Architectural Engineering Schools in the US offer world-class education, with hands-on design studios to cutting-edge research facilities, these schools will provide you with the tools and resources required to excel in the field of architectural engineering.
Generally, architecture is a creative art form that blends practicality and aesthetics to build visually appealing and structurally sound structures. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for Architectural Engineering was $79,840 in May 2021. It also projects about 200,900 openings each year, on average. This suggests that architectural engineering will have great job prospects in the coming years.
Therefore, if you’re thinking about a career in architectural engineering, selecting the right institution is critical to your success. The United States boasts some of the greatest architectural engineering schools in the world, each with its own set of programs and opportunities for students.
In this post, we’ll look at the top architectural engineering schools in the United States and what makes them stand out. Whether you want to start your profession or advance it, keep reading to learn about the best architectural engineering schools in the United States.
What Is Architectural Engineering?
Architectural engineering is a field of study that focuses on integrating engineering and technology into building design and construction. The Architectural Engineering degree program may contain engineering disciplines such as structural engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, piping, and fire protection engineering.
In addition, architectural engineers use both practical and theoretical knowledge to design structures and building systems. The goal is to design high-performance buildings that are sustainable, resilient, and economically feasible, while also ensuring occupant safety, health, comfort, and productivity.
Why Study Architectural Engineering In The US?
Below are several reasons why studying architectural engineering in the US can be a great choice:
#1. High-quality education
The US is home to some of the best architectural engineering schools in the world, which offer rigorous and comprehensive curricula that cover both the technical and creative aspects of the field. These programs are taught by experienced faculty who have a wealth of knowledge and expertise.
#2. Career opportunities
The US has a robust and growing construction industry, which means that there is a high demand for qualified architectural engineers. Hence, graduates of architectural engineering programs in the US are well-equipped to pursue careers in a variety of fields, including architecture, construction, engineering, and project management.
#3. Cutting-edge technology and innovation
The US is known for its technological advancements and innovative approach to problem-solving. As a result, studying architectural engineering in the US will expose you to the latest technology and techniques in the field, which will give you a competitive edge in the job market.
#4. Cultural diversity
The US is a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, which means that studying in the US will expose you to a diverse range of perspectives and ideas. This can broaden your horizons and enhance your creativity, which are essential qualities for success in architectural engineering.
#5. Networking opportunities
Studying in the US can provide students with access to a wide range of industry professionals, including architects, engineers, contractors, and developers. As a result, this will help them build a strong professional network that can be valuable throughout their career.
Top 15 Best Architectural Engineering Schools in the US
Here are the top 15 best Architectural Engineering schools in the United States:
#1. Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology is ranked first among the best Architectural Engineering schools in the United States. Georgia Tech is an Atlanta-based public research institution. It has about 32,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries and provides a variety of majors in engineering, science, computing, business, and architecture.
Similarly, Georgia Tech University provides a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with a focus on Architectural Engineering. This curriculum emphasizes the integration of engineering principles into building design and construction, with a focus on energy-efficient, sustainable, and resilient buildings.
Additionally, Georgia Tech also has a Master of Science in Building Construction and Facilities Management program that is aimed at training students for executive jobs in building and real estate. The topics covered in this program include project management, sustainable design, building systems, and facility management.
#2. University of California-Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley is a public land-grant research university in Berkeley, California. Its fourteen colleges and institutions provide approximately 50 degree programs to 32,000 undergraduate and 13,000 graduate students. UC Berkeley is known for its academic excellence and is frequently regarded as one of the best public universities in the country.
Furthermore, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley provides a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Structural Engineering, as well as a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Structural Engineering. Students can concentrate on Architectural Engineering under the Structural Engineering degree, which focuses on the design, analysis, and construction of buildings and other structures.
Likewise, UC Berkeley has various research centers and resources that support architectural engineering research. They include the Center for the Built Environment, which performs research on sustainable building design and operation, and the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center.
#3. University of Texas-Austin
The University of Texas-Austin (UT Austin) offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of disciplines, including engineering and architecture. UT Austin is noted for its academic brilliance and research activities, and it is a member of the Association of American Universities. The university has a very student body, with students from all 50 states and more than 120 countries.
The Cockrell School of Engineering at UT Austin provides a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering (BSAE) program that prepares students for employment in building design and construction. The program emphasizes the application of engineering ideas to architecture, building, and sustainability practices. Also, UT Austin’s BSAE program includes a wide range of architectural engineering topics, including building systems design, structural analysis and design, environmental systems design, and construction management.
