Earn your Master of Science with FPE

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FPE offers a Master of Science (M.S.) on campus. The program requires successful completion of eight (8) approved courses (24 credits), plus six (6) credits of thesis research (30 credits total).

The Role of the University of Maryland Graduate School

All applications to the Master of Science (M.S.) in Fire Protection Engineering Program must be submitted online to the University of Maryland Graduate School.

All applicants must fulfill the admissions requirements of the University of Maryland Graduate School.

The decision to admit students for graduate study at the University of Maryland is made by the Graduate School after reviewing the recommendations of the department based on the applicant’s ability to carry out scholarly work at the graduate level.

All policies adopted by the Graduate School supersede those at the department level.

For more information, please see our graduate admissions page.

Getting Started

Course Descriptions (On Campus Only)

Applicants should have a B.S. degree in engineering, or a related field from an accredited institution.

Prior to applying, applicants should have taken the following four (4) prerequisite courses: differential equations, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, structural mechanics (or strength of materials). Applicants who have not completed all prerequisites may still be admitted on a provisional basis if they demonstrate satisfactory academic performance in a related field and/or relevant work experience; these applicants would then be asked to complete the prerequisite courses during their first semester at UMD; note that provisional admission remains an exception and that corresponding applications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants should have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0/4.0.

Applicants from non-English speaking countries must satisfy the requirements of the University of Maryland's office of International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS), which generally involves submitting scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), financial certification, and visa documentation. Please see the Graduate Admissions Process for International applicants for more information.

Each new graduate student entering the department must initiate contact with the faculty to obtain an advisor based on his/her indicated area of interest. A student may elect to change advisors, subject to the approval of the new advisor, at any later date.

The Graduate School requires students to maintain a 3.0 GPA in all courses for credit since enrollment. This GPA is computed by the following numerical equivalents:

A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
4
3 2/3
3 1/3
3
2 2/3
2 1/3
2

Master of Science Requirements

  • Complete eight (8) approved courses (24 credits) in agreement with the requirements listed below.
  • Complete at least six (6) credits of thesis research (ENFP799).
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better.Submit a satisfactory M.S. thesis and successfully defend the thesis in an oral examination.
  • Have at least 1 credit of registration in the graduation semester or summer.
  • Complete the degree within 5 years.

The student should propose a list of courses to be taken that will fulfill the coursework requirement. This list should be presented to the student’s coursework advisor by the beginning of the student’s second semester of study. Acceptability of the proposed list, as determined by the coursework advisor and approved by the FPE Director of Graduate Studies, should be based on the student’s stated objectives and background.

All students must take two (2) courses selected from the following list:

  • ENFP 611: Fire Induced Flows
  • ENFP 620: Fire Dynamics Laboratory
  • ENFP 625: Advanced Fire Modeling
  • ENFP 630: Diffusion Flames and Burning Rate Theory

All students must take one (1) engineering mathematics course, approved by the student’s advisor, based on the student’s intended course of study and research. Examples of approved mathematics courses include:

  • MATH, STAT or AMSC 400+ or any of the following:
  • ENCE 621: Uncertainty Modeling and Analysis
  • ENME 605: Advanced Systems Control: Linear Systems
  • ENME 610: Engineering Optimization
  • ENME 625: Multidisciplinary Optimization
  • ENME 673: Energy and Variational Methods in Applied Mechanics
  • ENRE 620: Mathematical Techniques of Reliability Engineering
  • ENRE 643: Bayesian Analysis
  • ENRE 655: Advanced Methods in Reliability Modeling

Students in FPE's Combined B.S./M.S. program must take three (3) courses at the 600+ level selected from the following list:

  • ENFP 405/621: Structural Fire Protection/Analytical Procedures of Structural Fire Protection
  • ENFP 413/613: Human Response to Fire
  • ENFP 440/627: Smoke Management and Fire Alarm Systems/Smoke Detection and Management
  • ENFP 415/651: Fire Dynamics/Advanced Fire Dynamics
  • ENFP 489I/629I: Special Topics: Industrial Fire Safety
  • ENFP 489N/629N: Special Topics: Fire and Explosion: Investigation and Reconstruction
  • ENFP 489W/629W: Wildland Fires: Science and Applications

and

  • two (2) electives at the 400+ level, subject to the approval of the FPE Director of Graduate Studies.

Note: Students are only allowed to take one course that is paired with an undergraduate course (ENFP 4xx/6xx).

Students holding a B.S. from the University of Maryland's FPE undergraduate program must take three (3) courses at the 600+ level selected from the following list.

