Online Fire Science and Emergency Management Degrees

Looking for a fire science and emergency management program that fits your career goals?

At Purdue Global, we offer practical fire science and emergency management education that helps you gain an understanding of the interagency coordination necessary for fire prevention, safe and successful fire-incident command, arson investigation, and life-safety education. You'll learn the latest skills taught by fire science or emergency management professionals who have years of experience in their field as you gain the credentials you need to succeed. All classes are 100% online, so it’s easy to create a study schedule that fits your lifestyle.

See Notes and Conditions below for important information.

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Online Fire and Emergency Management Degree Programs

Those working in fire and emergency management play an essential role in society by helping protect the civilian population from fires and other threats. When catastrophic disasters, terrorist incidents, and other emergencies occur, they are the first responders on the scene providing emergency services and protecting the security and safety of our communities. Start building a rewarding career in this growing field today. 

In this program, you'll develop a strong foundational knowledge in areas such as human resources, technology, fiscal responsibility, and more as you prepare for a career as a first responder, or for a role in the emergency management field.

15–18 hrs/week
4 years
  • Business Foundations

Online Fire Science Degree Programs

Those working in the field of fire science play an important role in our communities by helping protect them from fires and fire-related disasters. As first responders, they not only help prevent fires, but also reduce fire hazards in addition to saving lives. Start working toward a degree in this essential field today. 

In this program, you'll explore the technical and legal aspects of arson, the application of technology to firefighting, and the psychological effects of fire dynamics. You can also gain valuable real-world experience through an optional internship.

15–18 hrs/week
2 years

    In this program, you'll develop foundational skills in firefighter safety, building codes, fire prevention, code inspection, and firefighting strategy and tactics. You can also gain valuable real-world experience through an optional internship.

    15–18 hrs/week
    4 years
    • Business Foundations

    Online Emergency Management Degree Programs

    Prepare communities and individuals to handle natural or man-made disasters with a degree in emergency management. Develop strategies and gain the knowledge to help plan for, respond to, and recover from crises and emergencies. Start building your career in emergency management today.

    FESHE logo

    FESHE Recognized and IFSAC Accredited

    All fire science programs closely follow the FESHE model, and our undergraduate degree programs are accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC).

    Admissions Requirements and Resources

    To get started as a Purdue Global student, you must meet certain academic requirements and complete an enrollment application. Here’s what you’ll need to begin:

    Admissions for Undergraduate Programs and Certificates

    • You must be a high school graduate, possess a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or other equivalency diploma. If you are a high school senior eligible to apply, you must submit proof of high school graduation.

    Want to know if online learning is right for you before you enroll? Watch our virtual campus tour to learn more.

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    Understanding Your Investment

    How long? How much? These are important questions! Try our online Calculator to estimate when you’ll finish and see how your prior credits and experience can save you time and money.

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    Ready to Enroll?

    Purdue Global makes the process easy. You can apply online today (self-guided) or contact us to walk you through the process.

    Upcoming Start Dates

    We offer rolling start dates throughout the year. Choose the one that works best for your schedule.

    Which Program Is Right for You?

    Discover your interests and set your goals for success. Take our Career Assessment to chart your ideal path.

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    Take 3 Weeks to Get to Know Us

    Start an undergraduate program with no financial obligation and no cost to apply.

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    Resources Related to Studying Fire Science and Emergency Management

    To help you in your fire science and emergency management career goals and options, we have the news and resources you need.

    Firefighters, fire inspectors, and fire investigators are all at the front lines of disaster. Combined with emergency medical services, many of these first responders confront everything from wildfires to terrorist attacks.

    Firefighters help mankind in the worst of conditions. What child didn't grow up wanting to be a firefighter at some point in time? How many adults wish they had actually pursued that option as a career?

    “How do I get hired?” is one of the most frequently asked questions by volunteers who want to pursue a career in fire and emergency management. There are a number of intricacies involved when it comes to being hired in emergency services.

    Fire Science Programs

    Why choose Purdue Global for your fire science degree or certificate?

    Credit for Prior Learning

    Fire academy and fire service association articulation agreements could help you receive credit toward your degree for previous coursework and professional learning.

