A defining feature of architectural engineers is knowledge of all the building systems and how they work together.  The AREN curriculum is intentionally broad as a result, and covers the following subdisciplines: 

  • Construction Engineering & Management
  • Lighting & Electrical Systems
  • Mechanical Systems
  • Structural Systems

All AREN students take multiple classes within each subdiscipline. Beyond these required courses, your technical electives give you the flexibility to personalize your degree and tailor it to your own academic and career interests.

You are not required to officially declare or follow an area of focus.  However, many students are naturally drawn to one or more subdisciplines within architectural engineering and want to tailor their studies accordingly.  Many employers expect some level of depth/expertise beyond just the required courses.  Consider what knowledge base employers will be looking for, and how you will set yourself apart from other applicants.

You may also want to consider your plans for graduate school.  If you plan to get a master’s degree, you will have the opportunity to specialize in greater depth later on.  If you plan to go directly into the workforce with your bachelor’s degree, however, your technical electives will have a greater impact on your job opportunities after graduation.

Your faculty mentor is an excellent resource to talk about your interests and possible career paths.  They can help you identify the best elective options based on what employers in the field are likely to be looking for.  They can also help you sort through your options and prioritize courses if you’re interested in multiple subdisciplines.

General recommendations for each area of focus are listed in the technical electives section of this website.