Bachelor of Science - Fire Administration


The FIAD bachelor degree completion program prepares graduates to handle the challenges facing chief officers today and in the future.  This is a cutting-edge, degree-completion program in the Department of Political Science that will prepare you with the skills to:

  • Be a great leader
  • Develop and sustain a strong and efficient organization
  • Bring about positive and permanent shifts in culture

From strategic planning, to leadership, public finance, technology, and project management, this program develops a platform of skills that will allow you to achieve your goals.

The Fire Administration bachelor degree is 100% online to allow you to take courses when and where it is convenient for you, while still giving you the opportunity to personally interact with BGSU faculty and your advisor throughout your academic career.

This program focuses on preparing upper level administrators to deal with the demands of complex issues at the macro level. Areas of study include public administration, budgeting and finance, working with multiple levels of governance and in a variety of political environments, legal issues, human resource management, research, critical thinking, public speaking, emergency management, communication, analysis and synthesis of information.

Upon completion of the Fire Administration baccalaureate degree, students in fire administration are expected to:

  • Demonstrate critical, professional, and personal skills such as independent thinking, communication skills (oral, written and listening), ability to work effectively within groups, and a commitment to continuous learning;
  • Demonstrate strong problem solving and creative thinking skills;
  • Lead strategic planning efforts and manage organizational change with a demonstrated understanding of its impact on budgets and human resources;
  • Interpret the scope of the authority and responsibility of all levels of administration and interact appropriately within the organization and external community;
  • Recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings, examine different perspectives and consider the ramifications of alternative actions;
  • Demonstrate the ability to integrate applied/technical cognate and major courses in fire administration.

BGSU offers you the unique option of following a cohort-based model for the core FIAD classes. Cohort learning gives online students a chance to network with peers, exchange ideas, and support each other’s progress. You can begin and complete with a team of your peers, but the program is flexible enough to allow you to take classes at a pace that works for you.

The platform for all online classes is Canvas. All FIAD classes are designed using the Quality Matters™ matrix to ensure that your valuable time is spent on learning, not searching for information within each course shell.

This degree requires 36 hours (12 courses) of core coursework and a 36-hour cognate (area of technical and/or applied courses) in addition to College of Arts & Sciences and General Education requirements.


FIAD 3100 Fire and Emergency Services Administration
This course covers a range of topics/skills necessary to manage and lead a fire and emergency services department. While many courses and textbooks continue to focus only on leadership/motivational skills and anecdotal stories, this course focuses on the day-to-day challenges faced by upper level administrators in fire and emergency services including: outcome-based budgeting, local, state, and federal legislation, collective bargaining, working in multiple local government models dealing with budget crisis, mandates, and other issues that come to the chief/head administrator on a regular basis.

FIAD 3300 Principles of Emergency Management
This course provides students with an overview of the scope and complexity of emergency management. Specifically students will obtain an understanding of the all-hazards approach to integrated emergency management, the 4 phases of disaster, what occurs during those 4 phases, the history of disaster policy in the U.S., and the development of the profession of emergency management. In addition to looking at a wide variety of events (tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, hazardous materials) special focus is given to emerging and new trends related to hazards and disasters such as pandemics and terrorism

FIAD 3500 Analytical Approaches to the Fire Service
This course examines the tools and techniques of analytical decision making in Fire and Emergency Services agencies including data collection, statistics, probability, decision analysis, utility modeling, resource allocation, and cost-benefit analysis

FIAD 4100 Applications of Fire Research
This course examines the basic principles of research and methodology for analyzing current fire-related research. The course also provides a framework for conducting and evaluating independent research in the following areas: fire dynamics, fire test standards and codes, fire safety, fire modeling, structural fire safety, life safety, firefighter health and safety, automatic detection and suppression, transportation fire hazards, risk analysis and loss control, fire service applied research and new trends in fire-related research. Prerequisites: FIAD 3100 and FIAD 3500

FIAD 4300 Political and Legal Foundations for Fire Protection
This course examines the legal aspects of the fire service and the political and social impacts of legal issues. This course includes a review of the American legal system and coverage of legal and political issues involving employment and personnel matters, administrative and operational matters, planning and code enforcement, and legislative and political processes with regard to the fire service. Prerequisites: FIAD 3100 and FIAD 3500.

