Master's in Fire Protection Engineering

Master of Science
Student working in a team

Earn a Master's in Fire Protection Engineering Degree

WPI’s pioneering master's in fire protection engineering will prepare you with the knowledge, skills, and hands-on experience to make the world a safer place—and rewarding and lucrative employment is virtually guaranteed.

Value Proposition Description

A leader in fire science for more than 40 years, WPI offers one of the few fire protection engineering graduate programs in the field. Through our interdisciplinary program, you’ll study advanced topics in fire protection and safety and gain the critical thinking skills needed to become a leader in research, policy, education, and beyond.

Pursue your master's in fire protection engineering degree online, part- or full-time, or in the classroom. Every student benefits from the one-on-one mentorship and applied learning opportunities that are hallmarks of the WPI experience.


MS Fire Protection Engineering Curriculum

Our curriculum is grounded in the fundamentals of engineering, science, and mathematics, and enhanced with the fire safety aspects of human behavior, business, management, and public policy. You will gain hands-on experience with innovative, state-of-the-art fire protection and safety engineering technology.

You’ll work closely with a faculty advisor to tailor a program that matches your interests and professional goals and can study topics including fire suppression, risk management, industrial fire protection, and explosion protection.

Thesis and non-thesis options are available, and both part- and full-time students may participate in our internship program that matches students with sponsors around the globe.

Fire Protection Research

WPI’s Fire Protection Engineering Department (FPE) has an internationally recognized research focus, creating frontline fire scenarios to better understand such areas as fire dynamics, building properties, and human response to fire-related emergencies.

MS students have many opportunities to work alongside faculty researchers who are immersed in finding and applying new ways to predict fire behavior and inform regulatory policy. Our students conduct fire protection research on topics including building design and evaluation, in situ burning for oil spills, and forensic analysis of fire damage.

WPI’s FPE program is one of only three in the nation. Your research will benefit from the unparalleled expertise among our faculty and industry partners.

As a recognized world leader in fire dynamics and computational modeling, WPI offers students a distinctive and valuable edge.

Simply put, the resources in our cutting-edge fire science labs are distinctive, highly specialized, and valuable to fire science engineering researchers.

Our researchers study much more than fire—the program elements include fire safety aspects of human behavior, business, management, and public policy for a comprehensive approach.

FPE graduates enter a lucrative career field—WPI graduate students are recruited by local, national, and international employers to meet the rising global demand.

WPI faculty members and their students create new knowledge every day, often in collaboration with national and international groups. Their work informs and shapes regulatory policy, building design, product manufacturing, and product performance standards.

Our research labs offer frontline fire scenarios (up to two stories high) to help understand fire dynamics, material safety, wildland fires, and dust explosions. The results improve everything from building materials to firefighter safety to national fire regulations.

At WPI you will have access to fire protection engineering facilities unmatched in both academia and industry. FPE graduate students conduct both course-based and independent research in our state-of- the-art Fire Science Laboratory, Combustion Laboratory, Fire Modeling Laboratory, and Wet Lab.


Graduate Studies Series

Team members from Graduate & Professional Studies host quick and convenient webinars designed to highlight popular topics when starting grad school. Take a deep dive into specific areas of interest such as how to secure funding, how to ace your application, an overview of student services, and more!

Faculty Profiles

Nicholas Dembsey
Nicholas Dembsey

My research focuses on the building performance applications of fire dynamics, fire characteristics of materials and fire models.  I am working in the following areas: closing the fire performance gap in buildings; fire safety of green buildings; development of new techniques and guidance documents for practicing engineers to measure fire properties of materials; the optimization of building assemblies for fire performance, ease of manufacturing and cost effectiveness.

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Kathy Notarianni
Kathy Notarianni
Associate Professor, Fire Protection Engineering

Today, firefighters serve increasingly as first responders for emergency medical calls, civil emergencies, terrorist threats, and hazardous materials incidents, in addition to fire emergencies. The fire service needs tools and technologies that aid in carrying out their ever expanding mission without increasing costs. My research is focused on working with the fire service to achieve this important goal. I am conducting research on fire department mobilization times and exposure of fire fighters to toxic gases.

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Milosh Puchovsky
Milosh Puchovsky
Professor of Practice & Associate Department Head, Fire Protection Engineering

Practicing fire protection engineers are trained to recognize and assess a broad range of complex fire and life safety issues. They are called upon to bring forth technical knowledge and the skills necessary to develop effective solutions. Through my academic and professional practice I bring practical perspectives to our students' educational experience.

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Ali Rangwala
Ali Rangwala


Professor Rangwala’s research interests include problems related to industrial fire and explosion problems. He has worked on topics such as deflagration of combustible dust clouds, ignition behavior of combustible dust layers, in-situ burning of oil, spread of an oil slick in channels, velocity measuring techniques in fire induced flows, and flame propagation and burning rate behavior of condensed fuel surfaces.

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Getting Involved Beyond Your MS Fire Protection Engineering Degree

Graduate students are an integral part of WPI’s active and engaged campus, from student government to performing arts. Fire protection engineering (FPE) students may also join the WPI Student Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, which organizes seminars, speakers, and field trips on FPE topics.

Fire Protection Engineering Careers

A rewarding and lucrative career is virtually guaranteed for fire protection engineering graduates, as the global demand for highly skilled fire protection engineers continues to grow. Our students are highly sought after and find work within the fire protection industry and in the sectors of consulting, government, and research, education, and testing. Graduates obtain fire protection engineering jobs in a variety of work environments across the world.