Affordable Online Fire Science Degrees

While firefighting is a risky and increasingly competitive business, the job has never been more rewarding. Opting to become a firefighter means making a highly respected commitment to saving lives, but it also means entering a job market with healthy demand (set to grow by 5% before 2024) with ample career satisfaction and advancement opportunities. If you enjoy flexibility, overcoming new challenges every day, and making a difference in the community, a career as a firefighter may be a great fit for you.

To gain the skills needed for this dynamic field, an associate degree in fire science is a great starting point. Studying an affordable fire science degree online, in particular, provides an opportunity for you to explore the field with minimal time or financial pressure in a more convenient and flexible learning environment. An associate also allows you to transfer credits toward a four-year degree — which almost always saves costs — but even without pursuing a bachelor’s, an associate degree can put you ahead of other candidates for entry-level jobs.

The following ranking is designed to equip you with information about accredited and affordable online fire science degrees across the country; not only highlighting schools with the lowest tuition, but also the highest ROI. Read on to explore options for earning your associate degree.

10 Affordable Online Associate Degrees in Fire Science
Rank School Score Toggle Content
1

Albany Technical College

Value Score 7.63
Average Tuition $2,140
Students Receiving Financial Aid 99%
Net Price $738
Graduation Rate 32%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Retention Rate 55%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 58%
Number of Online Programs 9

The online fire science degree at Albany Technical College includes some of the most cutting-edge scholarship in the field, designed to help new and continuing students advance their careers. The curriculum for the online fire science degree covers the necessary academic and occupational knowledge in a way that is affordable and comprehensive. Courses include hydraulics systems analysis, building construction, fire administration, and arson investigation. Students must fulfill core and occupational requirements.

The 62 credit fire science program can be completed in two years with a full course load. Students must meet minimum Accuplacer scores and hold a high school diploma or GED. An associate degree in fire science is the first step to success as a fire services employee, and will help students gain the necessary experience to work in their field. A fire science diploma is also available.


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2

Casper College

Value Score 6.83
Average Tuition $1,992
Students Receiving Financial Aid 92%
Net Price $6,126
Graduation Rate 28%
Student to Faculty Ratio 13:1
Retention Rate 63%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 36%
Number of Online Programs 8

The curriculum at CU, located in Casper, Wyoming, features a fire science concentration of 30 credits, with general education requirements of 17 credits. Students must earn 60 credits to graduate. The general education and elective requirements aim to provide students with a well-rounded education. Core classes include strategy and tactics and hazardous materials handling. Learners also have the option to earn specialized scholarship in wildland firefighting, fire prevention, and basic emergency care.

The online fire science associate degree is designed to give students the necessary skills for fire service employment or job advancement. Potential candidates must have a GED, a high school diploma from an accredited Wyoming high school, or a high school diploma from a state other than Wyoming with a 2.0 GPA. Casper College provides all students of the associate degree in fire science online with hands-on training through a fire service field internship.


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3

Lanier Technical College

Value Score 6.49
Average Tuition $2,670
Students Receiving Financial Aid 86%
Net Price $4,456
Graduation Rate 23%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Retention Rate 56%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 47%
Number of Online Programs 8

The four-semester, cheap fire science degree online program at Lanier Technical College, located in Oakwood, Georgia, prepares students to become better officers and leaders. The degree features a well-rounded course load that provides students with the knowledge to compete for job placement. A general education core of 15 credits is combined with a fire science concentration of 47 credit hours for a total of 62 credits. The program takes about two years to complete. Candidates must be 18 years of age and possess a GED or high school diploma prior to admission.

Fire science courses at Lanier provide students with a broad education in core skill sets such as hazardous materials management and incident command. The curriculum also focuses on specialities such as arson investigation. Non-resident high school graduates must provide proof of residence in Georgia for 24 months to be eligible for in-state tuition. Potential candidates must also submit Accuplacer test scores or submit SAT, ACT, CPE, COMPASS, or ASSET test scores prior to admission.


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4

Southern Arkansas University Tech

Value Score 6.17
Average Tuition $3,240
Students Receiving Financial Aid 94%
Net Price $9,604
Graduation Rate 41%
Student to Faculty Ratio 26:1
Retention Rate 66%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 28%
Number of Online Programs 10

The 60-credit fire science degree online program at Southern Arkansas University Technical College includes an admissions process that allows students to apply Rookie School credits earned through the AFTA towards the associate degree in fire and emergency response. Online options also include earning NFA Portfolio Development credits, maximizing a student's potential for prior learning experience to be applied towards their degree. Southern Arkansas awards up to 30 credit hours through this process and allows students the flexibility to convert prior experience towards their degree.

Course work includes legal aspects of fire science and EMT and fire responder classes. SAU Tech's fire science degree online allows first-time students and currently employed fire services specialists to gain education and training while also completing a general associate degree. Financial support is available for applicants who have successfully completed AFTA Firefighter II Certification and can provide proof of employment or volunteer fire service. SAU Tech has an agreement with Southern Arkansas University that allows students to transfer into a bachelor's program in business with a fire science management minor.


