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.
Selecting Fire Science Colleges and Universities
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.
- Degree level
- Career goals
- Online opportunities
Before choosing a school, prospective students should understand the difference between degree levels. Undergraduate fire science degree programs are intended for aspiring or professional firefighters; lessons explore the behavior of fires and hazardous flammable materials. Graduate-level programs address the engineering challenges in fire protection and prevention.
Individuals may also wish to review program descriptions and course listings at potential schools to ensure classes match their career aspirations. Those working in the field that wish to pursue a management position might want to look for training in leadership, communications and arson investigation. Those who desire a role in public administration may want to study policymaking, fire prevention education and the legal aspects of fire science. Programs that focus on the development of improved fire protection and suppression systems may be ideal for aspiring engineering professionals.
Potential students might also want to consider colleges and universities with online or distance-learning programs designed to accommodate those employed in emergency services with non-traditional work schedules.
Fire Science Degree Programs Available
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. Coursework includes:
- Fire behavior and combustion
- Fire chemistry
- Fire department administration
- Project management
- Legal issues in fire services
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. Other coursework covers:
- Mass casualty incident management
- Fire services management
- Labor issues
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