Architectural Engineering

In the United States, architectural engineering refers to a licensed engineering professional who’s qualified to apply engineering principles and technology to building design and construction. Architectural engineering is a multidisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree, sometimes resulting in a six-year program. In contrast to architects, who focus primarily on aesthetics, architectural engineers ensure that the structure is sound, stable, and the systems are functional.

There are a number of optional specializations, including in structural and mechanical integrity, acoustics and lighting, as well as energy conservation and optimization. Often, architectural engineering programs focus on a specific system within a building, such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, fire protection, electrical, lighting, architectural acoustics, or structural systems, but there’s also the option for a generalist degree at some institutions. Ideal candidates for an architectural engineering degree are drawn to technology, mathematics, and science.


When it comes to choosing an institution for architectural engineering, the most trusted programs are accredited by ABET, a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that focuses on the disciplines of applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. Post graduating, to become a licensed professional, architectural engineers must pass two exams, the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam and the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam. The average entry-level salary is for architectural engineers is $61,000, while average annual pay is upwards of $93,000.

Graduate Level

Postgraduate options include the Master of Architectural Engineering (MAE), a Master of Science (MS) in Architectural Engineering, or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Architectural Engineering. Advanced programs such as these can lead to building automation or communication systems, masonry design, or timber design.

Career options for graduates with a degree in architectural engineering include:Architectural Engineer, Architectural and Civil Drafter, Electrical Drafter, Mechanical Drafter, Engineering Technician, Construction Manager.

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Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

Pennsylvania State University, Penn State, is a land-, sea-, and space-grant university with a main campus in University Park. This public research institution was founded in 1855 and is one of the largest universities in the US by student body. Its...

“…i couldn't be more content with my choice of university for undergraduate education. penn state has so much to offer for students like me who don't put a limit to their dreams: highly-ranked academics, endless extra-curricular activities, greek life,...” – Alexandra from Sewell, NJ

The University of Texas at Austin

A Public Ivy and space-grant institution, the University of Texas at Austin is one of nine academic universities in the UT system, and also the first. Founded in 1883 and home to 18 schools and colleges, it is one of the largest schools in the US but...

“…The University of Texas at Austin has some of the best lectures in the world! It's surrounded by the wonderful Austin culture, and beautiful scenery. It's a tough and rigorous school, with loving teachers and friendly students. ” – Michael from San Antonio, TX

University of Arizona

Founded in 1885, the University of Arizona is a 4-year public institution in Tucson and the first university established in the Arizona territory. Arizona features 21 colleges and schools offering undergraduate degrees. In addition to classroom...

“…The University of Arizona has been all I've ever dreamed of so far! There is something for everyone, no matter who you are or what interests you have. It has been the perfect college experience and more.” – Summer from Mesa, AZ

University of Miami

Founded in 1925, the University of Miami is a private research institution in south Florida. The U encompasses 11 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 180 fields of study. Away from the classroom, the Miami campus is home to...

“…The ambient and city surrounding UM contribute a completely unique cultural experience the likes of which are cannot be found any where else in the world. The academic environment is lackluster, and those seeking a truly rigorous scholastic...” – BME from Miami, FL

Auburn University
Auburn University, AL
Auburn University

Auburn University is a 4-year public research institution and the second largest university in Alabama. Auburn encompasses 15 colleges and schools offering undergraduate degrees in over 140 academic majors. Outside of the classroom, Auburn is home to...

“…auburn is a wonderful school with rich history and tradition. the faculty and staff are excellent and friendly, and always willing to help. the student life here is incredibly varied and offers something for everyone.” – Joshua from Auburn, AL

University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

Founded in 1919, the University of Cincinnati is a 4-year public research institution and the second largest university in the state of Ohio. UC is home to 14 colleges and schools conferring degrees and is renowned as the first school to offer a co...

“…This campus is small enough to get to your classes in a reasonable time, but still big to find fun things to do. They have great places to eat with lots of variety. The people are all really friendly.” – Alex from Cincinnati, OH

University of Kansas

The University of Kansas is a public research institution. The main campus is located in Lawrence, Kansas, and is one of five in the University of Kansas system. KU offers more than 200 undergraduate majors in one of the largest college towns in the...

