Architectural Engineering

Build better buildings — and a bright career in the process

Combine engineering expertise with architectural savvy to boost the energy efficiency, durability, and sustainability of buildings. In Waterloo’s newest engineering program, you’ll learn how to design, renovate, and retrofit flexible buildings that adapt to different needs.

You’ll cover all the science and engineering that goes into good building design, including mechanics, structural analysis, structural design and more. In third year, you’ll study at Waterloo’s world-class School of Architecture, deepening your understanding of aesthetics, culture, and other elements of design.

As a result, you’ll graduate speaking the language of both engineers and architects — a skill that will put you on the fast track to leadership in the building design industry.

The program is subject to approval by the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance. 

Design from day one

Combine science and design. You'll gain the technical know-how of an engineer while developing design skills through modelling and prototyping in hands-on studio courses each term.

Collaborate with architects

You’ll spend third year at the School of Architecture in Cambridge, Ontario, working and interacting with talented Architecture students and gaining expertise in design.


Architectural Engineering combines civil engineering with architecture to provide you with technical knowledge and the necessary design skills to succeed in your future careers.

About the Architectural Engineering program

briefcaseGain 2 years of experience in Waterloo's co-op program

clickApply directly to this program on your application

capEarn a Bachelor of Applied Science degree


icon representing number 1Engineering school in Canada (US News & World Report 2018)

GearsOffered by the Faculty of Engineering

Money flowerLearn how sustainability is fundamental to design


How does Architectural Engineering relate to Architecture?

Course content-wise, the program is closer to the Civil Engineering program than it is to Architecture. Courses will cover mechanics, structural analysis, and structural design, as well as a heavy math focus in your first 2 years.

You'll learn about 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. The program covers only enough about the aesthetic aspects of building design to be able to communicate intelligently with architects in their own language. In Architecture, these aesthetic aspects are a much greater focus. 

Architectural Engineering admission requirements

  • Ontario students: 6 Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
    • Advanced Functions (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • Calculus and Vectors (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • Chemistry (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • Physics (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • English (ENG4U) (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Admission averages: Individual selection from the high 80s
  • An Admission Information Form is required
  • Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements

First-year Architectural Engineering courses

September to December

AE 100 - Concepts Studio
AE 101 - History of the Built Environment 
AE 104 - Mechanics 1
AE 115 - Linear Algebra
CHE 102 - Chemistry for Engineers
MATH 116 Calculus 1 for Engineering

May to August

AE 105 - Mechanics 2 
AE 121 - Computational Methods 
AE 125 - Architectural Graphics Studio 
GENE 123 - Electrical Circuits and Instrumentation
MATH 118 - Calculus 2 for Engineering 


Sample upper-year Architectural Engineering courses

AE 265 – Structure and Properties of Materials
AE 300 – Architectural Engineering Studio

AE 315 – Building Structural Systems
AE 392 – Economics and Life Cycle Analysis




You'll alternate between on-campus school terms and paid co-op work terms. Graduate with 2 years of work experience, earn money to help pay for your education, and try different career areas through North America's largest co-op program.

You'll have your first co-op work term in January to April of your first year, alternating between 4-month co-op work terms and 4-month school terms. By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.

Sample employers

  • Consulting firms specializing in structural and/or architectural design
  • Building performance consulting firms
  • Construction companies and developers
  • Regulatory agencies
  • Building owners and operators

Possible professional designation

Learn more about Architectural Engineering