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Education Reference Desk | Online Education Resources for Students and Teachers

Most Affordable Online Fire Science Degrees

most_affordable_online_fire_science_degreesFire science is the study of fire and burn patterns, combustion logistics, and fire prevention. If you’re the kind of person that understands the high risks and rewards of firefighting, you may want to consider pursuing a degree in this field. The majority of people who obtain this degree go into fire prevention within the National Parks Service, forensic investigation, or work at a local fire station as a firefighter.

Though it is a niche degree that might not seem as lucrative in terms of post-graduate career prospects, fire science is a necessary field in which to have readily-available expertise in the case of a state emergency. Below we’ve compiled a list of some of the most affordable online fire science degree programs available, so you’ll be able to pursue your childhood dream of becoming a firefighter without the worry of financial stress.

Methodology

All schools considered for these rankings

  • Are regionally or nationally accredited
  • Offer at least one fully online fire science degree (with no more than two weeks of required in-person work)
  • Were collected from official accrediting agency websites.

Schools are ranked solely by the average net price as released in the most recent IPEDs database collected in July of 2020.

2021 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Fire Science Degrees

Rank School Average Net Price
# 1 St. Petersburg College $3,315
# 2 Fayetteville State University $5,587
# 3 College of Southern Nevada $7,328
# 4 Pierce College at Puyallup $8,813
# 5 University of Florida $10,457
# 6 Columbia Southern University $10,951
# 7 American Public University System $10,995
# 8 University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh $11,980
# 9 California State University-San Marcos $13,010
# 10 Idaho State University $13,135
# 11 Eastern Kentucky University $14,674
# 12 Eastern Oregon University $14,835
# 13 Western Illinois University $15,802
# 14 Colorado State University-Fort Collins $16,793
# 15 Salem State University $17,720
# 16 Purdue University Global* $18,002
# 17 University of Cincinnati $19,219
# 18 Upper Iowa University $20,511
# 19 Point Park University $23,705
# 20 Anna Maria College $24,796
# 21 Liberty University $28,181

10 Best Affordable Colleges for Online Fire Science Degrees

1. St. Petersburg College

Average Net Price: $3,315
School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: SACS COC
Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions

St. Petersburg College is a public college that was established in 1927. It is located in the city of St. Petersburg, Florida, and is considered a large institution with an undergraduate population of 29,183. According to U.S. News & World Report, this college ranked 17th for top public schools, 45th for top performers on social mobility, and 63rd for best regional colleges in the south. St. Petersburg College offers an online fire science degree in which students will gain the necessary knowledge to pursue a career in fire safety. The Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Fire Science Technology teaches students the scientific aspects of fire hazards as well as how to minimize the risks and prevent a fire. The following are a few of the required courses to earn this degree: Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health, Fire Chemistry, Fire Prevention, Private Fire Protection Systems, Building Construction for the Fire Service, Firefighting Tactics and Strategy, and more.

2. Fayetteville State University

Average Net Price: $5,587
School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: SACS COC
Acceptance Rate: 68%

Fayetteville State University is a public university that was formed in 1867. It is located in Fayetteville, North Carolina and is considered an average size school with an undergraduate population of 5,473. According to U.S. News & World Report, this university ranked 23rd for best historically black colleges and universities, 29th for top performers on social mobility, 39th for top public schools, and 87th for best regional universities in the South. On Niche, it ranked 122nd for most liberal colleges in the United States and 130th for best college professors in America. Fayetteville State University is known to have an affordable online fire science degree program. The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Fire and Emergency Services Administration educates students on how to investigate as well as prevent and manage fires. Before completing the program, all students will successfully learn how to deal with the problems that arise in a hazardous environment, reduce risks of fires, analyze and determine potential causes that could lead to a fire, and more. Some of the courses that students earning this degree will be required to pass are Fire Investigations, Fire Prevention Organization and Management, Applied Fire Service Ethics, Fire-Related Human Behavior, Political and Legal Foundations of Fire Protection, Advanced Fire Administration, Applications of Fire Research, and more.

3. College of Southern Nevada

Average Net Price: $7,328
School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: NWCCU
Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions

College of Southern Nevada is a public community college that was developed in 1971. It is located in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, and is considered an average size school with 10,068 students. The College of Southern Nevada features an excellent fire science degree program that is accessible entirely online. The Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) in Fire & Emergency Services Administration will provide individuals with hands-on learning from a distance, which will prepare them for a successful career in the fire service industry. Real-life fire service professionals teach the curriculum to students to ensure that they are provided the proper knowledge and skills to enter this career field. The following are several of the mandatory courses to complete this degree: Fire Behavior and Combustion, Basic Wildland Firefighting, Fire Prevention, Building Construction for Fire Prevention, Fire Investigations, Fire Protection Systems, Fire and Emergency Services Administration, Fire Dynamics, Political and Legal Foundations for Fire Protection, and more.

