What is Fire Science?

The open-learning bachelor of science degree program in fire and safety engineering technology (FSET) allows fire service personnel who have earned an associate degree in fire science technology or related discipline to earn credit toward a bachelor’s degree while upgrading professional skills. The open learning method allows you to schedule academic and professional development efforts around duty assignments. This program adds a high degree of flexibility and convenience to your professional development while maintaining the level of quality and effectiveness consistent with a traditional approach. 

Fire service credit courses are taken in a distance-learning format using Blackboard interactive software. Written assignments and projects provide a continual indication of progress and form the basis of an ongoing relationship between professor and student. Telephone consultations and optional spring and summer one-week residency classes are used to supplement the learning process. 

Courses outside the fire service requirements and fire service electives required for the bachelor’s degree may be taken either by attending a local institution or by continuing the open learning method through various distance-learning programs. All courses must be pre-approved by appropriate department heads. 

The Open Learning Fire Service program is available through seven participating regional institutions in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration, National Fire Academy, Degrees at a Distance Program (DDP). The region served by UC includes Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission to the FSET bachelor's degree program must:

  1. Have an associate's degree in fire science (or the equivalent), or be a graduate of an accredited high school with the following units:
    • English (4 units)
    • Mathematics, including algebra, geometry and either pre-calculus or calculus (4 units)
    • Science, including Chemistry and Physics (3 units)
    • Social sciences (3 units)
    • Electives (5 units)

Students who have earned 30 semester credits or higher (Associate's Degree preferred) will be considered for the bachelor's degree program. Students with fewer credits will be considered for the associate's degree program. Students with a lot of experience may submit documentation for bachelor's degree consideration.

Successful fire and safety engineering technology graduates have excellent skills in managing emergency service personnel and handling emergency operations in the field. Typically, they are interested in leadership positions and need college-level learning to succeed. Managerial capabilities and decision-making skills are important proficiencies required of FSETs.

Many fire service personnel prepare for promotion or advancement in existing careers by pursuing the open learning bachelor of science degree. Graduates may also begin new careers in the fields of fire insurance, fire protection engineering or industrial safety.

Transfer students must be in good standing according to standards of the colleges from which they wish to transfer and must have a minimum 2.5 grade point average. Transfer students must complete a minimum of 45 credit hours at UC.

Students changing majors from other programs or colleges within UC will be considered based on the same criteria as outside transfers.

Application Deadlines

Freshmen must begin the program during fall semester. Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis. High school students who wish to be considered for scholarships must apply by December 1 of their senior year. 

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


This program is accredited by the National Fire Academy (NFA/FEMA).