FIAD 4500 Psychology of Disaster
This course focuses on the development and use of different strategies to deal with issues related to mental trauma during and following emergencies and disasters. Specifically, it focuses on the two main perspectives for dealing with mental trauma: the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) approach and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM). Short and long term mental health implications for mental trauma issues are considered for fire service and other emergency service responders, victims, and others. Prerequisites: FIAD 3100 and FIAD 3500.

FIAD 4800 Capstone Course: Advanced Fire and Emergency Services Administration
The capstone course requires students to demonstrate mastery of the curriculum learned throughout the entire program. The course integrates the functional areas of fire and emergency services administration including: management, public health, public administration, budgeting, planning, decision making, legal issues, and dealing with the political environment. Students will choose a topic or issue from several central themes and will then draw upon a wide variety of sources and other disciplines to demonstrate the ability to apply what they have learned to address a realistic situation or problem. Prerequisites: FIAD 3100, FIAD 3300, FIAD 3500, and FIAD 4100.

LEGS 4290 Employment Law
See catalog for description

MGMT 3050 Principles of Organizations & Management
See catalog for description

MGMT 3610 Human Resource Management
See catalog for description

PUBH 3200 Intro to Public Health
See catalog for description

POLS 3030 Intro to Public Administration
See catalog for description


Your 36-hour cognate (area of technical and/or applied courses) is typically transferred from a regionally accredited associate degree program. Combined, these technical and/or applied courses must demonstrate proficiency in a recognized technical area. In the event that there are fewer than 36 hours to complete a cognate, a Fire Administration advisor will approve courses to fulfill this requirement.

  • CS 1000 or CS 1010
  • MATH 1150 (QL)
  • COMM 3060 or COMM 3070 or COMM 4040
  • PSYC 1010
  • ACCT 2000
  • ENG 3880
  • POLS 3310
  • General Studies Writing (GSW 1120)
  • 2 natural science courses
  • 2 social/behavioral science courses*
  • 2 arts & humanities courses*
  • 1 cultural diversity course
  • 1 general education elective course

*1 of these courses can be approved to fulfill the international perspective requirement.

Graduation Requirements

  • Minimum GPA 2.0
  • 122 credit hours minimum (includes hours transferred from Associate degree)
  • 40 hours at the 3000/4000 level
  • Completion of all degree requirements
  • At least 30 hours of BGSU course work

Admission to the program is a two-part process: admission to BGSU, followed by admission to the Fire Administration program. Admission to the University does not guarantee admission to the program.

Admission to this program is considered for those fully admitted BGSU students who have:

  • Earned a technical and/or applied associate degree (or equivalent) from a regionally accredited college or university
  • A GPA of at least 2.0
  • Completed GSW 1120 (General Studies Writing or equivalent)
  • Related work experience
  • Submitted a 3-page essay (double-spaced) with articulated specific correlation between the student’s related work experience, long-term and short-term goals and the objectives and the FIAD curriculum
  1. Go to:
  2. Click the link for the Fire Administration degree
  4. Enter a username and password

Note: There is a non-refundable application fee. If for some reason all of your transcripts do not arrive or you decide not to begin for a given semester, another application and fee will be required for the next semester.



Request official copies of transcripts from every college or university you have attended. The Office of Transfer Evaluation (419-372-7959) will then evaluate your official transcript for possible credit towards your degree. Official transcripts should be sent directly to:

BGSU Admissions
110 McFall Center
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH 43403

Approximately one week after the Admissions Office receives your transcripts and application, your application will be processed. You will receive an email from the Admissions office when that is complete. At that point, you may email Ann Light for essay requirements and information on account set up and registration.