The thermal buckling of laminated composite plates is analysed using the finite element method based on the Reissner-Mindlin first order shear deformation theory. The nine-node Lagrangian isoparametric element is employed for the thermal buckling analysis of symmetric cross-ply, symmetric angle-ply and quasi-isotropic laminates subjected to uniform temperature distribution. The effects of modulus ratio, fibre orientation, length to thickness ratio, aspect ratio and various boundary conditions on the critical temperature are analysed. The influence of the stress distribution on the variation of the critical temperature with fibre orientation is studied for different boundary conditions. Also, the variation of critical temperature with shear correction factor is considered. © 1994.