B.A.E. Degree

General Description

This major emphasizes the scientific and engineering aspects of planning, design, and construction of buildings. The goal of the program is to provide engineering graduates with the best education available for careers in the building professions.

The undergraduate education provided at Penn State gives graduating Architectural Engineers a fundamental understanding of all building systems with an in-depth capability in a chosen option area. The breadth of technical knowledge includes study in:

  • Architectural studies
  • Structural studies
  • Mechanical studies
  • Lighting studies
  • Electrical studies
  • Acoustical studies
  • Project activities such as:
    • Management
    • Design
    • Construction methods
    • Economics
    • Building operations

With this unique engineering diversity, graduates are capable of effectively communicating and integrating with all members of the A/E/C profession, and of playing an active role in the coordination of complex projects.

As implied by the name, the architectural engineer is dedicated to the building industry. Through five years of education, students are prepared to take their place in the building industry.

The program has limited enrollment, which creates a highly competitive and selective entrance to major process. Only the top 100 applicants are selected, resulting in an extremely talented and zealous class of young engineers.

The specific goal of the undergraduate program in Architectural Engineering at Penn State is to provide a high quality education in the fundamentals of engineering and their application to buildings. This is achieved through classroom, studio, and extracurricular activities, which will provide each graduate with the ability to practice as a registered professional engineer in one of a variety of areas, both public and private, related to the planning, design, construction and operation of buildings and to assume a place of leadership in society.

Option Descriptions

Four options are available in the ten-semester major: the Construction option, which emphasizes building construction engineering and construction management; the Lighting/Electrical option, which emphasizes the design of electrical systems for buildings; the Mechanical option, which emphasizes the design of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems in buildings; and the Structural option, which emphasizes the analysis and design of structural systems.

Courses in architectural design analysis are included in all options to give the engineering student a comprehensive understanding of architectural design. Courses in engineering design are provided throughout the program. The design experience is culminated in a year-long capstone design course.

Senior Thesis

Penn State architectural engineers possess a professional edge. This is acquired from the professional projects performed throughout their academic career. The highlight of these projects is the individual year-long thesis in the fifth year of the program. This project requires:

  • Extensive interaction with design and construction professionals for a recently constructed building
  • Study of the working drawings
  • Are-engineering of the project
  • Maintenance of detailed process records of the project
  • Development and analysis of innovative ideas

The thesis is concluded with a presentation of the study to a jury consisting of faculty and building professionals. This comprehensive project is Penn State's key to graduating well-rounded and well-prepared architectural engineers.

In a time when the building industry is undergoing rapid advancements, the Penn State architectural engineering graduate can be expected to help any building oriented organization move into the future.

Program Accreditation

The major is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) . Program criteria for Architectural Engineering may be found within the full listing on the ABET web page.

Degree Requirements

The professional degree, Bachelor of Architectural Engineering (B.A.E.), is granted upon the satisfactory completion of the five-year program with a minimum of 160-168 credits, depending on the program year.

B.A.E. Educational Objectives

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