Best Online Fire Science Degrees

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With an increasing amount of natural disasters occurring recently, a degree in Fire Science is ideal for those who wish to assist in times of need.

Best Online Bachelor's in Fire Science Badge

A degree in Fire Science not only prepares people to practice emergency disaster relief firsthand, but also teaches students the administrative side of the industry.

Through these programs, students will gain the ability to assess community risks regarding fire safety and other disasters, use appropriate technology, develop advocacy skills to educate the community, and learn teamwork and leadership skills.

This multi-faceted degree greatly allows applicants who especially wish to apply as a firefighter to stand out on their application. A degree in Fire Science is also a good stepping stone for those who already have an associate’s degree to move up in their career in the emergency services field.

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Top 10 Best Online Fire Science Degrees

What kind of Fire Science degree should you get?

While some people may think an online degree in Fire Science seems silly as emergency response is all about practical action, most if not all online Fire Science programs offer in-person training and labs. The best thing about online learning is that all the classes can be taken from anywhere and are more flexible in regards to schedule, which is ideal for an already working professional.

Within Fire Science programs, there is the option to choose a more general Bachelor of Science program or a Bachelor of Science in Engineering focusing on Fire Science. While both programs will more or less cover the same theory, engineering programs tend to focus more on the technical and mathematical side of the industry.

In addition, there are programs focusing on Emergency Service Administration for those who may want to practice emergency relief more generally instead of just fire disaster relief. Those interested in online learning should look at our list of the Best Online Colleges and Universities.

How much money do people make with a degree in Fire Science?

According to Payscale, the average salary for a firefighter is $47,000 in the nation, though firefighters can often earn $75,520. Firefighters typically work 24-hour shifts at the station and get 48 to 72 hours off.

Workers can also expect to receive a pay increase with experience, as well as benefits and overtime pay. Some benefits include pension, vacation time, and lifelong medical coverage for the firefighter and his/her family.

It should be noted that location matters when it comes to salary in this field. Firefighters typically get paid more in cities rather than rural areas due to the fact that fire-related emergencies tend to occur more often in highly populated areas. Pay by across states also vary.

What can you do with a degree in Fire Science?

Jobs in this field are predicted to experience a growth of up to 19 percent by 2018. Other than becoming a firefighter after passing additional tests based on state, students with a Fire Science degree can become emergency medical technicians (EMT), fire inspectors, fire marshals, etc. More administrative careers include fire administrators, fire educators, or fire code investigators.

As a bachelor’s is just the start of many students’ paths, graduates may find themselves being employed in another related field upon graduation. For instance, many graduates may go into the emergency medical services, police or detection work, or the forensic sciences.

While these careers come with a set of their own skills and certifications, Fire Science is a solid background in investigation, community work, and administrative knowledge.

What are the requirements for a degree in Fire Science?

As most of these degree programs are aimed at students who already have some experience within the field, possession of an Associate’s in Applied Science (AAS) in Fire Science or a related field in the emergency services is required.

Along with an AAS, students must meet the minimum GPA requirements and have received at least a C in all transferring classes. No other entrance exams are necessary.

What are the best Fire Science degrees?

College Choice ranks the top online Bachelor’s in Fire Science by overall institutional excellence and student success rate. Institutional excellence is measured by a variety of factors, such as graduation rate, entering students’ test scores, student-to-faculty ratio, etc. Student success rate is measured by average starting salary of graduates, tuition costs, average financial aid given, etc.

Data used to rank these programs were compiled from the U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics’ IPEDs database, Payscale, and individual college websites.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. University of Maryland-College Park
    Location

    College Park, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Maryland, College Park is located just outside of Washington, DC in College Park. It is the flagship school with the larger University System of Maryland, and it is one of the largest schools in the greater Capital metro area. Nearly 40,000 students attend UMD, enrolled in one its 100 undergraduate programs.

