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Master's Degree in Architectural Engineering

Sep 26, 2019

Architectural engineers can play diverse roles, from designing the different interior systems of buildings to managing the construction process. Read on to learn more about earning a master's degree in this challenging field.

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Those who wish to learn about how buildings are designed, and how to analyze different aspects of construction might consider earning a Master of Science (M.S.) or Master of Engineering (M.E.) in Architectural Engineering. Here, you can read about admissions requirements as well as some common classes that students in this type of graduate program could take.

Admissions Requirements for Architectural Engineering Master's Programs

Architectural engineering master's programs may differ in terms of the undergraduate preparation required to apply for the degree program. Some schools may require an undergraduate engineering major; while others will permit those in related fields such as construction management and environmental science to apply. Prospective students should expect to provide transcripts and recommendations. Many programs will also require GRE scores. Prior work experience in the field may be preferred.

Program Description

Students in architectural engineering programs will take a range of required and elective courses. In addition to coursework, there are master's programs that require the completion of a final written project or report. Some courses to which a student may be exposed during their architectural engineering master's program include:

Design of Masonry Structures

A course in the design of masonry structures may provide an overview of the structural elements of buildings made using masonry techniques. Students might learn about axial loads, out-of-plane and in-plane bending, and stress design. In addition, types of fasteners and connectors could be reviewed.

Electrical Systems Design

A course of this nature might prepare an architectural engineer to engineer or design the electrical system of a structure in compliance with the National Electric Code. Specific topics might include lighting strategies, system sizing, and panel boards. Students may also review emergency backup systems.

Sustainable Design

Those in the field of architectural engineering could wish to focus upon the design and construction of sustainable structures. A course of this type might introduce students to green building design, sustainable construction materials, and environmental quality of built structures. Requirements for earning LEED certification could be a topic as well.

Construction Cost Accounting

Architectural engineers who are responsible for projects will require a solid foundation in accounting and financial management of building projects. This kind of course could provide students with information on accounting principles such as budgets, cost tracking, purchasing, and invoicing. The nature of construction as a cyclical demand industry could also be reviewed.

Earthquake Hazard Reduction

This type of class may introduce students to the principles of engineering design related to engineering seismology. Students could then review specific building techniques that are designed to reduce earthquake hazards, such as shear walls and braced frames, in addition to the proper selection of materials. Finally, techniques utilized to retrofit buildings to better withstand the danger of earthquakes might be studied.

Plumbing System Design

The design of plumbing systems is crucial in modern building projects. This class could review the design of these systems, water supply, and waste handling. Also, the maintenance and troubleshooting of installed systems could be discussed.

Students seeking an M.S. or M.E. in Architectural Engineering will need to meet admissions requirements. They will take a range of courses in building and structural systems, and may also complete a final project.

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