Formal education in fire science, the field that is most strongly tied to a career as a fire fighter, is found as courses, certificates or full degree programs. Programs typically prepare students to secure supervisory positions within the field of fire fighting or related specializations, such as fire investigation or arson investigation.
Three notable schools in this field are profiled here. Each of these schools offers broad training that covers many fire-related concepts. These schools are considered top ranking because they offer high quality online learning or allow students to focus on a specialty.
University of Cincinnati in OH
The University of Cincinnati in Ohio is one of the only universities in the U.S. to offer distance-learning in fire science technology. Students can enroll in an online associate's degree in fire science technology or a bachelor's degree in fire and safety engineering technology.
This school also offers an Open Learning Fire Service Program, for students looking to obtain credit towards an EMT, fire inspector or paramedic certificate, among others. This program is also offered online or in the form of a one-week residency.
University of New Haven in West Haven, CT
The University of New Haven in Connecticut allows students of the B.S. in Fire Science program to choose a concentration in fire and arson investigation, fire science technology or fire administration. The undergraduate program provides preparation for a number of fire service positions, such as fire fighter, fire investigator and forest fire specialist.
Also offered is a M.S. in Fire Science program, a 39-credit path with two similar concentration options as the B.S. degree, in addition to a concentration in public safety management.
While enrolled, students have plenty of information resources on how to advance their careers and detailed synopses for each individual career path.
Idaho State University in Pocatello, ID
At Idaho State University, students can earn an Associate of Science or a Bachelor of Science in Fire Services Administration. All courses, including the core emergency management courses and the general education requirements, are administered online. Both programs are approved by the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education.
Top Fire Science Programs
Here are some more great schools for fire fighters:
|Madison Area Technical College||Offers non-credit beginning and intermediate fire fighter classes, a technical diploma program and an associate's degree program||Madison, WI|
|Oklahoma State University||This school offers the first ABET-accredited fire protection and safety engineering technology program||Stillwater, OK|
|University of Akron||Among Ohio schools, it's the only one to offer an A.A.S. in Fire Protection Technology that's accredited and the only one to offer a B.S. in Emergency Management||Akron, OH|
|University of Alaska - Anchorage||Operates a student-run, fully functioning fire department||Anchorage, AK|
|University of Maryland - University College||This school offers an online bachelor's degree program in public safety administration with a fire service administration minor, as well as master's degree programs in management or technology management with an emergency management emphasis||Adelphi, MD|
|Utah Valley University||The Bachelor of Science in Emergency Services Administration program is available online||Orem, UT|
Aspiring and experienced fire fighters can find educational opportunities in the field; most common are associate's and bachelor's degree programs, but some schools also offer master's-level programs.