    Features

    When you earn your BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice at UMD you will study under professors who are internationally recognized leaders in justice. This program stresses a three-tiered approach to crime, introducing students equally to policing, courts, and corrections. In addition to core, introductory courses that cover criminology, the justice system, research methodology, and law, you will also take highly specialized courses such as:

    • Crime and Delinquency Prevention
    • Contemporary Criminological Theory
    • Courts and Sentencing
    • Policing
    Notables

    UMD is a Public Ivy, meaning it offers academic programs on par with the elite private Ivy Leagues. It is also a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and the Big Ten Conference. UMD is ranked sixtieth among all national universities by U.S. News & World Report.

  2. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Florida is the state's most elite research university. It is located in Gainesville and is comprised of 16 colleges. UF offers hundreds of academic and professional degree programs to its student body of nearly 56,000.

    Features

    The University of Florida offers a BA in Criminology that gives students a foundation in criminal behavior and the justice system from a multidisciplinary perspective. This is a notably liberal arts program, meaning you will explore crime, how society responds to it, and the connections between society and law. Some classes you'll take include:

    • Criminological Theory
    • Law and Society
    • American State and Local Government
    • Social Problems
    Notables

    More than 150 research centers and institutes make their home on the UF campus. The university is classified as having some of the most impressive research activity in the nation. And UF as a whole is nationally and globally ranked, as are dozens of its individual departments and schools.

  3. George Washington University
    Location

    Washington, DC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in our nation’s capital, George Washington University was first charted by the US congress. Indeed, it was founded out of the dreams and aspirations of our first president. Today GWU is organized into 14 colleges and has over 27,000 students.

    Features

    The Department of Sociology at GWU offers a BA in Criminal Justice degree steeped in sociological theory. Not only will you explore the fundamentals of sociology and its concepts, but you'll take classes such as The Sociological Imagination and Social Research Methods. This is an ideal program for those who want to understand the relationship between society and crime. Other classes include:

    • Youth and Delinquency
    • Criminology
    • Criminal Law
    • Techniques of Data Analysis
    Notables

    "Most Politically Active Students," "Best in the Northeast," and "Most Popular Study Abroad Programs" are just some of the ways GWU has been described. It is also nationally ranked by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and the Wall Street Journal.

  4. Northeastern University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Northeastern University is a co-op based university located in Boston, MA. Undergraduate students split their time between coursework semesters and paid internships. Northeastern is a top-notch research university that prides itself on graduating highly trained students.

    Features

    At Northeastern University, when you earn your BS in Criminal Justice degree you will become an expert in the criminal due process, criminology, and research methods and statistics. Because of Northeastern's unique co-op model, you will be expected to complete at least two co-op integrations throughout your four year years. And for those who want to earn a joint degree, you can combine your BS in criminal justice with one in:

    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Human Services
    • Law (JD)
    Notables

    It's not surprising that Northeastern is ranked first in the nation for being the "Best School for Internships."U.S. News & World Report ranks it among the top 10 "Most Innovative Schools" in the nation, too. On top of that Northeastern's criminology degrees are consistently among the top 50 in the nation.

  5. The College of New Jersey
    Location

    Ewing, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The College of New Jersey is located in Trenton and was first founded as a teacher’s college. Today TCNJ still specializes in education as well as business, engineering, nursing, and the sciences. Organized into seven discrete schools and colleges, around 7,500 students attend TCNJ.

    Features

    The College of New Jersey offers a BA in Criminology that emphasizes social contexts. You’ll not only gain broad understanding of the social science behind criminology, but you’ll hone practical skills in research methodology and data analysis. Some of the classes you’ll take while a TCNJ student include:

    • Policing Civil Societies
    • Judicature
    • Penology
    • Criminal Law and Procedure
    Notables

    Despite the size and scope of TCNJ, the school emphasizes a liberal arts approach to education. It also encourages its students to seek interdisciplinary experiences and to participate in one of the many global learning programs. TCNJ is ranked fourth in its region by U.S. News & World Report.

  6. The University of Texas at Dallas
    Location

    Richardson, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Dallas member within the wider University of Texas System is a public school located just outside of downtown Dallas. It is a known leader in STEM research, as a member of the National Academy of Science and the National Academy of Engineering. But UT Dallas is strong in many areas, from business to criminal justice.