“…The campus is very beautiful, and well maintained. Basketball seems to be in the blood of every student at KU, everyone seems to enjoy it. It is a great school to attend, and be part of the Jayhawk culture.” – Nick

Drexel University

Named for a prominent 19th century philanthropist, Drexel University is a 4-year private research university in Philadelphia. Drexel offers bachelor’s degrees in over 80 academic majors with an emphasis on experiential learning. Additionally, the...

“…This university offers great city living where museums, concerts and sports events are only a stones throw away. The opportunity offered to students to work 6 months inbetween academics is also appealing both in terms of seeing if your chosen major...” – Sean from Quakertown, PA

University of Colorado Boulder

The University of Colorado Boulder is located at the base of the Rocky Mountains and ranks #90 in National Universities by the U.S. News & World Report. They offer Residential Academic Programs (RAPs), multiple honors programs, and an Education...

“…A great school especially if you are from Colorado. Everything about CU Boulder is welcoming and fun. You can't go wrong with this school!” – Adam from Parker, CO

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

One of two polytechnics in the CSU System, the California Polytechnic State University, more commonly known as Cal Poly, has a competitive admissions process for its programs, which focus in arts, technology, and sciences. The university is located...

“…Cal Poly is an academically challenging school who does well in providing its students with the necessary resources to move forward in their major. The staff is truly supportive of any concerns and do their best to help in any way. Cal Poly is also...” – Alyssa from Huntington Park, CA

University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a 4-year public institution in central Oklahoma. OU offers bachelor’s degrees in 170 academic fields of study. In addition to classroom space, the OU campus hosts the National Weather Center featuring a...

“…The University of Oklahoma has a wealth of opportunity to offer. It is a beautiful campus and the classes are kept small to offer individual attention to students. It also offers a lot of ways to get involved and give back to the community as well as...” – Brianna from Frisco, TX

Kansas State University

Founded in 1858 as Bluemont Central College, Kansas State University is a 4-year public institution in northeast Kansas. K-State hosts 11 colleges and schools conferring bachelor’s degrees in over 250 academic majors. In addition, the Kansas State...

“…kansas state university is an all around great university weither it be their sports team or academics. this university has such a welcoming atmosphere. manhattan and kansas state have a small town feel but in a bigger college experience.” – Student from Manhattan, KS

Oklahoma State University-Main Campus

Oklahoma State University is a public institution with university establishments in all 77 of Oklahoma’s counties. The school is a designated land-grant university and one of six US universities with a designated sun-grant. OSU's campus is home to...

“…Oklahoma State University is an amazing place to live. The second I stepped on campus the current students and the staff made me feel like I was at home. The faculty is always friendly and willing to work with you, allowing you to have a successful...” – Alyssa from Sapulpa, OK

University of Wyoming

Located on the high Laramie plains near the Snowy Range Mountains, the University of Wyoming is a land-grant institution and the state’s flagship institution. UW encompasses nine colleges and schools offering undergraduate degrees in over 80 areas of...

“…the university is good; it has a beautiful campus, nice friendly people, good teachers and a great surrounding community. the weather is a bit of a downside, and the surrounding community however is small if that is a concern. ” – Cody from Gillette, WY

Tennessee State University

With two campuses in Nashville, Tennessee State University is the only state-funded Historically Black College and University in the state of Tennessee and part of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. TSU grants bachelor’s and graduate degrees in 77...

“…Tennessee State University is a campus that is filled with opportunity and chances to change your life. The atmosphere is a family oriented, and a welcoming vibe for new students. The staff care about you as if you were their own.” – Kiara from Ellenwood, GA

Illinois Institute of Technology

Created by the merger of Lewis Institute and Armour Institute, The Illinois Institute of Technology is a scientific and technical research institution in Chicago. IIT hosts eight colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 40 fields...

“…Illinois Tech is a vibrant institute with the largest diverse student population I have ever seen!. Education First! Fun last!” – Amadou from Lynnwood, WA

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Founded in 1869, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is the oldest university in the state and flagship of the NU system. Nebraska is home to nine colleges conferring undergraduate degrees. In addition to classroom facilities, the NU campus hosts The...

