M.S. Emergency and Disaster Management - Fire Science Administration

Fire Science Administration Specialization

Expand the scope of your fire services knowledge and prepare for career advancement. Fire science is a respected profession with rising demand in the public and private sectors nationwide. Our comprehensive, regionally and nationally accredited curriculum is designed to deliver world-class training in the high-level leadership skills necessary to manage fire prevention, protection and safety services. Students will also gain a deep understanding of the social, political and legal aspects of fire science management.

Our Master of Science in Emergency and Disaster Management – Fire Science Administration Specialization program is directed toward those who are currently working in the field. In many jurisdictions and in the military, high-ranking law enforcement, public safety and fire service officers are often encouraged, and may be required, to attain a master’s degree.

However, no matter where you are in your career now, as a graduate of our program you will have applicable skills and an impressive university credential. Your master’s degree will be an important step forward in your career, moving you closer to your dream of a promotion to lieutenant, captain or battalion chief or becoming an arson investigator or fire marshal and more.

The convenient, online delivery method is ideal for fire service professionals and others who are currently employed and want a nationally recognized, regionally accredited education that fits their personal schedules. That’s you, right? Study when and where you want and finish fast. When you’re ready to enhance your career prospects as a fire science professional, we’re ready to help you achieve your goal.

Guiding you through your studies is Dr. Robert Diemer, a Saint Leo University professor and Director of our Department of Public Safety Administration. Well-known in local and national investigative and law enforcement circles, Dr. Diemer has served as a Deputy Sheriff, State Coordinator for the Florida Sheriff’s Association Statewide Task Force, and Chief of Investigations for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Law Enforcement. Dr. Diemer was also responsible for managing and coordinating the operations of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Environmental Terrorism Response Team.

In the Fire Science Administration Specialization courses, you’ll explore key topics such as:

  • Human resource planning for fire service organizations
  • Structure and organization of fire services
  • Fire-related human behavior
  • Best practices in life safety systems
  • Public policy in fire and emergency services
  • Political issues that impact fire services administration
  • Fire and emergency services planning and code enforcement

You’ll also attain a strong foundation in general emergency and disaster management topics such as:

  • Legal and regulatory aspects of emergency and disaster management
  • Organizational leadership theories and applications
  • Impact of terrorism on homeland security
  • Risk identification and assessment
  • Psychological aspects of catastrophic events
  • Hazard mitigation

One of the leading military-friendly colleges in the United States, Saint Leo University has earned a highly respected reputation for educating public safety and emergency management professionals. In the Catholic spirit, we base our educational model on a steadfast moral consciousness that recognizes the dignity, value and gifts of all people.


Degree Requirements

In order to earn your online master’s degree with the concentration in fire science administration, you must successfully complete seven foundation courses, four specialization courses and an Applied Project course.



Degree Requirements

MS Fire Science Core Courses (24 credits)

  • Course
  • Course Name
  • Credits
  • CIM 575 Legal and Regulatory Aspects of Critical Incident Management 3

    This course examines various legal and regulatory issues impacting the critical incident management arena. Provides a historical analysis of emergency management law, including various homeland security and emergency management legal issues since September 11, 2001. Students will examine the role of federal, state, and local governments within this legal framework.

  • CIM 576 Financial Management 3

    This course will examine various financial management and performance measurement concepts and techniques applicable to critical incident management. Students will analyze how the strategic management process impacts budgeting, financial management, and performance measurement. Case studies will be used to illustrate how governmental agencies are impacted by strategic planning and financial management strategies and outcomes.

  • CIM 577 Policy and Politics in Critical Incident Management 3

    This course will explore the political and public policy environment applicable to critical incident management. The course considers the political dynamics of critical incident management and how politics plays a role in all phases of emergency and disaster management. Through the use of case studies, students will examine various public policy formulation and implementation issues, to include problem identification, stakeholder analysis, agenda setting, and interest groups.

  • CIM 578 Leadership Applications in Critical Incident Management 3

    This course is designed to provide students with an overview of contemporary organizational leadership theories and concepts. Special emphasis will be on effective leadership principles and practices applicable to the critical incident management arena. Students will analyze topics such as transformational leadership, motivation, effective organizational communication, group dynamics, how organizational culture impacts organizational climate, professional development, and individual and organizational ethics.

  • CIM 579 Applied Research Methods 3

    This course will expose students to various techniques and concepts used in research and evaluation. Students will have the opportunity to practice the application of empirical findings to agency policies, procedures, practices, and programs applicable to critical incident management. This course will prepare students to identify a specific problem or program initiative for the Applied Project in Critical Incident Management (CIM 590).

  • CIM 585 Social Dimensions of Disaster 3

    This course provides an overview of sociological research regarding disasters. Students will examine research findings relevant to individual, group, organization, and community responses to, and recovery from, disasters. Special focus will be on principles and concepts that govern the design and implementation of effective disaster warning systems, myths regarding disaster response and how people will behave, and theoretical principles and practices most applicable to the implementation of an effective local emergency management program.

  • CIM 586 Hazard Mitigation 3

    An examination of the principles and practice of hazard mitigation at the local, state, regional, and federal levels. Students will explore the tools, techniques, and resources applicable to planning for and implementing successful hazard mitigation programs. Emphasis will be on the intergovernmental relationships and strategies necessary for preventing future losses of life and damage to both public and private property.

  • CIM 590 Applied Project in Critical Incident Management 3

    This course is designed to be a capstone course in which the student will use various knowledge and skills acquired from the program curriculum to address an important problem or launch a program initiative related to critical incident management. The objective of this course is tied to outcomes assessment for the Graduate Program. For successful completion of this course and the Master of Science in Critical Incident Management degree requirements, students must demonstrate both a mastery of the curriculum content and an articulated ability to apply what has been learned to professional endeavors.

Specialization Requirements (12 credits)

  • Course
  • Course Name
  • Credits
  • CIM 550 Personnel Administration for the Fire and Emergency Services 3

    Advanced concepts and processes of designing, implementing, and administering the personnel functions of fire service organizations. Emphasis is placed on human resource planning, job classification, job analysis, equal opportunity organizations and resources, affirmative action, recruitment, retention, development, performance evaluation, and assessment centers

  • CIM 553 Fire Service Organizational Dynamics 3

    This course explores various aspects of organizational dynamics, including organizational culture as it applies to the American fire service. Knowledge gained through this course will assist the fire service administrator in solving complex organizational challenges. The focus will be on the many varieties of theories applicable to public organizations; the consideration of the relationship between theory and practice; and the development of a coherent, integrated understanding of fire service organizations.

  • CIM 556 Fire-Related Human Behavior 3

    This course examines human behavior in fire-related events and other emergency situations. Students will analyze current and past research on human behavior, systems models, life safety education, and building design to determine interactions of these areas in emergency situations. Emphasis will be on developing an understanding of a best-practice building life safety system as one that combines knowledge in the areas of psychology and sociology, joined with engineering and education, to produce the best possible outcomes in terms of human survivability in an emergency.

  • CIM 559 Political Context of Fire & Emergency Services Administration 3

    This course examines the political and public policy environment applicable to the fire and emergency services, and how this impacts professional practice. Students will explore various political and policy issues, to include employment and personnel matters, administrative and operational concerns, planning and code enforcement, as well as legislative and political processes.

Total Credits 36