Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire and Emergency Management

A team of firefighters

Increasingly, first responders are expected to have strong training and education in handling catastrophic disasters and terrorist incidents, as well as typical emergencies. This emergency management degree program is designed for emergency services personnel who want to not only increase their occupational knowledge, but also their administrative and management skills. Kaplan University’s fire and emergency management bachelor’s degree also helps prepare students to face ever-evolving challenges in technology, human resource management, and fiscal responsibility.

Each term, fire science and emergency management students are assessed on their mastery of the course outcomes; this is done to measure the skills, knowledge, abilities, and behaviors employers expect. A summary of these assessments can be found here.

Official Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) Institution

Kaplan University is recognized by the U.S. Fire Administration as an official Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) institution. The fire and emergency management program closely follows the FESHE model.

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Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management Program Highlights

Since 1999, Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) leaders have labored to produce a standardized undergraduate curriculum that is national in scope, content, and outcome. Fire-related and emergency management courses were developed for colleges and universities to use as a model when developing curriculum. All the courses share common titles, catalog descriptions, outlines, and content, which provide a national core of knowledge and competencies as suggested by FESHE. This degree program closely follows the FESHE model and is designed to:

  • Give graduates administrative and management knowledge as well as a solid baccalaureate foundation
  • Provide current information regarding technology, human resource management, and fiscal responsibility in preparation for leadership roles
  • Teach occupational and life safety awareness
  • Impart learning in ethics, global awareness, operations, psychology, and research methods
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Accelerated Master's Degree Option

Interested in continuing on to pursue a graduate degree? Our flexible degree pathways allow you to work toward any of the following Kaplan University master’s degrees while you earn your bachelor’s degree:

Complete both your bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in less time and at a lower cost than completing both programs separately. Speak to an Education Advisor for more details upon enrollment in this bachelor’s degree program.

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Fire Academy and Fire Service Association Articulation Agreements

At Kaplan University, we value your experience. We work closely with fire academies and fire service associations to set up articulation agreements to help you receive credit for previously completed courses, professional learning, and certifications, allowing you to earn your bachelor’s in emergency management degree faster and save on tuition.

Articulation agreements help streamline the process for awarding credit for fire service–related certifications you may have already earned to be considered fit for duty. If you earned your certifications though an organization that is accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) or the Pro Board (including the U.S. Department of Defense Firefighter Certification System), you may be eligible to receive credit toward a Kaplan University degree program.

Eligible certifications include:

  • Fire Fighter II
  • Fire Service Instructor I, II, and III
  • Fire Officer I, II, and III
  • Hazardous Materials–Technician
  • And many more

Kaplan University also awards credit for professional coursework that has been reviewed by the American Council of Education (ACE). Organizations that offer ACE-evaluated training include:

  • Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute (MFRI)
  • National Fire Academy (NFA)

Select International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) training programs and certifications offered through California State Fire Marshal (CSFM) and California Fire Fighters Joint Apprenticeship Committee (CFFJAC) are also eligible for credit. Please contact an Admissions Advisor for details.

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Higher Education at the Highest Standards

Kaplan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and committed to the highest standards. Our specific programs hold additional industry-relevant approvals and accreditations.

What are the Career Opportunities?

Those who complete the program and earn their Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management can look to pursue managerial positions and leadership roles in fire and emergency services organizations and emergency preparedness agencies.* Career opportunities may include emergency planners, and emergency program managers or directors.

How Do I Get Started?

Kaplan University offers multiple start dates, giving you greater flexibility with your education, life, and work schedules.

08

Nov

Online and Campus Start Date

November 08, 2017

31

Jan

Online and Campus Start Date

January 31, 2018

18

Apr

Online and Campus Start Date

April 18, 2018

05

Jul

Online and Campus Start Date

July 05, 2018

19

Sep

Online and Campus Start Date

September 19, 2018

05

Dec

Online and Campus Start Date

December 05, 2018

Curriculum: Standard Track

  • Bachelor's Core

    Total Bachelor's Core Credits: 33

    Total Program Credits: 180

    • CM 107: COLLEGE COMPOSITION I Change

      Building on your existing writing strengths will help develop a foundation for a successful education and career. You will learn strategies to express yourself with confidence and communicate your ideas effectively in personal, academic, and professional situations.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • CM 220: COLLEGE COMPOSITION II Change