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5

Odessa College

Value Score 5.93
Average Tuition $3,240
Students Receiving Financial Aid 71%
Net Price $5,411
Graduation Rate 30%
Student to Faculty Ratio 19:1
Retention Rate 30%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 48%
Number of Online Programs 18

The firefighter degree online program at OC in Odessa, Texas, is designed to create entry-level, certified firefighters through a certificate of completion. It also provides current certified firefighters with an associate degree in applied science in fire administration for advancement. The two-year, 60-credit program is conducted online over a period of 17 weeks with an additional 15 days of hands-on skills training. This includes 16 mandatory, eight-hour Saturday sessions to meet NFPA, FFI, FFII, and TCFP requirements. Hazardous materials awareness and operations training is also included.

Students are required to test for certification through the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. Basic Fire Academy applicants are required to complete and pass the Test of Essential Academic Skills or Texas Success Initiative Assessment for ranking and admittance. Enrollment in some specialized courses requires student liability insurance. All students receive basic EMT certification from the Texas Department of State Health Services, allowing for an additional six credit hours while greatly enhancing employment opportunities.


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6

Augusta Technical College

Value Score 5.66
Average Tuition $2,136
Students Receiving Financial Aid 93%
Net Price $8,344
Graduation Rate 34%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Retention Rate 58%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 22%
Number of Online Programs 2

The six-term fire science degree online program at Augusta Technical College in Augusta, Georgia, features a 15-credit general course load with 47 credits of specialized occupation training. Students are required to earn at least 62 credits which can be done asynchronously. Students participate in online discussions and maintain regular contact with their instructor throughout the program. Fire science technology courses are designed to provide professional training in the field to facilitate employment.

A high school diploma or GED is not required for admittance to the degree track, but must be obtained upon completion of 50% of the total credit hours. Blackboard Badge training, valid for up to five years from completion, is required by all students to ensure competency with the learning management system. The fire science technology online course has a required in-person proctored exam.


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7

Delta College

Value Score 4.92
Average Tuition $4,770
Students Receiving Financial Aid 76%
Net Price $2,591
Graduation Rate 12%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Retention Rate 61%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 33%
Number of Online Programs 6

Delta College in University Center, Michigan, is regarded as a resource for students to gain knowledge and skills in the field of fire science and features a catalogue of specialized courses to customize your degree. Certifications in EMT, industrial and commercial security & safety, and fire & industrial loss prevention are available alongside a more general curriculum. Students are required to earn at least 62 credits. Over 50% of students go on to complete their bachelor's degree; the Michigan Transfer Agreement guarantees the transfer of at least 30 credits.

The curriculum allows for students to direct their education with a comprehensive list of electives, including fire service educational methodology and computer-aided management of emergency operations. Graduates of the associate degree program in fire science technology are automatically qualified to enroll in the 3+1 BBA fire administration program. Courses are conducted in person, but multiple campus locations are available.


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8

Volunteer State Community College

Value Score 5.07
Average Tuition $3,648
Students Receiving Financial Aid 92%
Net Price $6,472
Graduation Rate 16%
Student to Faculty Ratio 22:1
Retention Rate 55%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 39%
Number of Online Programs 8

Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee, offers their fire science degree online to help with career advancement. The two-year, 60-credit program requires all students to complete a certificate in computer literacy in addition to all general education and major courses. The program features fundamentals and principles of emergency services and fire prevention. Volunteer State also provides electives such as introduction to homeland security and disaster management, which focus on the more intricate details of the field to create leaders in fire administration.

Students under the age of 20 must submit acceptable ACT scores prior to admission. Transfer students who have service records with the United States Armed Forces will receive three semester hours of physical education credit, and may be eligible for additional credits based on an active service record. All students are required to take the educational testing service proficiency profile in order to graduate.


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9

Macomb Community College

Value Score 4.86
Average Tuition $4,690
Students Receiving Financial Aid 37%
Net Price $6,993
Graduation Rate 12%
Student to Faculty Ratio 26:1
Retention Rate 60%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 26%
Number of Online Programs 18

Macomb Community College, located in Warren, Michigan, combines a tradition of science-based inquiry with engineering principles to address all aspects of fire service, including causes, effects, prevention, and suppression of fires. The program emphasizes professionalism and has a 100% pass rate for the firefighter I and II certification with the Michigan Office of Firefighter Training. The fire science program is conducted entirely online and empowers graduates to gain employment in a growing field.

The curriculum includes fundamentals of EMT training and building construction with a more robust focus on advanced methods of fire tactics and strategy and fire department administration. Electives in citizen emergency preparedness allow for a more general scope of application. All credits earned through the fire science program transfer to many colleges and universities in Michigan. The program is accredited by the International Fire Services Accreditation Congress.


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10

Northern Virginia Community College

Value Score 4.49
Average Tuition $4,745
Students Receiving Financial Aid 58%
Net Price $8,088
Graduation Rate 23%
Student to Faculty Ratio 25:1
Retention Rate 72%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 26%
Number of Online Programs 11

Located in Annandale, Virginia, NVCC features an array of courses for the aspiring fire services professional. The schoof offers a two-year, 67-credit program that provides students with the knowledge and skills to potentially gain employment within the field. The program also offers a path towards a bachelor's degree at many of the accredited university programs within Virginia. Coursework includes specialized training in the fundamentals of fire safety and prevention, such as hazardous materials chemistry and building construction for fire prevention.

The Extended Learning Institute (ELI) at NVCC allows students to connect and collaborate online in exciting and innovative ways. The ELI features a comprehensive student support system, including 24/7 online library support, free online tutoring, an IT Help Desk, and counseling staff. The ELI provides assistance with transferring to four-year universities, with a guaranteed admissions program to institutions such as the University of Virginia, the College of William and Mary, and George Mason University.


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