    Features

    The UT Dallas BA in Criminology program prepares its students for work in policing, corrections, crime scene investigation, and victim advocacy. While a student you will have the opportunity to take graduate level classes too, thereby earning both a BA and a master’s degree in expedited fashion. And while at UT Dallas, take advantage of your proximity to such research hubs as:

    • The Center for Crime and Justice Studies
    • The Center for Global Collective Action
    • The Institute for Urban Policy Research
    • The Negotiations Center
    Notables

    UT Dallas is praised by the likes of Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, The Princeton Review, and more. Recently, the Journal of Criminal Justice Education published a list of the best criminology programs in the nation, ranking UTD’s fifth.

  7. Stonehill College
    Location

    Easton, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Stonehill College is a Roman Catholic school located in Easton, MA. It is a liberal arts college founded by the Congregation of the Holy Cross, which also founded the University of Notre Dame. Indeed, Notre Dame is Stonehill’s sister school and both share many resources and programs. Around 2,600 students attend Stonehill.

    Features

    You can earn a markedly interdisciplinary degree in criminology at Stonehill College. This program is founded in the liberal arts, emphasizing the need for students to develop critical thinking and communication skills in addition to their knowledge of criminological theory. Your core curriculum at Stonehill is comprised of:

    • Critical Introduction to Criminal Justice
    • Introduction to Sociology
    • Criminology Theories
    • Statistical Analysis in Criminology
    Notables

    Stonehill’s recognitions and rankings are many. For example, not only is it a top-ranked liberal arts college by U.S. News & World Report. But The Princeton Review praises it for having some of the happiest students, most accessible professors, most beautiful campus, and most popular study abroad programs.

  8. North Carolina State University at Raleigh
    Location

    Raleigh, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    North Carolina State University is located in Raleigh. It is a land, sea, and space-grant research institution with more than 32,000 students. NC State is also part of the Research Triangle, along with Duke University and the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

    Features

    NC State’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers a BA in Criminology that presents crime from both a social and individual perspective. As a NC State student you will therefore investigate crime while thinking through causation, correction, and even prevention. Your core courses will consist of:

    • Social Deviance
    • Criminology
    • Principles of Sociology
    • Social Research Methods
    Notables

    NC State is ranked among the top 100 best universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. On top of its academic accolades, the university is also known for its affordability. Indeed, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranks NC State eleventh nationally among best value public colleges.

  9. University of Denver
    Location

    Denver, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Denver is the oldest private school in the Rocky Mountain greater area. It has nearly 12,000 combined undergraduate and graduate students and is organized into over a dozen colleges and schools. DU is also the sight of active research in the areas of law, conflict resolution, and public policy.

    Features

    The BA in Criminology program at the University of Denver will provide a broad foundation in crime, law, and justice. You will not only explore the social factors contributing to crime, but you’ll also critically examine power dynamics and their influence on defining and prosecuting crime. In addition to completing your criminology core, you can take classes such as:

    • Crime and Inequality
    • Guns and Society
    • Legal Actors and Institutions
    • State Violence
    Notables

    Among its many research achievements and academic recognitions, DU is also known for being among the top five best schools for study abroad. The university boasts a 70 percent participation rate. Students have studied everywhere from Spain to New Zealand, Scotland to Australia.

  10. Ohio State University-Main Campus
    Location

    Columbus, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The Ohio State University is an immense research university located in Columbus, Ohio. Though founded as an agricultural and mechanical college, today OSU provides hundreds of degree opportunities with academic strengths in many areas and disciplines. With 60,000 students, OSU is one of the largest schools in the nation.

    Features

    OSU offers a BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies degree that balances theory with application. Students therefore gain a broad understanding of the causes and consequences of crime while also learning how to design programs that prevent and control crime. While at OSU you can study abroad, participate in internships, and get involved in research. Graduates have gone on to secure work in:

    • Criminal Justice Administration
    • Crime Prevention
    • Corrections and Probation
    • Delinquency Prevention and Control Services
    Notables

    OSU is nationally and globally ranked by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Times Higher Education, and more. It is considered a "Public Ivy," a flagship university, and it is a member of the highly regarded Association of American Universities.

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