While a master's degree in air conditioning is not available, air conditioning systems can be studied within several types of engineering master's degree programs. Students in an architectural engineering or mechanical engineering master's degree program can learn to design heating and air conditioning systems for buildings. These degree programs have similar prerequisites and credit hour requirements, but the core coursework can vary by degree type.
Applicants to these programs are required to have a bachelor's degree, and some schools may prefer candidates with an undergraduate degree in engineering. Others allow students who hold degrees in other areas to enroll, but they may have to complete additional prerequisite coursework, which could extend the program length beyond the standard two years. Most schools require students have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students may also have to submit GRE test scores, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and/or essays, depending on the educational institution. Those wishing to become licensed engineers who work with the public will want to look for programs that are accredited by ABET.
Master's Degree in Engineering
Master's students in engineering who wish to study heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems typically take a combination of general studies, engineering and mathematics classes in conjunction with air conditioning-related classes, such as alternative energy systems and energy efficient building design. Additional courses may include:
- Analysis of thermal systems
- Thermal and refrigeration systems design
- Heat transfer
- Power generation using electricity
- Engineering and air pollution
- HVAC in buildings
Popular Career Options
Engineers can design, develop and build air conditioning systems for residential and commercial facilities. Career options for graduates typically depend on the engineering degree they hold. Some engineering positions they might pursue include:
- Civil engineer
- Mechanical engineer
- Environmental engineer
- Architectural engineer
Continuing Education and Licensure Information
Students who wish to continue their educations have the option of obtaining a Ph.D. in Engineering. Similar to master's degree students, doctoral students have the option to study one of many engineering disciplines, such as civil engineering or mechanical engineering. These programs are generally designed for individuals who seek to teach at the collegiate level or perform research in the field, so they may not be especially beneficial for individuals interested in designing, developing or modifying HVAC systems.
Engineers who offer their services directly to the public or who oversee engineering projects are required to be licensed as professional engineers. The specific requirements vary by state, but they generally include a bachelor's or master's degree in engineering from an ABET-accredited school, four years of professional work experience and passing a two-part engineering exam. Some states require that licenses be renewed as frequently as every year.
In summary, students can pursue graduate-level studies related to air conditioning by earning a master's degree in engineering. With this degree, graduates can go on to become licensed engineers or pursue further education in engineering.