Architectural Engineering Colleges
Architectural engineering colleges and universities in the United States offer rigorous academic programs in the field of architectural engineering. These programs are designed to prepare individuals who want to become structural engineers or structural systems designers for the responsibilities those careers entail.
While architectural engineering is related to architecture, architectural engineering is a different discipline entirely, and is more related to civil engineering. Architects creates homes, offices and buildings – essentially the urban landscape that makes up our daily lives.
However, the job of a structual engineer is to design the structural and the engineering systems for towers, bridges, stadiums and complex buildings – structures that require carefully calculated feats of engineering to safely build and use on a daily basis. To execute these projects, structural engineers may work with architects, as well as other types of engineers and construction personnel.
One example of a structural engineering project is the case of a skyscraper that due to its location must be designed to withstand unique conditions like typhoons, earthquakes, and strong winds. Naturally, a structural engineer must be adept at solving problems, be a creative thinker, and well versed in math and science disciplines.
Degrees Offered by Architectural Engineering Colleges
Architectural engineering colleges and universities offer degrees in the discipline at different levels. Students can study a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, a doctoral degree (PhD), even a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree, or else a minor in architectural engineering designed to complement a different course of study. Those students who wish to work as structural engineers or structural systems designers would do well to earn a Master’s degree in Architectural Engineering. This degree typically takes three to four semesters to complete, and a thesis may or may not be required, depending on the program. At the same time, those students who wish to work in other areas related to architectural engineering, such as architecture, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and construction management, will profit from a minor or Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering.
When studying architectural engineering, students are required to take a series of classes that focus on theory and academic work as well as labs that emphasize hands-on practice. The courses cover topics such as statistical analysis, structural analysis, electrical systems, masonry design, communications systems, building control systems, concrete structure design, wood structure design, steel design, architectural acoustics, and mechanical systems.
Accreditation from Architectural Engineering Colleges
U.S. colleges and universities typically apply for accreditation as a school from a regional accrediting body such as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
In addition to that, some schools choose to apply for accreditation for specific programs. In the case of architectural engineering programs, some have been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) at ABET, an organization which used to be called the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. They are responsible for accrediting college and university programs in the fields of science, engineering, and technology.
One of the ways you can view accredited architectural engineering colleges is by using ABET’s search function for accredited programs. They include schools like California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, Pennsylvania State University, Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Miami.
Once you begin your studies, architectural engineering colleges and universities offer different resources and activities students should take advantage of outside the classroom environment. Examples include student associations for structural engineers and internship opportunities. In addition, these activities look great on a resume when you are ready to look for a job as a structural engineer or structural systems designer.