#4. University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign also ranked among the best Architectural engineering schools in the US. UIUC offers over 150 undergraduate and more than 100 graduate programs in various fields of study, including engineering, business, computer science, agriculture, law, education, social sciences, humanities, and the arts.
Additionally, UIUC has a highly-ranked Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering that offers an undergraduate degree program in architectural engineering. The architectural engineering program at UIUC focuses on the design and analysis of building systems, such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, electrical, and structural systems. Interestingly, students in the program learn to use computer-aided design (CAD) software, building information modeling (BIM) software, and other tools to develop detailed designs for buildings.
#5. Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania State University is a public research university located in University Park, Pennsylvania, USA. The department of architectural engineering offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs in architectural engineering, with a focus on the integration of engineering principles and design concepts in the building industry. The curriculum is geared towards educating students for professions in the planning, constructing, and maintenance of structures and related infrastructure.
Similarly, Penn State’s department of architectural engineering has a high reputation in the area of research and innovation, with a focus on sustainable design, building performance, and energy efficiency. The department’s faculty members are highly qualified and experienced in their respective fields, and they actively participate in research projects and partnerships with industry partners.
#6. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is regarded as one of the best architectural engineering schools in the United States. This University features a well-recognized College of Engineering, which provides a variety of undergraduate and graduate engineering programs, including architectural engineering.
The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor’s architectural engineering department takes a multidisciplinary approach to education, including coursework in engineering, architecture, and construction management.
As a result, students will learn about building systems design, structural analysis, lighting design, and energy efficiency. Similarly, the curriculum stresses hands-on learning through design projects and site visits, giving students real-world experience that will prepare them for careers in the field.
#7. University of Colorado-Boulder
The University of Colorado-Boulder is a public research university located in Boulder, Colorado, USA. The Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering at CU Boulder offer a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering, as well as a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Architectural Engineering. These programs equip students with the skills necessary to design and evaluate structural and building systems, as well as HVAC, lighting, acoustics, and fire safety.
The Architectural Engineering program at CU Boulder is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), which guarantees that the program fulfills high standards of quality and equips graduates to enter the workforce as competent and trained professionals. Along with its academic offerings, CU Boulder also houses several research facilities and centers dedicated to architectural engineering, including the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory (ITLL), the Colorado Center for Sustainable Urbanism, and the Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities.
#8. Purdue University-West Lafayette
Purdue University-West Lafayette is a public research university, and it also ranks among the best architectural engineering schools in the US. The architectural engineering program at the University is designed to educate students in the fundamentals of engineering. As a result, its curriculum places a strong emphasis on combining technical expertise with creative problem-solving techniques, preparing students to work as engineers who can create structures that are secure, effective, and sustainable.
Furthermore, the curriculum provides a variety of courses in areas such as building systems, structural analysis, materials science, and building information modeling. It also provides hands-on experience through design projects, laboratory investigations, and field trips. Purdue University-West Lafayette also includes a variety of research labs and resources that support architectural engineering study.
#9. Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech provides a variety of disciplines, including a highly renowned architectural engineering school. The architectural engineering program at Virginia Tech is part of the Faculty of Engineering and focuses on the design and construction of buildings and other structures. Hence, students in this degree will study the technical and aesthetic components of building design, as well as the environmental, economic, and social factors that influence building performance.
Moreover, Virginia Tech’s architectural engineering program is well-known for its emphasis on sustainable design techniques and interdisciplinary collaboration. The program blends engineering principles with design concepts to provide students with a thorough understanding of the construction sector. Similarly, students can obtain practical experience and work on real-world projects through internships and research opportunities.
#10. University of Kansas
The University of Kansas is a public research institution in Lawrence, Kansas. KU provides undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate degrees in a variety of disciplines, including arts and humanities, business, education, engineering, health sciences, law, journalism, social sciences, and natural sciences.
Furthermore, KU has a diverse student body of over 28,000 students representing all 50 states and over 100 countries. The university is renowned for its excellent academic programs, research projects, and sports teams. It provides a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering (BSAE) degree program in architectural engineering. This program is aimed to educate students for careers in building and building system design, construction, and operation.
#11. Texas A&M University-College Station
Texas A&M University-College Station is well-known for its engineering disciplines, particularly architectural engineering. The University’s Department of Architectural Engineering is part of the College of Engineering and provides a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering degree program.
The program curriculum includes courses in structural design, building systems, lighting and electrical systems, energy systems, and construction management. Students can also engage in design studios, where they can apply their skills to real-world projects.
Furthermore, Texas A&M University-College Station is home to several architectural engineering research centers and laboratories. They include the Center for Health Systems and Design, which researches the interaction between health and the built environment, and the Energy Systems Laboratory, which focuses on developing sustainable building systems and technology.
#12. University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma (OU) is another renowned university that ranks among the best architectural engineering schools in the US. The university, which was founded in 1890, provides over 170 undergraduate programs, more than 160 graduate programs, and 20 Ph.D. programs. OU is well-known for its strong engineering, business, law, medicine, and education programs. Hence, it offers a varied student body of approximately 24,000 students from all 50 states and over 100 countries, with a mix of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.
Similarly, the department of architectural engineering at the University of Oklahoma is based in the College of Engineering and offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Engineering. As a result, students learn how to apply structural engineering, mechanical systems, electrical systems, and building code concepts to construct practical, safe, and aesthetically beautiful structures. Students also learn how to produce comprehensive plans and models of buildings and structures using computer-aided design (CAD) software and other cutting-edge technology.
#13. Kansas State University
Kansas State University is a public research university in Manhattan, Kansas, that provides a wide range of academic degrees in fields such as architecture and engineering. KSU has about 250 undergraduate majors and over 165 graduate programs spread over nine colleges and a graduate school. The Carl R. Ice College of Engineering at KSU provides an excellent education in the design and construction of buildings and other structures. The curriculum focuses on the integration of engineering principles with architectural design and construction processes, with an emphasis on sustainability and energy efficiency.
In addition, KSU is noted for its dynamic campus life, which includes over 475 student groups and a wide range of events and activities throughout the year. The Kansas State Wildcats, the university’s athletic program, competes in the NCAA Division I Big 12 Conference and has a strong football and basketball legacy.
#14. Drexel University
Drexel University is a private research institution in Philadelphia. The Department of Architecture, Design, and Urbanism at the university provides a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) degree and a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering (BSAE) degree, as well as masters and doctorate programs in architecture and related subjects.
Drexel’s architectural engineering program focuses on the integration of engineering principles with architectural design, construction, and building systems. Additionally, the curriculum is distinctive because it includes a cooperative education program that enables students to get real-world experience through paid internships with top design and engineering firms.
#15. University of Wyoming
The University of Wyoming is also regarded as one of the best architectural engineering schools in the United States. The institution provides nearly 190 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs in a variety of areas, including agriculture, business, education, engineering, health sciences, humanities, and law.
In addition, the University of Wyoming has approximately 12,000 students enrolled and a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. Similarly, the BSAE program at UW covers a wide range of architectural engineering disciplines, including structural analysis and design, building systems design, building materials and construction processes, energy systems, and design for sustainability.
How Do I Become An Architectural Engineer?
Becoming an architectural engineer requires a combination of education, training, and experience. Here are the steps you can take to become an architectural engineer:
#1. Obtain a bachelor’s degree
Most architectural engineering positions require a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering or a related field such as civil engineering, mechanical engineering, or electrical engineering.
#2. Gain work experience
Seek internships or entry-level positions in architectural or engineering firms to gain practical experience. Getting professional work experience can provide you with in-depth architectural engineering information while broadening your knowledge and improving your manual and computer-aided drafting skills.
#3. Obtain licensure
In the US, licensure as a professional engineer is required to practice as an architectural engineer. To obtain licensure, you need to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, gain experience, and pass the Professional Engineering (PE) exam.
#3. Pursue advanced education
Consider pursuing a master’s degree or a Ph.D. in architectural engineering or a related field to increase your expertise and career opportunities.
FAQs About Architectural Engineering Schools in the US
What College has the best Architectural Engineering program?
Below are the colleges that offer best architectural engineering degrees:
- Purdue University.
- Wentworth Institute of Technology.
- SUNY College of Technology at Alfred.
- Farmingdale State College.
- Rutgers University – Camden.
- New England Institute of Technology.
- The University of Hartford.
- SUNY College at Buffalo.
How much does an Architectural Engineer earn in the US?
The salary of an Architectural Engineer in the United States might vary depending on many criteria such as location, experience, and industry. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual income for architectural and engineering managers, which includes architectural engineers, in May 2021 was $144,830.
Are architectural engineers in demand?
Well, as the construction industry grows and evolves, there will be a continuing demand for experienced people with a solid technical foundation and competence in building systems design and planning. Therefore, while demand may fluctuate in different areas and industries, architectural engineers are likely to continue to be in demand in the coming years due to the critical role they play in building design and construction.
Finally, to pursue a career in architectural engineering, it’s crucial to attend a top-tier architectural engineering school that provides quality education, hands-on experience, and networking opportunities. Choosing the right school can be a daunting task, but it’s important to consider factors such as program curriculum, faculty expertise, research opportunities, and job placement rates.