A robust finite element scheme for the micro-mechanical modeling of the behavior of fiber reinforced polymeric composites under external loads is developed. The developed model is used to simulate stress distribution throughout the composite domain and to identify the locations where maximum stress concentrations occur. This information is used as a guide to predict dominant failure and crack growth mechanisms in fiber reinforced composites. The differences between continuous fibers, which are susceptible to unidirectional transverse fracture, and short fibers have been demonstrated. To assess the validity and range of applicability of the developed scheme, numerical results obtained by the model are compared with the available experimental data and also with the values found using other methods reported in the literature. These comparisons show that the present finite element scheme can generate meaningful results in the analysis of fiber reinforced composites.