The thermal post-buckling responses of shape memory alloy hybrid composite (SMAHC) shell panels are investigated using a finite element method formulated on the basis of the layerwise theory. The von Karman nonlinear displacement-strain relationships are applied to consider large deflections due to thermal loads. The cylindrical arc-length method is used to take account of the snapping phenomenon which is an unstable behavior observed in the shell panels. A nonlinear finite element procedure based on Brinson's model is developed to investigate the behaviors of shape memory alloy (SMA) wire. The results of numerical analysis show that the recovery stresses of SMA wires can enhance the stiffness of structure and the SMAHC shell panel exhibits superior behaviors of thermal post-buckling compared to the conventional composite panel. It is also shown that embedding SMA wires in a composite structure can prevent the unstable post-buckling behavior.