    Dedicated Faculty Offer Rich Experience

    Purdue Global faculty members share knowledge gained through the powerful combination of higher learning and real-world industry experience.

    Fire Science and Emergency Management FAQs

    • A fire science degree is an academic degree offered by a college or university that prepares students with knowledge and skills related to fire science, emergency management, or firefighting.

      Degrees in fire and emergency management include associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s level degrees. Some universities may focus more on fire science, while others focus on areas such as fire service, emergency management, and leadership.

      The curriculum of fire and emergency management programs varies by institution. Some fire science programs focus on helping students gain an understanding of foundational firefighter skills, firefighter safety, building codes, fire prevention, firefighting strategy and tactics, in-depth knowledge of interagency coordination, arson investigation, leadership and management, legal aspects of emergency services, fire and EMS personnel management, and more.

      The United States Fire Administration’s Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) initiative works with 2- and 4- year colleges by developing a model curriculum, courses, syllabi, and content for associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs. Degrees in fire science can also be accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC), which is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as a programmatic accreditor of fire and emergency-related degree programs.

      Purdue Global’s fire science degrees are accredited by IFSAC and recognized by the U.S. Fire Administration as an official FESHE institution. Our undergraduate programs closely follow the FESHE national curriculum model.

    • Students can earn a fire and emergency management degree online. Many institutions offer flexible, 100% online fire science degrees that help students continue working while they complete their studies.

    • A firefighter may pursue a fire science or firefighter degree to help them advance in their career, become competitive, or to gain leadership skills. Earning an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in fire science can help firefighters gain skills and knowledge that they can immediately put to use in his/her department.

      What you can do with a fire science degree can vary depending on the degree level. Some jobs with a fire science degree include first-line supervisors of firefighting and prevention workers, firefighter, fire inspectors and investigators, or forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists. Departments may require candidates for positions higher than battalion chief to hold a bachelor’s degree in fire science or a related field to be considered for promotion.

      Becoming a firefighter can be done by attending a fire academy and meeting several requirements which include having a high school diploma or GED, passing state-entry level firefighter certifications, minimum number of training hours, and other requirements. Various schools for firefighters exist, so it is important to understand what training, certifications, or education they offer before enrolling. Refer to Purdue Global's State Licensure and Certifications page for state-specific licensure information.

      Articulation agreements with fire academies and fire service associations help those pursuing academic fire science degrees receive credit for previously completed courses and professional learning.

      See Notes and Conditions below for important information.

    • It can typically take 2–4 years of full-time study to complete an undergraduate fire and emergency management degree. Purdue Global offers an associate’s degree in fire science that takes an average of 2 years to complete, while a bachelor’s degree can take an average of 4 years to complete.

      Students who attend Purdue Global may be able to graduate faster through articulation agreements with fire academies and fire services associations, earned certifications through organizations such as IFSAC, the Pro Board, including the U.S. Department of Defense Firefighter Certification System, courses completed through the National Fire Academy, or by transferring in college credit.

      To become a firefighter, a student must attend and train at a fire academy and fulfill several requirements. The time it takes to become a firefighter can vary depending on your state and sometimes even your department. Requirements may take one year to fulfill and require a minimum number of hours of training.

      See Notes and Conditions below for important information.

    • The requirements to apply to a fire science degree program vary by university. Professional experience is not required to pursue a fire and emergency management degree. For example, at Purdue Global you must be a high school graduate or possess a General Education Development (GED) certificate or other equivalency diploma. You are also encouraged to complete orientation before you start classes.

      Refer to the University Catalog or speak to an Advisor to learn more.


    Certification Exams: Students are responsible for understanding the requirements of optional certification exams. The University cannot guarantee students will be eligible to sit for or pass exams. In some cases, work experience, additional coursework beyond the Purdue Global program, fieldwork, and/or background checks may be necessary to be eligible to take or to successfully pass the exams.

    Credit for Prior Learning: Purdue Global does not guarantee transferability of credit. See the University Catalog for the Prior Learning policy.

    Employment and Career Advancement: Purdue Global does not guarantee employment placement or career advancement. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience and opportunities for employment. Additional certification or licensing may be required to work in certain fields. Additional academy training and education may be required for firefighting or emergency management jobs.