MSc in Fire and Explosion Investigation


Program Description

Fire & Explosion Investigation is an interdisciplinary program that provides an advanced technical background for professionals involved with fire protection and investigation, in areas such as fire service, fire safety, occupational safety, and security.

One of only a small number of such programs in the United States, our Fire, and Explosion Investigation M.S. offers 40 credits of interdisciplinary coursework in fire/explosion investigation, emergency management, occupational safety, and more. Students in the program study alongside leading professionals in the fire service, including current and former fire and police chiefs, homeland security executives, private investigators, and insurance agents. Successful alumni have moved on to leadership positions in local fire departments, state and federal emergency agencies, and private firms.

Students in the program complete six required core courses covering topics including Chemistry of Fire and Explosions, the Dynamics of Structural Fires, Arson for Profit, and more. An additional six elective courses in topics such as Fire and Building Codes, Standards, and Practices and Fire Scene Reconstruction allow students to customize the program to their individual career aspirations.

Hands-On Application

The M.S. in Fire & Explosion Investigation program provides students with extensive hands-on learning opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom. Fire science facilities on the main campus include a dynamic fire sprinkler lab, active fire alarm panels, historical fire protection material displays, and a burn laboratory. In the fire and explosion laboratory, faculty have created fire scenes using portable structures, allowing students to process evidence, investigate fires, analyzing burn patterns, and check for accelerants.

Lieutenant observing the practice fire Jay Heike / Unsplash


  • 39−40 graduate credits are required for completion.
  • 7 required courses (21/22 credits) plus 6 courses (18 credits) of approved electives

Courses are held Monday through Thursday 6–9 p.m. at the main campus.

Required Courses

  • INVS 6614 Survey of Forensic Science
  • FIRE 6625 Chemistry of Fires and Explosions
  • FIRE 6649 Fire Scene Investigation and Arson Analysis
  • FIRE 6650 Arson for Profit
  • FIRE 6665 Legal Aspects of Fire and Arson Investigation
  • FIRE 6669 Dynamics, Evaluation, and Prevention of Structural Fires
  • FIRE 6690 Research Project
    or FIRE 6693 Internship

Elective Courses

  • FIRE 6661 Systems Approach to Fire Safety
  • FIRE 6663 Fire Protection Systems Application
  • FIRE 6664 Terrorism
  • FIRE 6666 Industrial Fire Protection
  • FIRE 6667 Fire and Building Codes, Standards, and Practices
  • FIRE 6668 Fire Casualty Insurance Practices
  • FIRE 6684 Fire Scene Reconstruction

Below is an example of the schedule of course offerings over the first year.

Full semester
Full semester
FIRE 6625
FIRE 6669
INVS 6614
FIRE 6649
FIRE 6650
FIRE 6665

FIRE 6690
or FIRE 6693

Course Length

  • 15-week (full semester term) format
  • 7.5-week electives available in the mini-term (MT) format

Time to Completion

  • 24 months (4 semesters) or 18 months (4 semesters)
  • The average time to degree completion is 18 months


We offer two types of scholarships/assistantship to our international master’s students.

Dean’s scholarship provides up to 50% tuition assistance during their enrollment.

Provost Assistantship offers 75% tuition assistance and the opportunity to work for an academic department up to 20 hours per week during their enrollment.

Last updated Apr 2020

Keystone Scholarship

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About the School

Founded on the Yale campus in 1920, the University of New Haven is a private, coeducational university situated on the coast of southern New England. It’s a diverse and vibrant community of 7,000 stud ... Read More

Founded on the Yale campus in 1920, the University of New Haven is a private, coeducational university situated on the coast of southern New England. It’s a diverse and vibrant community of 7,000 students, with campuses across the country and around the world. Read less