU is a perfect option for those who are looking for accelerated programs. Courses start 6 times each year and also come with free online tutoring and career services assistance.

Eastern Kentucky University is a SACSCOC-accredited school.

Jobs for Holders of a Degree in Fire Science

There are several career paths for those who hold a degree in fire science. This includes:

Firefighter/Fire Chief

An emergency management degree or fire science degree is the best bachelor’s degree for firefighters. These people are the first responders during a fire. They can work in different areas, from rural to cities. They also work with other types of first responders like fire investigation teams, police officers, or medics.

Fire Investigator

Fire investigators are seen in fire departments. They are the ones who look for the root cause of fires. They are very skilled at recognizing the signs of possible arson and identifying where explosions usually start. Sometimes, they consult with building managers and construction crews to identify possible fire hazards and suggest how to avoid fires.

Fire Sprinkler Technician

Fire sprinkler technicians maintain, repair, install, or inspect sprinkler systems. They can work either in residential areas or commercially, usually in big fire prevention systems. These technicians are also qualified to replace defective or outdated equipment when necessary.

Fire Science Professor

As its name implies, these professors teach college or university students. They specialize in firefighting strategy, fire safety, and fire prevention.

Fire Marshall

Fire marshals make inspections of public buildings, making sure they comply with fire safety codes. This includes daycares, schools, prisons, and healthcare facilities.

Emergency Services Manager

Emergency services managers lead professional training for response teams. They instruct them on how to effectively perform during emergency situations. usually, they work with the local government to assess danger in situations, and from there, create plans for damage control.

Emergency services administration also entails evaluating natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and massive accidents.

Fire Engineer

Fire engineers are very knowledgeable not only in fire prevention or alarm systems but also in building codes and code inspection. They know how engineering can help strengthen the safety of buildings. Most of the time, they work with construction leaders, building owners, and architects in building construction that prevents or contains dangerous fires.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you become a firefighter with a degree in fire science?

To become a firefighter, you need to have specialized professional training for the job. But if the goal is to advance in the field, a bachelor of science degree in Fire Science is almost always required.

How long does an online fire science degree take?

A Fire Science degree online usually takes four years to complete, or about 120 credit hours.

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

You have plenty of opportunities to serve the community in rewarding careers. A Fire Science program provides you with career advancement in leadership and management positions, such as:

  • Fire and Arson Investigator
  • Emergency Manager Director
  • Insurance-Related Fire Inspector
  • Fire Chief/ Fire Service Captain
  • Safety Consultant or Safety Manager
  • Environmental Health and Safety Manager
Is an internship necessary in a fire science program?

In most cases, a Fire Service/Fire Science degree program requires an internship. These internships are great for so many reasons. As you gain hands-on experience in fire service, you can be handled and mentored by a fire battalion chief or any fire prevention professional with the same technical skills you need.

Key Points to Ponder

  • Firefighter individuals play a huge part in the society. They protect the community in all types of scenarios.
  • A Fire Science degree online gives students a solid understanding of the critical nature of emergency services administration and fire safety.
  • Fire Science and Emergency Services education provides students with the understanding, skills, and tools for traumatizing and disastrous situations.

Additional Information:

Malcolm Peralty
Chief Editor