4. Pierce College at Puyallup

Average Net Price: $8,813
School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: NWCCU
Acceptance Rate: —

Pierce College at Puyallup is a public community college that opened its doors in 1990. It is located in Lakewood, Washington, and is considered a small institution with 4,453 students. According to Niche, this college ranked fourth for best community colleges in the state of Washington. Pierce College at Puyallup offers one of the best fire science degree programs in the country. Students who are interested in this field will have the option of earning either an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree or a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree in Fire Services Leadership and Management. Both programs are offered completely online.

The A.A.S. degree focuses on preparing students to transfer to a four-year college or university. This program will take students around two years to complete. They will be taught the necessary foundations to pursue a profession in the fire industry. A few of the courses that are essential to completing this degree are Building Construction for Fire Protection, Fire and Emergency Services Administration, Fire Behavior & Combustion, Fire Prevention, and more.

The B.A.S. degree will teach students the essential skills and knowledge to become successful leaders in the fire service industry. Upon graduation, students will be ready to tackle the issues and demands of a leadership or management position in this field. The following are the courses needed to graduate from this program: Basic Fire Investigation, Fire Service and Response to Terrorism, Fire Administration, Legal Aspects of Fire Service, Occupational Safety and Health for Fire Service, Advanced Fire Administration, and more.

5. University of Florida

Average Net Price: $10,457
School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: SACS COC
Acceptance Rate: 42%

University of Florida is a public university that was created in 1853. It is located in Gainesville, Florida, and is considered a large institution with an undergraduate population of 35,491. According to U.S. News & World Report, this university ranked seventh for top public schools, 34th for best universities in the nation, 49th for best undergraduate teaching, and 110th for best value schools. On Niche, it ranked first for best colleges in the state of Florida, 10th for best big colleges in the United States, 11th for top public universities in America, 57th for best college professors, 79th for best academics, and 83rd for best value colleges in the country. The University of Florida provides interested individuals with an online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Fire & Emergency Science. This program was implemented to educate and train individuals on how to lead, manage and survive in emergency situations involving fires. Upon completion of the program, all students will be ready to help protect communities by reducing risks of any dangers. Each student has the option of choosing between three specializations, which include emergency medical services (EMS) management, emergency management, and fire. Students enrolled in this program must pass the following courses: Fire and Emergency Services Financial Management, Fire and Emergency Services Ethical Practices and Leadership, Fire and Emergency Services Public Relations, Principles of Fire and Emergency Services Management, and more. Depending on which specialization the student chooses, the required courses may vary.

6. Columbia Southern University

Average Net Price: $10,951
School Type: For-Profit
School Accreditation: DEAC
Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions

Columbia Southern University is a for-profit university that was founded in 1993. It is located in Orange Beach, Alabama and is considered an average size school with an undergraduate population of 8,397. According to Niche, this university ranked 13th for best value colleges in the state of Alabama. Columbia Southern University offers an excellent fire science degree online for students who are unable to commute to campus or have other life obligations. The Associate of Science (A.S.) in Fire Science degree is known as one of the best fire science programs in the United States. Majority of the students who graduate from this program go on to become successful firefighters. Individuals who enroll in this program will be required to complete the following courses: Principles of Fire and Emergency Services, Fire Behavior and Combustion, Building Construction for Fire Protection, Introduction to Fire Prevention, Fire Protection Structure and Systems, and more.

7. American Public University System

Average Net Price: $10,995
School Type: For-Profit
School Accreditation: HLC
Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions

American Public University System is a private, for-profit university that began operating in 1991. It is located in Charles Town, West Virginia, and is considered a large institution with an undergraduate population of 37,746. According to Niche, this university ranked fifth for best value colleges in the state of West Virginia. The American Public University System offers two different options for those interested in pursuing a fire science degree online, which are the Associate of Science (A.S.) in Fire Science and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Fire Science Management.

The A.S. degree is a two-year program that will introduce students to the beginning practices of the fire science industry. Individuals who graduate from this program will be fully prepared to pursue a four-year program if they wish. The majority of graduates go on to become firefighters, fire service managers, urban search and rescue professionals, emergency medical service specialists, and more.

The B.S. degree focuses on fire behavior, fire suppression methods, fire safety, prevention of fires, and protecting citizens from fires. After completing this program, individuals will be prepared to pursue a leadership position in the firefighting industry as well as handle any fire issues that may occur.

