Online Fire Science Degree 

Columbia Southern University's Fire Professional Development Degree and Training Programs establishes the bar for excellence in online fire science education.

Developed by some of the most distinguished names in the U.S. fire industry, the fire professional development program reflects the knowledge of individuals who have an extensive amount of experience in fire services. Fire safety, firefighter training, investigation, leadership and administration are just a few of the topics you will cover when you start earning your fire science degree online.

These programs include:

  • A.S. Fire Science (recognized by the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) group within the U.S. Fire Administration's National Fire Academy)
  • B.S. Fire Administration (recognized by the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) group within the U.S. Fire Administration's National Fire Academy)
  • B.S. Fire Administration - Fire Investigation
  • The Chief Brunacini Leadership Retreat features motivational seminars, case studies and personal experiences by some of the nation's foremost fire-rescue service leaders.  Attendees participate in roundtable discussions and presentations led by retired Fire Chief Alan Brunacini.
  • Specialized training workshops are conducted on various topics in conjunction with fire and/or emergency related conferences and events around the nation.

Our experts and professors will help to ensure that you are successful while providing a challenging learning experience. While earning your online fire science degree with CSU, you gain the real-world knowledge and skills need to advance your career and tap into your potential.

CSU also offers:

  • Accredited Programs
  • Flexible Learning
  • Textbooks Provided Through CSU Book Grant
  • No ACT, SAT, GRE or GMAT Required
  • TA and VA Benefits
  • Complimentary Tutoring Services

To learn more about Columbia Southern University fire science and fire administration degrees, please fill out the request form on this page and begin your journey to leadership!

Leaders Developing Leaders

Donnie West, EFO

Donnie West, EFOFire Chief Donnie West, 38-year veteran of the fire/ems service, serves as the fire chief for the Center Point (Ala.) Fire District. He is also a full-time faculty member and Fire Science Advisory Board member with Columbia Southern University and Waldorf College. West is the past president of the Central Alabama Fire Chiefs Association and elected as 2014-2015 president of the Alabama Fire Chiefs Association. Appointed by Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, West serves on the Alabama Energy & Residential Code Board and Commissioner for the Planning & Zoning for Pinson, Ala. He also serves as the vice-chair for the Jefferson County, Ala., 9-1-1 Board.  He holds an associate degree in fire science, bachelor's degree in public safety administration, master's degree in occupational health and safety engineering and a master's degree in executive leadership in disaster preparedness.

He is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program, National Fire Academy, and holds a Chief Fire Officer designation with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International.

Billy Hayes, EFO

Billy HayesVice president of Admissions, Marketing and Outreach for Columbia Southern University, Billy D. Hayes is nationally respected fire and emergency services speaker and author. He has served as the director of Community Affairs for the District of Columbia Fire and EMS Department and as the fire chief for Riverdale, Ga., for eight of his 22-year fire service career. He is a graduate of Georgia Military College, the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program, Leadership Clayton and the Regional Leadership Institute, and pursing a degree in Organizational Leadership at Columbia Southern University. Additionally, he volunteers as the public information officer for Gulf Shores (Ala.) Fire Rescue.

Rich Marinucci

Rich MarinucciRichard Marinucci, who has more than 36 years of experience in the fire service, is chief of department in Northville Township, Mich., and member of the Columbia Southern University Fire Science Advisory Board. He served as chairman of the first Commission of Professional Credentialing and was one of the first 15 chief fire officers to be designated in 2000. He is an author, past president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and a former acting chief operating officer of the U.S. Fire Administration. He has a master's degree from Eastern Michigan University and bachelor's degrees from Western Michigan University, Madonna University and the University of Cincinnati.

Keith Padgett, EFO

Keith Padgett, EFORet. Chief-Fire Marshal Keith Padgett serves as the Fire and Emergency Medical Services program director for Columbia Southern University.  At CSU, he provides direction and instruction to teaching professors and works closely with curriculum development as a subject matter expert. With more than 32 years in the fire service, he is an Executive Fire Officer Program graduate through the National Fire Academy and has received the Chief Fire Officer designation. Furthermore he holds a master's degree in Executive Fire Leadership with an emphasis in disaster preparedness.

Jake Rhoades

Jake RhoadesA 20-year veteran of the fire service, Fire Chief Jake Rhoades is a faculty member at Columbia Southern University.  He is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer program at the National Fire Academy and holds the Chief Fire Officer and Chief Medical Officer designations. He is on the board of directors for the International Association of Fire Chiefs Safety, Health, and Survival Section and is the lead author for the "Firefighter Handbook." He has a bachelor's degree in exercise science from Oklahoma Christian University and master's degree in executive fire service leadership from Grand Canyon University.