Fire engineering or fire protection engineering is a growing profession with new employment opportunities in various industries including the following areas: structural engineering firms, fire protection engineering consulting firms, fire departments, fire equipment and systems manufacturers, government, hospitals and health care facilities, insurance industry, research and testing laboratories, universities and colleges, entertainment industry, and forensic investigations.

Fire protection engineers are in high demand, well paid, and make the world a safer place. A career in fire protection also provides the opportunity for world travel and work in a variety of environments.

Bob Burkland, Owner, Healey Fire Protection, Inc.

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The Master of Science in Fire Engineering (MSFE) program at Lawrence Tech is unique in that it focuses on the structural and material behavior when exposed to fire conditions and design codes and standards for resisting against a fire attack. Small-scale and large-scale test methods are introduced for material, component, and room fires. Test methods are evaluated using modern testing equipment including the Fire Testing Facility, Cone Calorimeter, Smoke Density, and Radiant Panel Flame Spread Apparatus which can collectively be used to evaluate the structural, flammability, smoke, and toxicity properties of materials and elements when exposed to fire. Classical courses in fire protection engineering that benefit the structural mindset are also required as core courses or as electives. These classical courses are related to fire behavior and to the design of fire protection systems. This program is open for students holding an engineering degree in the following disciplines or related disciplines; civil, mechanical, architectural. 

Currently, the College of Engineering at LTU has many unique programs that make a pre-eminent private technological university. The MSFE is a 30-credit program that includes 18 core credits of which include one graduate project in a cutting edge research area in fire-related engineering. Students will be exposed to Lawrence Tech’s signature “theory and practice” approach to learning, through both technical and practical expertise. 

In addition to the Master of Science in Fire Engineering, the department also offers a Graduate Certificate in Fire Engineering with a reduced curriculum. More information about this certificate program can be found here:

The fire engineering program at Lawrence Tech provides a unique balance of fire application design not available within any other university in the country. Developed by faculty within the Department of Civil Engineering, the program revolves around the structural integrity of buildings exposed to fire and methods to mitigate localized failure or collapse of structural elements. However, the importance of fire-related design topics not traditionally related to but certainly important to structural performance cannot be overlooked. These topics include fire dynamics, design of active and passive fire protection systems, and human exposure. Therefore, the fire engineering program offers courses in a vast amount of subject areas and inherently becomes valuable for individuals with a background in numerous engineering disciplines including but not limited to; mechanical, structural, architectural, and fire protection. The fire engineering program will provide a competitive edge with a unique specialization for all engineers interested in furthering their education.

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The Department of Civil Engineering currently has faculty with diverse structural material expertise including composites, steel, and reinforced concrete and experience testing each of these materials under fire conditions or under other sources of heat. The faculty is also familiar with various codes and standards associated with structural performance under elevated temperatures and fire protection of structural elements. LTU has been testing reinforced concrete, composite, and structural steel elements within the Fire Testing Facility ( at the Center of Innovative Materials Research (CIMR) for some time. The Fire Testing Chamber has the capabilities of performing ASTM E119 “Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials” among other standards. The fire chamber uses natural gas flame jets and has the capacity of reaching a maximum temperature of 2,300 °F (1,260 °C).  

Lawrence Tech also houses a variety of fire testing equipment used to evaluate the flammability, smoke, and toxicity (FST) properties of materials: the Cone Calorimeter which is one of the most widely used instruments for evaluating the flammability properties of materials include heat release rate, mass loss rate, and time to ignition; the Radiant Panel Flame Spread Apparatus which is used to measure flame spread; the Smoke Density Chamber which is used to determine the density of smoke in an enclosed environment; and finally the FTIR Spectrometer used to evaluate the hazardous toxic gases that and individuals would be exposed to when combustible materials ignite. LTU also has the capabilities of measuring similar properties for larger test setups such as a component or other collection of various materials. 

Students must successfully complete thirty (30) credit hours. Three (3) credit hours are obtained from 4000 and higher level courses in mathematics, probability, statistics or programming. The selection of the three credits must be approved by the program director. The mathematics requirement may be waived if a student has already taken an applicable course. However, if the mathematics requirement is waived, the student must obtain an additional three elective credits from any approved graduate level courses either within the program or outside of the program.

Of the remaining twenty-seven (27) credit hours, eighteen (18) credit hours are obtained from core courses including four (4) 5000 level courses and two (2) 6000 level courses. These courses are listed below. A minimum of six (6) credit hours are obtained by selecting two of the five technical elective courses listed below. A maximum of three (3) credits may be applied as electives to the program either from the list below or from applicable graduate level courses within the civil, architectural, or mechanical engineering programs. The courses must be approved by the program director prior to considering them for the MSFE and must be related to core content. Overall, if the math credit has been pre-satisfied, as many as four courses may be selected from the list of elective courses below. 

Master of Science in Fire Engineering (MSFE)  
Core Courses  18
EFE 5013 Fundamentals of Fire Engineering
EFE 5223 Fire Dynamics
EFE 5233 Fire Modeling
EFE 5323 Fire Testing Methods for Materials
EFE 6013 FE Graduate Project
ECE 6723 Structural Analysis and Design for Fire Safety
Elective Courses  6 credits min.
EFE 5333 Large Scale Fire Testing Methods
EFE 5523 Fire Protection Systems
EFE 5533 Failure Analysis
ECE 6753 Fire Analysis and Design in Steel Structures
ECE 6763 Advanced Fire Engineering for Structural Applications
Total Credit Hours 30


Admission to the MSCE/MCE program as a regular graduate student requires:

1)      An earned B.S. degree in civil engineering, architectural engineering, or mechanical engineering (or equivalent) from an ABET-accredited undergraduate program;

2)      Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.00;

3)      Demonstration of high potential for success based on the following documents

  1. Application for Graduate Admission;
  2. Three letters of recommendation (employers and professors are preferred);
  3. Official transcripts of all college work;
  4. Professional resume; and
  5. Statement of purpose (a one-page essay discussing what you plan to do with your degree).

The Program Director may allow provisional admission to applicants who do not meet all conditions for regular admission. A provisional student is typically granted regular status after receiving a minimum grade of “B” in three consecutive graduate level courses. The Program Director may require non-engineering graduates admitted to the program to pass additional courses at the undergraduate level.

For more information, contact Lawrence Tech’s Office of Admissions at 800.225.5588 or

For specific questions regarding the Master of Science in Fire Engineering, contact Lawrence Tech’s College of Engineering at 248.204.2500 or