8. University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh

Average Net Price: $11,980
School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: HLC
Acceptance Rate: 63%

University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh is a public university that began educating students in 1871. It is located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and is considered an average size institution with an undergraduate population of 12,769. According to U.S. News & World Report, this university ranked 116th for top performers on social mobility and 117th for best regional universities in the Midwest. At University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, individuals who are interested in studying fire science may pursue the Bachelor of Applied Studies (B.A.S.) degree in Fire and Emergency Management. This program is offered entirely online and teaches students how to become leaders in the fire industry. All individuals who enroll in this program have the option of specializing in fire services management or emergency management. Before graduating, all students will have successfully completed courses in fiscal management in the public sector, leadership and management, public administration, personnel management, human resources, and more.

9. California State University-San Marcos

Average Net Price: $13,010
School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: WSCUC
Acceptance Rate: 57%

California State University-San Marcos is a public university that was established in 1989. It is located in San Marcos, California and is considered an average size college with an undergraduate population of 13,962. According to U.S. News & World Report, this university ranked 23rd for top public schools, 26th for top performers on social mobility, and 58th for best regional universities in the West. California State University-San Marcos features an online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Wildfire Science. This program is partnering with several local, state, and national fire associations in hopes of assisting students with achieving their goals of becoming outstanding firefighters, scientists, problem-solvers, technical experts, and more. A few of the courses that students will be required to pass to earn this degree are Fire Science, Biostatistics for Wildfire Science, Fire Ecology, Wildfire Law and Economics, Firefighter Health and Safety, and more.

10. Idaho State University

Average Net Price: $13,135
School Type: Non-Profit
School Accreditation: NWCCU
Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions

Idaho State University is a public university that was founded in 1901. It is located in Pocatello, Idaho, and is considered an average size institution with 6,137 students enrolled in the undergraduate programs. According to Niche, this university ranked sixth for best value colleges in the state of Idaho and 86th for most conservative colleges in the United States. Individuals who are admitted to Idaho State University have the option of earning an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Fire Services Administration. Both programs are able to be completed online.

The A.S. degree is a two-year degree that will equip students with the necessary knowledge to succeed in the ever-changing fire services profession. Some of the courses that students will be required to enroll in are Fire Prevention, Building Construction and Fire Prevention, Fire Protection Systems, Fire Behavior and Combustion, Principles of Fire & Emergency Services Safety & Survival, and more.

The B.S. degree will provide more in-depth knowledge to prepare individuals to become problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and exceptional leaders in the fire services profession. Each student will be required to complete certain courses to finish the program, which includes Fire Prevention, Fire Protection Systems, Building Construction and Fire Protection, Fire Administration, Legal Aspects of the Fire Service, and more.

Sources
https://www.spcollege.edu/future-students/degrees-training/public-safety-public-policy-and-legal-studies/public-safety/fire-science-technology-as-degree

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/st-petersburg-college-1528

https://www.uncfsu.edu/academics/colleges-schools-and-departments/broadwell-college-of-business-and-economics/department-of-management-marketing-entrepreneurship-and-fire-and-emergency-services-administration/fire-and-emergency-services-administration-(bs)

http://acalog.uncfsu.edu/preview_degree_planner.php?catoid=1&poid=66&returnto=37&print

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/fayetteville-state-university-2928

https://www.niche.com/colleges/fayetteville-state-university/

https://www.csn.edu/programs/fire-tech

https://www.niche.com/colleges/college-of-southern-nevada/

https://www.pierce.ctc.edu/fire-comand-bas-fslm

https://www.pierce.ctc.edu/fire-services-leadership-management

https://www.usnews.com/education/community-colleges/pierce-college-puyallup-CC06868

https://www.niche.com/colleges/pierce-college-at-puyallup/

Fire & Emergency Services

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/university-of-florida-1535

https://www.niche.com/colleges/university-of-florida/

https://www.columbiasouthern.edu/as-fire-science

https://www.niche.com/colleges/columbia-southern-university/

https://start.apu.apus.edu/fire-science/associate-of-science

https://start.apu.apus.edu/fire-science-management/bachelor-of-science

https://www.niche.com/colleges/american-public-university-system/

Fire and Emergency Response Management

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/uw-oshkosh-9630

https://www.csusm.edu/el/programs/science-technology/bswildfire/index.html

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/cal-state-san-marcos-30113

https://www.isu.edu/esd/fireservices/

https://www.isu.edu/esd/fireservices/program/

https://www.niche.com/colleges/idaho-state-university/