Online Architectural Engineering Degree Programs

Learn about what an architectural engineer does and the employment outlook for this field. Find out about degree options and the classes required, and get information about how to take classes online. Schools offering Civil Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Architectural Engineering Degrees Are Offered Online?

Architectural engineering involves many aspects of the building process, including structural, electrical, HVAC, and mechanical. Architectural engineering is a multi-disciplined field closely related to other engineering fields, such as construction engineering. While architectural engineering degrees are seldom offered as online programs, many schools do offer online degree programs in related fields, such as construction engineering. Online degree programs in these fields generally offer a master's degree as the most common option. However, if your goal is a degree in architectural engineering, on-campus programs are offered at the bachelor's and master's levels; doctoral degrees are possible but somewhat rare.

Degree AvailabilityBachelor's and master's degree programs in architectural engineering are available on-campus; doctoral programs are also available, but are less common.
Distance Learning OpportunitiesOnline degree programs in architectural engineering are rare; however, online degrees in related fields are available.
Common CoursesConstruction engineering: engineering analysis, sustainability methods
Architectural engineering: structural analysis, static mechanics
Additional Requirements for Online CoursesHigh-speed internet, email access, appropriate technical specifications for your computer
Career OptionsPursue a career as a consultant or work within architectural firms and construction agencies

What Will My Courses Be Like?

As a student in an online construction engineering master's degree program, you'll learn many aspects of the construction industry, including marine construction, pavement construction, cost analysis and construction regulations, as well as how those disciplines integrate with engineering principles. In addition to your coursework, you may also be required to complete a research project. Depending on the program, you may also have a thesis or non-thesis option. Topics of study in the online programs may include:

  • Developing cost estimates for construction projects
  • Construction of central utility systems
  • Methods of operation for heavy construction
  • Engineering analysis
  • Sustainability methods and techniques
  • Fundamentals of computerized construction and computer hardware
  • Pavement construction practices

If you're pursuing a degree in architectural engineering on campus, you'll complete core courses, electives and general courses related to your area of concentration. While you may be focusing on one discipline in architectural engineering, such as mechanical principles of building, you'll actually be learning many areas of the field. Topics of study may include:

  • Graphical presentation of data using engineering software
  • Fundamental concepts of static mechanics
  • Solving business system design problems
  • Analysis of structures (trusses, frames and beams)
  • Structural steel and wood designs
  • Design and analysis of unusual structures
  • Integrating electrical design practice with standards and codes
  • Planning and design of international projects

Undergraduate students are required to complete a written design or capstone project at the end of the program. For the master's degree program, you may be required to complete a research thesis, depending on the program. Students pursuing a Ph.D. in architectural engineering are typically required to complete a dissertation and successfully pass an examination demonstrating knowledge of architectural engineering principles, as well an understanding of undergraduate courses related to your area of interest.

How Do Online Programs Work?

As an online student, you'll be able to earn your degree according to your own schedule, making this a convenient option if you're pursuing the graduate degree while working as an engineer. You'll learn from the same faculty that teaches on campus. Communication takes place through e-mail, online discussion and chats. Your courses are delivered through streaming videos, downloadable MPEG-4 files and a web-based course delivery system, such as Blackboard. You will need a computer with high-speed Internet and an e-mail account. Your computer must meet technical requirements to support the various course delivery methods.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

As an architectural engineer, you'll have the knowledge to work in many engineering fields, finding career opportunities in many industries, including government agencies, architecture firms, construction companies, consulting and as a self-employed business owner. Because architectural engineering encompasses so many fields, you'll find employment opportunities in many areas of the building process. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that employment outlook for architecture and engineering occupations should increase up to 0.5% from 2014-2024, although employment may vary by specialty (www.bls.gov).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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