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Fire Science Colleges and Universities in the U.S.

Many colleges and universities offer fire science degree programs for aspiring professional firefighters, fire department administrators and inspectors. In school, students learn to deal with accidental fires, arson and hazardous materials as part of their fire education.

Most people looking at fire science college programs have some experience working with a fire department. Most training is at the undergraduate level, though graduate programs do exist. Interested individuals should seek accredited programs for all program types.

Schools with Fire Science Programs

These schools offer fire science programs at varying levels, including associate's and/or bachelor's degrees, and may include hands-on education.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition 2015-2016*
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's, Bachelor's $11,000 in-state, $26,334 out-of-state
Tidewater Community College Norfolk, VA 2-year, Public Associate's $5,171 in-state, $11,009 out-of-state
Florida State College Jacksonville, FL 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,830 in-state, $9,944 out-of-state
New Jersey City University Jersey City, NJ 4-year, Public Bachelor's $11,180 in-state, $20,009 out-of-state
University of New Haven West Haven, CT 4-year, Private Bachelor's $35,650
Aims Community College Greeley, CO 2-year, Public Associate's $1,835 in-district, $2,756 in-state, $10,424 out-of-state
Columbia Southern University Orange Park, AL 4-year, Private Associate's $5,175
Southern Maine Community College South Portland, ME 2-year, Public Associate's $3,694 in-state, $6,394 out-of-state
University of Florida Gainesville, FL 4-year, Public Bachelor's $6,381 in-state, $28,659 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Educational Statistics

College Selection Criteria

Consider the following when looking for fire science schools:

  • Programs are available at the associate and bachelor's degree levels, and each education level may prepare students for different careers in the field. Students should choose a program based on their desired career. For example, a bachelor's degree may be geared more towards those seeking management positions.
  • Individuals may also wish to review program descriptions and course listings at potential schools to ensure classes match their specific career aspirations. Concentrations may include fire administration, fire investigation/arson, and fire technology.
  • Potential students may want to inquire into online or distance-learning programs designed to accommodate those employed in emergency services.
  • Students may want to consider programs that offer credit for life experience, which could help them earn their degree faster.

Associate's Degree in Fire Science

A 2-year fire science program prepares students to take on the administrative functions of a firefighting team. Those who embark on this career path are usually already working firefighters or emergency response team members who are seeking career advancement. Graduates may come away with an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science or Fire Technology.

Bachelor of Science in Fire Science

A bachelor's degree can help firefighting personnel move up further in the ranks of emergency services. They can pursue management, training and teaching positions. Students take courses in command and control, catastrophic incidents, fire and emergency management, and fire and emergency services.

There are many schools that offer fire science degrees which prepare students for work in emergency services, including firefighting. Many students who enter these programs are already working as firefighters, and may wish to find an online or distance learning program.

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