  • ENFP 413/613: Human Response to Fire
  • ENFP 440/627: Smoke Management and Fire Alarm Systems/Smoke Detection and Management
  • ENFP 489I/629I: Special Topics: Industrial Fire Safety
  • ENFP 489N/629N: Special Topics: Fire and Explosion: Investigation and Reconstruction
  • ENFP 489W/629W: Wildland Fires: Science and Applications
  • ENFP 629M: Material Flammability
  • ENFP 654: Advanced Fire Suppression

and

  • two (2) electives at the 400+ level, subject to the approval of the FPE Director of Graduate Studies.

Note: Students are only allowed to take one course that is paired with an undergraduate course (ENFP 4xx/6xx).

ALL OTHER STUDENTS in the M.S. Program are required to take the following course:

  • ENFP 651: Advanced Fire Dynamics

and

must take four (4) courses at the 600+ level selected from the following list:

  • ENFP 621: Structural Fire Protection/Analytical Procedures of Structural Fire Protection
  • ENFP 613: Human Response to Fire
  • ENFP 627: Smoke Management and Fire Alarm Systems/Smoke Detection and Management
  • ENFP 629I: Special Topics: Industrial Fire Safety
  • ENFP 629N: Special Topics: Fire and Explosion: Investigation and Reconstruction
  • ENFP 629W: Wildland Fires: Science and Applications
  • ENFP 629M: Material Flammability
  • ENFP 654: Advanced Fire Suppression

In summary:

  • Students in FPE's combined B.S./M.S. program must take eight (8) approved courses, which include: One (1) engineering mathematics course, two (2) required FPE courses, three (3) FPE courses at the 600+ level from an approved list of paired 400/600 level courses which count toward both the B.S. and M.S. degrees (see above or consult the Graduate Guide), and two (2) elective courses at the 400+ level approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • M.S. students who hold a B.S. from the University of Maryland's undergraduate program in Fire Protection Engineering must take eight (8) approved courses, which include: One (1) engineering mathematics course, two (2) required FPE courses, three (3) FPE courses at the 600+ level from an approved list (see above or consult the Graduate Guide), and and two (2) elective courses at the 400+ level approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • All other M.S. students must take eight (8) approved courses: One (1) engineering mathematics course, two (2) required FPE courses, ENFP 651: Advanced Fire Dynamics, and four (4) FPE courses at the 600+ level from an approved list (see above or consult the Graduate Guide).

A M.S. candidate must perform a body of research commensurate with the level of the Master of Science’s Degree. The M.S. thesis should make a contribution to the advancement in the state-of-the-art of fire safety science and/or engineering. With this objective in mind, M.S. students are strongly encouraged to adopt the quality standards of the fire research community and to submit their research contribution for publication in an archival journal and/or for presentation in a professional meeting.

The procedure for review of a M.S. thesis is as follows:

  1. The student, in consultation with his/her faculty advisor, proposes a committee of at least three members of the Graduate Faculty to review the thesis (with the advisor as the chair of the committee). Committee members should have backgrounds and interests related to the subject matter of the thesis. The committee must be approved by the Graduate School by submitting the Nomination of Thesis or Dissertation Committee form (PDF).
  2. The student is responsible for providing each committee member with a typed, advisorapproved copy of the thesis manuscript at least one week before the oral examination (the “defense”).
  3. The committee should judge the quality of the research as well as the clarity and literary correctness of the thesis. The student is responsible for meeting any requirement of style or format stipulated by the Graduate School. The student is expected to review the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide (PDF).
  4. An oral examination (“defense”) on the thesis and coursework is required and is administered by the committee. The advisor is responsible for planning, providing notices and holding this defense. The defense is typically between 2 hours long.
  5. For committees with three members, the thesis and defense must have unanimous approval.
  6. For committees with more than three members, up to one negative vote is acceptable.
  7. Should a student not pass the defense, the defense may be repeated once.
  8. The student is responsible for meeting all Graduate School deadlines. These include the submission of all formsAll academic policies for Master's students are found online.

Students must submit an Application for Graduation, the Approved Program Form and all thesis-related forms by the posted Graduate School deadlines. Students who apply for candidacy but do not submit these forms by the posted deadlines will NOT be considered for graduation in the term for which they originally applied. Instead, their candidacy will be moved to the following term. Continuous registration may be required. Questions or concerns may be addressed to the FPE Assistant Director for Student Services, Nicole Hollywood, at nlholly@umd.edu.