“…The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has been a very welcoming community of students from all across the world. The students, staff, and alumni of the university do a great job to make you feel at home and keep you constantly having fun. You will not...” – Nick from Holmen, WI

North Carolina A & T State University

Founded in 1890, North Carolina A&T State University is a public Historically Black College and University and the state’s first land-grant university for people of color. N.C. A&T is home to nine colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees...

“…A&T is a wonderful institution! They provide lots of scholarship, and internship opportunities, and provide other services to their students to ensure success after graduation. I also found out at A&T that as long as I asked for help, I received help...” – Keira from Buffalo, NY

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865, Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a school of engineering and technology in central Massachusetts. WPI grants bachelor’s degrees in 32 technical and scientific fields of study. In addition, every academic program is centered around...

“…if an engineering degree is what you desire, wpi is the place to go. excellent academics and highly accredited programs. an emphasis on projects and hands-on learning provides real-life experience and preparation.” – Tori from Jefferson Hills, PA

The University of Alabama

Established in 1821, the University of Alabama is a 4-year research institution in Tuscaloosa and the oldest and largest public university in the state. UA features 12 colleges and schools conferring bachelor’s degrees in over 70 fields of study. For...

“…I would give the University a A++. It is a beautiful school with an amazing campus. The teachers are all very helpful and want the best for you. Staff is also amazing, wanting to help with your every need” – Elizabeth from Maylene, AL

University of Detroit Mercy

The University of Detroit Mercy is a private institution based in Detroit, Michigan. The school is sponsored by the Religious Sisters of Mercy and the Society of Jesus. The school operates three campuses, McNichols, Riverfront, and Corktown, making...

“…My college is a ten. The students and staff our very friendly and helpful. The school is a team in making sure each student is successful in reaching their goals.” – Samara from Chesterfield, MI

Lawrence Technological University

Originally founded in a building leased from Henry Ford, Lawrence Technological University is a private institution focused on STEM education. Lawrence Tech is home to colleges of Business & IT, Arts & Sciences, Architecture, and Engineering...

“…This is a great school for those who are passionate about really learning and seeing progress in technological research happen. Many classes are hands on and will require you to fabricate items already in your first year, which allows you to gain...” – Maximillian from Southfield, MI

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Missouri University of Science and Technology, Missouri S&T, is a 4-year institution that was founded in 1870. The Rolla-located university houses two colleges, the College of Arts, Sciences, and Business, as well as the College of Engineering and...

“…this school seems pretty awesome. it has a different atmosphere--everyone seems so smart and so together, it's just unreal. the campus has its history, old but filled with many great minds and a lot of the thirst for knowledge.” – Tori from Republic, MO

Milwaukee School of Engineering

With campus a short walk from the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan, the Milwaukee School of Engineering is an engineering and science college in downtown Milwaukee. MSOE confers undergraduate degrees in 18 science and business-related fields of...

“…The education is challenging, but the classes help with resume building experience. Being on campus helps me realize the stresses of living on your own. The campus is very accommodating for the events that are created and the location of where the...” – Kail from Milwaukee, WI

Texas A & M University-Kingsville

Chartered in 1917, Texas A&M University-Kingsville is a 4-year public school and the oldest institution of higher learning in south Texas. Texas A&M Kingsville is home to six colleges granting undergraduate degrees. In addition to classroom space,...

“…i love the small classes.the faculty is very helpful.its easy to move around campus.” – Ariana from Freeport, TX

Springfield Technical Community College is a public, 2-year institution established in the state of Massachusetts. STCC is the only technical community college in the state, making its catalogue of over 90 career programs particularly unique to the...

“…They have really good professors for the most part. Easy to get to and easily accessible campus. Very competitive programs.” – Ariel from Chicopee, MA

University of Liverpool

The University of Liverpool is an institution located in the city of the same name. Founded in 1881, the redbrick university is proud of their founding mission, ‘for the advancement of learning and enoblement of life,’ which they still maintain today...