Program Overview

When creativity joins science

Architectural engineers make sure that buildings designed by architects work. If a building is considered as a human body, while its physical appearance (e.g., face, skin and shape) is designed by architects, its inner parts, such as the bones that support the body (structural system) and vital organs such as the lungs and heart (air ventilation and conditioning, and electrical systems) that make the body functions, are designed by architectural engineers. These capabilities result from an educational curriculum that make the body functions, are designed by architectural engineers. These capabilities result from an educational curriculum that builds upon a solid understanding in mathematics, physics, chemistry and engineering science principles such as fluids mechanics and thermodynamics. Without these preliminary principles, it would impossible to engineer the above outlined systems that make up a building.

Most of these principles are typically taught in the first two years of residency at WPI. Because architectural engineers work in agreement and closely with architects, in the program students learn how architects communicate their ideas, by developing the appreciation of architectural representation and design though design studios as well as the understanding of the history of our architectural heritage. This educational phase is completed by developing the awareness that the making of a building is subject to economic constraints (Can I afford it?) and legal and regulatory approvals (Can I build it? Is the building environmentally friendly?). The core of the program consists of a broad set of principles in structural engineering, building mechanical systems (e.g. HVAC) and related design, electrical and lighting systems, as well as fire protection systems. In the senior year students apply these principles to a specific design aspect of a building (Major Qualifying Project), namely its structure or/and environmental control of its inner space (envelope and mechanical systems). The climatic control of the inner space generally demands much energy and electricity, and thus it requires significant attention in terms of energy consumption reduction and conservation efforts.


For information on applying, or to request more information about WPI, visit the Undergraduate Admissions web site.

For more information on majoring in Architectural Engineering, contact:

Roberto Pietroforte, Director
Undergraduate Architectural Engineering Program
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
100 Institute Road
Worcester, MA 01609
Phone: +1-508-831- 5295
Fax: +1-508-831-5808

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Additional Architectural Engineering program resources:

Additional Architectural Engineering program resources: