FAQs - Potential Employers

coop student
coop student
coop student

If you still have questions after reviewing the questions and answers below, please contact archeng@uwaterloo.ca.

Abbreviations used: AE=Architectural engineering; Civil=Civil Engineering; Arch=Architecture

Program Questions

What is the difference between AE, Civil and Arch?

Course content-wise, Architectural Engineering is actually closer to Civil Engineering than Architecture. Courses will cover content on mechanics, structural analysis and structural design, with heavy math content in the first two years. Architectural Engineering students will also take courses on building science and systems, such as HVAC, in the place of courses that Civil Engineering students take on transportation networks, water distribution systems, geotechnical engineering and more.

Architectural Engineering graduates will have a better understanding of the science and engineering behind good building design – not just the structural aspects, but also energy efficiency, sustainable building design, and smart/green building design. Architectural Engineering only covers enough about the aesthetic aspects of building design to be able to communicate intelligently with architects in their own language on this subject.

  Architectural Engineering Civil Engineering Architecture
Degree Designation Bachelor of Applied Science Bachelor of Applied Science Bachelor of Architecture
Studio Component Yes No Yes
Math-emphasis Yes Yes No
Design-emphasis Some No Yes
CEAB Accredited Yes Yes No

Does the level of design work vary between AE, Civil and Arch?

Design has a very different meaning to engineers than it does to architects. There is not more or less in one program or the other  just different kinds of design. In comparison to our Civil Engineering program, Architectural Engineering includes a greater focus on open-ended design problems and introduces design concepts much earlier on in the program.

Why was the AE program created? What need does it meet that Civil and Arch do not currently satisfy?

There is a societal need and industry demand for experts who can design better buildings and can more effectively manage our existing, aging buildings. Much of the required expertise falls in the area of building science, which is often treated as an area of secondary importance in the existing Architecture and Civil Engineering programs. The students coming out of this program will also have the ability to address a communication problem in the building construction industry currently, as they will have some expertise and ability to speak the language of both architects, as well as engineers. We expect that Architectural Engineering graduates will become leaders in this industry, with a unique skill set that is well-suited for managing and overseeing building construction, renovation, and rehabilitation projects.

What software skills will an AE coop student possess?

  • 1A - AutoCAD
  • 1B - Rhino
  • 2A - Revit

What studio-related skills will an AE coop student be familiar with?

  • 1A
    • hand-sketching basics and isometric drawings
    • physical model building
    • exposure to the design process
    • technical report writing
  • 1B
    • hand and computer drafting
    • working drawings and contract documentation
    • load paths and basic analysis of statically determinate structures
    • common structural systems in buildings

Is the AE program CEAB accredited?

As of June 2023, Architectural Engineering is a CEAB accredited program giving graduates the opportunity to apply for their P.Eng.