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What is AE?

Main Idea

Penn State's Architectural Engineering program provides you with the knowledge an
d skill set you need to find success in the building industry. The curriculum will train you to apply scientific and engineering principles to the design and construction of the program leading to an ABET-accredited Bachelor of Architectural Engineering. 

We're different than Architects

An architectural engineering program emphasizes the engineering aspects of building design and construction process, while an architecture program concentrates on the aesthetics and the functional/spatial layout of buildings.

We specialize differently than Civil and Structural Engineers

The engineers on a project design team are responsible for different specialties. The architectural engineers are responsible for the different systems of the building: structural, mechanical, electrical, etc. The engineering systems outside the building are the responsibilities of the civil engineers (i.e. site development, storm water management, transportation etc). In addition, civil engineers may design structures other than buildings such as dams or bridges.

One of the Options (specialties) in architectural engineering is structural engineering. Our graduates in this option eventually become structural engineers. The AE structural engineers become more familiar with the buildings and their demands when they graduate than their civil engineering counterparts (partly because of the 5 year program and partly because CE covers other structures as well). Structural Engineers is also a registration title. Some states require an engineer pass a second licensure test in order to become a structural engineer. 
Four Options of AE
Construction Management 
    Focus on management techniques and considerations associated with construction
    Takes classes on contracting, scheduling, estimating and construction methods 
Lighting/ Electrical 
    Develop skills and knowledge necessary to create high quality lighting systems, and safe and effective electrical distribution system
    Take classes on electrical circuits, power distribution and illumination systems for buildings
    Work to combine a strong background in building systems with mechanical engineering fundamentals to design systems that provide quality indoor environments for people
    Take classes on Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, noise control and solar design
    Learn skills that allow them to design structures that successfully integrate structure, environmental systems, and architecture. 
    Take classes on statics, dynamics, materials, design, and analysis techniques.

If you have any questions please contact professionalrelations@psuae.org