      This course helps students apply research and critical thinking skills to develop effective arguments. Students will create professional writings, incorporating post-draft revision strategies and working constructively with colleagues.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • CS 204: PROFESSIONAL PRESENCE Change

      This course introduces students to multidisciplinary techniques and concepts pertinent to lifelong career development and professionalism. Students explore career planning as a strategy and professionalism as a method in order to pursue employment interests and career goals. Concepts include various professional communication skills appropriate for the global workplace, interpersonal relationship management, professional behavior, financial decision making, marketability, and using proper technologies to manage professional identities. 

      Credits:

      3

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    Choose Your Courses Below

    • MM 150: SURVEY OF MATHEMATICS Change

      Students will improve their background in mathematical concepts and skills utilizing real-world scenarios to solve math problems. Students will also enhance their own knowledge by demonstrating the ability to explain and interpret concepts, which is a valued skill in many fields. The topics may include sets, variables, measurement, and statistics.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • MM 212: COLLEGE ALGEBRA Change

      This course covers topics of algebra including linear functions, equations, and inequalities, systems of equations with two variables, polynomial functions, rational and radical equations and inequalities, exponential and logarithmic functions, ratios, proportions, variation, and graphing.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • HU 200: ARTS AND HUMANITIES—MODERN CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS Change

      As a human, you have the unique ability to appreciate beauty. This course will help you to discover human potential as expressed through the arts and humanities. In this course, you will evaluate the impact of creative expression on cultures by studying examples from the humanities disciplines. You will investigate how creative expressions broaden perspective. As an arts and humanities student, you will analyze forms of creative expression, and discover how to apply this new found insight to your career goals, community, and daily experience.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Any college composition course

    • HU 245: ETHICS Change

      In this course, students develop sound ethical reasoning and judgment through the study of practical applications of ethical theories. Topics studied include ethics as it relates to business, health care, society, and the environment. Emphasis is on practical applications of ethical principles and analytical methods.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Any college composition course

    • HU 250: HUMANITIES AND CULTURE Change

      In this course you will be introduced to the humanities through a survey of human social and cultural life in a global setting. By investigating the social, artistic, religious, and economic developments of countries throughout the world, you will better understand each country’s cultural identity as well as begin to appreciate cultural continuity and change as defining characteristics of the human experience.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Any college composition course

    • SC 200: DISCOVERING SCIENCE—CURRENT ISSUES IN A CHANGING WORLD Change

      This course is designed to introduce students to some of the most important concepts in science including inheritance, energy, randomness, and measurement. In addition, the course will give students a chance to explore the human aspects of science: how people put science into practice, how societies think about scientific findings, and why science depends on ethical practices. Knowledge gained in the course will help inform further study in many disciplines and will help students better understand how science affects their personal and professional lives. 

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • SC 235: GENERAL BIOLOGY I—HUMAN PERSPECTIVES Change

      In this introduction to biology, students will explore the living world of humans. The course emphasizes the processes of life from the molecular work of genes and proteins to human organ systems, all the way up to food webs and overpopulation. Practical applications of biology in everyday life are stressed throughout the course. No prior study of biology is required to enroll in this nonmajors course.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • SC 246: FUNDAMENTALS OF MICROBIOLOGY Change

      Fundamentals of Microbiology will review basic microbial cell structure, function, and genetics. The role of microorganisms and their effect on humans and the environment will also be explained. Aspects of medical and public health will be emphasized, as will bacterial and viral diseases, parasites, immunology, and epidemiology. Course material and labs are directly relevant to studies in health sciences, biological sciences, nursing, and genetics.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • SC 250: SCIENCE FOR EVERYDAY LIFE Change

      Science for Everyday Life is designed to help students recognize the importance of science as it impacts their daily lives in so many different ways. In this course, students will explore different rooms within a typical home and discover what role science plays as they investigate areas such as their kitchen and bathroom, the garden, and even the impact science has on their families and pets. The knowledge gained in this course will help garner a new appreciation for the science applications already around us and how to interpret the strengths and weaknesses of information streaming in from various sources.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • SS 211: THE 1960S—RESHAPING THE AMERICAN DREAM Change

