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Overview

As you know, architects design buildings. Architectural engineers specialize in designing the engineering systems within buildings. Architectural Engineering is in many ways similar to civil and mechanical engineering, but it is specifically geared toward the building industry. There are only a handful of Architectural Engineering programs dotted throughout the United States, and some of them require five years of fairly rigorous and diverse study. For the lucky few who graduate from these programs, though, employment opportunities are exceptional and career opportunities are bright.

Architectural Engineering majors study the planning, design, construction, and operation of engineered systems for all different kinds of buildings. What kind of engineered systems, you ask? In a nutshell, all those tremendously important things in every building that no one really notices like electrical systems, lighting, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, fire protection, plumbing, and structural systems.

If you decide to major in Architectural Engineering, you'll study the fundamentals of engineering and building construction as well as architectural history and design, math, the physical sciences, computer programming, and surveying.

SAMPLE CURRICULUM

  • Architectural Design

  • Architectural Graphics

  • Building Materials Science

  • Calculus

  • Computers in Engineering

  • Construction Contracting

  • Electronics and Electric Circuits

  • Engineering Systems Mathematics

  • History of Architecture

  • Physics

  • Plane Surveying

  • Statics and Dynamics

  • Structural Analysis

  • Structural Design


HIGH SCHOOl PREPARATION

In a word: math. You will do more math as an Architectural Engineering major (or as any kind of an engineering major) than you could ever shake a stick at in high school. So, get used to it, and get good at it. You also want to be comfortable working with different kinds of computer applications, and you should take a few art classes in order to feel comfortable with different design elements.