Prospective Undergraduate Students
The Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering offers two bachelor's degrees accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET http://www.abet.org with a variety of ways to tailor your degree to fit your particular interests.
- Civil Engineering
- Concentration in civil engineering
- Concentration in environmental engineering
- Civil Engineering and Business Administration (dual degree, 5-year program)
- Architectural Engineering (4-year program)
- Emphasis in Building Mechanical and Energy Systems
- Emphasis in Building Lighting/Electrical Systems
- Emphasis in Building Construction Management
- Emphasis in Building Structural Systems
- Architectural Engineering and Architecture (6-year program)
Each student is encouraged to become a registered professional engineer (P.E.). Obtaining an ABET-accredited engineering degree is a major step toward this goal. All undergraduates in the department are required to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (F.E.) exam before graduation. The F.E. exam is the first of the two exams required in most states for P.E. registration.
Civil Engineering or Architectural Engineering?
Civil engineers plan, design, construct and operate systems and structures that are of great importance to society, such as bridges, highways, buildings, dams, airports, and water treatment plants.
Students who study civil engineering receive education in math, basic science, computer science, and engineering. They also study communications, humanities, and social science to help them understand the human and social factors involved in civil engineering projects.
Civil engineers have a great deal of flexibility in selecting their areas of specialization, their geographic locations after graduation, and the types of organizations for which they work. Consulting firms, industries, municipalities, and state and federal agencies all need civil engineers. Expanding environmental, energy, transportation, and infrastructure concerns have increased demand for civil engineers in government and private consulting and construction firms. Because civil engineering projects are often long term, jobs tend to be stable and not influenced quickly by economic fluctuations. Learn more about career opportunities for civil engineers.
Architectural engineering is the engineering discipline concerned with the planning, analysis, design, construction, and operation of engineered systems for commercial, industrial, institutional, and large residential facilities. Engineered systems include electric power, communications, and control; lighting and acoustics; heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC); fire and life safety; structural systems; and green buildings and sustainability.
Architectural engineering at KU is a challenging ABET-accredited four-year course of study that leads to a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering (BS ARCE). At KU, the BS ARCE program is administered by the School of Engineering in consultation with the School of Architecture, Design, and Planning. Undergraduate students in the ARCE program have full access to the resources in both schools including scholarships, courses, computer and instructional laboratories, shops, student organizations and activities, and libraries.
ARCE students that have an interest in architecture as well as engineering can get both the professional ABET-accredited BS ARCE degree and NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture (M ARCH) degrees at KU in six years, which includes a required summer of study. This dual degree option is possible because of the architectural design, history, and building technology courses that ARCE students are required to take from the architecture faculty as well as the close relationship between engineering and architecture at KU.
Admission to the KU ARCE program is competitive and through the School of Engineering. Kansas residents must have a minimum 28 ACT math score and be in the top 25% of their high school graduating class to be considered for admission. Out-of-state applicants also must have a minimum 28 ACT math score, or equivalent SAT score, and be in the top 15% of their graduating class. Transfer applications for admission are encouraged too. Kansas has a reciprocal agreement with Missouri that allows many Missouri residents in architectural engineering or architecture to attend KU at in-state tuition rates. Around 50% of the ARCE students are from out of state and about 30% are women.
Architectural engineering is a rigorous degree program. Entering students should be prepared to have their studies and studio activities consume most of their time and energy. However, graduates find rewarding and fulfilling careers upon graduation.
Learn more about career opportunities for architectural engineers.