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If you have found this ranking, you are probably already working in the field of fire sciences and emergency management. Are you interested in achieving a leadership position that can support you to rise to the top of the profession? Graduate students in the field of fire sciences are showing up to the table to learn skills such as leadership and professional practice. This degree type generally can be completed between a two and three-year time frame. Generally, the credit hours required for completion include 36-64 and might include a thesis or graduate project for completion. Many times people choose to get a master’s degree in fire sciences if they want to gain career advancement into positions such as: executive fire officers and chiefs, emergency and disaster preparedness specialists, forensic specialists and arson inspectors, fire consultants for construction trades, and fire insurance managers. There are many opportunities for graduates with a master’s degree in fire science.

Online programs give students the opportunity to work full time while completing their programming, as the coursework offers convenience and flexibility in most virtual formats. It’s good to look at schools that are accredited to ensure you are getting a program that has been thoroughly vetted. We have ranked the 25 best online masters in fire science schools based on the following metric:

  • Cost
  • Reputation
  • Student Success Rate

The University of Florida offers a masters of science degree program in fire sciences and emergency sciences. These programs have made it high on our list of best online masters in fire science programs. Those who matriculate into this program are showing up to learn skills such as: hazard preparedness and mitigation, emergency planning, disaster recovery and response, and homeland security. The curriculum has a backbone in critical thinking and leadership skills that are necessary for advanced roles in the field of fire sciences. Many graduates of the program go on to work in fields such as: crisis and emergency management, fire department management, emergency response and construction, emergency and safety management, health and safety, department of homeland security, FEMA, red cross, state government, insurance companies and safety institutes, among many others. Prospective students must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning. 

Degree: M.S. in Fire and Emergency Sciences

Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers a masters of science degree in fire protection engineering with an online option. The entire program is made up of 10 distinct courses, which in total comes out to 30 credit hours. The core courses in this program include: fire dynamics, building fire safety, and fire protection services. Students are required to take one of these integration courses: performance-based design and industrial fire protection. Students are required to take six elective courses and with the approval of an advisor, three can be from other graduate programs at WPI. The online program offers the same rigorous coursework that emphasizes computational modeling and fire dynamics as the on-campus program. They offer a webinar that is on-demand that is helpful for prospective students to get a sense of the ins and outs of the program. 

Degree: M.S. in Fire Protection Engineering

Oklahoma State University offers a masters of science program in fire and emergency administration that is delivered in an online format. It is important to note that this program is actually one of the oldest of its kind in the country. It has a great track record in terms of training students to be effective leaders within critical service professions. This includes working with students to advance in such careers as emergency management, fire and rescue, emergency medical services, homeland security, law enforcement, and homeland security. This best online master’s in fire science degree pathway utilizes online learning through the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology (CEAT). They utilize the CANVAS learning portal for students to access all lectures and communicate with peers and faculty members. The entire course of study is made up of 33 credit hours. They prioritize offering networking opportunities with peers and leaders in the field. 

Degree: M.S. in Fire and Emergency Administration


Arizona State University offers a master of public safety leadership and administration-executive fire administration program. This is considered one of the best online master’s in fire science degree programs. The program is made up of 33 credit hours total. The entire course of study is comprised of 11 distinct classes. There are 7.5 weeks per class. Students will learn complex skills including managing the budget of your local fire department as well as the personnel. They will also learn the ways that public policy will reduce the risks for whole communities. Additional skills that the concentration in executive fire administration offers include: finance and budgeting as it relates to data analysis. Some of the classes offered include: program evaluation for emergency management and homeland security, public human resource management, community resilience, leadership for innovation in public fire services. 

Degree: Masters of Public Safety Leadership and Administration – Executive Fire Administration

The University of Idaho offers a master’s degree program in natural resources that emphasizes fire ecology and management. This is the perfect program for those interested in the science end of fire management. The program is extremely interdisciplinary in it’s approach. The online coursework is meant to be both flexible and convenient. Students will learn how to integrate a variety of perspectives including planning, ecology, society and policy, and effective and efficient natural resource management. This program is an excellent next step for professionals who are trying to move to leadership roles in careers in the fire sciences. They encourage students from diverse backgrounds to apply to this program. The University of Idaho has worked to make this an accessible academic program. Graduates will be able to qualify for certification as wildland fire ecologists through the association of fire ecology. 