      This course will take an in-depth look at the 1960s as a significant era in American history. Adopting multiple perspectives, we will explore the societal impact of such issues as the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Vietnam War, the Countercultural, Civil Rights, and Feminist Movements, the advent of the birth control pill, and many others. Through exploring the music, political climate, and advancements in technology and medicine of this historical era, we will discover how our individual lives and society as a whole were forever changed.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Any college composition course

    • SS 236: PEOPLE, POWER, AND POLITICS—AN INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN GOVERNMENT Change

      The purpose of this introductory-level American government course is to provide students with crucial knowledge about how government works and about how they, as individual citizens, fit within that system. Focus is on the rights and obligations of citizens under the democratic political system established under the U.S. Constitution; the branches and levels of government; and the role of the media. This fundamental knowledge combined with critical thinking skills will be valuable personally and professionally.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Any college composition course

    • SS 250: THE TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION—A SOCIAL SCIENTIFIC APPROACH Change

      This is a social science survey course that will examine science and technology from a variety of social science disciplines including sociology, psychology, history, political science, anthropology, and economics. The use of science and technology has been a driving force behind all of human history, and even more so today. This course will take an interactive approach to study the relationship between humanity and technology throughout time and across the globe. 

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Any college composition course

  • Major

    Total Major Credits: 100

    Total Program Credits: 180

    • FS 100: INTRODUCTION TO FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES Change

      This course introduces students to careers in fire and emergency services and the Kaplan University fire and emergency management programs. The field of study, skill sets, and professionalism will be discussed. Students will learn about the historical background of the modern fire service while learning research skills for the future. This course is designed to acclimate the fire science and emergency management student to Kaplan University while providing a solid foundation for success in the fire and emergency services profession.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • FS 105: FIRE PREVENTION PRACTICES Change

      This course examines fire avoidance measures, including fire prevention education, fire safety inspection, fire code enforcement, and fire investigation. Students will gain an overview of the procedures and principles of inspections commonly conducted for control of structures, occupancy, or combined purposes.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 100 or FS 120 for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 

    • FS 120: INTRODUCTION TO EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT Change

      This course covers the five mission areas of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, communications, response, and recovery. Topics include organizing for emergency management, coordinating for community resources, and the roles of government agencies at all levels. Upon completion, you should be able to demonstrate an understanding of comprehensive and all-hazards emergency management.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      CM 107

    • FS 202: PRINCIPLES OF EMERGENCY SERVICES Change

      This course provides an overview of fire protection as well as the philosophy and history of fire protection. You will gain an understanding of career opportunities in fire protection and related fields, fire loss analysis, and the organization and function of public and private fire protection services. This course discusses the role of fire departments as part of local governments, as well as fire service laws, regulations, and terminology. There is also an introduction to multiagency planning and operations as related to multialarm incidents, target hazards, and major disasters.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 100 or FS 120 for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 

    • FS 205: ETHICS FOR THE FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES Change

      This course provides an understanding of the types of ethical issues that can arise in the fire and emergency services. Students will examine philosophical concepts as they relate to modern ethics. The course will also provide an overview of various approaches to the ethical situations faced by fire and emergency service organizations. 

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 120

    • FS 208: LEGAL ASPECTS OF EMERGENCY SERVICES Change

      This course explores the legal issues that relate to emergency services, such as arson law and legal responsibilities of emergency services officers, as well as criminal and civil law. Students will gain an understanding of laws that impact emergency services management at both the state and local levels. The course also examines recent case law and legal decisions that impact emergency services agencies.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 100 or FS 120 for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 

    • FS 220: PREPAREDNESS AND PLANNING FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT Change

      This course analyzes the rationale for and methods related to all-hazards emergency preparedness and planning. Topics include preparedness strategies, planning concepts and processes, public awareness programs, and training and exercise programs.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 120

    • FS 225: EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT RESPONSE Change

      This course provides an overview of the response phase of emergency management including government policies related to disaster response. The content will include the purpose of the National Response Plan. 

