The linear buckling analysis of laminated composite cylindrical and conical shells under thermal load using the finite element method is reported here. Critical temperatures are presented for various cases of cross-ply and angle-ply laminated shells. The effects of radius/thickness ratio, number of layers, ratio of coefficients of thermal expansion, and the angle of fiber orientation have been studied. The results indicate that the buckling behavior of laminated shell under thermal load is different from that of mechanically loaded shell with respect to the angle of fiber orientation. © 1990 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., All rights reserved.