Degree: Master of Natural Resources – Fire Ecology and Management

Arkansas State University offers a masters of science degree program in disaster preparedness and emergency management that is delivered entirely online. The entire program is made up of 36 credit hours. Students can complete the entire program in as little as 12 months. This degree, along with all disaster preparedness and emergency management degree programs at Arkansas State is fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Education (CAEMHSE).  Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the cultural, social, and economic aspects of emergency response. Those that find this program are generally interested in advancing in the emergency management field as well as disaster preparedness. Those who graduate from this program will be eligible for such careers as safety specialist, disaster recovery manager, nuclear emergency planner, emergency management program specialist, environmental health and safety manager, and hurricane program manager. 

Degree: M.S. in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management

The University of Maryland offers a master of engineering in fire protection engineering. For students that have a passion for tinkering. Fire service engineers are the innovators of the field. Finding new ways to detect and prevent fire damage, as well and creating tools to collect evidence and process accelerants. This program is at the forefront of technological advancement for the fire service sector. This online program is a huge opportunity for the motivated engineer to save on the cost of travel and work from home to complete an advanced degree in engineering. This rigorous program requires applicants to have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA from the previous program. A graduate student must complete 10 required courses at 3 credit hours each. There are four 10-12 week programs offered each year. 

Degree: Master of Engineering in Fire Protection Engineering

Saint Leo University has a master of science in fire science offered 100% online. Saint Leo University is calling to students to come and build on their foundational knowledge of fire science with the purpose of advancing within the fire science sector. This master program is a nationally accredited curriculum while being delivered online so that students do not have to choose between education or work. Students interested in growing into a leadership role within the fire department. Fire science administration specialization is offered to emergency and disaster management majors, students will study structure and organization of fire service, fire-related human behavior. Studying online to complete this 36 credit program is the flexible option adult learners are looking for. Check the school’s online website for details of admissions qualifications and testing requirements. 

Degree: M.S. in Emergency and Disaster Management – Fire Science Administration

Lander University offers a master of science in emergency management program offered entirely online. As we round out this ranking it is important to note that Lander University has a unique degree classifications with a focus on helping graduates advance within their positions, or to break into a role to do with emergency management. The responsibilities that coincide with emergency management include insurance adjustor, transportation logistic, non-profit or charitable management, and first responders. This is a huge role, to further prepare, students are engulfed in the program, with the intention to learn and be an excellent student. The highlight of the degree is that this program stands out by taking an interdisciplinary approach, introducing several different academic disciplines. Major program courses include; response recovery, foundations in Emergency management, which will steer students onto a career.  This program requires a capstone project at the end of the degree.

Degree: M.S. in Emergency Management

Liberty University offers a master of public administration in fire administration entirely online. Liberty University is famous for the 8 week semesters for an accelerated graduate degree experience. Students also have access to flexible start times, so they can start as soon as possible working towards advancement. What better than a program that is both online and flexible. Another noteworthy aspect of this program is the fire administration field can propel fire service professionals into advanced positions such as fire chord and emergency management director. The entire course of study is 36 credits, yet Liberty university allows up to 50% of the credits to be transferred toward the degree so candidates can finish sooner. The growing need for professionals in fire administration is closely related to the growing complexities of the field. As more technology and innovation begin to take over the scene so does there need to be a shift in the personnel managing it. 

Degree: M.P.A. in Fire Administration

The University of New haven has a master in emergency management program offered 100% online. We are towards the end of our list but certainly not the end of the caliber of this program. What is exceptional about this program are the myriad of ways that it caters to the professional learner. While fire service is a demanding field so is the study of that field, so students need the time to study and advance and this is the best online masters in fire science for it. The university of new haven is considered a steward in this field, with a reputation, so having this school on your resume may give you the competitive edge you need in the growing field. While this program is online it is an intimate learning environment, 36 credit hours are required to graduate. Another keynotes that a GRE or GMAT scores are not required for acceptance into this program. 

Degree: M.S. in Emergency Management

Waldorf University offers a master of arts in organizational leadership fire/rescue track. While this program is a mouth full it is also a head full, the rigorous pace and coursework in this program are an indication of the seriousness of the position graduates of this program have to hold. Looking forward to the future of climate change scientists predict that we are going to start experiencing more and more natural disasters so programs like this 36 credit hour online applied leadership degree are important. Students can choose from eight concentrations yet Waldorf university made it on the list due to their fire/rescue executive leadership program. It feels important to note that the public administration track coupled with a bachelor’s degree in fire science will also make graduates applicable for the same positions. The core mission of this program is to provide students with freedom and agency over their own leadership degree. After all, leaders don’t need to be told they just know. 

