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Degrees Offered: BS MS PhD

Architectural engineers focus on the engineering aspects of buildings; they design the structural systems, the mechanical systems and the lighting and electrical systems of buildings, while tackling the challenges related to managing the construction process. Architectural engineers design and build facilities that improve the standard of living and overall quality of life. They are creative problem solvers meeting the challenges of energy needs, building systems, urban development and community planning. Architectural engineers design functional and aesthetic lighting solutions, create buildings prepared to withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters or invent affordable green technology to heat, cool and power homes, offices and large facilities with energy from the sun.

Undergraduate Opportunities

CU­ Boulder architectural engineering students learn their trade through hands­on work that starts during the first year. Courses in hands­on design projects, extracurricular opportunities such as Engineers Without Borders and exciting co­op and internship experiences prepare students with the technical, professional and team skills that make them competitive for jobs after graduation. Architectural engineering tracks are available in construction management, electrical/lighting systems, mechanical systems and structural systems. There is also an option to pursue a track in engineering science.

Graduate Studies

The CEAE Department offers a Master of Science and a PhD degree in Architectural Engineering and in Civil Engineering. The objective of graduate education in the CEAE department is to produce engineers with the knowledge and skills to understand and solve complex problems in the natural and built environment, to promote a sustainable world and to enhance the global quality of life.

CEAE is one of only three programs in the United States offering graduate degrees in architectural engineering. Graduate degrees are offered in the following specializations and interdisciplinary programs: sustainable building design and operation; renewable energy systems for buildings; illumination engineering; construction engineering and management; and engineering for developing communities.

Facilities, including an earthquake simulator, a collection of geotechnical centrifuges, state-­of-­the-­art geotechnical, environmental, building systems, hydraulics and structural materials laboratories, permit a case-­study approach to education which exposes graduate students to real­world problems through experimentation, testing and analysis.

Research Opportunities

The department has a wide variety of laboratory facilities, including a state-­of-­the-­art building energy facility, an illumination laboratory and one of the largest structural laboratories in the Rocky Mountain region, all of which offer opportunities for independent study as well as undergraduate and graduate research. Students can participate in research on building efficiency and often work with the University of Colorado facilities management department and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. Other research opportunities include construction safety, energy­efficient lighting and a host of structural testing projects on sustainable and energy­efficient materials.

Students also have the opportunity to gain professional exposure through student societies on campus, which include the Architectural Engineering Institute and the Illuminating Engineering Society.

The environmental engineering group of the CEAE Department is the only certificate program in the United States offering a Water Engineering and Management Graduate Certificate. The certificate is available to students on the Boulder campus and to distance learning students online through EngineeringAnywhere.