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)
  • B.S. Degree: Applicants should have a B.S. degree in engineering, or a related field from an accredited institution.
  • Prerequisite Courses: 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.
  • GPA: Applicants should have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0/4.0.
  • GRE Test Scores: Submission of GRE test scores is required, with the exception of applicants who hold a B.S. degree from the University of Maryland College Park.
  • English Proficiency Scores: 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:

3 2/3
3 1/3
2 2/3
2 1/3

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.

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.