Degree: M.A. in Organizational Leadership – Fire/Rescue Executive Leadership Concentration

Anna Marie College offers a master of public administration in fire and emergency services. This entirely online program is providing students with an easy option to learn from the safety of their home. While we all are making hard decisions to stay in for the benefit of other fire and emergency service professionals, we are choosing to not stay home to protect life and property from unforeseeable disasters and fire emergencies. While the hands-on the ground personnel are valuable so are the leaders that are planning to communicate and remain two steps ahead of disaster. Another aspect of this program is how to communicate with organizations across the spectrum of the private sector and public sector institutions that are a part of the response team. The entire course of study is 36 credit hours a standard for advanced graduate programs. 

Degree: MPA in Fire and Emergency services 

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has a Master of science in emergency services program offered 100% online. This program is a heavy hitter, students will have the skills to advance in their field or enter into a new position within the emergency services, disaster response, recovery and homeland security. Learning outcomes focus on instilling an emphasis on critical thinking, leadership skills and research, so as to work hand in hand with the myriad of organizations that work together during emergency and disaster situations. One invaluable aspect of this program are the small intimate online learning settling to develop relationships and a network of graduates that will continue after graduation. The entire coursework consists of 33 credit hours of curriculum, program completion can take up to two year although it can be sooner if applicants are transferring credits in toward the degree. 

Degree: M.S. in Emergency Services

Jacksonville State University has a master in emergency management program that is given entirely online. Being an emergency manager is putting to practice the implementation of conceptual knowledge of crisis management. This role takes a great deal of analytical and management skills, along with hazard assessment. With this 30 credit hour program, graduates will study what it takes to do just take. 21 credit hours are emergency management courses, and 9 emergency management elective courses. These elective courses are a way for the university to help students shape their learning outcomes. Choose from courses like disaster media, terrorism, and homeland security, health care leadership for all-hazard incidents, and much more. Potential applicants can transfer in up to 6 credits towards the completion of their degree. This transfer option can accelerate the program and students can complete the degree requirement sooner than planned. \

Degree: M.S. in Emergency Management

Why Should I Get My Master’s in Fire Science Online?

We have listed 25 online schools that offer advanced programs in emergency management, fire science, and fire administration service. The master in fire science online is a great way to advance to a leadership role within the public, private and nonprofit sectors of fire service. We have the labor bureau statistic showing that the job growth for professionals in fire service is continuing to be above the average this year for the next ten years. This is a good reason to get into the field, by pursuing a master’s degree in fire science online. A good reason to get an online fire science master’s degree is to increase salary earning potential. Advanced leadership positions, such as emergency management director, can make up to 112K per year according to payscale. This is a huge incentive to get an online masters degree in fire science. There is also the great community impact this degree holds on the public service landscape of fire and emergency response to national crises. People, businesses, and government institutions rely on the general public to continue to support the protection of property and life. 

How Do I Choose an Online Fire Science Master’s?

Choosing an online program couldn’t be made easier thanks to the above list of ranked programs based on their reputation, cost, and completion rate. Not enough, well let consider the key aspect of an online master program, advancement, convenience and length of time to complete. The professional adult students that are seeking a graduate degree, are doing so with the intention of building upon their acquired knowledge in the field. So you want a program that gives students the options to accelerate their program, curates their learning experience, and a program that will support you through learning in a digital format. Looking for an accredited fire science master’s program online is the right place to start. 

How Much Can I Make with a Master’s in Fire Science?

The economic wage gap is growing every day, many ask the question how can I make more money? Making more money with a master’s in fire science is a dream come true for most fire service professionals. Pursuing a graduate degree is an investment. Advancing to a supervisor role is the result of most graduates, so let take a look at the salary for some of these upper-level positions. The salary of a fire chief is $80,031, which is the average base pay. There is quick a bite of variance for the field of fire sciences, but let’s take a deeper look, according to pay scale fire inspector’s salary is between 33k- $75K. If we go further and take a look at the fire marshal salaries we will see that fire marshal salary is an average annual salary of $63,425 based on payscale. So it is clear that with a master’s in fire science you can level up your bank accounts. 


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