The undergraduate minor in architectural engineering (AREN) serves CU Boulder students who are interested in building science, engineering, and system designs. The minor is intended to expose students to basic building science knowledge, engineering and system concepts, and calculation and design skills.


A cumulative GPA of 2.750 or higher is required to be admitted to the minor.
The minor is not open to AREN majors, or IDEN/GEEN majors with an AREN emphasis.

The following prerequisite courses are required, with a grade of C- or higher in each. A student may be accepted into the minor with no more than two of these courses as deficiencies. All deficiencies must be completed before the minor is awarded.

  • Calculus 1 (APPM 1350 or MATH 1300)
  • Calculus 2 (APPM 1360 or MATH 2300)
  • Calculus 3 (APPM 2350 or MATH 2400)
  • Differential Equations and Linear Algebra (APPM 2360 or MATH 2130 + 3430)
  • Two semesters of calculus-based physics (PHYS 1110 and PHYS 1120)
  • Statics (CVEN 2121, ASEN 2001, GEEN 2851, or MCEN 2023)

Grade Requirements

A cumulative GPA of at least 2.000 (prior to December 2021, this threshold was 2.250) is required in the courses used to satisfy the minor requirements, with no individual grade lower than C-.


18 credits are required for the minor, at least 9 of which must be AREN/CVEN courses completed at the CU Boulder campus.

Course Requirements – 3 credits each

Required Core Courses:

  • AREN 2050 Building Materials and Systems – fall only; prereq: sophomore standing
  • CVEN 3246 Introduction to Construction – fall and spring; prereq: 36+ credits
  • CVEN 3161 Mechanics of Materials 1 – fall and spring; prereq: CVEN 2121 (Statics) or equivalent; coreq: APPM 2360 (Differential Equations) or equivalent
    • Substitute: MCEN 2063

Two Courses from One of the Following Tracks:

Mechanical Systems Track

  • AREN 3010 Mechanical Systems for Buildings – fall only; prereqs: AREN 2050, AREN 2110 (Thermodynamics) or equivalent, AREN 2120 (Fluid Mechanics) or equivalent
  • AREN 4110 HVAC System Design – spring only; prereq: AREN 3010

Structural Systems Track

This track is not open to CVEN majors, or IDEN/GEEN majors with a CVEN emphasis.

  • CVEN 3525 Structural Analysis – fall and spring; prereq: CVEN 3161 (Mechanics of Materials) or equivalent
  • Choose one:
    • CVEN 4545 Steel Design – spring only; prereq: CVEN 3525
    • CVEN 4555 Reinforced Concrete Design – fall only; prereq: CVEN 3525
    • CVEN 4565 Design of Wood Structures - spring only; prereq: CVEN 3525

Electrical Systems Track

  • AREN 3040 Circuits for Architectural Engineers – spring only; prereqs: APPM 2360 (Differential Equations) and PHYS 1120 (General Physics 2)
    • Substitutes: ECEN 2250, ECEN 3010, GEEN 3010
  • AREN 4570 Electrical Systems – fall only; prereq: AREN 3040 or equivalent

Lighting Track

  • AREN 3540 Illumination 1 – spring only; prereqs: APPM 2350 (Calculus 3) or equivalent, CHEN 1310 (Computing) or equivalent
  • AREN 4550 Illumination 2 – fall only; prereq: AREN 3540

Construction Engineering & Management Track

This track is not open to CVEN majors, or IDEN/GEEN majors with a CVEN emphasis.

  • AREN 4506 Project Management 1 – fall and spring; prereq: CVEN 3246
  • AREN 4606 Project Management 2 – spring only; prereq: AREN 4506

One Elective (from the Following Approved Courses):

Note that not all of these courses are offered every year.  Most of these courses have prerequisite requirements – see the course catalog or the AREN undergraduate academic advisor for more information.

  • ARCH 3214 History and Theory of Architecture 2
  • AREN 1027 Engineering Drawing
  • AREN 4010 HVAC System Modeling and Control
  • AREN 4130 Optical Design
  • AREN 4315 Design of Masonry Structures
  • AREN 4530 Advanced Lighting Design
  • AREN 4560 Luminous Radiative Transfer
  • AREN 4580 Daylighting
  • AREN 4830 Special Topics: Sustainable Lighting Workshop
  • AREN 4830 Special Topics: Computer Simulation of Building Systems
  • AREN 4830 Special Topics: Forensic Engineering
  • AREN 4890 Sustainable Building Design

  • AREN 4990 CFD for Built/Natural Environments
  • AREN 5020 Building Energy Audits
  • AREN 5050 Advanced Solar Design
  • AREN 5070 Thermal Analysis of Buildings
  • CVEN 1027 Civil Engineering Drawing
  • CVEN 5830 Special Topics: Distributed Generation Systems
  • CVEN 5830 Special Topics: Color Theory/Light Source
  • CVEN 5830 Special Topics: Applied Data Analysis and Modeling
  • ENVD 2352: Intro 3-D Modeling (RHINO)
  • ENVD 2352: INTRO BIM (Revit)

To Declare the AREN Minor

If you meet the admissions requirements and prerequisites listed above, email and request to be added to the minor - please include your student ID number.

To meet with a minor advisor, log into Buff Portal Advising, click on "meet with a different advisor," and follow the prompts.  Drop-in hours are typically held Mondays 1-3pm.

For questions, please email