 

Technical Divisions

The department's major areas of interest include: 

This program explores the properties of combustion. See how the combination of a substance with oxygen results in the production of heat and light. Learn about the analytical relationships that describe fire growth.

Faculty working in this technical division include: 

This program looks at ways to be proactive in disaster situations. Learn what the best practices are and  how to be resilient when calamity is unavoidable.

Faculty working in this technical division include: 

This program examines diffusion flames, ignition, flame spread on solids, liquid pool fires, and compartment fire growth. Modeling topics include: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)-based fire modeling; governing equations of turbulent reacting flows; numerical approaches to the treatment of turbulence (DNS, LES, RANS); numerical methods for partial differential equations; physical modeling of enclosure fires (turbulence, combustion, thermal radiation, pyrolysis, suppression).

Faculty working in this division include: 

This program delves into classical development of the equations governing fluid dynamics is presented with an emphasis on buoyancy.  From these equations, a theoretical basis is presented for fire induced buoyancy driven flows which include plumes, ceiling jets, and vent flows. Dimensional analysis for correlations and scale model applications are also presented and emphasized in this course.

Faculty working in this technical division include: 

This program consists of Fractional effective dose (FED) methods for predicting time to incapacitation and death of fires for use in fire safety engineering calculations. Physiology and toxicology of fire effluent components, decomposition chemistry of common materials, standard experimental approaches. Predictive models of material production rates. People movement characteristics related to building evacuation. Formulation and application of evacuation models. Human behavior factors affecting response of people to fire situations.

Faculty working in this division include:  

  • TBD
     

This program 
examines process safety in industrial facilities; hazard identification (release of flammable/toxic materials, dispersion, explosion hazards, fire hazards); consequence analysis; risk analysis; prevention and risk mitigation. The course combines an academic point of view with a process safety engineering point of view.

Faculty working in this division include: 

This program focuses on the investigation of fires and explosions. Specifically it looks to provide information on applying fire science to investigations in order to try and determine the cause and origin, fire spread, and other pertinent information regarding the fire timeline. An emphasis is placed on using science to support the investigative process. In addition the students are introduced to the standards and legal frameworks associated with investigations as well as the techniques for conducting an investigation.

Faculty working in this technical division include: 

  • TBD

This program focuses on the fundamental mechanisms responsible for gaseous fuel generation by heated polymeric solids are examined. Experimental techniques frequently applied to the analysis of these mechanisms are surveyed and a theoretical framework describing these mechanisms is developed. This framework is applied to analysis of a range of standard flammability assessment methods including constant surface burning and flame spreading scenarios. Approaches to augmentation of material composition to improve their fire resistance are discussed.

Faculty working in this technical division include: 

This program explores fire risk modeling from both theoretical and applied perspectives. A detailed case study on fire risk is presented in the first module as an introduction to the different technical topics covered in the course. Additionally covered are modeling techniques for specific elements of fire risk assessment. Students apply the theoretical concepts through the use of current computer-based risk techniques to gain a better understanding of the uses and limitations of these techniques.

Faculty working in this technical division include: 

This program focuses on the technical innovation of fire fighting. It encompasses data-driven, science-based tactics including interconnected equipment and building monitoring using global information. Analysis and decision making is bolstered with state-of-the-art, human controlled and automated technology.

Faculty working in this technical division include:

  • TBD

This program focuses on engineering principles applicable to the design and analysis of smoke management systems. Topics include: assessment of hazard posed by smoke, forces affecting smoke movement, and airflow analysis in buildings. Also examine and review the performance characteristics of smoke management systems.

Faculty working in this technical division include:

This program concentrates on the following: analysis procedures for structural components of wood, steel, concrete, and masonry; structural capabilities, modifications under fire induced exposures; and calculations, computer models for predicting the response of structural components to fire exposure.

Faculty working in this technical division include:

This program examines the methodologies and practical application of suppression. Topics can include: suppression spray and nozzle designs, spray formation theory, measuring and analyzing sprays, and equations for evaluating the dispersion and coverage performance of sprays.

Faculty working in this technical division include:

This program surveys the global problem of wildland fires with an overview of the social, political and environmental issues posed as well as detailed coverage of the science, technology and applications used to predict, prevent and suppress wildland fires. Some specific topics covered will include relevant codes and standards, remote sensing, fire spread theory, risk mapping, research instrumentation, suppression, ignition sources and extreme fire behavior. Engineering analyses in many of these areas, as well as specific coverage of Fire Protection design in the Wildland-Urban Interface will also be covered.

Faculty working in this technical division include:


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