With the heavy infusion of high-end technology into the design and construction of structures, Architectural Engineering has emerged as one of the important engineering branches in the 21st century. Further, advancements in allied areas of environment, sustainability, energy management, digitisation and computerisation, amongst others has led to the demand of integrating such technologies into modern building structures. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, architectural engineers work with a lens of an engineer and concern themselves with questions of both architecture, construction and engineering and aim to solve them with cutting-edge scientific knowledge and techniques. The field also draws from other fields including but not limited to Mechanical Engineering, Construction Engineering and Electrical and Electronics Engineering. Through this blog, we aim to understand what Architectural Engineering as a field entails, the courses offered in this domain as well as the prospects you can explore.
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Architectural Engineering vs. Architecture
Not long ago, the job of an architect and architectural engineer was performed by a single person with a working knowledge and experience of both these fields. However, with the need to make sturdier buildings and yet not compromising with its charming qualities, the need for a loose bifurcation between the two emerged. In particular, architecture deals with purely the design, shape, layout or style of structures and includes areas like interior design, urban planning, landscape architecture, architectural computation and so forth. On the other hand, Architectural Engineering is a similar technical discipline which is more inclined towards structural soundness of the building, effects of environments on components, resilience in the face of mishaps, health & safety of occupants, etc. Moreover, students must also make a note of the fact that a majority of subjects or topics covered under both Architectural Engineering or architecture courses overlap and it is only the course objective that may be different.
Courses in Architectural Engineering
Architectural Engineering is offered at varied levels of undergraduate and postgraduate education along with opportunities of pursuing continuing [certificates, diploma, etc] and doctorate courses [PhD]. During an undergraduate course in, for instance, BSc Architectural Engineering, focus is laid on development of a solid foundation of basic engineering and architectural concepts. Moreover, a postgraduate course program is highly intensive involving concepts that are much more specialized ranging from structural systems to legal aspects.
Undergraduate Level [3-7 Yrs]
A Bachelor of Architectural Engineering is intended to introduce individuals to its major fundamentals and principles of design, planning and construction of building in the modern era. Along with classroom teaching, institutes also encourage students to gain practical placements, research projects and software proficiency assisting them to start an entry to mid-level career. Since the curriculum is largely multidisciplinary, graduates can also venture into diverse fields.
Eligibility: Senior secondary [XIIth] with subjects in combination of physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science or other related subject.
Also Read: Bachelor of Architecture
Postgraduate Level [1-3 Yrs]
In a master’s course, for example, Master of Architectural Engineering, students dive into certain aspects and develop a deep understanding of them. Incorporated with research analysis, critical thinking and seminars, workshops, projects, etc, completing this degree graduates can explore avenues in companies at mid-to-senior level as well as pursue a career in research. Specialisations offered at the postgraduate level include infrastructure materials engineering, structural engineering, building energy & environments, sustainable systems etc. Dual and integrated degrees combining multiple engineering disciplines are also popular.
Eligibility: A bachelor’s degree in architecture or engineering with architecture subjects is generally the norm though this may change according to the study abroad destination. Institutes also take into account a candidate’s industry experience.
Apart from the degree courses mentioned above, there are loads of other options such as certificate, diploma or advanced diploma programs. These primarily focus on skill-based training on a particular facet of Architectural Engineering. Further, if interested in research, opportunities are ripe to pursue an MPhil or PhD. Such programs involve heavy coursework, research experiments, surveys, analysis on a topic of interest. PhD graduates can opt for the role of research assistants in universities and further go on to work at research laboratories, governments, think-tanks as well as companies.
Related Article: List Of Engineering Courses After 12th
The structure of a typical Architectural Engineering course is heavily interdisciplinary with concepts and theories from core sciences, engineering, materials sciences, computer design & modelling as well as sustainability & climate change, business management, construction, etc. These are taught under three basic divisions, namely, core or required, specialisations and elective subjects. Further, the level of rigour may also vary according to the level of the degree program, i.e bachelor’s or master’s etc. Tabulated below is a list of subjects generally found in the courses offered in this field. Specialisations undertaken may have their own permutation of curriculum.
Waves & Thermodynamics
Introduction to Building Industry
Strength of Materials
Building Construction, Planning & Management
Adv. Building Electrical System Design
Critical Communication for Engineers
Structural theory & Design
Systems Modelling & Design
Historical Structural Design Methods
Adv Steel Design
Building Structural Systems
Architectural Structural Systems
Environmental Control Systems
Design of Masonry Structures
Building Construction Estimating
Top Universities Offering Architectural Engineering Courses
Course offerings in Architectural Engineering have soared in the past few decades owing to the growth of career opportunities leading to a new-born interest in students across the globe. Take a look at the table below in which we have listed down the top universities for Architectural Engineering which are highly rated by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021.
|Courses in Architectural
|The University of
|Australia||31||Master of AE|
|USA||38||Master of Architecture|
|USA||44||Bachelor of Architecture
BSc in AE
|USA||=114||Bachelor of AEPhD in AE
Integrated Bachelor/Master of AE
MEng in AE
|UK||=121||MSc Architectural Engineering
(Professional Year Option
|USA||=131||BS AEBS/MS in AEMS in AE
|City University of
|Hong Kong||126||BEng in AE
MSc in Civil & Architectural
MPhil in Architecture & Civil
PhD in Architecture & Civil
|UK||=158||BEng (Hons) Architectural
MEng (Hons) Architectural
|UK||=160||BEng (Hons) in AE
MEng (Hons) in AE
|UK||163||BEng (Hons) in AE
MEng (Hons) in AE
|Canada||201-250||Bachelor of Applied Science
in Architectural Engineering
|Sweden||201-250||MSc in Civil & Architectural
PhD in Civil & Architectural
Note: This is not an exhaustive list. Prospective applicants are requested to search through more universities as per their interests.
Application & Admission
In order to pursue overseas education at the above universities or other institutes of choice, students are required to apply through its online application portal with all the necessary documents. Typically, institutions ask for official transcripts and degree-related documents, scores of SAT/GRE/GMAT and IELTS/TOEFL, a statement of purpose [SOP], two or three letters of recommendation [LOR] and a CV. Further, students must submit their application within the stipulated deadlines of such admission cycles which are generally conducted in Fall although some may also admit in semesters, Winter or Summer. For the Fall deadlines, completed applications need to be submitted between December to January. If you want to be considered for scholarships, applying in the early deadline is advisable.
Graduates in Architectural Engineering can choose to work in diverse industries ranging from architecture-oriented to designing, management, and even city planning. Take a look at the following career pathways which you must consider.
- Architectural Engineer
- Design Manager
- Regulatory & Policy Expert
- Architectural Technologist
- CAD Technician
- Building Surveyor
- Town Planner
- Planning & Development Surveyor
- Building Engineer
- Historic Buildings Officer
- System Design Engineer
As discussed, Architectural Engineering’s multidisciplinarity offers a diverse range of career avenues not only in core architecture but also in business, project management, etc. If you wish to pursue it, take assistance of the AI-enabled tool at Leverage Edu which narrows down course and university combinations based on your skills, interests and aspirations. Not only that, our team of experts and mentors can further guide you throughout your application phase letting you make an informed decision towards a rewarding career.