CSUSM’s Bachelor of Science in Wildfire Science and the Urban Interface is the only program of its kind in California. Developed in partnership with local, state and national fire associations, it is designed to help you stand out among your peers and be part of a new generation of firefighters, technical experts, decision-makers and scientists.
Upcoming Online Information Sessions
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- July 13, 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - RSVP
- Aug. 10, 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - RSVP
Edison Wildfire Science Scholarship
Thanks to the generous support of Southern California Edison, we are offering an Edison Wildfire Science Scholarship for select students in their service area who apply by Feb. 1, 2022. Visit the FAQ section on this page for details.
Financing Your Education
This program is designed as a transfer program. It is preferred that you meet the Lower-Division General Education requirements prior to enrolling in this program. Please note that these are required for graduation from CSUSM.
- Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in all transferable units attempted
- Successful completion of a minimum of 60 transferable units
- Successful completion of the following courses with a C- or better (12 units)
- Oral Communication (A1)
- Written Communication (A2)
- Critical Thinking (A3)
- Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning (B4)
Lower-Division General Education Requirements
- Successful completion of all the following CSUSM lower-division requirements:
- Physical Science (B1)
- Life Science (B2)
- Laboratory (B3)
- Arts (C1)
- Humanities (C2)
- Arts and/or Humanities (C3)
- Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (D7)
- Discipline-specific or Second Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (D)
- Lifelong Learning and Information Literacy (E)
- Successful completion of the U.S. History, Constitution and American Ideals requirement
- Must be in good standing at the last college or university attended
Please note: To be considered for admission you must reside in an approved state.
Semester Units* Subtotal**
Fall Semester 1
12 $5,388 Spring Semester 1 12 $5,388 Summer Semester 1 12 $5,388 Fall Semester 2 12 $5,388 Spring Semester 2 12 $5,388 Total 60 $26,940
*Unit rate for this program is $449
**University semester fees not included. View complete breakdown of Extended Learning fees. Semester tuition subtotals based on sample program sequence. All quoted tuition rates are based on previous academic years and are subject to change without notice.
Funding and Financial Aid
- This program is eligible for financial aid
- Visit the Extended Learning funding page or call 760-750-4850 to learn more about your funding options
- Federal VA educational benefits can be used for this program (not eligible for Cal Vet fee waiver)
- Cal Grant can be used for this program
- Active duty military, veterans and dependents should visit the military services page or call 760-750-8705
Edison Wildfire Science Scholarship
Southern California Edison is offering scholarships for select students in their service area who apply by Feb. 1, 2022. Visit the FAQ section on this page for details.
- COURSE SEQUENCE
View course descriptions and specific program requirements on the Wildfire Science Catalog Page.
Please note: This program has a set schedule of courses that you are expected to follow as part of your cohort.
Sample Schedule for Fall Start
Semester Course (units)
Fall Semester 1
FIRE 101 (3) - Wildland Urban Interface
FIRE 105 (3) - Fire Science
FIRE 210 (3) - Emerging Technologies and Topics
BIOL 216 (3) - Biostatistics for Wildfire Science
Spring Semester 1
BIOL 391 (3) - Fire Ecology
BIOL 392 (3) - Natural Resource Management
FIRE 352 (3) - Emergency Management, Operations and Administration
UDGE-DD - TBD (3) - Upper Division GE
Summer Semester 1
BIOL 338 or BIOL 339 (UDGE-BB) (3) - Human Impact on the Environment or Conservation Biology
CHEM 311 (3) - Chemicals and the Environment
PHIL 340 (UDGE-CC) (3) - Ethics and the Environment
FIRE 351 (3) - Wildfire Law and Economics
Fall Semester 2
FIRE 353 (3) - Firefighter Health and Safety
FIRE 355 (3) - Land Use Planning and Community Resiliency
FIRE 354 (3) - Firefighter Stress, Behavioral, and Mental Health
FIRE 402 (3) - Fire Behavior, Fuels, and Resource Management
Spring Semester 2
FIRE 489 (3) - Research Methods and Design
KINE 306 (3) - Exercise Fitness and Health
FIRE 499 (3) - Senior Experience in Wildfire Science
FIRE 399 (3) - Special Topics in Wildfire Science
Schedules are subject to change.
