Like architects, architectural engineers are concerned with the design of buildings, but their focus is more on the needs of the structure than of the occupants. Like other engineers, architectural engineers apply advanced math and science to solve practical problems, but they are concerned with individual buildings rather than large infrastructure. They may create efficiency solutions for energy flows in the home, for example, or ensure the structural safety of a large commercial facility.
Most employers expect architectural engineers to have at least a bachelor's degree in Architectural Engineering, Architecture, or a closely related discipline such as Mechanical, Civil or Structural Engineering. Managerial positions frequently require a graduate degree, though, and academic employers invariably seek those with Ph.D.s. The most elite jobs often require a Ph.D. in a targeted subspecialty of architecture or engineering.
Most employers expect architectural engineers to be licensed, and it is usually a legal requirement of practice, too. In most states, licensure means getting an accredited education. Bachelor-level architectural engineering schools must be certified by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Architecture degrees are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).
As undergraduates, aspiring architectural engineers learn how to apply scientific principles and methods to the design and construction of buildings. Architectural engineering programs tend to be challenging. They have substantial breadth and depth, often incorporating multidisciplinary studies, extensive studio time and comprehensive senior projects. Even at the bachelor's level, many departments limit annual enrollment in the major due to high demand.
It can take up to 5 years to complete most ABET-accredited programs leading to a professional Bachelor of Architectural Engineering. In addition to general education, AE curricula typically cover advanced math and science prerequisites, extensive engineering coursework, plus classes and studios in architecture and design. To prepare for college-level engineering, high school students should take plenty of math, especially calculus.
The more work experience that students acquire before and after graduation, the better their post-graduation prospects will be. Many bachelor candidates undertake summer internships as undergraduates to prepare for either graduate school or the workforce.
A Bachelor of Architectural Engineering includes courses like:
What can you do with a bachelor's in Architectural Engineering?
Two-year master degrees are popular among architectural engineers. Taking the time to finish a graduate degree can mean higher pay and wider opportunities in the job market. It can, for example, open up well-compensated positions in research and development. To get into a master's AE program, students generally need a bachelor's degree in an architectural or engineering discipline.
The main professional degree for architectural engineers is the Master of Architectural Engineering, or M.A.E. Many also pursue related professional degrees like the Master of Architecture (M.Arch) or Master of Engineering (M.Eng), with or without a specialization in Architectural Engineering. Ambitious students earn joint degrees in Architecture and Engineering concurrently. Alternatively, students may opt for a Master of Science (M.S.) in the field. The M.S. is a research degree based on completion of a thesis.
Blended bachelor-and-master tracks help students move from undergraduate to graduate school on an accelerated schedule. These non-thesis pathways don't take as long. Many, but not all master programs require students to complete a research thesis or project in addition to graduate coursework. Note that Architecture admissions often require the submission of a professional portfolio.
A Master of Architectural Engineering includes advanced coursework in areas like:
What jobs are available to holders of a graduate degree in Architectural Engineering? They include:
Architectural engineers seek doctoral degrees like the Ph.D. if they plan to teach in an academic setting or work primarily as a researcher. Study at this level affords in-depth focus on a subspecialty such as energy, lighting, electrical, acoustics, or structural design. Doctoral programs also provide access to professional networks that nurture employment connections for candidates.
Doctoral dissertations in Architectural Engineering might focus on topics such as:
A Ph.D. in Architectural Engineering can lead to jobs like:
We found 20 schools offering "Architectural Engineering" degree programs in the U.S.
|Auburn University Main Campus||Auburn University||AL||21860|
|California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo||San Luis Obispo||CA||16877|
|Delaware State University||Dover||DE||3103|
|Illinois Institute of Technology||Chicago||IL||6003|
|Kansas State University||Manhattan||KS||21929|
|Milwaukee School of Engineering||Milwaukee||WI||2620|
|North Carolina A & T State University||Greensboro||NC||7748|
|Oklahoma State University - Main Campus||Stillwater||OK||18676|
|Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus||University Park||PA||40571|
|Tennessee State University||Nashville||TN||8640|
|The University of Texas at Austin||Austin||TX||49996|
|University of Cincinnati - Main Campus||Cincinnati||OH||27327|
|University of Colorado at Boulder||Boulder||CO||29352|
|University of Kansas Main Campus||Lawrence||KS||25920|
|University of Miami||Coral Gables||FL||13963|
|University of Michigan - Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor||MI||38103|
|University of the District of Columbia||Washington||DC||5358|
|University of Wyoming||Laramie||WY||11743|