Students can find both associate and bachelor's degree programs in fire science or fire safety. Though less common, master's degree programs are also available. Although each program is different, courses might include topics in fire behavior, firefighting tactics, arson investigation and wildland fire response. Students may also study building construction, disaster planning and emergency management.
The four universities profiled below offer relevant undergraduate programs for students interested in fire safety and protection. Each school was ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.
Lake Superior State University in Sault Sainte Marie, MI
|School Highlight: The school offers a Physical Fitness for Public Safety course for fire safety professions.|
In 2017, U.S. News & World Report tied Lake Superior State University (LSSU) at 53rd on its list of Midwestern regional colleges. LSSU offers both associate and bachelor's degrees in fire science, with concentrations in engineering technology and hazardous materials. The programs prepare graduates to work in professional positions and complete the certification requirements for the state Firefighter I and II certifications.
Oklahoma State University in Stillwater
|School Highlight: Campus is home to the International Fire Service Training Association/Fire Protection Publications (IFSTA/FPP), whose firefighter training manuals are used across the nation.|
Oklahoma State University (OSU) tied at 152nd on U.S. News & World Report's survey of best colleges in 2017. In the same year, the school also made Kiplinger's list of 'Best Values in Public Colleges' (www.kiplinger.com).
Established in 1937, OSU's fire protection and safety technology program is one of the oldest in the U.S. The 4-year degree program was originally intended to prepare students for careers as firefighters. However, the program has evolved to include training in industrial fire protection, occupational health, loss control and exposure science. Students graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Fire Protection and Safety Technology.
University of North Carolina - Charlotte
|School Highlight: Fire Safety Engineering Technology curriculum includes courses in protection systems, fire behavior and investigations.|
In 2017, the University of North Carolina in Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) was tied at #110 among public schools, according to U.S. News & World Report. Students interested in fire safety and protection can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Fire Safety Engineering Technology. Undergraduates can choose between a 4-year on-campus program and a 2+2 degree completion program for those who already have an associate degree in fire science, fire protection or another relevant field.
University of New Haven in West Haven, CT
|School Highlight: The school offers master's degree programs in fire science and emergency management.|
At the University of New Haven, students can study fire science at the undergraduate or the graduate level. Within the bachelor's degree program, students can choose a concentration in either fire administration or fire investigation/arson. In the master's degree program, the two concentration options are fire/arson investigation and public safety management. In addition to core courses in fire chemistry and structural fire dynamics, master's degree students must take classes in their field of concentration and elective courses, and they are required to complete a research project or an internship prior to graduation. In U.S. News & World Report's 2017 list, the school was tied for #95 among regional universities in the North.
Top Schools for Fire Safety and Protection
These schools also have strong offerings in fire science.
- The Fire Science Institute at the City University of New York (CUNY) John Jay College of Criminal Justice provides education and training for the New York City Fire Department.
- Relevant facilities at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, KY, include a 7-room test burn building.
- At Madonna University in Livonia, MI, students study investigation of fire and arson as well as controlling and searching fire scenes.
- Students in the B.S. in Parks and Recreation Management program at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, OK, can pursue a minor in wildland firefighting.
- The University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, OH, was tied for 135th of the country's best national universities on U.S. News & World Report's 2017 list.
- Through the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, a B.S. in Fire and Emergency Services is available through distance learning.
Overall, there are many highly ranked schools that provide courses and degree programs in subjects related to fire safety and protection.