Non-Cohort Course Options
If you are not a member of the Wildfire Science cohort, but wish to enroll in select Wildfire Science courses, you can register for the courses listed below. Additional sections of classes may be offered based on student demand. Course offerings will vary each semester depending on space availability.
This option is for:
- Students matriculated into the university but not part of the pre-health professions cohort
- Students who are not matriculated into the university and are not able to participate in the pre-health professions cohort
Spring 2021 Non-Cohort Courses Block Registration Coming Soon...
Who is eligible for the Edison Wildfire Science Scholarship?
The Edison Wildfire Science Scholars program will support 6-10 students to achieve a part-time or full-time course load toward their bachelor’s degree in wildfire science. Students must be enrolled in the BS in Wildfire Science and the Urban Interface and live within Southern California Edison’s service area.
Given the details of the award and the campus process for reviewing and selecting students to receive scholarships, the money will be available for students who will be taking classes during the Fall 2022 semester. To apply, you need to fill out the general CSUSM scholarship application between Oct. 1, 2021, and Feb. 1, 2022. Early application submission ensures you can collect all of the needed materials in time and access support available to CSUSM scholarship applicants.
Even if you do not live in Southern California Edison’s service area (view their major cities served – see page two or check your energy bill provider), we highly encourage you to fill out this application as there are many other scholarship opportunities you might qualify for and the process will help identify those for you.
What is a cohort?
A cohort is a group of students who work through a curriculum together to achieve the same academic degree. Because they are accepted into the same program, take their classes together and graduate together, students in cohorts tend to form a strong support system and professional network that benefit them during their degree program and beyond.
What services do you offer to active military, veterans and dependents?
Please visit our military and veteran services page to learn how we can help.
What if I have to work a large fire or an incident comes up while I’m in the program?
This program is flexible to accommodate working firefighters who must respond to sudden large fire events or other significant incidents.
If I’m not a firefighter yet, can I still take this program?
Yes! This program will give you a leg up in your future career, but you must still complete the materials, preparation and appropriate training at a fire academy. Some academies may have additional requirements such as passing a physical abilities test. For specific requirements and more information, contact the fire academy you wish to attend.
What are the requirements for students with an associate degree?
It is expected that students enrolled in this program will have completed an associate degree in a related field (e.g., fire science, fire administration, forestry, natural resource management, environmental sciences, etc.) and have taken basic lower-division coursework in mathematics and natural sciences.
What are the requirements for transfer students?
If you are transferring into the program, you need to have completed the requisite 60 units of your undergraduate degree or have obtained an associate degree. We recommend you contact us to meet with an advisor to expedite your transfer plan.
Is there a minimum GPA I have to meet while in the program?
Yes. All courses counted toward the major must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better.
Why would I want a bachelor’s degree when I’m already making a good salary?
If you want to move up or advance your career within the fire industry, you need to distinguish yourself from your peers. Having a bachelor’s degree sets you apart from many candidates applying for just a few jobs. The industry is moving in a direction where bachelor’s degrees will soon become the standard.
Complete the program in just five semesters with convenient online classes designed to help you advance within the wildfire industry
This program was developed in partnership with CAL FIRE, CAL FIRE Local 2881, San Diego County Fire, Los Angeles County Fire, U.S. Forest Service, National Institute of Standards and Technology and International Association of Fire Fighters
Many fire departments now require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in fire science to advance beyond battalion chief
Program topics include fire ecology, wildland urban interface, fire science, wildfire law and economics, emergency management, firefighter stress and behavioral health, biostatistics and more
Since 1990, 60 percent of new homes nationally have been built in the wildland-urban interface. In 2017, more than 9,000 California wildfires burned approximately 1.3 million acres in the state.