Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Architectural Engineering

What is the name of the program?

The name of the program is Architectural Engineering. The degree earned is a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering.

What is the name of the department?

The Architectural Engineering program is located in the department of Architectural and Facilities Engineering.

What is Architectural Engineering?

Architectural Engineering is the discipline concerned with the planning, design, construction, and operation of engineered systems for commercial, industrial, residential, and institutional buildings.

What is the difference between Architecture and Architectural Engineering?

Architecture is the art of organizing physical spaces to accommodate human actions. Architecture includes the breadth of design of the built environment that balances the aesthetic and functional requirements of usable spaces and environments.

Architectural Engineering is the science of designing the components of a building, facility, or structure to facilitate the functions of a building. The engineering systems required of built structures include electric power; communications and control; lighting; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; and structural systems. 

Is the program in Architectural Engineering Accredited?

Yes. The program in Architectural Engineering has been accredited by the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) since 1978.

Can I become licensed in Architectural Engineering?

Yes. The first examination for Architectural Engineering was offered in the spring of 2003. The examination is prepared by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Technology (NCEES) and is available by applying to the state licensing board.

What are the steps to becoming a licensed Architectural Engineer?

In order to become a licensed engineer an applicant must (1) graduate from an ABET accredited program,(2)  pass the Fundamentals of Engineering examination which is offered during the senior year of college, (3) perform a four year apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed design engineer in your chosen discipline, and (4) pass the” principals and practices of engineering”  examination. 

If my goal is to become an Architect, can I achieve that through this program?

Eligibility requirements are set by each state. The state of Tennessee permits a graduate of an architecture-related four year program to apply to sit for the architectural registration examination upon satisfactory completion of seven (7) years of apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed architect. Graduates should check the requirements of the state in which they wish to practice.

What is the program focus in Architectural Engineering?

The program prepares students in engineering systems design for buildings.  The engineering focus of building systems design include (1) structural systems design, (2) electrical power and lighting systems design, and (3) mechanical systems design. Students will acquire an in-depth proficiency in one of the focus areas and breadth knowledge in the remaining two focus areas. A fourth focus area is construction management.

What are the employment opportunities for graduates of the Architectural Engineering program?

Employment opportunities are available with industry, governmental agencies, or with architectural engineering firms providing services in the areas of structural systems design, electrical lighting and power systems design, or mechanical systems design.  Opportunities are also available with construction companies as project managers and estimator.

Are summer internships or cooperative education opportunities available for AE majors?

Yes. Many opportunities are available with architectural engineering firms, construction companies, and governmental agencies.  Students are encouraged to contact the Architectural Engineering Department office or Dr. Bill Gittens at 615-963-7465 or email to in the University Career Development Office for internship and co-op opportunities.

Is the program engaged in research?

The department is engaged in limited research at the undergraduate level.  Students do have opportunities to engage in client contract design work under the supervision of faculty. 

How does the program prepare students for careers in Architectural Engineering?

A large part of the preparation for career development is provided in the course work required by the program. Students are also required to complete a minimum 10 week co-op or internship as a requirement for graduation.  In addition, all students are required to complete a capstone design project during their senior year to strengthen the student’s ability to conduct independent design and analysis of “real world” problems.  Students are provided practical design problems obtained from licensed architectural engineers who also monitor and evaluate the design content.

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