Students visiting construction site

Architectural Engineering Disciplines

Four options are available for architectural engineering students to specialize in during the last two years of their five-year undergraduate degree program.

Construction Option

Students in the construction option are prepared to take an active role in the planning, management, design, and construction phases of building projects.

Construction students focus on management techniques and economic considerations associated with construction of a full range of building projects. Students prepare for an active role in construction planning and implementation through courses on:

  • contracting
  • scheduling
  • estimating
  • construction methods

Lighting/Electrical Option

Students in the lighting and electrical option have the skills and knowledge necessary to create high-quality lighting systems and safe and effective electrical distribution systems.

The lighting and electrical option builds on the fundamentals of:

  • electrical circuits
  • power distribution
  • illumination systems for buildings

Strong design and analysis capabilities are developed through such classes as AE 461 – Basic Theory of Building Illumination, AE 464 – Advanced Architectural Illumination System Design, AE 467 – Advanced Building Electrical System Design, and AE 466 – Computer Aided Lighting Design and Analysis.

Mechanical Option

Students in the mechanical option work to combine a strong background in building systems with mechanical engineering fundamentals to design systems that provide quality environments for people.

All mechanical option students have completed in-depth course work in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) fundamentals, analysis, and design. They focus on the design of total building systems. Additional courses available include:

  • indoor air quality, building solar design
  • HVAC noise control and acoustic design
  • advanced building electrical systems design

Structural Option

Students in the structural option specialize in designing buildings that successfully integrate structure, environmental systems, and architecture. They consider the building and its construction as a whole and incorporate this into their designs.

All structural engineering students begin with a background in statics, dynamics, materials, design, and analysis techniques. Additional courses include geotechnical and foundation engineering, surveying, and advanced concrete and steel design.

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Widely acknowledged as one of the top Architectural Engineering programs in the world, the Penn State AE Department is dedicated to providing outstanding academic excellence to all of our students. The AE program is focused on preparing students and conducting research in the design, engineering, and construction of building projects.

Department of Architectural Engineering

104 Engineering Unit A

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-6394