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 120

    • CJ 307: CRISIS MANAGEMENT IN TERRORIST ATTACKS AND DISASTERS Change

      This course will cover the methodology and rationale behind the unified response to a terrorist, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), or disaster incident within the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) systems. You will explore the management and incident command response to terrorist, WMD, or disaster events including elements of logistics, budgeting, prioritization, staffing, and support. In addition you will examine these methodologies from the perspective of crisis management and consequence management.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      CJ 101

    • FS 304: COMMUNITY RISK REDUCTION FOR FIRE AND EMS Change

      This course analyzes theories for understanding ethical, social, organizational, political, and legal aspects of community risk reduction for fire and EMS agencies. You will learn to utilize common methods for developing effective and comprehensive community risk-reduction plans.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 100 or FS 120 for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 

    • FS 320: RECOVERY PRACTICES IN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT Change

      This course describes how people, groups, organizations, communities, and governments manage disasters in the immediate aftermath and recover from their effects, including social, physical, business, and infrastructure problems as well as intra- and interorganizational planning. 

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 120

    • FS 401: FIRE PREVENTION ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT Change

      This course explores the modern management and planning techniques that are utilized to organize a fire department. Students will examine fire department organization and management through community risk reduction, codes and standards, inspections, plan review, incident investigation, fire prevention research, and the relationship of master planning to fire prevention.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 100 or FS 120 for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 

    • FS 402: POLITICAL, ETHICAL, AND LEGAL FOUNDATIONS OF EMS Change

      This course explains various aspects of the government’s role in public safety as well as the American legal system, fire and emergency medical services (EMS) operations, employment and personnel issues, and emergency officials’ roles. The course also discusses legislative and political influence in fire and EMS.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 100 or FS 120 for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management

    • FS 403: LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT Change

      This course examines the knowledge and skills needed to become a responsible leader and manage a crew of firefighters. Topics include leadership and management, specifically managing budgets, personnel, and standard operating procedures. The course also analyzes challenges related to the creation of a team environment, situational leadership, and ethical decision making.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 100 or FS 120 for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 

    • FS 414: PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT FOR FIRE AND EMS Change

      This course examines fundamental issues in personnel administration and human resource development in fire and EMS agencies. Students will explore concepts and responsibilities such as management, organizational development and training, employee recruitment, selection, and productivity, as well as performance management and labor relations.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 100 or FS 120 for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management 

    • FS 420: MITIGATION AND RISK ASSESSMENT IN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT Change

      This course describes the methods and techniques used to lessen the potential impact of disasters and improve readiness to respond. Included are the principles related to mitigation as they pertain to sustainability and building resilient communities. Students will design a risk assessment plan. 

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 120

    • FS 425: DISASTER POLICY IN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT Change

      This course focuses on the administrative roles of local, state, and federal governments in times of disaster and the importance of intergovernmental relations. The policymaking process and the historical evolution of disaster policy are reviewed.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      FS 120

    • FS 498: BACHELOR'S CAPSTONE IN FIRE SCIENCE Change

      This course is designed as the culminating experience of the bachelor’s degree programs in fire science. This course consists of a series of assignments that integrate concepts from the fire science curricula. The assignments are designed to test application and critical thinking skills as students work through fact-based scenarios and analyze issues affecting contemporary practice.

      Credits:

      6

      Prerequisites Required:

      Last term or permission from the Dean

  • Electives

    Total Electives Credits: 47

    Total Program Credits: 180

Curriculum: Concentration

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Tuition and Fees

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Desired Track Only Standard Track is available for this program.
Enrollment Location:
Online, Rockville, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin
  • Online, Rockville, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin
  • Maine
  • Hagerstown
  • Iowa, Nebraska
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Online, Rockville, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin

$371.00 cost per credit
number of credits

Tuition does not include University fees and associated program fees. View tuition and fee information or contact an Admissions Advisor for more information.

Indiana resident military veterans: tuition for online undergraduate degree and certificate programs is $220.00 per quarter credit hour.


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*Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.

Kaplan University does not guarantee transferability of credit from any of these sources. See the University Catalog for the Prior Learning Assessment policy. Testing option may not apply to all courses.