MS in Architectural Engineering
A graduate degree in architectural engineering from Drexel University prepares professionals for applying deepened skillsets that will further careers in research or industry.
What is a Master’s in Architectural Engineering?
An architectural engineering master’s degree prepares professionals to take on the advanced needs and requirements of the complex systems in today’s building designs. As a student, you will apply creativity and an understanding of the challenges in construction and the environment to make decisions relating to not only building sustainability and efficiency but to the important implications of urban planning, community development and resilience decision-making.
You will gain an understanding of advances in industry, a global viewpoint, and the entrepreneurial and teambuilding skills needed to advance your career in industry or research, and the knowledge required for entry into a PhD program in architectural engineering or a related field.
- Full-time or Part-time
- The program will take two years to complete on a full-time basis or can be completed on a part-time basis in approximately 3-4 years.
Curriculum and Requirements
|Technical requirements (math)
Electives/ Thesis and alternatives
|15 credits: 9 credits of MS thesis research + independent study or additional concentration electives.
The master's degree requires a total of 45 credits, of which 24 credits must be in the major field of interest and 6 credits for math requirements. The remaining credits are taken as electives or as a thesis.
Study track options include taking coursework only, a report (mini-thesis, not for committee), or a full MS thesis (presented to two committee members).
Management Certificate Study Track - Earn the MS in Architectural Engineering and a Graduate Certificate in Engineering Management without adding any additional credits to the plan of study. This track is a hybrid program incorporating in-person instruction for the architectural courses and online instruction for management courses. For those pursuing an accelerated one-year plan of study, the summer quarter will consist of all engineering management courses, offered entirely online.
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Graduate advisors are available to you to guide your course selection and scheduling of core and elective courses.
Dual graduate degrees are possible. Popular programs to combine with the MS in Architectural Engineering are the MS in Environmental Engineering, MS in Construction Management or MS in Engineering Management.
Visit the Drexel Catalog for more information and sample study plans for areas of specialization or learn more about our admissions requirements.
Civil Engineering Graduate Certificates are available for additional engineering credentials or if you are not ready to take on a Master’s degree. The credits will transfer to the MS program should you continue study.
Areas of Specialization
The architectural engineering graduate degree allows you to tailor study to your interests. The plan of study can encompass a broad range of technical knowledge or one that is more targeted to a concentration area. The following are some examples of topical areas for technical electives:
Building energy efficiency and alternative energy
Focus on the design of buildings that will create an overall reduction of energy needed to operate, heat or cool a building or facility – including the incorporation of best practices in alternative energy sources to provide those functions.
Indoor environmental quality
Examine the interior air quality of a building’s environment, while taking into consideration the factors relating to the health of the persons in the space and how the space is utilized – including lighting, ergonomics, air flow, humidity, thermal conditions and others.
Why choose Drexel for your MS in Architectural Engineering?
The master’s degree program in architectural engineering trains students in the principles of integrated building design and operation practices. You will emerge as a highly capable contributor on interdisciplinary teams that develop creative solutions and technological advances in functional, efficient, attractive and sustainable building infrastructure.
The Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (CAEE) Department combines related diverse fields to educate and turn out a well-rounded engineer. Drexel students are encouraged to be innovative and imaginative in identifying a problem and analyzing potential approaches in the quest for solutions. The focus of our programs is to equip you with the tools for finding achievable outcomes to solve for society’s biggest challenges, while making them relevant to your career goals.
Students have access to Drexel’s high-performance computing cluster, performing modeling and simulations on Proteus I and II. Students also conduct research in our well-equipped and professionally staffed building science, geotechnical, environmental and air resources laboratories and have access to industry standard software in our computer labs. Students can also build analytical instruments to use for fieldwork-based research activities in buildings in and around Philadelphia. Learn more about our facilities.
Drexel places a high value on industry connections and experience at every level. Faculty in the CAEE department are experts with industry experience or are at the forefront of research and teaching.
Professor of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
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Associate Dean for Faculty Advancement
Interim Associate Dean for Research
The city of Philadelphia is our campus – a diverse urban environment with a variety of social, cultural and learning opportunities that will enrich your educational experience. Philadelphia is also a draw for talented instructors and researchers, meaning you will engage with some of the best minds in engineering and other disciplines. Learn more.
Students in the master’s in architectural engineering program are welcome to engage in research as part of their degree or as extra-curricular participation. Full-time master’s degree candidates are encouraged to base their master’s thesis on some aspect of faculty research.
Current faculty research helps us to aid in the areas that are of great importance in our society, including restoration and repair of society's infrastructure, indoor and outdoor air quality, building energy efficiency, water needs and quality, green design, sustainability in construction, recycled materials in geotechnics, biofuels, structural health monitoring, evaluating impacts of energy strategies, green infrastructure planning, and modeling for climate resilience among others.
Visit research areas for more about research activity at the College of Engineering.
Career Opportunities in Architectural Engineering
The architectural engineering career path will benefit from advanced study in a graduate program. You will be prepared for continuing your education in a PhD program or for pursuing advanced technical positions or management in industry. Many graduates of this program have started consulting and construction firms in the Philadelphia area and beyond. Others hold prominent positions in public utilities, government or in business.
Overall, employees with graduate degrees can earn up to 28 percent more than bachelor’s degree holders over the course of their career. The outlook for architectural engineering jobs is good, with demand for employment expected to grow over 4% for architecture and engineering occupations through 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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