Master's degree programs in fire protection engineering are specialized engineering programs that prepare graduates for professional certification and licensure in the field. Typically offered as a Master of Science, these degree programs are available on-campus and online. Find out more about the degree program and some common admissions standards.
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Information for Master's Degree Programs in Fire Protection Engineering
Some master's degree programs in fire protection engineering require a thesis or final project experience, but all of them usually involve some hands-on learning experiences to gain the necessary skills in fire protection. These degree programs commonly require some elective coursework in which students can customize their studies, but below are some of the common course topics for these programs.
Students in fire protection engineering programs generally take introductory and advanced courses in fire dynamics and/or laboratory courses in the subject. These courses explore the fire dynamics phenomena and include fundamental topics in fire and combustion, such as fire chemistry, thermodynamics, flame spread, fire plumes, flame radiation, ignition, ceiling jets and more. Laboratory sections of these courses allow students to conduct hands-on experiments to examine these topics and use theoretical models in the field to analyze their results.
Fire modeling courses may focus on modeling fire and its effects or modeling techniques for fire safety. These courses generally have a computational component as students explore the numerical approaches to fire modeling and students may use Matlab and other computer programs to analyze computer-based models. Specific topics in these courses may include Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)-based fire modeling, toxicity assessment, effect of fire retardants and zone models.
Fire Detection and Alarm Systems
Students in fire detection and alarm systems courses examine the engineering principles and analysis used to create and evaluate smoke detectors and fire alarm technology. Students learn how these pieces of equipment work, as well as the installation standards for different systems. These courses may also explore topics in mass communication systems, airflow analysis in buildings, smoke movement and more.
Some courses in fire suppression may offer a broad overview of the subject, while others may examine particular suppression methods, such as water-based suppression or fire suppression sprays. These courses train students to analyze the design and performance of sprinkler systems, spray nozzles and other suppression equipment. Students may explore topics in installation standards, drop size distributions, dispersion and coverage performance, pipe flow and more.
Fire and Explosion
Courses in fire and explosion may explore ways to protect against explosions or ways to investigate fires and explosions after they occur. Students in courses that focus on explosion protection examine topics in explosion suppression technology, pressure development, detonation velocities and various protection methods. Students in investigative courses learn about fire timelines, how to identify the origin of a fire and how to apply science to the investigative process.
Common Entrance Requirements
Similar to many graduate degree programs, master's degree programs in fire protection engineering usually require applicants to fill out the appropriate application and include their official transcripts, letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose. Most of these programs also require students to hold a bachelor's degree, usually in engineering or a closely related field. It is fairly common for master's programs in fire protection engineering to have a 3.0 minimum GPA requirement. Some of these programs may also have specific course prerequisites, such as fluid mechanics and differential equations.
Interested students can pursue a Master of Science in Fire Protection Engineering on-campus or online from several institutions. These degree programs include courses examining the various aspects of fire and safety and provide students with hands-on learning opportunities.